The Three Yoga Poses I Added to My Workout Plan

Confession: I’m guilty of skipping stretches after running. And I’m not doing myself a favor: stretching can relieve tension (I notice that my shoulders gradually move up towards my ears when I’m tired) and prevent injuries.

I’m trying to become a smarter runner as I train for my 20th marathon this fall. My training plan calls for weekly weight training sessions, so I added yoga to my routine. Not only has yoga helped me become more flexible and balanced, it has also made me a stronger runner.

You too can become a better runner and stop skimping on stretching by focusing on these three post-workout poses. Remember to breathe.

  • Pose 1, Lying Pigeon: This pose stretches your IT band, the connective tissue along the outside of your thigh, from hip to shin.
  • Pose 2, Tree: I didn’t realize how poor my balance was until I did PT for piriformis pain. This pose helps strengthen the calves, ankles, thighs, spine and stretches the groin, thighs, hips and shoulders. It is ideal for relieving sciatic pain.
  • Pose 3, 90/90 Lunge or Crescent Lunge: Crescent Lunge stretches the legs, groin, and hip flexors, while opening the front torso, chest, and shoulders. It strengthens and tones the thighs, hips and buttocks, while the balancing aspect helps develop flexible stability.

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