Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Yoga + Running = Great combo.

I wanted to share with all of you just how phenomenal it feels to go running and then do some post-running yoga.

After getting your heart rate up and your blood circulating from the running, it feels great to wind down with a little stretching. Your muscles become loosened up during running, making it feel extra good to do yoga afterwards. It also helps to prevent your muscles (particularly your hamstrings and leg muscles) from tightening up later on.

After your next run, take a few moments to lay on your back and take some slow, deep breaths. Replenish your body of oxygen while you revel in that runner's high.

Follow up with a few stretches. Begin by doing a forward bend (either standing or sitting) to stretch out those hamstrings. Notice if you feel tight from the running or if the running has actually loosened you up a bit. This will depend on how long of a run you took and how often you typically run. Afterwards, do the bridge pose which will stretch and strengthen your back. The bridge pose will also warm you up for the following pose you can try: the shoulder stand. Doing the shoulder stand will help give those hardworking legs a break, as well as send venous blood back to the heart. Follow up with the fish pose which is an automatic counterpose to the shoulder stand.

Next, try doing some bicycle abdominal reps to tone the abs, and then follow with a laying spinal twist. I also really enjoy doing the triangle pose after running, as I find this pose to feel really nice when I'm loosened up. Continue with any stretches you may feel that you need, and notice how your body begins to cool down.

I now not only love finishing a run because of the great runner's high, but I actually look forward to continuing my work-out. Post-running yoga has to be one of my favorite times to do yoga! Enjoy.

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