Five yoga poses perfect for cooling down after a run
Yoga is amazing on its own as well as a great way to wind down before bedtime, relieve pain and cross train. But you may not realize that it’s also an ideal way to cool down after a run. Striking a few poses after you’ve hammered out five miles will stretch you out and slowly lower your heart rate. Most poses are beneficial after a run, but this routine is a good place to start.
Downward Dog: This common stretch will work out your hamstrings, calves and shoulders—all of which can get tight after a run. Start on hands and knees, then lift knees up off the floor and straighten legs (it’s okay if your knees stay somewhat bent). Lift sit-bones to the ceiling and keep back straight as you push heels towards floor to feel the stretch.
Warrior 1: Give your hip flexors some attention with this classic yoga pose that combines balance skill and lunging motions. From Downward Dog, step right foot up so that it’s between your hands. Turn your left heel in and stand up into a lunge with hips facing the front of your mat. Lift up your arms, place palms together above your head and look at your hands while staying in the lunge position. Repeat on other side.
Figure 4 Pose: Loosen up the outside of your hips with this pose, which also stretches out your inner thighs. Lie on your back, cross one ankle over opposite thigh, and interlace fingers behind the thigh. Pull thigh towards your chest, then repeat on other side.
Diamond Pose: Don’t forget about your quads! This kneeling pose will keep them nice and relaxed after your run. Start on hands and knees, then tuck your toes under and sit back on your heels. Sit there for a few breaths at a time.
Pigeon Pose: Many runners suffer from tight IT bands—this pose will target that area of your outer leg. From all fours, take the right knee and bring it towards your right hand. Then slide your left leg back as you lower your hips to the floor (keep your hips squared to the floor). For a deeper stretch, slide your right foot forward towards your left hand.
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Photo credit: Dave Rosenblum