The Flock
July 02, 2013

Yoga For Runners: Keep Your (Running) Feet Happy

Erin Jasyoga

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Sore feet? Can you blame them, after all your pavement pounding?

While you might prioritize your hammies or quads or booty during your post-run stretching, remember that your feet need a little love, too. They are, after all, what you literally run on. Imbalances in your feet affect your entire body and stride. These imbalances can put you at risk for common running ailments such as plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinitis. Ugh!

Yes, mileage can leave your feet tired and cramped. But the amount of time you spend in your kicks can also allow those muscles to become a bit, well, sleepy. Can you blame them for getting a bit lazy, since they always get to rely on the support of your shoes? I’d be lazy too, if I were a foot muscle. Believe it or not, you’ve got 33 muscles in each one, and 25 percent of the bones in your body live in your feet, so maintaining the health of your foundation should be a key component of your workouts and training regimen.

While I’m not suggesting you ditch your shoes entirely, working barefoot to both activate sleepy foot muscles and ease cramping will help you maintain balance. Hit up this short sequence post-run to keep your feet happy and healthy — you’ll also get some hip and hammy stretches in along the way. Hold each pose for five to seven breaths.

Bird on a Perch

  1. From all fours with your feet about hip’s width apart, tuck your toes under and walk your hands back toward your legs.
  2. Lift your heels as high as you can, and use your hands to help you balance — if your knees are uncomfortable, keep them on the ground.

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demonstrated by @jackelizabethk and @oiselle_team

Heels Down Perch

  1. From Bird on a Perch, drop your heels as close to the ground as you can.
  2. Round your spine and walk your hands forward.
  3. While you use your hands to help you balance, keep dropping your heels back and down (they probably won’t touch the ground, but that’s okay!).

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demonstrated by @jackelizabethk and @oiselle_team

Squat

  1. Bring your feet wider than hip’s width apart and rotate your thighs so that your toes turn out and your heels turn in.
  2. Squat down as low as you can, keeping your heels on the ground — if that feels tough, separate your feet more.
  3. Lift your torso upright and bring your hands together in front of your chest — if you need to, stay up higher and rest your forearms on your thighs.
  4. Keep your toes light as you press down through evenly your feet.

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Reclined Hammy Time

  1. Lie down and place the ball of your right foot into a looped strap, tie, or belt.
  2. Extend your right leg up without locking your knee.
  3. Extend your left leg long or bend the knee and place the foot on the ground.
  4. Flex your right foot and press up through your right heel, while you let your arms hang and your shoulders relax down — make your loop smaller to increase the intensity of the stretch.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

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As always, Legs Up the Wall is the perfect finale — in addition to recirculating the blood and any excess fluid in your legs, it also helps to relax tired feet. 

Want more yoga? Check out jasyoga.com/schedule to find out when you can #hitreset with Erin and Jasyoga here in Seattle!

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