Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Yoga for Runners : My Favorite Poses

In my workout recap on Sunday, I mentioned that I sometimes don't feel like doing a full yoga video and instead do a few of my favorite poses.  I've watched a lot of "Yoga for Runners" videos, and always came back to the same few stretches that felt amazing.  These always help me get the best stretch and are beginner-friendly poses.

I would like to note that I'm not a certified yoga instructor or even consider myself a yogi, so proceed with caution.  I also wrote the instructions as clearly as possible, but again, I'm not an instructor so please be careful when attempting these poses.  I did link to Yoga Journal and Pocket Yoga for most of the poses so you can see a detailed explanation along with more information if you're interested in reading more.  Now, let's get stretching!

As usual, I'm linking up with Tuesdays on the Run. Go check out the other posts!

Lizard Pose

Stretches: hip flexors, hamstrings, quadriceps
yoga for runners hip opener
source
How To: begin in downward-facing dog, and step your right foot to the outside of your right hand.  Lower your opposite knee and relax your foot.  If you're able, lower to your forearms.  Switch to other leg.  The link above also has some other great hip openers that I would recommend trying, including frog and pigeon. 

Figure Four/Eye of the Needle Pose

Stretches: hips, inner thighs
source
How To: lie on your back with your knees bent, and pull your right knee towards your chest.  Place your left ankle over the knee, and gently pull the right leg towards you.  Switch to other leg.

Runner's Lunge

Stretches: groin, legs and arms
source
How To: start in a forward fold, and step your left foot back into a lunge.  Rest your torso on your right leg.  If you're able, drop your left knee to the ground and reach behind to grab your left foot for an even deeper stretch.  Switch to other leg.

Happy Baby Pose

Stretches: inner groin, back
source
How To: lie on your back, and bring your knees towards your chest.  Grab the outer edges of your feet, and gently pull your legs outward and towards your armpits. It may be a funny looking stretch, but it feels amazing!

Legs up the Wall Pose

Stretches: hamstrings, general recovery
source
How To: lie down close to a wall, and gently lean your legs against the wall.  Scooch closer to the wall, and relax your heels against the wall.  Stay here as long as needed.  I'll usually rest here and watch a TV show to get an amazing stretch.

Spinal Twist 

Stretches :  back and spine
source
How To : lie on your back and bend your right knee, crossing it outside of the left leg.  Keep both shoulders squared and flat on the floor. Extend your right hand and gaze towards the right, while gently pushing your knee with your left hand. For a deeper stretch, start to straighten the knee.

What's your favorite yoga pose?
Do you have a specific post-workout recovery, or switch it up? 
Please send me your favorite yoga videos!! I love trying out new ones!

30 comments:

  1. These are all excellent stretches. I don't run, but I do workout and have a daily stretch routine because I think staying limber is important for injury prevention. I also have some yoga videos that I do on occasion. I think you would really, really like Eoin Finn's Power Yoga For Happiness. The DVD has different workouts on it and the Magically Hips workout is amayyyyzing. If you're short on time the shorter workouts on there are really good too.

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    1. I'll definitely be checking that video out. Magically Hips sounds perfect for me! Thanks for the suggestion Gina :)

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  2. I have a yoga for athletes DVD with 3 routines, and each is 20 minutes. I like the legs because it's yoga but it builds strength while stretching.

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    1. That sounds great! I have a Jillian Michaels yoga video that's super tough but makes me feel really strong.

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  3. Ah lizard pose....so good!!! Love this :)

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    1. It's seriously the best..first time I did it I didn't want to get up!

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  4. You know, I've never once done yoga or went to a class or did a video. Crazy hey? But when I stretch, one of my faves is the eye of the needle pose. So great for IT band.

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    1. That is crazy!! I hope you'll try it out at least once. It's amazing!

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  5. Paranoid pigeon is my absolute favorite.. it really targets my piraformis which gets unruly during marathon training. My post workout recovery is super dismal since I'm usually rushing to get ready for work in the morning. Really need to get better at this / actually stretch at night. PS Congrats on winning Tina's CVS card - LOVE biotin :)

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    1. Thanks Jamie! I was super excited :) I definitely slack on recovery when I run in the morning as well. In the evenings I'm great though! I love every pigeon pose there is..so great!

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  6. I have stopped taking full yoga classes due to marathon training but I still like to incorporate a few yoga poses into my stretching routine most days. These are some great poses- thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! That's funny that you stopped taking yoga for training..that's usually when I start taking full classes!

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  7. I will be doing these right NOW! I just came back from a run and instead of stretching right away I decided to sit down and read a few blogs. Procrastination at its finest!

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    1. I usually just set up my iPad near my yoga mat so I can watch stuff and stretch at the same time! Makes it more fun :)

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  8. fabulous group of poses girl! i don't know what my favourite pose is, it's in the erin motz yoga for runners video and i LOVE it, such an amazing stretch. i think it's what you said with the runners lunge and lifting the other foot. love it. pigeon pose is always good as always!

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    1. Sounds like a good one! I'll have to check out that video.

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  9. This is great! I don't ever stretch enough after I run, but I try to incorporate many of these into my post-run routine. Lizard and Pigeon are my favorites :)

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    1. Both are such great stretches for runners! I love it :)

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  10. I've been so guilty of not stretching enough after my runs. Thanks for these!! I really want to incorporate more yoga into my routine. When I do it more regularly, I emotionally/physically feel so much better.

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    1. Same here! In the summer, I go to a lot of free outdoor yoga classes which is great. In the winter I need to keep it up!

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  11. I do a lot of these poses since starting Pure Barre last year. Such a difference in how I feel since doing them a few times a week.

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    1. It definitely makes a huge difference!

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  12. My hamstrings are incredibly tight from spinning - so much so, that I'm typically the least flexible person in the class. Lizard Pose feels great, although it can be painful at times too! On days that I'm tired, savasana is definitely my favorite :D

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    1. Oh yes..I love savasana. I like those shirts that say "I'm only here for savasana"...hilarious :)

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  13. These are some of my go-to's too! I end up with all sorts of problems if I don't work out the tightness from running!

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    1. Same here Julie! It's so important to stretch and get out that soreness.

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  14. These are some of my go-to's too! I end up with all sorts of problems if I don't work out the tightness from running!

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  15. Gretchen, these are GREAT yoga poses for runners! All good ways to open up hips, especially after running. Great post :)

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    1. Thank you so much Jess! To be honest, I was really nervous writing this if I was on the right track or not seeing as how you're a superstar yoga instructor now :) Thank you for making me feel better about it!! :)

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  16. I like the look of lizard pose. I really need to open up my hips, so I need to try that one!

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