In Europe, Sundays are my favorite days. Nearly everything is closed, which sort of forces you to set errands aside and focus on doing something you love. As the weather is warming up, I've been trying to get out for a run when I can. When you can take it off the ol' dreadmill, why not, right? The only downside to starting up with the running again, I mean aside from that horrible feeling in your lungs when you think they might rip apart, is feeling tight in the hips and hamstrings afterwards. A good whole body stretch after a run seems to help, and I figured I'm probably not alone, so here are five favorite yoga poses for runners.
1. Low lunge is excellent for the hip flexors and front body. Think about lengthening the spine, even though the chest is puffed forward. You don't want any compression in the spine.
2. This lunge twist is a good way to open up the side of the body. Think about pressing out of the extended leg so the leg is long to get a total body stretch.
3. Dancer's pose will open up the shoulders which helps to improve posture while running. It also lengthens the hip flexors and is good for the hamstrings. As you come forward with the chest, think about lengthening across the whole front body from the shoulders to the knees.
4. Standing pigeon pose feels so good for the back of the hip. Make sure your shoulder blades are drawn down the back, and the collar bones are broad. Sit low and come forward with the chest to really feel a solid stretch.
5. Rag doll pose - ah, a class favorite. This is such a great pose for the end or beginning of a run. Since running tends to shorten hamstrings, taking a moment to lengthen them with this pose will feel extra nice.
PPS- Tell me, do you prefer working out outside or at the gym?