Doing yoga is a perfect complement to any runner’s training regime; it balances out strength and flexibility, creates greater muscular balance and endurance, increases mind-body awareness, and releases stress. Try these stretches after your runs to help avoid injuries.
Low Lunge | Anjaneyasana
From Down Dog step your right foot between your hands. Take a big enough step so your right knee bends just behind the ankle and not in front of it. Bring your left knee down to the Earth and slide it back until you feel a stretch in the front of your left leg and the back of your right leg. Draw your navel in, relax the shoulders and lift the chest. Hold for 10 deep breaths and then switch sides to repeat.
Benefits: stretches quadriceps (thighs), hamstrings (back of the leg), Psoas and groin (front/inner hip). strengthen knee and ankle, release tension in the hips and low back.
Low Lunge Twist | Parivrtta Anjaneyasana
From your low lunge bring your left hand to your right knee and twist to the right. Each time you inhale, lift your torso taller and each time you exhale twist a little deeper. Hold for 10 breaths. Switch sides.
Benefits: All the low lunge benefits plus benefits from twists which include stretching out the ribs and spine, and giving your internal organs a gentle massage.
One-Legged Pigeon with Frog Variation | Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana Variation
From Down Dog slide your left knee behind your left wrist and come into Pigeon with your right leg straight behind you. Come onto your left forearm, lifting your chest off the ground. With your right hand reach back, bend the right knee and try to bring your hand to your foot. If you can reach it, gently start to bring your foot in towards the hip or lower towards the ground. If you can’t reach your foot you can use a towel or a strap to help you draw it in. Hold for about 10 breaths and then switch sides.
Benefits: stretch quads, thighs, hip flexors
Bound Angle Pose | Baddha Konasana
From a seated position bring the soles of your feet together and open your knees to the sides. Your heels can be as close or as far away from your pelvis as feels good. Inhale to lengthen the spine and taking that length with you, fold forward on the exhale. Continue with that visual of lengthening and sitting up taller on the inhale and then moving forward on the exhale. Hold for 10 breaths.
Benefits: stretch Inner thighs, groin & knee stretch. Stimulates organs in the abdomen, soothes the nervous system.
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