Key Yoga Poses for Walkers and Runners
Over the course of the next week I will be speaking with First Strides Vermont and Fleet Feet Sports EJVT about how these groups can incorporate yoga into their walking/running regimen. Knowing how fast fifteen minutes can fly in front of a large group of people, I have compiled four key poses I will be presenting. My thoughts for these presentations follow…
Four Key Yoga Poses for Walkers and Runners
1. CHAIR POSE
Why use it
Walkers and runners tend to have a tight outer quad muscle while at the same time a weak inner quad muscle. Poses, like chair pose, help us to correct this imbalance by working both quads simultaneously.
How to get into it
Stand tall, big toes come to touch, roll your shoulders back. Inhale, lift your arms above your head, keeping shoulders rolled back. Exhale, bend your knees, sit your tail back as if you were sitting down in a chair. Attempt to the hold position for 3 to 5 full breaths; staying in the position longer as you build stamina and muscle strength.
Tuck your tail under, by drawing your navel to your spine.
2. LUNGE POSE
Why use it
Walkers and runners tend to have tight hip flexors since the hips continually work to support the pelvis. Additionally, stability demands are increased during repetitive motion. Lunge pose allows us to stretch our hips.
Inhale and bend forward at the hips on an exhale; place both hands on either side of your left foot, step your right foot back. Palms or fingertips come to the mat. Choose to rest the right knee to the floor or for an added challenge stay up on the ball of the right toes. Attempt to the hold position for 3 to 5 full breaths and then switch sides.
Keep your knee aligned directly above your ankle.
3. LIZARD POSE
Why use it
Walkers and runners tend to carry tension in their backs; often due to stiffness that needs to be released in their hips. Lizard pose takes lunge pose and deepens the stretch. Looser hips relieve our back pain and lengthen stride.
From a lunge pose, bring both hands inside the forward foot as you inhale. Keep your palms planted on the mat with arms straight or for those with more flexibility rest your forearms on the mat. If it feels more comfortable your back knee can rest to the mat. Attempt to the hold position for 3 to 5 full breaths and then switch sides.
Relax your shoulders as you evenly lower your hips to the floor.
4. DOWNDOG POSE
Why use it
Walkers and runners tend to be busy people and enjoy spending their free time doing what they love. They need efficient poses that help them stretch several muscles at one time. Downdog pose stretches the Achilles, calves, hamstrings, back, shoulders and arms, while providing us an opportunity to find breath.
On an inhale place your hands and knees on the floor. Fingers spread wide on the floor, shoulder-width apart. As you exhale, lift your knees off the floor; send your hips towards the ceiling. Press your palms down and back, stretch through your shoulders, draw your navel into your spine, stretch through your heels. Attempt to the hold position for 3 to 5 full breaths; staying in the position longer as you build stamina and muscle strength.
For tight hamstrings, bend at your knees and press your torso towards your thighs.
Happy Walking and Running!
~The divine in me salutes the divine in you, Namaste~