Post-Run Yoga Sequence
I’m no ultra runner, nor have I ever trained for a marathon, but I love the great, sweaty, endorphin high I get from a run. My runs aren’t often more than a half an hour, usually just enough to clear my head. But, I often hike and boulder-hop over hilly, rough terrain for hours in a heavy pack to reach the base of a rock climb. Here’s a sequence of yoga poses I love to practice once I’ve caught my breath after a run or a long hike. Hold each pose for 30 seconds to a minute and breathe deeply while you do it.
Supda Padangusthasana :: Reclining Leg Stretch
- Lie down on your back and extend one leg along the ground.
- Stretch the other leg up in the air and hold either the back of your thigh, your foot, ora belt slung around your foot.
- Note: This can also be done standing, with the top leg propped on a bench or a rock.
Suki Randrasana :: Eye of the Needle Hip Stretch
- Lie on the ground and bend both knees.
- Place your right ankle atop your left knee, then pick up both legs.
- Reach through the hole between your legs with your right arm and clasp your hands around your left shin.
- Press your hips down, keep your right ankle straight and you pull your legs closer to your torso.
- Repeat with the left leg on top
- Note: This can be done sitting on a bench or a rock; instead of bringing your legs toward your torso, lean your torso over your legs.
Jathara Parivartanasana :: Reclining Twist
- Lie on your back and lift your feet off the ground with your knees bent.
- Drop both knees to the right, until they reach the ground.
- Your left knee should be stacked atop your right.
- Place your right hand on top of your knees, then twist your torso to the left.
- Extend your left arm out on the ground and look towards your left hand.
- Repeat with your legs on the left.
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana :: Upward Facing Dog
- Lie on your belly and stretch your legs straight
- Make sure your kneecaps point straight down, not out to the sides, to protect your low back.
- Place your hands about shoulder width apart, under your upper chest.
- Lengthen your spine and push into the floor with your hands to peal your torso off the ground.
- Slide forward as you do so, so that your knees come off the ground and you’re only on the tops of your feet and your hands.
- Roll your shoulders back, straighten your arms and lift your sternum.
- Note: Cobra is another option, keep your knees and thighs down as you lift into the back bend.
Adho Mukha Shvanasana :: Downward Facing Dog
- From Upward Dog, flip your feet, lift your hips up and push into Downward Facing Dog.
- Stretch your arms straight and pike your bum high.
- Keep your hips lifted and press your heels down towards the ground.
- Then, alternate bending one leg while the other is straight (a.k.a. pedal your legs) to get deeper into your calf stretches.
Anjaneasesan :: Kneeling Lunge
- Step your right foot forward between your hands and drop your left knee to the ground.
- Square your hips to point straight ahead, then bring your hands up to your front thigh or hips.
- Lean your hips forward and down while you lift your spine and chest up.
- Repeat with the left leg forward.
- Option: Add more length and stretch to the pose by reaching your arms overhead.
Uttanasana :: Forward Fold
- Step your feet side-by-side, about hips-width apart and parallel.
- Fold forward at the hips and hang your torso towards the ground.
- Caution: If doing this makes your low back round up towards the sky (higher than your pelvis), then bend your knees to make it safer for your spine.