Yoga – Runners Style
Mat Optional, Spectacular Views Preferable
When enjoying the laid back hippy vibes of a place like Orcas Island in Washington it’s hard not to want to bust out a few calming yoga moves after every run. But why not incorporate this into your everyday routine as well? Yoga is a great way to work out the imbalances caused by running and find your center after a tough workout. Since yoga engages so many muscles at the same time it is an amazing way to improve your balance and strengthen your core muscles as well. Give these few poses a try after your next workout and keep your hips flexors, hamstrings and calves lengthened and loose. Take 3-5 deep breathes in each pose and your muscles and mind will thank you.
Stretch out tight Achilles tendons, calves and hamstrings with this simple pose. Focus on keeping your back and neck straight and your shoulders rotated outwards as you slowly ease your heels towards the ground and lengthen your spine. Breathe in through your nose filling your lungs and belly with air. Breathe out through your nose and let every ounce of stale air escape your lungs before taking another deep breathe. A-HAA.
Feel your hip flexors and hamstrings lengthen while strengthening your knees and ankles in this pose. Keep your front knee at a 90 degree angle over your ankle while keeping your back leg strong. For an even deeper stretch try lowering your back knee to the ground.
Release tension in your shoulders, hamstrings, and chest and build stregth in your back muscles in this powerful balancing posture. Bend your right knee and bring your heel up towards your buttock to grab the inside of your foot. Reach your left arm out in front of you (gazing at one spot to help maintain your balance) and slowly begin to press your right foot away from your body. Hold the pose for a few breathes and then switch sides.
Stretch and open your hips, hamstrings, groin muscles and ankles while strengthening your core in this calming pose. Point your right foot forward at a 90 degree angle and turn your left foot inwards slightly by about 15 degrees. Hinging at the hip and keeping your waist straight shift your upper body over towards your right foot. Lower your right hand down towards your ankle and gaze up at your left arm as you point it towards the sky. Take 3-5 deep breathes and repeat on the other side.
This is an amazing restorative pose great for tight outer hips and butt muscles. It provides a really deep stretch and releases back and sciatic pain. Align your left knee in front of you with your foot relaxed by your side, then stack your right knee over your left as best you can. Hold for a few deep breathes and then switch sides.
A long and successful running career is built on good recovery habits and preventing burn-out. Make some of these relaxing yoga poses a part of your daily routine and you will be able to ward off injury and keep running for years to come. Namaste a runner.