Yoga improves flexibility, builds muscle, aligns your posture, increases serotonin, improves balance and helps concentration. I think we can manage to squeeze five minutes of yoga into our daily routine.
Yoga is great for runners, as well as other athletes, helping to improve your flexibility and strengthen your leg muscles. It also improves your breathing which can increase your endurance.
Breathing should be in and out through the nose. Take an inhalation that is slightly deeper than normal and with your mouth closed, exhale through your nose while constricting your throat muscles. For this short sequence of yoga for runners, stay in each pose for five full breaths.
Downward Facing Dog – Adho Muhka Svanasana
After your run, come into Downward Facing Dog. Spread your fingers wide and press into your hands and fingertips. Activate your arms but try to keep your shoulders away from your ears. Neck should be in line with your spine, glancing back towards your feet.
Draw the shoulder blades down so you can feel the space between them. Activate your core, send your tailbone up and back. Bend the knees slightly to start, you can lengthen out through the backs of your legs and pedal out work feet.
Maybe your heels will reach the floor but don’t worry if they don’t, be patient. Enjoy the stretch in the spine, the hamstrings and spine and when your ready to come out of the pose bring your knees to the floor.
Upward Facing Dog – Urdhva Muhka Svanasana
Lie on your stomach, facing towards the floor. Bend your elbows and place your hands alongside your lower ribs. Wrists should be aligned under your elbows. Legs should be stretched back in a straight line with the tops of the feet along the floor.
Inhale and press your hands down, straighten your arms, pull your chest up and toward the ceiling. Lift the front of your thighs, knees and hips up of the floor. Head can be tilted back if it feels okay for your neck. Enjoy the stretch on the front of your body and the opening of the hip flexors.
The opening of the chest will help expand the breath. Stay for five breaths and bend the elbows on the exhale to come back to the mat.
Boung Angle Pose – Baddha Konasana
Sit with a straight spine and your legs straight in front of you (on a folded blanket if your hips are tight). Bend your knees and bring your feet into meet each other in toward your pelvis.
Draw your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together. Bring the heels as close to the pelvis as you comfortably can. Place your hands on your ankles or feet. Inhale and lengthen up through your spine, exhale and fold forward.
With every exhale, come a little bit deeper and try to hinge forward over your feet. feel the opening of the hips and the inner thighs. When you’re ready, inhale and roll back up and give your feet a massage with your hands.
How about you? What yoga poses do you do after running?