Yoga teaches you how to listen to your body- Mariel Hemingway
Over the last few months, I’ve had the honor of teaching group yoga classes after becoming a certified yoga instructor in December 2018.
My classes ‘Stretch and Restore Yoga’ focus on stretching the body while relaxing the mind. The first half of the class helps to release tension in the body. The second half provides a restorative yoga practice for rejuvenation.
The inspiration behind these classes was to help endurance athletes and those who work out regularly. https://www.active.com/health/articles/why-every-athlete-should-practice-yoga
I want to share my go-to post run & workout yoga poses. I recommend doing at least one of these every day to improve mobility and flexibility.
1. Downward Dog( Adho Mukha Svanasana): Stretches Hamstrings, Calves
Begin by bringing your hands to the mat, tuck your toes under and lift your hips up. Root evenly across all of your fingers and press down through your heels to feel the stretch. Take a few rounds of deep breaths. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Yoga takes you into the present moment. The only place where life exists.
2. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana): Stretches Hamstrings, Legs
Begin in a standing position. Root your feet firmly into the ground. Exhale as you slowly fold forward hinging from your hips. Bend your knees if your hamstrings are tight. Let your arms hang freely. Hold for 30 seconds.
The pose begins when you want to get out of it. – Baron Baptiste
3. Intense Side Stretch (Parsvottanasana): Stretches Hamstrings, Sides of body
Begin in a standing position. Step your right foot back about 4 inches from your left foot. (See image below). Place your hands behind your back and interlace your fingers together. Exhale as you fold forward hinging from your hips. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.
Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.- BKS Iyengar
4. Intense Spread Leg Stretch (Prasarita Padottanasana A): Stretches Hamstrings, Groin
Begin in a standing position. Spread your feet wide apart but not so much so that your heels come off the ground. Root your feet firmly into the ground. Exhale as you hinge forward from your hips. You can place your hands on blocks to assist. Hold for 30 seconds.
Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.- Jim Rohn
5. Low Cobra(Bhujangasana): Stretches the front of the body
Begin by lying on your stomach. Bring your hands to the side of your body. Slowly lift your chest up on the inhale, exhale as you lower down. Repeat 3 times.
The very heart of yoga practice is ‘abyhasa’ – steady effort in the direction you want to go. – Sally Kempton
6. Crescent Pose (Anjaneyasana): Stretches Hip Flexors, Iliopsoas Muscles
Begin in a standing position. Step your left foot back and bend your front right knee. (See image below). Your toes are tucked under on your extended leg. On the bent leg, your knee is over your ankle. Root down firmly and bring your hands up towards the sky. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.
Your body can do it. It’s your mind you need to convince.
7. Single Pigeon Pose(Eka Pada Raja Kopotanasana): Stretches Hip flexors, Groins, Gluteal Muscles, Opens Hips
Begin in a seated position. Extend your left leg behind you. Your right leg comes forward and is bent. (See picture below). Inhale and slowly come forward to the best of your ability. Place your elbows on the ground for a deeper stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.
Yoga is a way of moving into stillness in order to experience the truth of who you are.- Ericc Shiffman
8. Butterfly (Baddha Konosana): Opens Groins and Hips
Begin in a seated position. Bring your feet together so that your toes touch. Let your legs fall to the side. Hold for 30 seconds.
Quiet your mind. Free your body.
9. Child’s Pose (Balasana): Stretches the quadriceps, relaxes the whole body
Begin on all fours in a tabletop position. Press your hips back and let your touch toes. (See image below). Your arms can be extended in front of you or to your side. Hold for 30 seconds- 1 minute.
Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame. – BKS Iyengar
10. Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani): Increases circulation, relieves congestion in the legs, reverses the effect of gravity on the body
Begin in a seated position, close to a wall. Bring your buttocks to the wall and your legs up(See image below). Your arms can be placed on your stomach or by your side. The pose can be held for up to 5 minutes.
Yoga means addition – addition of energy, strength and beauty to body, mind and soul. – Amit Ray
I highly recommend incorporating yoga into your post workout regimen. I hope that these poses help you to recover faster and improve your overall performance.
To learn more about Stretch and Restore classes, follow https://www.instagram.com/stretchandrestoreyoga/