This post was inspired by my hubby who training for the marathon is frequently suffering pain & stiffness in his knees. calves and ankles. From also chatting to students and friends who are big into running I discovered other common runner aliments are tightness or pain in the hamstrings, quads, feet, Achilles tendon, hips & lower back.. Having a knee injury for example may be caused by weak or tight quads, hips or glutes. The key with yoga is that we are working our entire body loosening out any tightness and strengthening the body and bringing both sides of our body into balance. Convinced as always that yoga has the cure for everything I put together a 10 minute yogic warm down for post running sessions. This can be lengthened by taking more breaths possibly 10 – 15 breaths rather than the 5.
By integrating this warm down into your running session will not only help prevent future injuries, it will also greatly improve flexibility gaining an improved range of motion throughout the body so that you can run faster and more efficiently. Along with improving your lung capacity and a focused mind yoga will give you greater advantage over your competitors. Yoga rocks!!!
Remember as always with yoga to listen to your body if a posture doesn’t feel good, come out of it and try it again another day. It is advisable to attend a regular yoga class to ensure you are doing the postures correctly and to get the full benefit of yoga.
10 Minute Yoga Cool Down – postures in detail
1.Wide legged forward bend (Prasarita Padottanasana) – different variations
Targets: hamstrings, hips and with the second & third version opens the chest and lengthens the back
Wide legged forward bend (Prasarita Padottanasana) A
1. Inhale – Step the feet 4 – 4.5 feet apart, ensuring the sides of the feet are in line with the sides of the mat
2. Exhale – bring your hands onto your waist
3. Inhale – lengthen through the spine and open the chest
4. Exhale – Hinge forward, taking your hands to the floor between the legs or under the shoulders for beginners
5. Inhale – Look up straighen the arms and lengthen through the spine
6. Exhale – Fold forward, allowing the head to hang down
Hold here for 5 full deep breathes. Keep pressing evenly on the feet, move the hip bones forward over the ankle bones and lengthen the back of the legs into the sit bones.
7. Inhale – Look up lengthen through the spine
8. Exhale – Hands onto your waist
9. Inhale – Come up to standing
Click on the next page below to view each pose in more detail