Eons of training results in your best ‘PB’ at any Marathon. Then comes a hiatus. This interlude is essential – for recovery and restoration. It is critical that the body reverts back to normalcy so as to enhance your performance in the next run without any injuries. Not paying attention to this ‘hiatus’ phase could be taxing on your body and therefore, on your long term performance.
This blog is essentially concentrating on supportive restorative yoga stretches that are to be performed immediately after a long run and continued for a few days. This helps relieve the deep tension of the overused muscles.
Thigh, Shin, Ankle, Toes & Arch
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 frontal part of your feet 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.
Hamstrings, Inner Thigh, Calves & Lower Back
Upvistakonasana against the wall
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.
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 thighs and knees inwards to find a comfortable position. Be careful in case of groin injury.
Baddhakonasana against the wall
- 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
Front lying Badhakonasana
Benefits: One of the simplest yet highly effective asanas. You might not find it very relaxing in the beginning but you will soon start enjoying this stretch. To ease the strain of the extreme stretch, roll a towel and place it under your groin. You can also place rolled towels under your knees for more comfort. This releases tension from groin, thighs and lower back. If you are comfortable, you can also place some weight on your lower back to ease tension from that area.
Caution: Be careful in case you have a groin or knee injury.
Hamstring & ITB stretch against the wall
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 zone. This stretches the central area of your hamstring.
- 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.
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.
Each of the above mentioned postures leads to complete relaxation and rejuvenation of both body and mind without much strain as the movements are props supported. You can check the detailed write up and videos for some of the postures on www.shammisyogalaya.com
Shammi Gupta, founder of Shammi’s Yogalaya holds an MA in Yoga Shastra, is a certified Yogic Therapist and Naturopath, has completed an Advanced Yoga Course and holds a Diploma in Yoga Education from Mumbai University. She is a certified trainer from American College of Sports Medicine and holds an MBA in HR & MBA in Finance from The University of Akron, Ohio, USA. She conducts Health Awareness Workshops for Corporate, Yogasana Workshops for Athletes and Yoga Therapy Workshops on different medical issues for patients. Among the celebrities Shammi trains are eminent personalities from the film and television industry and corporate world.