In an ideal world I would run most days and practice yoga at Spotted Dog daily. (In this ideal world I also never get angry and weigh 123 pounds!) If you’re balancing real life and running, and want to stay strong and flexible, here are some key poses that will help balance your body on the days when you’re pressed for time or have to choose between going on a run and getting to a yoga class. These poses are best practiced after running when your muscles are warm and most receptive to the benefits of stretching.
1.Child’s Pose – This pose releases tension from your shoulders and lower back, and stretches the fronts of your legs and feet.
2. Ragdoll – In Ragdoll your hamstrings are stretched and the lower back continues to get some love.
3.Downward Facing Dog – Down Dog is a great pose for strengthening the upper body, plus it stretches tight calves. To intensify the upper body benefit and add hip opening to the pose, move into Three Legged Dog by lifting one leg behind you, then bending the knee of the lifted leg and opening your hips to the side.
4. Half Pigeon Pose or Figure 4 Pose – Both poses will open tight hips and you should choose whichever pose feels best for your body. We practice Half Pigeon Pose in most classes at Spotted Dog. Figure 4 Pose has the same benefits, but you lie on your back, which can feel great after a run, and may be better if you have knee issues. See any of the great Spotted Dog teachers if you have questions about Figure 4 or any other pose.
Commit to taking 5 minutes after your run to run through these poses. If you have more time, add in a minute or two in Savasana and send gratitude to your body for letting you run.
See you on the mat!
Owner/Blogger Leslie Gandy Yoga and Fitness