Many of you may be aware Anahata co-founder Daniel loves to run. Although the running distances have reduced over the years, he has found it a great way to stay fit and healthy both for his body and his busy mind. Daniel found Yin Yoga has been a huge support post run, having the opportunity to allow the muscles and fascia to significantly soften after all the high impact of the running shortens the recovery time and allows him to run more often.
Holding each Yin Yoga posture for 3 to 5 minutes and breathing gently allows the nervous system which can be hugely stimulated after the run to find more balance and ease.
You can usually find Daniel at one of the Park Run events on Saturday mornings in Southend with many other clients of Anahata who use this great community event to support their wellbeing. Daniel teaches his popular Yin Yoga class on Tuesdays at 8.30pm (highly recommended to book in advance!).
We hope you enjoy following these poses, used regularly pre or post-run they can really help to support your recovery and allow you to off balance the intense impact of running on the body. Please do share with those runners you may know.
1) Standing forward fold
Great for stretching out the hamstrings, calves, lower back and hips. Running can put a lot of impact on the lower back and lower body and this can feel a lovely relieving way to reduce some of that pressure. Placing a rolled up mat under the feet helps to stretch them out after the impact of the run and releases tensions into the toes. Those with tight backs of legs are recommended to bend the knees. This variation shows the arms hanging . However touching the floor, shins or onto 2 blocks either side are all great variations.
Hold for 2 minutes and focus on regulating the breath.
Can help headaches, mild anxiety, digestive complaints, gentle massage for kidneys, liver and spleen.
2) Low Lunge
A perfect way to stretch out the quads and hip flexors, great for releasing tension from the knees and strengthening through the feet and ankles. As this is also a gentle back bend it can feel relieving after the impact of running. Placing a blanket under the knee can offer more support. Arms could also be resting on thigh or taking them overhead for a more energising and chest opening alternative.
Hold for 2 to 3 minutes in each side, eyes focused on a point in front and allow the breath to be regular and smooth.
Can be used to support sciatica and lower back pain. Provides a focus of internal massage on stomach, spleen, liver, kidney and urinary tract.
3) Rear foot elevated lunge
A variation of yesterday’s Low Lunge, however, this can really help to target tight hip flexors, psoas muscles and the lower back. As this is also taking the body into a deeper back bend the benefits to the organs around the lower abdomen are considerable.
Hold for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, eyes focused on a point in front and allow the breath to be regular and smooth.
Can be used to support sciatica, lower back pain. Provides a focus of internal massage on Stomach, spleen, liver, kidney and urinary tract.
After an intense run, Child Pose can be a fantastic way to settle down the nervous system, to gently stretch out the lower back, quads and glutes. Stretching through the tops of feet can feel really relieving after the high impact on your toes and ankles. A gentle rock from side to side can be soothing and relieving.
Some people find it hard to get their head to the floor therefore cross your forearms and rest your head on the back of arms. Alternatively place a block or blanket on the floor to rest your head on. Taking the knees wide can also offer some support to tight backs and knee joints.
Hold for 3 to 5 minutes and focus on a smooth and gentle breath into the abdomen.
Can be used to support anxiety, sciatica, neck and back pain. Provides a focus of internal massage on stomach, spleen, liver and kidney.
5) Supine Pigeon
The hips don’t lie! After a run they can be very tight…this posture can help to reduce the stiffness and loosen up the compressed fibres around the hip joint. Should you be a yoga regular you may well be used to doing Pigeon in a Prone (front facing posture) however this variation is far more accessible to most active people. Keep the foot on the floor if raising it feels too much.
Hold for 1 to 2 mins on each side and feel free to rest half way through as it can be an intense stretch!
Can be used to lengthen the hip flexors and release tension in the glutes. Great for those with an unstable SI joints.
Ok so this pose needs some equipment, however its worth the effort!! Find a belt, strap or band you can use to create this deep back of body release. Ensure the strap is around the base of the skull and ball of the foot. With the other leg have it bent or side it towards the end of the mat. The more you let your body relax in this posture the more you will get out of it. Deeply stretched the spine and backs of legs. If you legs shake then bend the knee and make it easier on yourself.
Hold for 1 to 2 minutes and remember to breathe in and out slow and nurturing breaths.
Can be used to release tightness from the hamstrings, feet, deeply releases back of body fascia.
7) Legs up the Wall
After all that hard work you deserve a well earnt rest! Resting after a run is vital, the lower body has just worked really hard and the constant impact can create micro injuries in the body. Use this posture to allow the muscles and fibres of the body to repair and restore themselves. Our nervous system can be over stimulated after a run, this simple and affective posture can bring you back into a sense of balance and ease. A cushion under the head and neck or under the lower back can provide some additional support and comfort. You can always use a chair, low table, sofa or the seafront wall!
Rest for 5-plus mins, maybe have a blanket handy to throw over your legs to keep you warm after the run and warm down sequence.
Can be used for anxiety, stress management, supporting digestive complaints, supportive for tight lower backs and necks.
We hope you enjoyed following these poses, used regularly pre or post run they can really help to support your recovery and allow you to off balance the intense impact of running on the body. Please do share with those runners you may know.
If you’re interested in joining Daniel for Yin Yoga, you can book here.
Good luck to all of those of you competing in any running event this summer. See you down the seafront for a run sometime soon!