A few months ago I signed up for my first ever half marathon. Practicing yoga really helps me to run stronger and recover faster. It keeps me running balanced with a strong core and a nice steady cadence. So many people talk about how amazing running is when its combined with yoga, however running is not the best physical activity for my yoga practice.
After running, my quads, hamstrings and ITB all tighten up and make it difficult for me to lengthen out, especially in some of my favourite poses like Adho Mukha Svasana and Paschimottanasana. It surprised me just how much of a drastic difference it made in my asanas the day after a run compared to having not run at all.
After guidance from Sree during my TTC, I now leave my yoga practice for directly after a run. This helps lengthen my muscles out again and also loosens them off so they’re not as tight. What I’ve personally found to be very helpful is by starting with 3x rounds of Surya Namaskar, at a nice slow pace holding each asana for 5 breaths, to really get a nice deep stretch. I then follow this with 3x rounds of Surya Namaskara A and Surya Namaskara B. I follow this with all of the standing postures in the ashtanga primary series, Paschimottanasana, Purvottanasana, Janu Sirsasana and a few core exercises before I go into Sarvangasana, Halasana & Karanapidasana.
I find that all of the standing postures in the primary series are perfect for lengthening out those target muscles that all become tightened whilst running. 45 minutes – 1 hour of yoga straight after a run really makes all the difference!