I have a love hate relationship with my 10k runs. I do it 3 times a week, and I kid you not before every run I have this mini argument in my head as to why I should or shouldn’t go for it. Various excuses come up, some make sense and some are just inexcusable. But such is the human mind. We convince ourselves of unbelievable things.
What I forgot to mention is that even though I have these morbid arguments in my head, and its half an hour of yes or no. I still pull myself out of bed, fix myself up and go for that run. As a person I am extremely dedicated so there is no escaping working out for me.
Mind over matter
Coming back to the Post. Why am I ranting and raving about how yoga helps runners ? Case and point. Today thanks to the Government of India and its amazing infrastructure, I saved myself from falling 5 times. If I had fallen, it would have been face down on a potholed concrete road. But the funny thing I noticed was that, the first thing I tried to save was my phone. Not my face, not my possibly bruised elbows and knees or even my head. I tried saving my phone. Amazing how my phone is more important to me that my body . Ok I am deviating. May be some other day, I could rant and rave about machine over man.
Back to the point
I saved my self from falling, and the only reason I could was because of my constant yoga practise. The balance and concentration you need while doing yoga helps you in every sphere of life. These stretches I go on emphasising, helps your body protect it self from very such situations.
Without further ado.
My third and final yoga+running series. This is an intermediate level. So do as much as you can. Some of you will think its a piece of cake but I cater to everybody, so be patient. Tougher routines are coming up..soon.
1. Triangle Pose
Instructions: Extend your legs more than hip-width from each other. Turn your right foot perpendicular to your left as you inhale and extend your right arm directly above your right foot. Exhaling, gently lower your hand down to rest on your calf or ankle or grab your big toe, whatever is most comfortable for you. Feel the stretch in your left side as you raise your left hand straight above your body. If you feel steady, turn your head to look at your left hand in the air. Take five deep breaths and switch sides
Benefits: Triangle Pose stretches the hamstrings and inner thighs. It allows you to open up your sides.
2. Sugarcane in the Half Moonlight
Instructions: Bend your right knee and hold onto your foot with your right hand, or a belt. Fold forward from your hips, resting your left forearm on table or chair or if possible the floor. Maintaining that alignment, open your right hip, lifting your right knee out to right side. Hold for five breaths. Repeat on other side.
Benefits: It opens up the standing hamstring and the opposite leg’s hip flexors and quadriceps. Take as much support as you need so that you can breathe normally without any strain.
3. Forward Fold with Ankles Crossed
Instructions: Standing up, cross right ankle in front of left, leaving some space between the feet.Fold forward and down, rolling to the outside edges of both feet. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides.
Benefits: stretches out the hamstrings
4. Butterfly Pose(Baddha Konasana)
Instructions: Start seated with the soles of the feet together. Gently place your hands on the ankles and use the elbows to press your thighs and knees toward the floor. Breathe and visualize the hip flexors softening. Take 10 deep breaths.
Benefits: Bound Angle is great for opening the inner thighs.
5. Seated Wide Angle Forward Fold (Upavistha Konasana)
Instructions: If you can straighten the legs, flex the feet and engage the quadriceps (by lifting your kneecap) to keep your knees from locking. Lean forward slightly and place your hands on the mat. With every inhale, feel your spine growing longer, with every exhale, allow the body to sink lower (chest closer to the floor). Bend your knees as much as you need to, and bring the legs closer together if needed.
Benefits: This pose stretches the hamstrings and calves; the forward fold straightens and lengthens the spine.
6. Reclined Pyramid Pose
Instructions: Lie on your back. Keep your left leg on the floor and raise the right leg with foot in strap. Walk your arms up strap until arms are straight, then pull arms back into their sockets to gently stretch (not yank!) your right leg. Repeat with left leg in strap.
Benefits: This will open your hamstrings and calves without straining your lower back.
7. Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)
Instructions: Sit on your mat, with your legs extended in front of you, heels slightly flexed and bellybutton pulled to the spine for support. Inhale and sit tall and raise your arms in the air. Exhale and lean forward and reach for your toes. Allow your arms to rest on your thighs, shins or at your ankles. Allow your head to drop and gaze past the end of your nose. If your hamstrings are tight, you can bend your legs.
Benefits: Stretch the spine, hamstrings and back.
Head-to-Knee Pose Variation
Instructions: Fold left leg, bringing foot as close to your body as you can while opening your knee out. Fold your body forward over your straight right leg.
Instructions: Lie flat on your stomach. Fold your left leg and let your left hand hold on to the ankle or big toe. Pull your leg towards your thigh. Hold for 5 breaths and then switch sides
Benefits: Loosens up your quads and hip flexors after a run with this quick stretch.
9. Half Pigeon and Variations
Instructions: Twist your left calf so that your left foot rests under your right groin, and lower your body down as you straighten your right leg behind you. You can sit up and rest on your palms, or lie all the way down for a deeper stretch. Hold the pose while you take five deep breaths.
Figure 4 Pose (Sucirandhrasana)
Instructions: Lie on your back on the mat. Bring your knees in toward the chest, at a 90-degree angle. Place your left ankle on your right thigh, interlace your fingers and place them behind your right thigh, and pull your left thigh towards your chest. Hold for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Seated Figure Four
Instructions: Sit with the left knee bent towards the chest and the foot on the floor as close to the butt as possible. Arms should be behind you, fingertips pointing forward. Cross right ankle over left thigh.
Benefits: This is a great way to stretch the outside of the hips and the inner thighs.
10. Reverse Child’s Pose
Instructions: Sit on your legs and gently bend backward. Let your hands reach the floor and place you head. Please do this stretch as slowly as possible, do not rush. Use a block or a towel for the head. Hold it for 5 breaths and then gently tuck your head out and raise your self
Benefits: stretches the quads and hip flexors.
11. Cow-Face Fold (Gomukhasana)
Instructions: From a seated position, bring your left foot back by your right hip; stack your right knee on top of your left, with your right foot by your left hip. Grab your feet with your hands (left foot in right hand; right foot in left), and lean forward slightly, gazing past the end of your nose. Make sure both hips stay on the ground in this pose.
Benefits: a small, hard-to-stretch muscle deep in your glutes, as well as your hips and IT band.
12. Hero Pose with Eagle Arms
Instructions: Start with knees together, feet just outside of your hips. Sit down between your feet with soles of your feet facing the ceiling. Add Eagle Arms by wrapping your arms around each other and then again at the wrists. For a deeper stretch , bend forwards and lie on your thighs
Benefits: Hero Pose will stretch the tops of your shins and feet. Eagle Arms will give you a good arm stretch and relieve tension in your neck and shoulders.
13. Half Lord of the Fishes Twist (Ardha Matseyendrasana)
Instructions: Sit tall with your legs extended in front of you. Cross your left foot over your right leg and stand it outside your right thigh. Bend your right knee, tucking your right foot by your left buttock. Place your left hand on the mat, just behind your buttock. Inhale and lift your right arm in the air by your left ear. Exhale and twist, bringing the left elbow to the outside the right knee. Look back over the left shoulder. Repeat on the other side. Let the twist start in your belly, not your neck.
Benefits: Open the shoulders, neck and hips, and stretch your IT band with this pose
14. Half-Split with Flexed Foot
Instructions: Begin in half split, using blocks under each hand for support. Spin the pinky toe edge of the right foot down, so the side of the foot touches the mat. Turn your body to the left , while keeping your hands on the mat. Turn as much as you can
Benefits: stretches the obliques, hip flexors and thighs
Instructions: Place hands inside the left foot and wiggle the foot to the left edge of the mat. Try to place forearms on to ground. Use blocks if necessary.
Benefits: stretches out the quads, hip flexors and the IT band
16. Lizard Variation with Quad Stretch
Instructions: Begin in lizard pose. Come up off forearms and onto hands. Turn left foot out at a forty-five degree angle and roll onto the outer edge of the foot. Use left hand to push against inner left thigh, opening up hip. Hold for a few breaths.Bend right knee and catch the pinky toe edge of the right foot with the left hand. Pull to stretch the quad.
Benefits: Stretches out the thighs, hip flexors and glutes
17.Reclining Cobbler’s Pose
Instructions: Laying flat on your back, bring your feet together and spread knees wide and relax. Let go off any stress , relax your face, relax your body and just breathe
Benefits: This pose opens the hips
18. Low-Back Release: SPINAL TWIST
Instructions: Begin on your back with the legs extended straight out. Lift the right knee into your chest and then slowly bring it across your body to the left. Place your left hand on the right thigh and let your lower back relax. Keep your hips square as you try to bring your knee closer to the floor. Hold for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Switch sides.
Benefits: helps in getting rid of all the kinks in the back. Very good for the spine.
With this I conclude my running series. I hope you enjoyed it and hope it helped you in some way. Next week new series. May be Bring my Baby Back.. 🙂