Nothing says Sisterhood like Netball. So, with that in mind and in the spirit of women supporting women in doing what they love. I’m sharing my passion for Yoga and the poses you should be doing to stay injury free and keep spreading your wings to reach your goals (sorry, sorry!)
Netball is all about strength and agility. Strong legs and the ability to manoeuvre yourself quickly are required; all while maintaining eagle eyed focus, coordination and balance to stay out of trouble and in the winners table. Phew! It’s a lot! But what if there was a practice that nurtured and refined all of the above? And at the same time as rehabilitating the body, resetting the nervous system to combat stress and anxiety and speeding up recovery and injury time?
Welcome to your new BFF – Yoga for Netballers.
Just add these moves into your day with its focus on the lower body, core, hips and mental balance.
Move #1 Warrior 1
Step back with you left leg.
Pivot on the ball of your left foot, dropping your left heel down to the mat. Your foot will be at about a 45-degree angle.
On an inhalation, raise your arms up into Warrior I. Make sure that both your hips are facing the front of the mat. If this is hard, try widening your stance by moving each foot toward the side edges of your mat.
Deepen your front knee so that your right thigh moves toward being parallel with the floor.
Take 5 long smooth steady breaths.
Move # 2 Humble Warrior
In Warrior One Clasp your hands together behind your back. Imagine a you are a puppet and piece of string lifts your chest as you push your knuckle down and way from your body. Getting a deep chest opening and shoulder stretch. Start to extend forward keeping the feet planted and in position and a 90 degree bend in the front leg. Bring your upper torso inside the front leg or as far down as you can. Allow the head and neck to relax.
Take 5 long smooth steady breaths and rise.
Move #3 Warrior 2
On an exhalation, open your arms so that they are parallel to the floor. At the same time, pull the left hip back, so that you come into Warrior II.
Take a moment to notice that this is a different hip position than in Warrior I. Instead of facing the front of your mat, your hips are now facing the left side. Make sure the hips are level.
Also note the position of the feet. Your right heel should align with the arch of your back foot.
Continue to keep your right knee deeply bent. Notice if your right knee wants to move toward the midline and nudge it back over your right ankle.
Take 5 long smooth steady breaths and rise.
Move #4 Reverse Warrior
On an inhale, reach your right arm forward a few inches and then lengthen and extend it over your ear as if to reach for something behind you. Keep the palm facing down as you move into a reverse warrior. Let your left hand trail down your left leg and rest lightly on your thigh or calf. The right leg really wants to straighten. Don't let it!
Move #5 Eagle Arms + Legs
Eagle Pose strengthens your calves, ankles, thighs, and hips as you build your balance and core strength. Begin as though sitting on a chair. Weight deep back in your heels. Lower body heavy and chest light and lifted. Find a focus point and transfer weight into your left foot. Cross the right leg over the bent left leg. Squeeze as though wringing yourself like a flannel. Hook the right foot behind the left calf. If this is too much rest it beside the left foot.
Hold both arms out in front of you. Cross the left over the right. Bend the arms, hold your own hand. Pull the elbows down, squeeze everything tight together and find your focus point. Keep the chest lifted and bottom sinking. Focussss… just a little longer … you can do it!
Eagle pose is a fantastic leg strengthener and shoulder stretch.
Move #6 Warrior 3
Step forward onto a grounded foot and strong leg.
Inhale and lengthen through your spine, engage your shoulders and expand your chest. Exhale, hinge forward with your hips parallel to the floor, heel lengthens away, back of thigh working. Use your breath to retain length and strength as you hinge a little further. Build strength and mental focus for your journey of self discovery.
Move #7 Dancer Pose
The ultimate synergy of flexibility, strength, balance and focus. Such an incredible stretch for the hip flexors, thighs and shoulders. This is THE netballer pose.
Standing tall in Mountain pose. Find your focus point Engage your right leg and ground down through all four sides of the foot. Take your left foot in your left hand – thumb on the inside, fingers on the outside. Raise your right arm, lift your chest and your start to hinge forward from the hips, kicking back with your left leg as you reach forward with the right arm. Keep the chest buoyant.
What’s going to keep you balanced and strong in this pose is the equilibrium between kicking back hard and reaching forward with determination. An equal force. Kicking and stretching as though you are a bow and arrow. Square the hips … keep kicking and stretching .. and if you fall out hop straight back in .. we all over shoot it sometimes!
Repeat everything on the other side and notice the difference in your play!