If you’re into long-distance running, you need to try this yoga sequence.
Despite the cold temperatures and icy sidewalks that are common this time of year, long-distance runners are out and about getting a good run in no matter what the weather. When the run is over, however, you’re shivering and ready for a hot shower. But what you should be doing immediately after your run is stretching those hard-working muscles!
It’s important to develop a good post-long run yoga routine so your body can properly recover from a workout. Below is a 7-minute yoga sequence you can easily complete after a long run.
By Alison Heilig
Butterfly Legs Up the Wall
Sit sideways against a wall with your right hip touching the wall. Lean back onto your forearms, place one leg at a time up the wall as you turn your torso to face the wall and lie back. Bring the soles of your feet to touch so that the pinky toe side of your feet and your hips are pressed against the wall. Slowly allow your knees to open wide. Stay here for 2 minutes. Then, place the soles of your feet on the wall with your knees bent, hug your knees into your chest and roll to your right side to press up to sitting.
Reclined Pigeon at the Wall
Lie on the floor and place the soles of your feet on the wall, knees bent and stacked directly over your hips. Place your left ankle on your right thigh just above your right knee. Keep your left foot flexed as you use your left hand to gently press your left knee away from you. Hold for 1 minute, then switch legs.
Lie on your back with your legs extended. Bend your right knee and bring it toward your chest. Loop a strap around the ball of your right foot and straighten your right knee so that your heel is actively pressing up toward the ceiling. Keep your left leg engaged and right hip anchored. To increase the stretch, walk your hands up the strap, using your shoulders (rather than your hands and wrists) to pull on the strap. Hold for 1 minute and slowly release the strap to switch legs.
Lie down on your stomach with your legs extended behind you, toes untucked with the tops of your feet pressing into the floor. Place your hands on the floor, wrists in line with your upper rib cage. Squeeze your elbows in toward your ribs. On an inhale, press into your hands and gently lift your head and chest off the floor. Keep your shoulders down away from your ears and your elbows close to your ribs as you spread your collarbones wide to open your chest. Hold for 30 seconds then slowly lower your upper body and head to the floor.
Lie on your back with your knees pulled in toward your chest. Grab the inner or outer blades of your feet, keeping them flexed, and use your arms to pull downward toward the floor. Press your tailbone down toward the floor to lengthen your spine. You can rock side to side to massage the pressure points just above your tailbone. Hold for 30 seconds and release your feet to the floor slowly.
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All images courtesy of Alison Heilig.