"My message to others is always that you are NEVER too old, out of shape, or non-athletic to try something new or set an audacious goal". - Jennifer Fisher
When I was younger I could run far and fast without incident and never gave much thought (or action) to stretching, mobility or yoga. However as the years passed, I had to work harder to stay in the proverbial game. I realized I needed a comprehensive strategy to help me stay healthy, well and injury-free and yoga was a natural fit in that plan. Taking an hour or 90-minute yoga class in a studio is a luxury I often can’t spare the time for, but by just practicing yoga and moving through a 15-minute flow on my mat at home, helps me to stretch the muscles and ligaments that get so overused in running, which helps to prevent future injuries as I’m getting older. Plus, it slows my go-go-go personality down and allows me to relieve stress and relax.
Let me share with you 4 yoga poses to keep you running that I can’t live without. I often do more than these four poses, but these four are the foundation that I come back to time and time again to activate and stretch my notoriously tight runner’s hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors.
Reclining Cow Face
Lie on your back with your legs crossed knee-over-knee, with feet pointing out to the sides. Hold feet or shins with hands and pull heels in towards your body. Hold for around 10 counts and then repeat with legs in the reverse knee-over-knee position. You will feel the stretch in your glutes, hips and hamstrings.
Of course, I wouldn’t be ME, if I didn’t throw a few challenges into my daily yoga practice. I really rely a lot on the yoga blocks to help me with these harder poses. It doesn’t sound intuitive, but for me, using yoga blocks for crow pose makes it easier as it takes the pressure off my arthritic thumb joints. Also, they make a great way to get a “boost” if you are practicing an L-sit or raised lotus.