Movement Monday: Active vs Passive Stretch

Welcome to Movement Mondays, your weekly tip and tutorial to bring more movement, alignment and self-care into your everyday life. You can also find your weekly dose of movement love on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. Just click on the links below!

Movement Monday! Active vs passive stretches. I love tweaking familiar stretches and yoga poses to make them more of an active stretch. The short explanation of the difference between an active and passive stretch is an active stretch means you are actively working your muscles without the use of assistance- such as using a strap, hands, gravity, etc. Think about lifting up your leg with your hand (passive) or lifting up your leg, with your leg (active).

Let's take the work we do with our arms in Garudasana (Eagle Pose). Traditionally, we aim to wrap our forearms, elbows and palm of the hands together for the pose. Which can feel great in your arms and shoulders.

But there is a passive element to it. To make this stretch more active, try NOT to wrap your palms around to touch each other. Instead, try to press the back of your forearms, wrists and back of the hands together. You'll likely notice a big difference in how you experience the stretch. In fact, you may notice that you can't connect your wrists and back of the hands together, yet in the passive version, you are able to touch your palms.

This active version of Eagle arms will make your arms and shoulders even more happy. I recommend integrating this variation into your practice and even into a lovely everyday stretch for your shoulders. Try it!

As always, feel free to share and leave a comment below. Have a great week everyone! xoxo