Yoga is magic. It helps you to build muscle strength, flexibility and balance - which can help reduce your risk of running injury. It can improve your mental focus and breathing efficiency. But how do you get started?
Before you start trying to bend yourself into a pretzel - read on. Emily of Durham Yoga Studio has provided a selection of yoga-inspired stretches for before or after your run.
You can do these stretches anywhere, in bare feet or with trainers on, in the park, at the running track or in your living room. Make sure you do the stretches on both sides - to keep your body even.
Quad Stretch: Great for stretching out the front of your legs! Stand evenly and bend one knee reach around with your hand and capture your foot. Feel the front of your upper leg stretching out. You can use a wall to help you balance if it’s wobbly!
Downward Facing Dog: Downward Facing Dog is great for a full body stretch. Start on your hands and knees and tuck your toes under and lift your hips up and back. Start to lengthen your legs out but keep a soft bend in your knees. Press your chest towards your thighs and lengthen your spine. If it feels good, peddle out your feet, lifting one heel at a time.
Figure 4: Cross one ankle over your opposite leg, above the knee. Start to bend your standing knee a little and keep your spine long. You can use a wall to help you balance if needed. Note: This is also a really great one to also do lying down on your back and interlacing your hands behind your lifted leg.
Half Splits Hamstring Stretch: Lunge by stepping one foot forward trying to align your ankle over your knee (first picture) and then lower your back knee down to the ground. From here, begin to pull your hips backwards as you lengthen out your front leg (second picture). Breathing in and out as you move backwards and forwards into this can feel like a hamstring massage! This is probably best with a mat or something soft under your back knee.
Pigeon: From Hands and knees OR Downward Facing Dog step your right foot forward to your hands and heel toe your foot towards your left hand, send your weight forward and bend your front knee. You can stay high as pictured, or fold forward and relax down into it.
Yoga Flow: Video for you folks to follow with Emily coming soon. If you'd like to know exactly when you can sign up to our mailing list which you'll find a link for on the home page!
If you've enjoyed your yoga taster, then head on over to The Durham Yoga Studio, where you can either do a in person class with Emily if you're local, or a remote class via Zoom!