I love running. That’s a fact.
I love yoga. That’s a fact.
But 9 times out of 10, if I’m going to skimp on something when it comes to training or exercise in general, it’s going to be yoga.
That’s what happened during the month of August. Life got busy. My daily schedule got changed around every day and hitting my mat in a yoga class got pushed down on the priority list. Does that happen with a run? Never. #priorities. I’m not saying it’s right. That’s just what happens with me.
Near the end of the month, I could definitely tell that I had let my practice slip. My calves were balls of knots (even more than usual), I felt like I had shrunk 5 inches and my back was making creaking and cracking noises every time I twisted. Not good. Not good at all.
Especially for someone who is known to get injured more than the average runner.
So it’s September, the kids are back at school. The lazy days are gone. It’s time to get back on my mat habit.
After my first class back on my mat, I felt the marvelous difference. It was like I could breath again. My calves eased up. My back felt more supple. I could move my neck without any stiffness.
I can’t get to yoga class every single day but I can make the time time to do some yoga #everydamnday. It makes a difference. Trust me! So whether you choose to go to a yoga class or pop out some poses after your run, just do it.
Here’s 4 quick post run yoga poses that increase flexibility, speed up recovery time, and can get us to the finish line feeling strong and hopefully, happy.
Downward Facing Dog
This is my favorite pose to hit most of the major running players – feet, calves, hamstrings and back.
- Start in a tabletop position, with hands below the shoulders and knees in line with the hips.
- Tuck the toes, and send hips to the sky in an inverted V position.
- Push heels toward the earth and pull chest into thighs. Don’t worry about touching your heels to the ground. That’s not the point!
- Pedal feet out for five breaths, then still for another five breaths.
Standing Forward Fold
This pose is great for relieving tension in the shoulders and lower back. It stretches the hamstrings too.
- Standing tall, fold forward with a straight back.
- Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of the head toward the floor to create a long spine, straightening your legs as much as possible.
- Place your hands on the ground or grasp opposite elbows for a Rag Doll position.
Low Lunge/Crescent Lunge
Stretch out the running power house muscles – quads, psoas and hips – with this lunge. It also stretches the difficult to reach tensor fasciae latae at the top of the IT band.
- Start on your hands and knees.
- Step your right foot between your hands into a lunge, keeping your right knee directly above your heel.
- Keep your back knee on the floor or slowly lift your back knee off the floor. Press your back heel toward the wall behind you as you begin to straighten the back leg. Keep your spine long as you hold and breathe.
Legs Up the Wall
You may want to take a seat after your run but try it from a different perspective. Stay in this pose for 3-5 minutes to allow the blood to rush back to the heart rather than pool in your lower extremities.
- Sit close to a wall, lie back onto the ground, then scoot your buttocks as close to the wall as possible and send your legs up.
- Rest with your arms by your sides.
What’s your favorite post run yoga pose?