Tag Archives: Sage Rountree

Yoga for runners, part II

It has been almost a year since I last posted my favourite yoga poses. Since then I’ve attended more classes, tried more DVDs, and I still use my books and the Yoga Studio app.

yoga

However, some of my original favourite poses still feel the best to me.

I am a workout at home gal, but I simply love the soothing energy the instructor provides at class, from her cues to her voice.

The most beneficial cue to me is when she reminds us to breath into a stretch. After she says it and I focus on doing so, it’s a lot more comfortable.

Here are five poses that I love now.

  • Fire log pose
    My hips are a constant hassle, so I try to take care of them focussing on exercises to help them out. In turn, they need some work to stretch them. This pose opens my hips up so nicely. It also helps to stretch the groin.
  • Wide-legged forward bend
    I’ve been battling super tight hamstrings, my left in particular. This pose feels awesome on them, and if I shift slightly it reaches even deeper or focuses on one side.
  • Warrior two
    I like this pose for the sole reason that it makes me feel fierce and strong, which I suppose is why it’s called warrior and named after an incarnation of Shiva, a fierce warrior!
  • Runner’s lunge, toes down
    from the athlete's pocket guide to yoga by sage rountree

    from the athlete’s pocket guide to yoga by sage rountree

    The first time I did this, the stretch was too intense in my tibialis anterior muscles (beside the shin). I worked into it, and now it’s not painful but man is it good!

  • Thread the needle
    This feels so good on my shoulders during a lunch hour class when I’ve been working at a desk all morning.

I am still very much a beginner at yoga but hope to continue practicing and learn more poses.

What’s your favourite pose? 

How often do you practice?

Thanks for reading! I scheduled a few posts to go up while I’m cruising the California coast with my family. I don’t expect to be online much, so I won’t be commenting on blogs or writing trip updates on here. However, I hope to post to my Instagram feed (thechangeofpace) when the mood strikes!

Yoga for runners

I’ve had poor flexibility for as long as I can remember. I took my first yoga class years ago (like 15 years) and the instructor openly mocked me. I was by far the youngest person in the class, didn’t know anyone, and was mortified.

Obviously, I didn’t go back.

Yoga has been practiced for centuries. There are countless benefits: physical (flexibility, strength, posture), mental, psychological, neurological, and it just plain old feels good!

It’s easy to focus on your main sport and tough to find time for any other activity…triathletes already have three sports to practice. Who has time for strength training and yoga, too? If you’re a runner, why should you do anything other than run and incorporate the odd cross-training day?

Well, yoga immensely benefits runners. It aids in symmetry, alignment, and helps muscle imbalances.

Those imbalances that you don’t really notice are there until it’s too late are what cause many injuries, including most of my knee pain for the last couple years.

In the last few years I’ve finally started to incorporate a little yoga into my life.

Kelly bought me a couple books. Then I started to go to a class every few weeks. Then Kelly started to practice with me. We got a few DVDs and another book.

YogaBooks1

Even though I don’t like resolutions, I said I’d like to practice yoga twice a week in 2013. It’s actually going alright so far.

Here are my five favourite poses.  I think most runners, cyclists, or swimmers would enjoy them, too.

  • Cow face pose (gomukhasana) – I find it stretches my hips like nothing else, although it also stretches many other body parts. According to some sources, it says that combined with hamstring and glute stretches it can relieve chronic knee pain.
  • Reclining big toe pose (supta padangusthasana) with variations – Nothing stretches my hamstrings as well as this pose with a strap. However, my favourite part of it is when I cross the leg over my torso. (See Variations below the steps.) It really stretches my glutes and hips nicely.
  • Knees down supine twist (parivartanasana) – I can feel serious stretch in my supraspinatus, which I had issues with last summer. I love it because it stretches that problem area nicely and my back and glutes feel amazing once I’ve finished.
supinetwist1

Taken from my Athlete’s Guide to Yoga book

  • Revolved triangle (parivrtta trikonasana) – This pose stretches your legs, opens your hips, and provides a twist through your torso. It’s in my top five and is Kelly’s favourite.
Taken from my Yoga Anatomy book

Taken from my Yoga Anatomy book

  • Cat/dogI like doing cat/dog as part of my pre-workout routine. It warms up the back, shoulders, and neck. If my lower back is stiff, it does wonders.

We’re hoping to take at least one yoga class while we’re in Thailand! Once we get back and get into Ironman training, I hope to continue practicing yoga. My body and mind will need it!

Do you practice yoga? What is your favourite kind? What is your favourite pose?
(I scheduled this post to publish so won’t be responding for a while!)