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Yoga Poses For Runners:- Anyone who regularly runs will know how easy it is to get tight, tense muscles and to develop sore spots. I have received lots of feedback from runners in my yoga classes that by attending a yoga class a week they have experienced less injury and tension in the body. Below I have listed 5 yoga poses that runners can do at any time, without any equipment or a yoga mat, to help alleviate common runners niggles and improve general flexibility.

Yoga Poses For Runners

1. Tadasana – Mountain Pose

This posture is great for a general check-in with yourself at any point. To begin stand with the feet together, tone the legs and draw the weight back into the heels of the feet. Stack the hips over the ankles and the shoulders over the hips. Widen across the collar bones and relax the shoulders away from the ears. While maintaining this stable strong pose for a few breaths check in with the body, do you feel symmetrical, are there any tight spots or aches.

2. Half Surya Namaskara – Half Sun Salutations

These modified, flowing sun salutations are a great way to warm up the body and begin linking the breath with movement. To begin, stand with the feet together as in Tadasana. Inhaling lift the area over the head and look up to the thumbs. As you exhale take the arms wide and dive forwards into a standing forward bend bending the knees if you need to and touching the floor.  Then inhaling lift the head but keep the connection with the floor. Exhaling again fold forward and relax the shoulders away from the ears. Inhaling lift the arms up over the head as you come back to standing and exhaling bring the arms back to Tadasana.

You can repeat this sequence of movements as many times as you like. After 3 or 4 repetitions you’ll start to feel the hamstrings lengthen and spread.

3. Padangustasana – Big Toe Pose

Take the feet to hip distance apart and the hands to the waist, inhale lift the head and open the from of the chest, avoid overly back-bending here. Exhaling fold forwards hinging at the hips and bending the knees if you need to. Take hold of the big toes with the first two fingers of both hands and make a fist around the toes. Then inhaling again draw the chest forwards and flatten the back. Exhaling drop the head down and fold into the forward bend. As you stay in the pose for about 5 slow deep breaths focus on spreading the backs of the legs, leaning into the toes and stacking the hips over the ankles. Relax the neck, jaw and shoulders.

This pose is excellent for lengthening and stretching the hamstrings and releasing tension. It's fine to keep the knees bend but focus on raising the sit bones up.

To come out of the pose, inhale and lift the head only, then exhaling take the hands to the waist. Inhaling again come all the way up and step the feet back together. Another 2 Yoga Poses For Runners…

4. Trikonasana – Extended Triangle Pose

Start by placing the feet wide and take the hands up to shoulder height. Make sure that the heels of the feet are approximately underneath the elbows. Then turn the left toes in towards the right foot and the right foot out. Slightly bend the right leg and take the right hand to the calve, ankle or to grab the big toe. Once you have got the right-hand position, straighten the right leg and activate the quadriceps by lifting the knee caps. Ground the right big toe down into the floor or fingers then with an inhalation lift the left hand up. Keep both legs active and the left sit bone back and down. Stay for a few long and controlled breaths. Then to come out of the pose, exhale look down and inhale lift up to the centre before repeating the pose on the opposite side.

Extended Triangle Pose is one of the best Yoga Poses For Runners for strengthening the thighs, knees, and ankles while stretching the hips, groins, hamstrings, calves, shoulders and chest.

5. Parsvottanasana – Intense Side Stretch Pose

This pose is excellent for stretching hamstrings, toning the legs and improving sense of balance. It’s also great for the inner arches of the feet so can help with flat feet.

To begin take the feet and arms wide, align the feet under the elbows and then rotate the body around so that the right foot is pointing forwards and the back left foot is turning in about 45 degrees. Square the hips in line with the right foot so that the body is facing the same direction as the front foot. Bring the arms up to shoulder height and inhaling lengthen across the front of the body, as you exhale fold forwards leading with the chest and taking it towards the shin. Firm the legs as you go and while in the pose for a few breaths maintain the strength in the legs. Take the hands down towards the floor in front or linked behind the back for an increased stretch across the front of the chest.  To exit the pose, with an inhalation rise back to a standing position and then repeat on the left side.

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