Running and yoga – they make for the perfect couple! In the second part of “10 Yoga Poses You Can Do After Running”, we show you five more great poses for runners. You don’t need a mat or any other yoga equipment.
(6) Low Lunge
The Low Lunge is not only an excellent thigh and hamstring stretch, but it is also a great hip-opening pose. Depending on your needs, you can focus more on stretching your legs or your hip flexors.
Take a big step forward with your left foot and get into a deep lunge position. Instead of placing your hands to the left and right of your leg, put both hands (or fingertips) on the floor on the inside of your leg. Now, lower your upper body towards the floor while keeping your hips level. The lower you bend, the more your hips will stretch. Only go as far as you feel comfortable.
Hold this pose for 5 breaths. Now, either switch sides or proceed directly to the next exercise before coming back and doing the other side.
(7) Low Lunge Twist
If you want to take the Low Lunge to the next level, you can add a little twist. This helps you to open your hips even wider.
Place your left hand on your left leg or in the air. Turn and open your chest to the left. As you inhale, stretch your spine long and straight. As you exahle, twist your body a little more to the left. If the ground is clean and you can set your back knee down, go ahead and do so: Pull the sole of your right foot towards your buttocks. Of course, you can grab your foot with your left hand, if you can.
Otherwise, hold this pose for 5 breaths and then come out of the pose slowly and carefully. Now, repeat the pose on the other side.
(8) Half Split: Half Hanumanasana
A great pose starting from the sprinter position is the Half Split. Of course, nobody said you have to do a full split right after your run. The Half Split itself is an excellent pose for stretching your calves and hamstrings.
Start from the sprinter position and push your buttocks back towards your back foot. At the same time, stretch your front leg and flex your front foot. As you inhale, stretch your spine long. As you exhale, keep your lower back straight and lean forward over your straight leg. Make sure that as you inhale, your lower back remains straight. Each time you exhale try to go a little bit lower.
(9) Half Forward Bend: Ardha Uttanasana
The next to the last pose is a standing forward bend. After the previous eight poses, this one will feel a little easier than it would have if we had done it at the beginning.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Keep your back straight and bend forward, but don’t bend so far that your back starts to round. You can either touch your fingertips to the ground or place your hands on your thighs. It doesn’t matter how far you bend over – the main thing is that you keep your back straight. You can also try bending your knees more and pushing your tailbone back and up. Now, from this new position, slowly straighten your legs – as best you can.
(10) Full Forward Bend: Uttanasana
Now that you have done the half pose, it’s time for the full forward bend.
Now, you can round your back and simply let yourself fold forward over your legs. You can place your hands on the ground or on the back of your thighs. You can also grab your elbows and just let yourself hang for a little while.
Let gravity do the work and enjoy this last stretch.
As JuYogi, the 23-year-old Ju travels the world, sharing her culinary, exercise and spiritual adventures with her readers. Besides yoga, Ju’s blog also discusses topics like sustainability, veganism, joy of living and happiness.