Yoga for Runners


I woke up stiff this morning with an Achilles tendon that could snap if tempted by quirkiest of steps. As I gingerly tip-toed around the house, biding my time until the muscles loosened and my body woke up, I thought about taking my own advice. If yesterday's post also struck a nerve for you (and if that nerve is of the pesky sciatic kind because you're back at work and have been sitting at a desk all day so now that nerve is compressed and shooting pain down from your lower back to your feet) then you need to get to stretching. Maybe your ache is not that specific and it's just a general soreness you're feeling, or perhaps you've got this chronic nag that just won't quit. Well, in any and all cases, you need to keep those limbs nimble.

Now, you can do the classic (static) gym class stretches which you may fondly remember as: hurdler stretch, butterfly, quad stretch, etc. These, like all classics, are timeless and can be very beneficial. But only IF your muscles are properly warmed up first. Otherwise, dynamic stretching (in which you use momentum to propel your muscles into an extended range of motion) is a safer bet.

A while back, when I was sidelined with an injury, I reluctantly took up yoga. I've got an extended post coming on how that happened and how my relationship with the discipline has since evolved, but suffice it to say, we're committed now - I heart yoga. It's the perfect complement to running and guess what? If you "flow" from one pose to the next, it's a glorified dynamic stretching routine in disguise.

Without getting too carried away, I'm just going to take you through a series of my favorite asanas. They flow well into each other and usually hit all my trouble areas. Take two deep breaths in each position before moving into the next and be sure to switch sides once you've gone through the whole sequence. When all is said and done, you're looking at a good five minutes of "stretching". Do a couple sets or take a few more deep, belly breaths in each position, to make it longer or if you're feeling especially Frankenstein-like. I'm no guru and my practice is far from perfect but I've cherry-picked the poses that suit me best as a runner and you can do the same. I highly encourage you to start incorporating it into your routine. You may not be doing back bends or twisty contortions anytime soon, but you just may be able to reach your toes. And that would be a miracle, at least in my case.

Downward dog>High lunge>Low warrior>High lunge>Downward dog>High lunge>Warrior I>Warrior II>Reverse Warrior>Warrior II>Modified side angle>Triangle>Mountain Pose


Amy@eatsleepdecorate said...

I need some yoga tips! These are great! You are amazing woman!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, girl! I'll hook you up ;) and maybe next time we have a visit you and I can steal away for some quiet practice together.

Claudin Mangum said...

Lookin good 3months post babes as well, I might add!

Anonymous said...

You are too kind, my dear.


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