I was an advocate of yoga for runners even before I became a yoga teacher. When training for my first half marathon in 2011, I diligently did yoga the day following my long run to “stretch and strengthen.” I found that I really enjoyed it; it helped that I was already a very flexible runner. Since then, I’ve found that yoga has benefited my running by teaching me rhythmic breath, building functional strength in my whole body, and loosening tight muscles and joints.
I get asked often about what poses are good for runners, and to be honest, I say all of them. However, these poses are what I include in my post-workout routine.
Start in Downward Facing Dog, which gives you a big stretch along your hamstrings and calves. From there, bring your thumbs together, and step one foot along the outside of your hands for Lizard. You can drop your back knee if it gets intense.
Next, rotate your front foot out 45 degrees and drop your back knee. Use your hand to open your hip by gently pressing out on your front knee.
Then, bring your foot back to center, and slowly work your way to the Splits, or Half Splits. For Half Splits, you can keep your back toes tucked and bend your back knee so your bottom moves toward your heel. (Pro tip: asphalt is not the best surface for attempting the splits, as you can see from the discomfort in my back foot!)
Bring your front leg back so your foot is flat on the ground and your knee is at a 90 degree angle. Bend your back knee and reach back to grab your foot or ankle for a quad stretch.
Finally, drop your back leg and scoot your front foot into position for Half Pigeon. If it’s comfortable, you can recline forward.
I would like to acknowledge my husband for taking these photos and being patient with me in the process.