Yoga and running should go hand-in-hand. These post-run yoga asanas will help reduce pain, stretch your tight muscles, and help you to recover faster after your run. Meaning that you get to run again sooner!
It could be argued that any yoga is good for runners and while we wholeheartedly agree, there are definitely some select poses out there that benefit us who hit the tarmac or treadmill on a regular basis. Read on and find out what these poses are.
Injuries Due to Running:
The muscles that are impacted the most while you’re running include:
- Hamstrings and quadriceps
- Hip flexors
- Calf muscles
- IT Band (not a muscle but becomes very tight and sore through running).
- Hip and outer glutes
- Feet and ankles
The poses outlined below aim to target the areas of the body which are most overused or prone to injury as a result of running. These 12 poses incorporate all of the muscles listed above and will help to not only re-align, strengthen and lengthen them—so that they work in balance and union—but will also assist recovery and prevent injury.
While I include them as a stretch routine after a run, they can by all means be practiced on their own to help with muscle recovery and injury prevention.
Before We Begin: Breathing and Recovery
Before we jump into the yoga poses, let’s talk about breathing. Yes, breathing. The most important aspect of restorative yoga is deep breathing. How do you know you are breathing deep? Your stomach should expand when you breathe in and fully contract when you breathe out.
Try it! Breathe in for a count of 4-6.
Ok, Breathe in…1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005, 1006.
Now hold for a few seconds.
And, breathe out…1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005, 1006
Remember this pattern while you do the yoga poses for injury recovery.
1. Ardho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Benefits: Benefits: Stretches hamstrings, calves, and foot arches; strengthens shoulders.
How to Do It:
Start in an extended child pose, with your arms stretched out in front of you, whilst actively hugging the arm bones into the sockets. Inhale and exhale, curl the toes under and come into your dog pose. Actively press down your fingers into the mat and roll your triceps out and under to help stabilize your shoulders on your back. Make sure you are actively pressing the shin and thigh bones back as to press the feet down into the mat.