Yoga for runners

A simple way to integrate yoga with your runs is to perform your short yoga sessions pre- or post-run. These are three of my favorite poses to open up your hips, hamstrings and torso. Give them a shot!

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon)

Start in Downward Dog. Lift your right leg up and sweep it through to your mat, folding it and placing it on the mat. Keep your right foot flexed to protect the knee. Your left leg is straight behind you with the toes pointed. Keep your hips square and level, with the left hipbone pressing toward your right foot. Inhale and press your hands into the mat, getting as much length in the spine as possible. Hold for a minute or two and repeat on the opposite side.

Revolved Crescent Lunge

Lunge your right foot forward and make sure that your right knee is directly over your right ankle so that your right shin is perpendicular to the ground. Balancing on the ball of the left foot, press the left leg straight. Draw your hands together at your heart, twist from the waist and hook the left triceps on the outside of your right thigh, rotating to gaze up over your right shoulder. Make sure to keep your spine long and chest lifted off of our thigh. Keep pressing the palms together with your elbows stacked. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on other side.

Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch or Pyramid)

Step your left foot back about three feet and angle the back foot out slightly. Keep both hips facing front, squaring the hips. Draw your hands behind your back, bending the arms and clasping the elbows. Inhale as you look up, opening the chest, exhale, hinging from the hips, keeping your spine long as you fold forward over your straight right leg. To modify, slightly bend the front leg, working toward straight. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on second side.

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