Back in January, when I asked what the readers wanted more of, I got quite a few requests for yoga for runners. As luck would have it, I love to talk about yoga and running.
I look forward to Tuesday and Thursday.
Why? Those are my days off from going into the hospital so it means I have the whole day to myself. Once I walk the kids to school, it’s my time. It’s still a work day for me thanks to all my writing assignments and keeping up with blog stuff. But it means I have more flexibility in my schedule. I can squeeze in a run in the early morning and then a yoga class after dropping the kids off, yet still have time to focus on writing.
There’s no doubt I feel tons better after a yoga class. The head massage during savasana is a large part of that but the class itself is amazing. All my tight spots from my run are relieved. My legs may be fatigued and screaming at me while I’m in low lunge, but at the same time, I can feel the tension release. I walk out of class a new woman.
Why should runners do yoga? Besides improving flexibility, easing aches and pains, and helping you recover from hard workouts, long runs and races faster, it just feels good! Seriously. You ask a lot of your body in running. Treat it to some good ol’ stretching and soothing with yoga.
I can’t always make it to a 60-90 minute yoga class. But I can squeeze in bits and pieces of yoga throughout my day. Especially after a run.
These 6 poses are perfect for post run recovery. I like these poses because they target the hard working muscles that I know get tight on me – calves, hips, hamstrings, upper back.
Hold each pose for 3-5 breaths. Feel free to hold it longer if it feels good and you’ve got the time.
Six poses, 6 minutes after your run. You’ve got time for that, right?
FYI – I am not a yoga teacher. I don’t even play one on TV. These yoga poses are my favorite that I think feel the best after a run. Listen to your body and it’s limitations. Always consult a professional yoga teacher if you have any yoga questions or advice.
Downward Facing Dog
I can’t share essential post run yoga poses without including Downward Facing Dog. Down dog is the best, no? I love it for stretching my calves, hammies, releasing tension in my lower back and neck. If you have more time: Take one leg off the ground, reaching it straight back and out. Bend that knee and open your hips for a more intense stretch in Three-Legged Dog.
Low Lunge – This pose is great for not only stretching the hips and glutes but it strengthens the hamstrings and quads. It also hits the stretches the difficult to reach Tensor Fasciae Latae – the hip abductor muscle. All of these areas are essential for running strong. If you want an extra challenge go up on the toes of your back foot to work on balance.
Wide Legged Forward Bend – Not only is the posture great for opening the hips but is great for realigning the spine and stretching out hamstrings. You can also do this pose with feet shoulder width apart for Rag Doll. Doing it wide legged just feels better to me. It can also provide relief from headaches.
I love dropping into Malasana after a run to stretch out my ankles and calves. Spread your feet as wide as you need to get down into this position. If it’s not comfortable for you, try sitting on a yoga block. You’ll still feel a stretch. This pose also hits the groin and back.
Thread the Needle
I love this twist for working out the tension that builds in my upper body from a run.
Reclining Big Toe Pose – I like to start with my leg/foot straight up and then progress to moving the leg to the side from the hip joint. A strap isn’t necessary but I find that it can really extend the stretch for the hamstrings and the hips.