Welcome to the first installment of Live, Run, Grow’s Yoga for Runner’s!
As I wrote yesterday I am a big believer in the benefits of yoga for runner’s (and all athletes!). By incorporating just a few yoga poses into your regular routine you can actually stretch and strengthen the major running muscle groups which will help to prevent injury!
I’m excited to begin putting my yoga teacher training (which I’ll be done with in late December) to use by sharing some of my favorite yoga poses with you, I hope they’ll help you as much as they’ve helped me!
I plan on posting 1-2 poses a week for the next few weeks and then at the end I’ll post a short 5-10 minute sequence of the poses that can be done at any time to keep those overworked leg muscles nice and loose! Along the way if you have any questions or would like to learn about a specific pose, or a pose to target a specific muscle just ask and I’ll do my best to get you something!
To start us off, please welcome Parsvottanasana, otherwise known as Triangle Forward Bend or Intense Side Stretch (for those TOTALLY new to yoga the long funny names are the traditional yogic sanskrit names, don’t worry about those, I’m still working on learning them myself!).
Begin standing with your feet together, hands on hips. Take a comfortable step back with one foot (2-3 feet), front foot facing forward and the back foot at a slight angle (if your back heels is coming off the ground your feet are too far apart!).
Begin to fold forward hinging at the hips while lengthening the spine and extending out through the crown of the head. Hips should stay even and facing forward.
Continue to fold forward until your hands rest on your shin, ankle or the ground.
The stretch should be felt in the hamstring, gluteus and piriformis of the front leg.
Hold the pose for 3-5 long deep breaths softening into the pose and deepening the stretch on the exhale. Switch sides,
rinse and repeat!
I’d love to hear what you think of Triangle Forward Bend and how I presented this first pose (lots of pictures – good? too many?) so feel free to leave a comment and let me know!
That’s great! I can’t wait to try some of these since my legs are ALWAYS killing me. Sorry to be annoying, but I have a question. My gym offers Yoga classes, but there 3 different kinds: Hatha, Vinyasa and Astanga, and I have no idea what the difference is? Also, doing these poses would you recommend right before a run, right after a run or a different day entirely. Sorry, it was 2 questions, so I guess sorry for being twice as annoying!
Hi Kellie, those are actually great questions…and please feel free to ask as many as you’d like – it’s good practice for me since I’ll be teaching yoga soon!
There are a lot of different types of yoga, I practice Vinyasa so that is the style I can speak to the most. If I understand correctly Hatha and Vinyasa are very similar, the biggest difference I believe is that Hatha typically moves at a little bit of a slower pace and is great for beginners. Vinyasa really works on linking breath and movement to a series of flowing poses to really warm up the body. Hatha and Vinyassa classes are always different, where Ashthanga classes are always the same, the same set of poses in the same order. If they’re all included in your gym membership it can’t hurt to try each class and see which you connect with the best!
As for when to do the poses, this is where stretching gets a little controversial. One school of thought is that if you try to stretch cold, tight muscles you will injure yourself because they aren’t ready to be stretched. The flip side of the coin is gently stretching and warming your muscles before an activity lessens the chance of injuring yourself during your run (or other activity). Unfortunately there is no clear cut answer, I think each person has to see what works best for themselves. Personally because I just love stretching and find that it helps me so much I stretch before and after runs.
It may not be a bad idea to start the stretches after your next run when your muscles are warm so you’re not trying something new on cold muscles. Whatever you decide to do make sure to take it slow and don’t push yourself, you should feel the stretch but it shouldn’t be painful in any way…that’s a sign you’re pushing too far! I know that’s not a very clear answer, but I hope that helps some!
That was very helpful! Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such a detailed and thorough response. You’re going to be a great instructor!
Wow this is so great! I’ve always wanted to try yoga and to learn that there are certain poses that are helpful for runners is awesome! I can’t wait to try these poses and the poses that you will post in the future.
Thanks Rana! I’m so glad you like it, it’s fun to do posts like this and I figure it’s a great way to get started teaching yoga! More are on the way…trust me, you’re going to be sick of seeing pictures of me soon! : )
This is amazing! Great job, Danielle! I’ll be sure to try this when I loosen up before being chased by something…!
Great job, Danielle! Awesome pictures and description to get us in and out of the pose. I’ll be sure to try this next time I limber up before being chased…!
Ha, Ainsley, you crack me up! Glad you like it, figured it was a good way to start putting our teacher training to use!
Great poses …. And easy to follow explanations ! Love it … You never cease to amaze me with your talents !!
We still need to get together our practice yoga class next time I’m up in Massachusetts!
Just tried it in the OR… after the patient was asleep of course! 🙂 Can’t touch floor, but got 2/3 down shin. Like step by step picture guide and commentary. You needed pedicure, I need new OR shoes.
: ) I keep picturing you doing yoga poses in the OR…too funny!
I love it…so helpful and creative! Can’t wait to see more posts!! Xo holly
Thanks Holly! It was fun to do, I’m thinking pigeon pose next, you know how much I love that one! I’m glad you got to take a look at it since you have a similar interest in teaching yoga to athletes.
This post was great! The photos really helped to explain the pose. I take yoga at the gym but I feel like we’re always doing the same few poses so I’m excited to learn something new… like this one!
Thanks Lisa! I hope it’s helpful to some people. I often found that when I went to yoga classes at the gym I never felt that I fully understood the poses, I just sort of followed along. It’s been interesting to really have everything broken down in teacher training!
Great job on the blog. I’m impressed! This information will really help me when I start teaching athletes. Your answers to everyone’s questions were spot on and your pictures were beautifully done.
Thanks Bobbi! I love writing the blog, I figure it’s good practice for teaching yoga and going into physical therapy! Thanks so much for checking it out : )
This looks awesome! Great photos (especially because they’re outdoors), easy to follow instructions, clear wording on the pics, and I love that your sense of humor is in there too. Looking forward to these posts!
Thank you so much for the feedback Lisa! I figured I’d start with some outdoor pics while the weather is still ok, I can’t wait to do the next one!
Totally going to try this. I am so unflexible, especially my back since I have scoliosis. I can’t make my back flat like you for the life of me!
Oh I’ve heard yoga is supposed to be very good for scoliosis!
My yoga teacher always says “make your yoga your own”, don’t worry about it looking like mine as long as you’re keeping the form correct…trust me there are poses I can’t go very deep into either – you’ll see in the next pose I post!
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A piriformis stretch…I definitely need that! Thanks for sharing this pose with us!
I hope it helps! I have terrible piriformis issues on long runs and there are a few poses that have really helped…I’m going to be posting my favorite either later this week or next week so stay tuned!
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I love this feature. Keep them coming! I really like the pictures and the explanations. Sometimes it is hard to focus on the directions coming from the teacher so it is nice to see the pose depicted in picture format.
Oh thank you so much, I’m glad you like it! The next one is coming tomorrow! It’s been really interesting to learn the poses in detail at yoga teacher training, glad I can share it with everyone!
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I always have numbness on my upper leg in both sides doing this pose 😦
Hmmm, where on the upper leg are you feeling numbness? The outside, or the front?