These poses and moves are great to do post run, to help you cool down, stretch out your muscles and improve recovery time. Hold each pose for around 10-15 breaths or however long feels good. Pick your favourites and create you own post run, yoga flow.
Take a generous bend in the knees, fold over the legs and allow the upper body to hang heavy. Rock the body from side to side. Allow gravity to pull the head down, creating space in the spine. A great one to catch your breath as soon as you finish your run.
Bring the hands shoulder width apart; allow the spine to be long, by keeping a bend in the knees and tipping the tailbone up higher. Pedal out through the heels and feel out the calves and hamstrings. It’s best to have your heels hovering off the mat instead of being completely grounded, as it gives you space to go further each time. Spend some time in this one if you get particularly tight calves.
The hands are on the inside of the front leg, and the back leg is relaxed as much as possible. You can stay up on your fingertips or ease your upper body down slowly; maybe the fore arms even meet the floor. Allow your self to ease down into it and relax. Lengthen out your exhale, which will help relax the body, mind and muscles.
LIZARD WITH QUAD STRETCH
Whichever leg is forward, use the same side hand to reach back for the foot. Use a strap to loop around the back foot if you can’t reach with your hand and add padding underneath the knee if you need to. Gently pull the heel close towards the bottom, feeling a deep stretch in the quad.
Keep the toes of the straight leg lifted to feel a stretch through the back of the leg and into the inner thigh. Press down through the heel of the bent leg to stretch out the calf.
Roll onto the ball of the front foot and press down through the heel to feel a stretch into the calf, use your hands for balance. Maybe rolling forwards and back, from the left to right a few times, then holding on each side for longer.
Bring one ankle across the top of the opposite knee. Keep the foot flexed, to protect the knee joint. Using the hands hug the other leg in towards you, keeping the lower back on the mat. If you want to make this more intense grab the shin instead of the back of the thigh.
Using a strap / towel / belt, wrap it around the mid part of the foot. Keep the legs straight and push up through the heel. Keep the lower leg grounded, as you pull the leg closer towards you, using the breath to go deeper with each exhale. If having both legs straight is too intense, place the foot of the bottom leg onto the mat.
Allow the knees to drop to one side, opening out the arms and turn the head the opposite way. To make this more intense, cross the legs, or bring the knees up closer to the armpits. Relax and allow the shoulders to connect with the mat, breathing in space to the shoulder and mid-back.
You can make this one apart of your final relaxation too. Bring your hands underneath you or use a block or pillow and lift the legs. This one will help out your heart and circulation. You can also bring your legs up again a wall for support and take the legs out wide. Relax here for around 2-5minutes, allowing the muscles to relax and absorb the effort from your run and yoga.