As you've probably read from our newsletter and other posts this month, we are focusing on recovery. It's vital for your muscles and your brain!
One of my favorite ways to recover is with a slow, easy yoga class. It's not always easy to get to a class because of work, life, running and socializing! So, in order to stretch out, quiet my mind and let my muscles streth and relax, I do a series of my favorite yoga moves. It's not a flow so it's easy (or easier) for everyone.
When I'm in the midst of high mileage or really busy weeks, I keep my yoga mat out and that minds me to get on the mat and stretch.
Here are 3 of my favorite moves:
Downward facing dog: This pose stretches everything - from your calves to your hamstrings to your back. It's a great one to do first thing in the morning and after a run.
How to do it: start on your hands and knees. Exhale and lift your knees up, sending your butt up and back towards the wall behind you. Don't extend your legs totally straight. Keep them slightly bent (your hamstrings will thank you). Press your thighs back - you want most of the weight to be in your legs. Pedal out your legs by extending one leg while keeping the other bent and then switch. Hold for 30 seconds at least.
Runner's lunge: This pose stretches your hip flexors, shoulders and hips. You can also do this pose with your back knee on the ground.
How to do it: Start on your hands and knees and step your right foot up between your hands. Extend your left leg straight and slowly raise up. Lift your arms over your head if comfortable. Keep your knee over your ankle and keep lifting up through your torso. I almost feel like I'm trying to lift my torso off my hips. Hold for 10-30 seconds. To switch, bring your hands back down to the mat and then switch your legs.
Triangle pose: Stetches inner thighs, torso and back.
How to do it: Step your legs about 3 feet apart, sideways. Turn your right foot out and keep your left foot slightly turned inwards. Your right heel should line up with your left arch or left heel. Extend your arms out on an inhale. On the exhale, tip your torso over your right leg and bring your torso down. Hold for a few breaths and then switch to the other side.