Category Archives: Yoga

Fall into the Running Groove

Fall is almost here! The crisp, cool air is on the way and so is running season! To get you back into the running groove, here are some tips and motivation to get you up and running!

13405674_895435852361_45226190_o

1.DO YOGA:  We forget that our strength doesn’t just come from our body, it comes from all parts of ourselves; including our minds and our hearts. Yoga will give you tools to control the hardest part, our mind. It will provide that extra inspiration to feel connected to your running and lastly, it will make you physically stronger and more flexible to keep those injuries away. It’s time to unroll that yoga mat and get started! Here are some specific classes and events that are for runners.

> RunYoga Fall Edition: 8 Mondays; starting September 12th
> Yoga + Running 3-Day Immersion at Kripalu: September 25th to 30th
> Yoga for Runners Weekly Class: Sundays, 12:45pm at JP Centre Yoga
> Yoga with Cara Gilman App: Download in the Apple Store
Classes + events with Cara Gilman
New to yoga? Here are some tips.

2. Be mindful: Meditation is a powerful way of completely changing up your running game. My biggest advice, make it simple. Define 1 word that inspires you to run. Sit down in a quiet space (recommend sitting against a wall and on a pillow or blanket), set your iphone timer for 5 minutes, close your eyes and GO! You might find that your mind will want take over. Let it happen. Observe what’s happening and learn from it. Keeping breathing and repeating that word to find focus. Do this same process when you’re running. This practice will allow you to tame the negative self talk and give you that extra boost of inspiration while you run.

3. Balance Your Training: Practice and repetition is key to getting faster, however it’s important to not overdo it. On average, 62% of runners suffer from injury which is most often caused by doing to much (i.e. running too many miles). It’s important to balance your training with cross training (yoga, spinning, biking, swimming). I’ve found that running 3 or 4 times a week and practicing yoga 3 or 4 times a week is the perfect balance for me. This will allow you to get the necessary miles in without burning your body and mind out.

4. Rest up. Rest is a key component of training that we always forget about. It allows our physical body to rebuild itself so we can get stronger and lets our mind take a break from grind. Yoga Nidra is a great tool I learned while I was in India. Yoga Nidra, also called “yoga of divine sleep” and is awesome for grounding your energy down for mid day nap or before bed. I’m working on creating an audio file of this as we speak, but in the meantime, check out “Insight Timer App” via the Apple Store. It’s a free app and they have lots of ones to choose from.

5. Shake things up! If you live in Boston, there are so many ways to get your miles in besides running the same route over and over again by yourself. Especially is you’re looking to get faster times, I recommend integrating speed workouts (intervals, tempo runs, mile repeats), hill repeats and running with people! This will drastically change your running game. Here are some groups, that I would recommend running with:

Mondays:
> Forest Hill Runners at 6am + 7pm
> November Project (workout varies) at 6:30am
> RunYoga Series at 6 to 8pm

Tuesdays:
> Nike Club track workout at Ruggles Indoor Track at 6:30am
> RunFellow Club at 6pm

> RunBase on Boylston Street at 6:30pm
> Forest Hill Runners at 7pm Tempo Run

Wednesdays:
> November Project (Stadium workout) at 5:30am/6:30am
> Marathon Sports Run Club at Boylston Street at 6:30pm
> Brighton Bangers at 7pm

Thursdays:
> Forest Hill Runners Ttrack workout at 7pm
> RunBase on Boylston Street at 6:30pm

Fridays:
> November Project (hills in Brookline) at 6:30pm

        Saturdays:
        > Brighton Bangers at 9:30am
        > Forest Hill Runners

 

 

Take Your Yoga Paddleboarding!

This past weekend, my husband and I road-tripped it to the Catskills to my in-laws vacation home to get in some family time as well as some R & R. We spent the weekend hanging with the family/celebrating my niece’s first birthday, sleeping in, napping, watching movies, feasting on local amazing food, reading and also paddleboarding.

DSC06959

I’m relatively new to paddleboarding and made it my mission to dedicate some serious time to get comfortable with the board. Here are some quick tips for those beginners out there:

  • Be light on your feet
  • Stand with your feet a little bit wider than hips distance
  • Focus on standing tall and activating your core
  • For a little bit more power, feel free to bend your knees a bit as you paddle
  • To get the “fear of falling” jitters out, practice standing up and sitting down on the board.

Once I got into my groove, I decided to do some yoga. Here’s a sequence that’s perfect for beginners, great for core strength and most importantly, it’s fun and playful! Hold each pose for 5 rounds of breath. Enjoy!

WARM-UP

Downward Dog to Plank to Downward Dog (repeat 3 times)

DSC06945 DSC06942

Low lunge

DSC06920

1/2 Split

DSC06922

Lizard Lunge (two variations, on hands or forearms)

DSC06923 DSC06924

Forearm Plank

DSC06925

Plank

DSC06942

Downward Dog

DSC06945

REPEAT OTHER SIDE 

SUN As With MALSANA VARIATION

Downward Dog

DSC06945

Plank

DSC06942

Step to Malsana (yogi squat)

DSC06935

Fold

DSC06936

Tadasana

DSC06938

Fold

DSC06936

Flat Back
DSC06937

Plank

DSC06942

Chaturanga

DSC06943

Upward Dog

DSC06944

Downward Dog

DSC06945

REPEAT 2 to 4 TIMES

STANDING POSES

Downward Dog

DSC06945

Low lunge with Side Bend

DSC06949

Runners Lunge Open Twist

DSC06950

Warrior 2

DSC06951

Lizard Lunge (2 variations, hands down or arms down)

DSC06953

Dolphin

DSC06927

Forearm Plank

DSC06925

Baby Crow

DSC06981

Childs Pose

DSC06966

REPEAT OTHER SIDE

PEAK POSE/BACK BENDS

Hero with Eagle arms (both sides)

DSC06957

Crow

DSC06969

Camel

DSC06965

Childs Pose

DSC06966

Post Run Yoga: 5 Poses for You

Stretching after a run or any cross training workout is essential. It’s not always what we want to do after a run, but it’s a must. It will help with your flexibility (which will then help with your running form) and it will keep those nagging injuries away that are result of chronic tightness in the muscles.

This is where yoga comes it. This yoga sequence will stretch all the areas you need post run in just 5 poses that are easy to remember. So much more fun then just “stretching” 🙂 Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Make sure you hold each pose for 10 to 20 breaths which is around 1 to 2 minutes. You can also add core work into the mix as well. I’ve added a note below of where you could add it in.

1. Low lunge (hips)
Keep the back toes tucked under to also stretch out your back quad. You can add a side bend to get deeper into the hip flexor and stretch out the side body.

IMG_3074

 

2. Quad Stretch (quads)
Feel free to place a block under the hand on the floor and also a block or towel under the back knee. If you’re still not able to grab your foot you can use a strap.

 

IMG_3075

 

3. Half Split (hamstrings)
Make sure to keep your hips lifted so they’re in line with your back knee. This might require you to walk the front foot a little farther forward. Keep front foot flexed and maybe even grab front foot if you like to also feel a stretch in your calf. 

IMG_3076

4. Lizard lunge (hips)
Make sure both hands are inside of the foot and the knee is over your ankle. Drop the hips forward and slide your back knee back a couple inches. If this comes easy to you, bring your forearms down on blocks or to the floor.
IMG_3077

Option to add forearm plank here 🙂
Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Make sure hips are lifted so they’re in line with your shoulders. Engage quads, let your tail bone drop and engage your lower belly.

5. Childs Pose
Feet come together and knees come all the way to the edges of your mat. Feel free to place a block or pillow under your hips if you’re having a hard time having them lower to the ground.

IMG_3078

REPEAT OTHER SIDE

Cross Training Yoga Video for Runners

I’m so excited to share this video with you! I had the honor of shooting this video for DreamFar, a local non-profit organization that trains high school students to run marathons. Their emphasis is not on time or pace but allowing students to realize they can accomplish anything they put their minds to. Any runner who has run a marathon knows how powerful this gift of confidence is and I was thrilled when Dream Far approached me to help their runners get their yoga game on!

This video was created as a cross training option for their runners and is also a video that I can share with you! It’s a 45 minute yoga video that will build strength in your legs and core but will also provide a great stretch for your hamstrings, quads, ITs and chest. A great option for strength training after a run or a cross training option on a non-running day. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

WATCH THE VIDEO

Cheers & Namaste!
10492485_10152598181872679_4228043818933802536_n

6 Yoga Poses to Give Your Feet Some Love

Whether you’re a runner, yogi or just someone at their desk all day, it’s important to give your feet some love! Here’s some yoga poses that incorporates simple stretches for the feet to wake them up.

Childs Pose with Toes Tucked Under
This pose is not only restorative but a great way to open up the lumbar spine, gives the hips a nice stretch and with this variation, it will wake up your feet up as well.

photo 1 (8)

Downward Dog Heel Pulses
If you’ve attended any of my yoga classes, this is something I always integrate as part of the sequence I’m teaching. It’s great for getting the feet active and also an awesome stretch for your calves.

photo 3 (9)

Table Top Calve Stretch
This is another one that’s not only great for waking up the feet but the calves as well.

photo 4 (9)

Broken Toe Pose
Warning, this pose is intense. I would recommend holding for 3 rounds of breath and then adding in more time as you practice it. They don’t call it broken toe pose for nothing! 🙂

photo 2 (9)

Half Squat
Great for building strength in the quads and also finding balance on your feet. You can add in some prayer twists to each side to add in some heat.

photo 5 (6)

Savasana with Feet on Blocks
Not a pose that will stretch out the feet, but it will give them some extra love, especially if you have been on your feet all day or your feet are feeling achy after a long run or hard workout. Lay on your back, place a block under each heel and enjoy!

 

 

Wake Up those Glutes!

Inspired by the New York Times article, When the Diagnosis Is ‘Dead Butt Syndrome, I decided to put together a yoga sequence focused on building strength in the glutes. The glutes are a powerhouse for our running by allowing us to forward in space, stablizing our hips and preventing injury. As Dr. Darrin Bright, a sports medicine physician with Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, states in this article, 

“A new thought in running medicine is that almost all lower extremity injuries, whether they involve your calf, your plantar fascia or your iliotibial band, are linked to the gluteus medius. In the last five to 10 years, we’ve just realized how much of an important role the gluteus medius plays in stabilizing the hips and the pelvis in running.”

A image that the article illustrates is to imagine the pelvis as a cup and the muscles that attach to it are your glutes and your lower abs. If one or more of these muscles are weak, it puts pressure on the muscles right around the hip which can result in muscle tears, inflammation and scar tissue to develop. If the muscles are strong, the cup is able to stay in place with no consequences.

So it’s time to strengthen those glutes and wake them up! Here’s a short 20 minute yoga sequence designed to not only develop glute strength but also provide strength work to your quads, lengthening to your hamstrings and stretching for your hips. Hold each pose (unless otherwise noted for 5 rounds of breath). Enjoy and happy running!

WARM UP 

Downward Dog (10 rounds of breath)

photo 1 (23)

Plank pose (hold 10 rounds of breath) to Downward dog, repeat 3 times

photo 2 (22)

3 rounds of sun salutations to warm-up the body
(tadasana, fold, flat back, plank, low push-up, upward dog, downward dog)

photo 3 (19)  photo 4 (12) photo 2 (22) photo 5 (6) photo 1 (24) photo 1 (23)

STRENGTH WORK 

Chair pose
photo 2 (23)

Warrior 3
Keep standing leg knee deeply bent to work quads.

photo 3 (20)

Bring leg back into chair position without putting the foot down. Then extend leg back to warrior 3 with bent knee. Repeat 15 times.

photo 4 (13)     photo 3 (20)

Step back to Crescent pose
photo 5 (7)
Open to Warrior 2
photo 1 (27)
Reverse Warrior

photo 2 (26)

Triangle Pose

photo 3 (23)

Fold in Pyramid (hold 10 breaths)

photo 4 (16)

Standing Split (bend standing leg knee if hamstring is tight)

photo 1 (25)

Standing Split Glute pulses
Tap knee behind standing leg knee and make sure both legs are bent. Repeat 15 times.
photo 2 (24)      photo 1 (25)

Cross ankle forward fold

photo 3 (21)          photo 4 (14)

Step back to plank 

photo 2 (22)

Repeat other side

COOL DOWN

1/2 pigeon pose

photo 5 (8)

Side Forward Bend
photo 1 (26)

Forward fold
To keep spine long, keep moving chest forward.

photo 2 (25)

Supine twist

photo 3 (22)

Legs up the wall for savasana

photo 4 (15)

 

Yoga in Under 15 Minutes

Get your yoga on in just under 15 minute with this yoga sequence. This flow will challenge your core, will generate heat with some twisting poses and will also stretch out your quads, hips and your IT bands. Perfect post-workout, to get your day started or to get a movement break into your day. Enjoy!

WATCH VIDEO

unnamed-14

Yoga for Athletes Flow: 20 Minute Sequence

Calling all runners and athletes! I have a short sequence for you that you can do after any workout. It will open the chest and shoulders, build strength in your core and will lengthen those achy hips and hamstrings.

unnamed-2

Don’t sell yourself short by skipping out. Remember, yoga sequences like these will keep those nasty injuries away and will allow you to perform better. For more yoga sequences like these, check out one of my Yoga for Runners classes at JP Centre Yoga and Back Bay Yoga or enjoy doing some more of these yoga sequences via this blog. Enjoy!

WATCH THE VIDEO

Yoga Sequence:
All poses in the video are listed below. Hold each pose for 3 to 5 rounds of breath (unless otherwise noted below)

– Puppy pose
– Forearm plank (10 rounds of breath)
– Spinx
– Salabasana
– Table Top
– Thread the Needle to each side

– Downward Dog
– 3 Leg Downward Dog, Roll hip open
– Knee to elbow pulses
– Step to Low Lunge
– Eagle arms in Low Lunge
– Open the arms and interlace hands behind lower back
– Place hand down to inside of front foot and grab back foot
– Runner’s Lunge Open Twist
– 1/2 Split
– 1/2 split to Low Lunge Pulses
– Skandasana (do on only one side)
– Plank pose
– Salabasana/Upward Dog
– Downward Dog
– Repeat to other side

At Wall:
– Quad stretch (both sides, hold for at least 5 to 10 rounds of breath)

– Table top
– 1/2 Pigeon Pose (hold for at least 5 to 10 rounds of breath)
– Side forward bend (hold for at least 5 to 10 rounds of breath)
– Side forward fold (hold for at least 5 to 10 rounds of breath)
– Repeat other side

At Wall:
– Forward fold (feet against wall)
– Legs up the wall (5 minute savasana)

 

Your Morning Yoga

As many of you know, I’m an early riser and teach morning classes throughout the week so when someone asked me for a yoga sequence they could do the morning, I gladly took on the challenge!

photo 1

The great thing about practicing or doing any activity in the morning is that you’re letting yourself know that your committed and dedicated to doing something for YOU. It also allows you to have a feeling of accomplishment as you start your day. But most importantly, what I love about my morning yoga is that it works out my morning nerves so I can feel grounded to take on the day.

So here’s a yoga sequence (find video below) that I’ve put together and one that I do fairly often to get ready for my day. Depending on how much time you have and where your energy is at, there’s various options of poses/sections of this flow that you can put in and take out. See my tips below. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

VIDEO: YOUR MORNING YOGA

Tips for this sequence/How to use it:
Make sure you listen to YOUR body and take modifications/skip a pose or take childs pose when you need to.

  • All the poses covered in the video are listed below and are broken down into sections. The video has subtitles breaking down the sections as well.
  • Here’s some options for you if you’re short on time or want something specific from the practice:
          •   > 15 minute Sequence to Open Up Hips and Hamstrings> Do “opening” and “hip and      hamstring” pose sequence. Hold each pose for 3 to 5 rounds of breath. Close with a seated meditation or savasana.
          •  > 30 minute “I want to Move Sequence” > Do “opening”, “sun salutations”, “core”, and “standing poses” sequences. Hold each pose for 3 to 5 rounds of breath. Close with a seated meditation or savasana.
          • > 15 minutes “I Want to Ground and Chill Out”> Do “opening sequence” and then do “grounding sequence” holding each pose for 1 to 2 minutes. The also do the “cool down” sequence, holding each pose for at least 1 minute as well. Take savasana in corpse pose.

Opening:
1. Ragdoll (10 Breaths)
2. Flat back pulses from forward fold x 3
3. Tadasana, Mountain Pose- Set intention/Mantra for the day
4. Plank (hold 10 rounds of breath)
5. Downward Dog (hold 5 rounds of breath)

Hip and Hamstring Warmup Opener
6. Three Legged Downward Dog
7. Roll Hip Open
8. Knee Pulses to each elbow and chest
9. Runners Pulses- Runners lunge to pyramid x 4
10. Back to Runners Lunge, open to twist
11. Step Back to Plank Pose (hold 5 rounds of breath)
12. Low push-up (make sure elbows are in)
13. Salabasana
14. Downward Dog
REPEAT STEPS 5 to 14 on OTHER SIDE

Sun Salutations:
– 4 Sun As
– 2 Sun Bs

Core Sequence
15. Downward Dog
16. Chair Pose
17. Boat pulses & twists
18. Downward dog

Standing Sequence
19. Warrior 1
20. Humble Warrior
21. Runners Lunge
22. Open Twist
23. Warrior 2
24. Reverse Warrior
25. Side Angle
> Connecting vinyasa (plank, low push-up, updog, downward dog)
REPEAT TO POSES 19 to 25 to OTHER SIDE

Grounding Sequence
26. Half Pigeon
27. Side Bend
28. Side Forward Fold
29. Connecting vinyasa
REPEAT STEPS 26 to 28 to OTHER SIDE

Backbends x 3 (bridge, supported bridge or wheel)

Cool Down
30. Supine Twist (each side)
31. Seated Forward Fold
32. Savasana or Seated Meditation

NAMASTE!

 

 

 

 

 

4 Pose Yoga Sequence to Open the Outer Hips

This warmer weather has been great motivation to get the miles up and to hit the roads. Yet, it can also be a great reminder how important yoga is for injury prevention. Increasing mileage can be a big wake-up call for the body and certainly has been for my outer hips and IT bands. Here are some poses to do post-run or workout that will provide some relief to those tight cranky muscles.

Pose 1: Wounded Warrior
Start off in downward dog. Downward dog is a great pose to come into post-run or work-out. It grounds down the “buzzy” energy and it stretches out the lower back and calves.

On your next inhale, extend your right leg up, bend your knee and roll your hip open. Bring the right knee to your left elbow and extend your right leg behind your left wrist like a kick stand. Lower your right hip down to the ground and center your chest forward and down. Hold for at least 10 rounds of breath.

unnamed-63 unnamed-64 unnamed-65

 

 

 

 

 

Pose 2: Side Forward Bend
Shift your weight on your right hip. Place the left sole of your foot to the inside of your right leg. Place your right arm to the inside of your right leg and then reach your left arm towards your toes. Keep the chest and ribs open (do not face down to the ground). Hold for 10 to 20 rounds of breath.

unnamed-66

Pose 3: Side Forward Fold
Now allow the chest and ribs to square over your left leg. Place both arms along your left leg. Fold over the leg. Hold for 10 to 20 rounds of breath.

unnamed-67

Pose 4: 1/2 Pigeon Pose
Walk your hands up and place them at the top of your mat. Bend your right knee and place it behind your right wrist. Straighten your left leg behind you and walk your left toes all the way back to the back of your mat to lower your hips down. Bring your right hip a little further back and pull your left hip forward. If your right hip is lifted place a block, blanket or pillow under it for support and then fold over your right shin. Hold for 10 to 20 rounds of breath.

unnamed-69

Come back to your downward dog and repeat poses 1 to 4 to other side.