You don’t remember the last time you went to the gym or exercised without your shoes on because nothing works your adrenaline as much as a run? Then you’re in it for the runner’s high?. While running is a great form of exercise, we often neglect the additional workout our bodies require to bring flexibility. Flexibility is the greatest benefit of practising yoga. Following a simple yoga routine before your run to warm up and post run to cool down can bring a great change in your physical abilities. Some of us feel yoga only works a part of our cardiovascular muscles but it is interesting to know that with the right intensity, yoga can challenge our physical capabilities just as much as Running. Moreover, yoga can provide the much needed focus, balance and control one needs to accomplish their greatest runs.
Here are 4 asanas to help you stay resistant / immune injury prone and make you a better runner.
1. Low Lunge
Benefits: Stretches hip flexors; strengthens hamstrings and quads. This asana demands a strong sense of balance.
To Do: From Downward Dog, step your right foot forward between your hands. Lower your left knee and, keeping the right knee in place, slide the left one back. Turn the top of your left foot to the floor and lift your torso upright. Then sweep your arms out to the sides and up overhead. Drop your tailbone toward the floor and look up. Hold for 10 breaths, release, and repeat on the other side.
2. Reclining Pigeon
Benefits: Releases tension and tightness in the hips.
To Do: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your thighs parallel and hip-distance apart. Cross your left ankle over your right thigh. Reach your left arm through the space between your thighs and reach your right arm around the outside of your right thigh.
Clasp your hands below your right knee and flex your left foot. If your head comes off your mat, place a pillow or block beneath your head. Hold for 10 breaths and repeat on the other leg.
3. Reclining Spinal Twist
Benefits: Relaxes the lower back and stretches the glutes.
To Do: From Reclining Cow Face, lower your legs and twist to your left while keeping your legs intertwined. Extend both arms out to your sides. Turn your head to the right and relax for 10 breaths. Switch sides.
4. Legs Up the Wall
Benefits: Relieves tension in legs, feet, and back; stretches hamstrings and glutes.
To Do: Slide up beside an open wall space, with your hips as close to the base of the wall as is comfortable. Swing your legs up the wall and lie back. Rest here anywhere from 10 breaths to 10 minutes. Some people even nod off—sleep is the most essential recovery pose.
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