by Katherine Moore (@RunningIntoYoga)
You know you need to stretch, you think about it, you may even talk about doing it, however you never get around to it. I hear so many times “I am too stiff to do yoga”. It is like saying “I am too dirty to take a shower.”
Runners tend to have tight muscles due to the repeated action from running. Your hips can especially get tight over time. Whether you are a beginner or competitive runner you can benefit from a simple yoga practice. Yoga poses increase flexibility and also improves strength, stability and balance in the body.
All you need for a simple yoga practice is 10-20 minutes, your breath and an open mind. While doing the postures make sure you are aware of your body and breath. You want to focus on the breath keep it steady, smooth and slow this will help relax your nervous system and mind. To keep your joints and muscles safe you will be expanding and opening one area of the body while keeping muscle energy in another area.
Here are a few yoga poses you can do anytime to keep your hips happy, and healthy:
Step right foot forward, stack the front knee over the front ankle; bring the left knee softly to the floor. Push the right foot into the floor and pull it towards the body, back knee pulls in energetically. This will help to lift the hips up and back. Keep your lower abdomen in and spine long. Shoulders stay on the back. You can stay on fingertips or lower down to hands or forearms. Keep the jaw and facial muscles relaxed. Breathe into your hips.
Staying in the lunge, walk your right hand off to the side, fingers face out. Move your hips forward and down, then reach back bending your back knee and see if you can hold your right foot in your left hand. You are off your back knee and more on the top of the right thigh. Spread the back toes and pull your heel in as you push it away. Shoulders stay on your back, abdomen toned. Keep both sides of the throat even and lean your head back. Breathe deeply.
Pigeon Pose – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Place your right wider than your right hip. Your left leg extends behind your left hip. Pull your legs towards each other and square your hips. Keep your abdomen toned and lengthen your spine. Keep your right toes spreading and your right inner ankle lifted. Breathe deeply.
Tree Pose – Vrksasana
Standing on your left leg place your right foot on your inner left shin or thigh, above or below the knee. Push them together and lift up out of your waist and lengthen your spine. Keep your shoulders on your back and lift your chest. Breathe deeply.