Runners enjoy the rush of a challenging workout and the sense of accomplishment that comes at the end. Energy tapped out and legs slightly heavy, we might walk it off a little and throw in a couple quad stretches before guzzling some water and showering off. Doing yoga for running benefit doesn’t cross our mind then. However, a day or so later with stiff joints we briefly contemplate yoga for a speedy recovery, right before we lace up those sneakers and head back out of the door. This way of thinking can eventually lead to long-term injury, so it’s time to stop these bad habits!
Adding five Sun Salutations to your cool down will make a huge difference to speedy recovery, not to mention improve your strength, balance, and flexibility.
For a full pictorial and description on yoga for running, check out The Sun Salutation Decoded: Learn Surya Namaskar from Yoga Journal which will walk you through the sequence. Here are the running benefits from each pose:
Starting your series off with good posture will remind your body how you’re supposed to be standing all day, every day. Wearing a form fitting top, like the SportPort™ Zephyr Compression Tank will encourage you to engage your abs which will help support the spine and improve your posture.
If you’ve ever reached your hands overhead first thing in the morning for a wake-up stretch, you know how invigorating it feels. Slightly leaning back as you gaze through your hands not only stretches your whole body, but also challenges your balance as your feet maintain their equal weight distribution. The more you challenge your balance, the more it will improve.
Standing Forward Bend
Gentle stretching is a must to avoid injury. Forward bend covers many muscle groups, including the hamstrings, calves, and hips, while gravity allows your back to open up and relax.
Half-Standing Forward Bend
This pose will provide an additional moderate hamstring stretch, but also as you extend your upper body you will feel a wonderful lengthening of your spine, releasing tension you didn’t realize you had.
Work your triceps by keeping those elbows in close and very slowly lower your body in perfect plank form to the mat. This is a full body strengthener. Do it often to get those amazing yoga arms and super core strength.
Hip tightness be-gone with this pose. You will feel this stretch through the entire front of your body, from the tops of your feet to the crown of your head, but the hips will feel amazing, so give them the attention they deserve and hold the pose a few extra counts.
Stay here all day. Just kidding, but hold the pose for a full body stretch and strengthener. If your wrists bother you, make sure your pushing your chest towards your thighs and your fingers are spread nice and wide.