Here’s a short yoga sequence that can be integrated as part of your post-run or post work-out routine. This sequence should take around 15 minutes and all you have to do is lay on your back. Let the props do the work, breathe, groan and get your yoga on. No excuses 😉
*For props, you will need to be laying down on a comfortable surface and will need either a strap or towel. Feel free to also use a pillow or even a pad of paper if you find you need blocks for these poses.
1. Lay on your back and bring the soles of your feet down on your mat. Let the feet come to the edges of your mat and knock the knees in. Press your lower back into the mat. Place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly. Take 10 deep breaths; focus on breathing into your belly, your ribs and chest. After 10 breaths, windshield wipe the legs side to side (keeping the lower back down) to massage the outer glutes, lower back and hips.
2. Strap time!
a) Extend your right leg up towards the ceiling and place the strap over the ball of your foot. Make sure each hand has a strap. Press the heel up towards the ceiling and lengthen the leg. You will feel a deep stretch in the hamstring. Hold for at least 10 breaths.
b) Bring your strap into your right hand. Take your left hand and place it down on your hip. Without lifting the hip, extend the right leg out to the right side. Feel free to place a block along side the right hip if you have one, especially if the leg feels unsupported. Keep the foot active by flexing the foot and bring the right foot towards your ear. You will feel a deep stretch in the inner thigh and also the hamstring. Hold for at least 10 breaths.
c) Bring the right leg back to center. Place both ends of the strap in the left hand and cross the right leg over to the left side. Keep both hips grounded down. You will feel this in your IT band. Feel free to groan during this one! 🙂 Hold for at least 10 breaths.
3. Core Work! Bring the right leg back to center. Release the strap. Hover the bottom left leg 2 inches above the ground and pulse upward clapping the hands behind the right hamstring. Repeat 20 times.
4. Figure 4. Take the right leg and place the ankle above your left knee on the thigh. Hug your left thigh in towards you by placing your hands around the hamstring or shin. Activate both your feet. Hold for at least 10 breaths.
5. Supine twist. Cross your right leg over the left to create a bind with the legs. Drop both knees to the left side and move your hips an inch to the right to stack the hips. Also, make sure the knees are in line with your hips. If this stretch feels too intense, feel free to just stack the knees and place a block under or between the knees.
REPEAT STEPS 1 – 5 TO LEFT SIDE
6. Savasana. Place both of your legs up the wall. Close your eyes. Set a timer for 3 minutes. Let yourself take these moments to appreciate your hard work and give your body some time to rest and recover.