For those of you not in the know, in addition to my super fun work as a running coach, I am also a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher. I love vinyasa-style yoga and enjoy teaching yoga for runners. Yoga is amazing for runners. It links mind and body, which can result in great performance gains. The increase in flexibility provided by a regular yoga practice can reduce injury risk. Sold on yoga? Ready to get started? I’ll share with you a few of my favorite poses for runners and athletes of all levels.
Half Kneeling Lunge – Psoas Stretch
This pose doesn’t have a nice Sanskrit name, but it’s highly effective. Most runners have tight hip flexors (the illiopsoas group). Tight hip flexors are made even more tight by frequent sitting, a problem for most of us who work desk jobs.
To perform this stretch, begin in virasana (hero pose). Raise up using the quadriceps muscles. Extend the right leg to place the sole of the foot on the mat, knee at 90 degrees. Hips are square and abdominal muscles are engaged and mulabandha is engaged. Gently tilt the pelvis up toward the belly button by drawing in the abdominal muscles. Shift the hips forward until a stretch is felt in the front of the hip and the psoas group is lengthened. Extend the left arm over the head. To stretch the TFL and its attachment site, shift the hits three to five inches to the left, maintaining the hips and abdominals.
Spend 20 seconds to one minute in each pose. Return to kneeling and then to hero pose to rest. Enjoy!