Tag Archives: yoga

Must Do Post Run Yoga Poses

Not every run is a challenge but the same things always feel good afterwards.  A cold glass of water, even in the winter, taking my sweaty socks off and hitting the floor for a few post run yoga poses.  There are a ton of poses out there but not all of them stretch out those hard working running muscles in my legs and hips.  Here are some of my favorites:

Child’s Poseyoga poses:  This pose gives my whole body a break and lets me hit the ground with a little bit of grace.  It gives my hard working core a chance to relax while releasing my lower back and stretching my feet.

Downward Facing Dog:  After a minute in child’s pose, it’s into down dog.  Even if I just jogged a nice recovery run, lengthening my hamstrings and chronically tight calves always feels great.  It’s also a good pose with lots of room for the lunges to open and close.  It helps me bring my heart and respiratory rates down with big deep breaths.

Pigeon:  This big hip opener is another chance to give my just worked legs a break.  Stretching out my glutes and hip flexors is important for making sure I stay loose for my next workout, whether it’s later that day or 24 hours away.yoga poses

Low Lunge:  Another awesome hip stretch, low lunge might be tops on my list.  I love reaching back to open my hip while taking big belly breaths.

yoga posesLegs on the Wall:  I’m not sure if this really counts as one of my ‘yoga poses’.  My legs are propped up on a wall and I’m totally relaxed.  I’ll use time in this pose to reflect on the workout I just had.

I use a different variety of poses for my morning and pre-run routines.  While my pre-run sessions gets me loose and the blood pumping, these post run yoga poses help me relax and regroup after a workout. 

Meredith

Do you have favorite post run yoga poses?  Which ones and why?

 

My Breakfast and Yoga Morning Routine

Even though my morning routine varies a tiny bit with the seasons, the elements of it are always the same.  Breakfast, yoga and some deep breathing help each day get off to a positive start morning routinebefore I have a chance to get off track.

I can’t remember the last time I was woken up by an alarm and am usually up 10-15 minutes before it would go off.  That doesn’t mean, however, I get out of my nice warm bed.  I’ll stay cozy while planning the day and deciding how to complete the day’s check list.  A quick check of my phone lets me know my early morning hasn’t cancelled and I must go on.  After resigning myself to the fact that I can’t stay in bed all day, it’s off to the bathroom.  Usual business and a cold splash of water to the face make sure I’m actually awake.

Since the majority of my work and workout wardrobe is black, I rarely turn on the bedrooms lights to dress.  Ambient light from the half drawn blinds is enough to make sure I match.  Then it’s downstairs to feed both the dog and myself.  Dog food in bowl, my Cheerios in a bowl and by the time I’ve grabbed a spoon Jordy is ready to go outside.  I eat while he does his dog thing out there then return my dirty dish to the kitchen.  Now it’s time to get moving.

I take a deep breath, reach into mountain pose and start my 5-10 minutes of yoga.  It’s at least five but ideally closer to 10.  If there’s a big north  or west wind, I know I have to leave a bit earlier to bike to work.  During my practice I’ll repeat positive mantras and visualize what I’m going to accomplish that day.  At this point my mind is focused and my body is ready to work.  I officially check my email/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram for the first time, hop on my bike and start the day.  The only time this varies is when I have a chance to take my yoga to the beach and bike first.

Why do I stick so steadfastly to this morning routine?  It’s made a big difference.  Clearing my mind and moving my body before I let any distraction in has made me more prepared for sitting at my desk, hitting the gym for a client or tackling a workout.  My focus is better, my attitude is positive and I’m ready for whatever comes my way.  Even heading out for those 20+ mile runs in sub-zero temperatures wasn’t so bad.

Meredith

Do you have a morning routine?  What does it include?

30 Day Yoga Challenge + Down Week

I started a 30 Day Yoga Challenge a few days after 2017 began.  Part of my Unbeatable Mind training, the challenge comes complete with daily instructional videos and support videos.  For several months now I’ve been doing short morning and longer evening yoga practices apart from this challenge.  So why add more?  It’s nice to take a step back.

I’m currently on Day 11 and have done a good job of keeping up with each day’s lesson.  Most of the concepts that have been covered so far are familiar but it’s a nice refresher.  Another yoga challengedifference between the yoga challenge material and my regular practice is timing.  I put the challenge on my daily to-do list rather than the bookmark I use my morning and evening routines for.  Taking a few minutes in the middle of the day to focus and relax has been great, I’ve even noticed a difference in my energy level the last few afternoons.

I’ve even had help from Jordy watching videos.  He preferred to rest in laying dog position instead of down dog pose.

The additional time spent doing yoga exercises each day has come in handy so far this week because it’s a down week.  After four straight weeks of heavy for me mileage (55, 55, 60, 61), this week’s 25-28 leave me lots of free time.  It’s only Tuesday but I’m not facing the taste of taper madness I thought I would.  It helps that with 47 days until marathon day I’m feeling really good about my training.  Every workout last week was very solid.  My body feels strong and fresh.  I’m eating, sleeping and training well.  Overall I’m positive about where I am heading into the final training stretch.  Bring on race day!

Meredith

Have you ever done a yoga challenge?  What do you do during a down week?

Fit Friday: Yoga for Runners

I used to think yoga was boring.  And, honestly, it can be.  Recently I’ve stepped up my yoga game as part of my Unbeatable Mind training and taking it seriously has helped me get more from my practice as well as start to enjoy it.  I’ll always be a runner but a little something else never hurt.  Here are some of the big benefits of yoga for runners.

Strength – Yoga can make you stronger.  Without looking like a body builder or becoming muscle bound and losing your ability to move quickly, practicing yoga will help strengthen every muscle and bone group you have.  Because yoga never uses one muscle group independently of another you get more bang for your buck with each pose than you would sitting in a gym’s machine.  Increased strength in the core, arms and legs means better endurance, more efficiency and faster race times.yoga for runners

Mobility – Look at the hip extension of an elite marathoner moving at race pace.  Now look at yours.  Mobility, or the ability to move a join through a full range of motion, is incredibly important.  The more your hip can open the faster you’ll get where you’re going.  Yoga for runners improves mobility at all joints, increasing ease of movement, reducing stiffness and potentially erasing some of those regular aches and pains you have before warming up.

Prevent Injury – A big benefit of yoga for runners is getting muscle groups to lengthen and strengthen in balance.  When doing downward dog, my arms, wrists, lats and deltoids are strengthening while my hamstrings, calves and Achilles are stretching to create stability in that position.  This helps eliminate the muscle imbalances created by pounding pavement for miles and miles each week that eventually lead to injuries.

Improved Breathing – If you can’t breathe, running gets really hard very quickly.  Hello, speed work in humidity!  Adding some yoga for runners to your regular routine will help increase lung capacity and teach you how to breathe properly using your diaphragm.  Filling your lungs completely instead of breathing shallowly and quickly means more oxygen gets to working muscles and more toxic carbon dioxide is removed, keeping your heart and stress rates lower.  Better breathing means better running!

Whether you use it to warm up, stretch out or as a cross training workout all alone, there’s lots of good information on yoga for runners here.

Meredith

What are your favorite yoga for runners poses?  How often do you practice?

Yoga Challenge with prAna + Sweat Pink

pranaSweat Pink and prAna are kicking off a 30 Days of Yoga challenge and I’ve accepted the showdown.  I have a tricky relationship with yoga but know it’s good for me and am excited to have some yoga accountability.  The challenge begins with my first ever yoga mad lib!

When I think about yoga, the first thought that comes to mind is I should do more. Yoga stretches me out and makes me feel more mobile.

That’s why I am SO ready to participate in prAna’s Take The Leap 30 days of Yoga Challenge with Sweat Pink. I plan to standing split my way to a more balanced and flexible 2015!

For me, the biggest challenge when it comes to yoga is relaxing. Taking the Leap with prAna and Sweat Pink is a great way for me find a quiet mind.

My favorite place to yoga is on the beach because it is so peaceful.  Here’s a photo of me in my very best downward facing dog (tight calves!).prana

I tag Hollie at Fueled by LOLZ, Elizabeth at Train with Bain and Katie at Moms Little Running Buddies.  I want these fabulous bloggers to share their very best yoga pose photos, this fun madlib and of course, I challenge them to join me on this fun 30 day yoga journey.

Take the Leap with me!

Join prAna’s & Sweat Pink’s Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge and be eligible to win $500 worth of prAna gear and / or be the lucky winner who gets to gift $500 worth of prAna gear to one lucky winner. They just launched their new spring collection so you best get on it!

If I win I would gift the $500 to my mom because she sometimes needs a little extra inspiration to work out.

Join the Take the Leap with prAna and Sweat Pink Facebook group / event which we’ll use for updates, sharing,and inspiration: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1525412337742204/ and event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/423377431152799

And join the challenge on Instagram, Twitter, and your blog using the hashtags:

#TakeTheLeap
#prana
#sweatpink
And of course, tag @prana @FitApproach

Meredith

Will you join me and do 30 Days of Yoga?

5 Reasons Runners Need Yoga

Yoga is a great addition to any running program and practicing it regularly can make you stronger, more flexible and better runner.  I originally posted a version of this on the FitNicePT Blog page (check it out, lots of great information) but it’s a valuable part of my training program, so I thought I’d share a few reasons why.  Even though I don’t take yoga classes and am certainly not the best yogi out there, I use poses to relax after yogaalmost every workout or run.  If you’re not currently including a little yoga after yours, here are 5 great reasons you should!

1.  Add yoga to increase flexibility.  Excessive flexibility through every joint and muscle can actually decrease running performance, but wearing shoes, working out and sitting in a chair all day reduces the important ability to move hips, ankles and knees in a normal range of motion.  Stretching restores the mobility to those joints, and a larger range of motion through the hips can increase stability.  Moveable ankles, stable hips and steady core muscles mean better efficiency and more speed when you’re running.

2.  Add yoga to breathe better.  Practicing yoga helps with breath control, making your body more effective when you’re working hard during a long training run, a grueling speed work session or hitting a race course.  Regulating your breath while add yogarunning can aid in keeping your heart rate down and help keep you from panting like an overheated canine.

3.  Yoga improves balance.  When you add yoga to your program, you’ll have better stability, your running form will improve and so will your efficiency.  Because most of us run in shoes and on roads, our balance can be underdeveloped.  Poor balance can make the body work extra hard to stay upright and on course, but when you have good balance, it’s a bit easier.  As a bonus, you’ll also be less likely to trip and fall the next time you hit a rocky section of the trail.

4.  Use yoga to compliment your running routine.  When gearing up for a big race and a new PR, use yoga disciplines like hatha or ananda to recover, stretch and relax.  During less intense training times, kick up your yoga practice and push your body by trying a tougher form like vinyasa or power yoga.

5.  Add yoga to decrease injuries.  Yoga improves alignment of your spine and knee joint.  Better alignment in combination with strengthening of the arches of your feet will lead to fewer injuries or chronic aches and pains.  Better balance will help lower the risk of a dangerous spill and relaxing stretched muscles means both quicker recovery from hard workouts and less soreness.

Ready to give yoga a try?  Find a studio near you and pick a few different classes to try.  Not every discipline works for every runner and you should be willing to give a few forms a chance to find your fit.  Take a look at this photo album for some of my favorite post run poses, then dive in!

Meredith

Do you yoga?  How often?  What’s your favorite pose?