Celebrating National Yoga Month

Celebrating National Yoga Month

FIVE BEST YOGA POSES FOR RUNNERS


Celebrate National Yoga Month in September with five yoga poses for runners that will keep you feeling long and strong as you race into fall.

Yoga is so much more than just a physical practice. Not only does it help build strength and increase flexibility, it also does wonders for mental toughness and maintaining focus. Not to mention it’s a major game-changer for runners with tight hips, pelvises and hamstrings.

Even by carving out just 10-15 minutes a day, you’ll start to feel the benefits.

1. DOWNWARD FACING DOG

This is one of the easiest and best poses you can do for a good post-run stretch. Not only does it stretch the arms, shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and wrists, it also creates length in your spine, builds core strength, calms the mind and gives you a boost of energy.

Start on your hands and knees and place your palms on the floor beneath your shoulders. Tuck your toes under, lift your knees off floor and pull your hips up and back, focusing on lengthening your torso. Press down into your hands and create a long line from your head to your tailbone and you reach your heels back and down.

Engage your quads by pulling your kneecaps up and drop your shoulders away from your ears. Let your head hang heavy with no tension in your neck and shoulders. There’s a lot going on in this pose, so you should feel activated and relaxed at the same time. Hold for five to 10 breaths and then lower back down to your hands and knees.

2. TOE STAND

Get into your hip flexors, psoas, chest and spine with this pose. It’s also a good idea to do this stretch on a mat to save your knees from the hard floor. Start in plank position and bring one foot forward placing it on the mat in between your hands. Lower into a lunge by bringing your back knee to the floor and release the back foot so your toenails are on the floor.

Lean into your lunge and raise your arms above your head, concentrating on gently pushing the opposite hip forward and opening your chest.

Let your shoulders melt down your back and drop your shoulders away from your ears. If your balance isn’t great, you can always put your hands on your lunging knee for extra support.

Just make sure to engage your core as you lean forward in order to protect your lower back. Hold this pose for 60 seconds and then switch sides.

yoga poses for runners

3. LOW LUNGE

We hold a lot of tension in our feet, especially runners. Toe stand helps release pressure points in the toe joints and under your feet for increased mobility and better posture. Start standing, then lower to your knees and sit back on your heels with your toes still on the floor.

Settle into the pose and allow your toes to open as you stretch our arch. This can feel very intense, so if it’s too much come back up on your knees with your toes still on the floor.

4. HALF SPLIT

Balance low lunge with a half split to stretch opposing muscle groups. From your low lunge (above) with the back knee on the floor and hands on the ground framing your front foot, press your hips back and hinge over your straight front leg.

The key with this pose is to keep your back straight and hips level to get a good stretch in your hamstrings and calves rather than curving your upper back and letting your forehead drop below your heart.

For an extra stretch, flex your front toes toward the sky.

5. RECLINED PIGEON

Target your piriformis muscle and outer hips with this floor stretch.

Lie on your back and bend one knee so that the opposite ankle rests on top of the straight leg with the knee out to the side of the room.

Bend the straight leg toward your chest and grab the shin. Pull the shin toward your chest until you feel a stretch.

Make sure to keep both feet flexed so you can really feel this stretch in your glutes. Hold for 60 seconds and then switch sides. This stretch can feel especially awesome post-run.

About Author

Melanie Mitchell

Transforming movement into adventure. Our Mission: To personalize the fit process, hand-pick the best products, and create unique experiences that grow active communities.

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