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Jasyoga for Runners Basics: Get Back on Your Mat!

Sep 11, 2015

erin taylor jasyoga oiselle running
Training

With fall races close on the horizon, now’s the time to get back onto your mat (okay, you don’t even need a mat) and do the little things that will help keep your bod in balance and optimize your running.

Whether you’ve been Hitting Reset — using yoga to sustain balance — or not over the summer, this set of fundamental poses targets some of the most common running imbalances. Think of each of them like a secret weapon to help you achieve your goals, because balance = winning (aka goal crushing).

Hit up at least one of these poses every day, whenever you have time to fit them in, or practice the set as a sequence. Remember, your body is engineered for balance — it wants to be there — so any small adjustment you make to remind yourself where that is will go a lonnnggggg way!

Note: This is not prenatal yoga (don't be fooled by my baby belly) however this set of poses is beneficial for pregnancy. Prior yoga experience recommended, hit me up on Twitter @jasyogaUK if you have questions!

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Single Leg Balance
Why: Activates glutes and core, helps to align your stride
When: Pre-run or cross-training (or sneak it in while you’re brushing your teeth)
How:

  1. Bring your feet hip's width apart and keep your knees bent slightly and bring your hands to your waist.
  2. Exhaling, engage your core as you draw your navel toward your spine (as if you’re cinching up your waist).
  3. Keep your core engaged as you lift your right knee up to waist-height, bending your knee to a 90-degree angle, while keeping your hips level (try not to side bend or lean back)
  4. Focus on pushing down strongly through your left foot and engaging the bottom portion of your left glute.
  5. Hold for 5–10 deep breaths.

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Crossed Legs Side Bend
When: Pre- or post-run/recovery — as often as possible!
Why: “Unsticks” the chronically stiff and habitually neglected side body
How:

  1. Bring your feet hip's width apart and keep your knees bent slightly.
  2. Turn your palms forward and reach your arms overhead.
  3. Cross your right arm in front of your left, bringing the backs of your palms together.
  4. Cross your right leg over your left, keeping your feet flexed and knees slightly bent.
  5. Bend your torso toward the left as you reach your crossed arms to the left — feel the bend coming from the middle of your rib cage aka the middle of your spine.
  6. Hold for 5–10 before switching sides.

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Hammy Time Point & Flex aka Calf Pump
When: Post-run/recovery
Why: Relieves stiff hammies, increases circulation and pliability through the calves/lower legs (your feet will also benefit!)
How:

  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Extend your right leg toward the ceiling and interlace your fingers around your hamstrings, as if you’re making a hammock for that leg to rest into.
  3. Your arms should be straight, shoulders on the floor — bend your right knee as much as needed to make that happen.
  4. Bend your left knee and put your left foot on the floor, helping you to maintain a more neutral spine.
  5. Point your right foot.
  6. Flex your right foot.
  7. Continue for about 30 seconds.

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Legs Up the Wall
When: post-run/recovery or before bed — make this part of your daily routine
Why: The most powerful pose for recovery — recirculates the blood and any excess fluid in the legs, relaxes the feet and low back, helps to reduce any lingering tension in your system
How:

  1. Lie down and extend your legs up the wall.
  2. Get your butt as close to the wall as possible, while keeping it on the floor.
  3. Keep your knees bent a little and turn your feet away from each other slightly — if you feel any tension in your thighs, back further from the wall.
  4. Rest your arms along your sides with your palms facing up.
  5. Stay and relax for 5+ minutes.

Join us this fall for Jasyoga Into 26.2, a 5-week yoga plan to optimize your marathon (or any race) training. Subscribe at jasyoga.com/blog or jasyoga.co.uk/blog to get each week’s plan delivered to your inbox and share your journey to the start line with #jasyoga262…

Photos by Claire Pepper

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