While designing an appropriate yoga program for runners, the principle of “Inverse Proportion” needs to be kept in mind.
As a part of running strategy, the initial focus of Yoga application is on getting the foundation right hence breath manipulation, strength building, stretching and balancing becomes the focus of attention. As the D Day approaches, recovery and restoration (yoga specific) takes the center stage.
After a long run, a body needs rest. Restorative yoga postures help in optimizing a speedy recovery and restoration of the body. Runners feel a marked difference in their flexibility or in other words ‘great release in stiffness’ if they do some concentrated yoga stretches after a long run. Also, the use of props, at this time, when the body is tired, and muscles are craving for rest and stretches, adds further value to the recovery process. This article covers recovery and restorative asanas focusing on the muscles which are actively used during running. Do not forget to take a print out of the chart in which all these postures are put together.
Virasana with support
Note: In case you find it difficult to get your hips on the floor, use a pillow or layer of pillows under your hips to make your knee feel comfortable. With regular practice, you will be able to reduce the supporting layers gradually. Also, if you feel extreme stretch near your ankle as it is resting on the floor, fold a towel and place your ankles on the folded towel.
Caution: Do not perform this posture in case of any kind of knee injury. Also, while releasing the posture, very slowly stretch the knees out without any jerk. Once released, massage your knees softly to relax it completely.
Benefits: Stretches and tones up the thighs, knees and the ankles. Reduces swelling in the legs; improves digestion, relieves gas. It has therapeutic value for people with blood pressure and asthma. It can also be practiced after a heavy meal.
Using Wall as Prop
Viprit Karni against the wall
- Placing legs up on the wall helps the lymphatic system in the legs and muscles (help pump the blood) get rest.
- Relieves strain on knees and the lower back. It helps reduce swelling in the legs.
- Relaxes mind and body by activating parasympathetic nervous system.
Upvista Konasana against the wall
Caution: In case you feel any kind of strain on the inner side of either of your knees, which happens sometimes as your thighs and knees are rotating outward, softly turn your knees inwards to find a comfortable position. Be careful in case of groin injury.
Benefits: This posture has all the benefits of Viprit Karani against the wall. Apart from that, it stretches and releases stiffness in inner thighs and the groin as well.
Baddha Konasana against the wall
Caution: Be careful in case you have a groin or knee injury.
- Stretches inner groin, thighs and knees
- Increases the mobility of the legs
- An excellent posture for the health of pelvis
- Helps relieve sciatica pain
- Therapeutic for flat feet, high blood pressure & asthma
- Helps relieve back pain
Hamstring stretch against the wall (3 variations)
Focusing on stretching hamstring group of muscles from different angles
Note: Make sure that the back of the pelvis is fixed on the floor and your hips are resting against the wall otherwise you may not feel much of a stretch. Also, while getting your leg towards your head, the movement should be coordinated softly with your exhalation. Do not push beyond your comfort level. This stretches the central area of your hamstring.
Stretching your hamstring in this manner not only targets the specific area of your hamstring but at the same time, also helps understand the range of motion of that particular area. Eases knee pain and swelling in the legs and stretches your gluteal muscles.
Shavasana with support
- One of the most simplest yet highly effective relaxation asana
- Stretches your spine completely, relaxes your back and relieves stress or strain in your back especially lower back
- Helps improve lung capacity
- Calms your brain and controls wandering thoughts
Within a few minutes of deep breathing in this posture, you will feel the stress of your mind and body reducing and being replaced with the feeling of exhilaration.
Each of the above mentioned postures leads to complete relaxation and rejuvenation of both body and mind. You can check the detailed write up and videos for some of the postures on www.shammisyogalaya.com Leave your question on ‘Ask Shammi’ on the website for any query or clarification.
Enjoy your Speedy Recovery!!!!
Print this blog, hang it on the wall so that you do not miss your practice