7 Yoga Poses to Relax and Restore Your Legs
Yoga is one of our favorite ways to cross-train, and the flow below doesn't even require sitting up! Ann from Runners Love Yoga is back with 7 new poses to help will help improve your flexibility, which will help you run faster and more efficiently.
After a tough workout, sometimes gathering up motivation to move is difficult—let alone stretch. Use the following 7 pose sequence to relax and restore your legs. You can stay reclining the entire time! After going through all seven poses on one side as directed, repeat the same order on the second side.
- Ananda balasana (happy baby pose)
Lay on your back. Bend both knees to you can grab the outsides of your feet, then pull your knees towards your armpits. Keep your tailbone down. (try to roll your hips down to the mat if they are lifted.) Now rock side to side, tapping right knee to the right then left knee to the left. Repeat and breathe. Try grabbing insides of feet and see if that gives you a slightly different stretch through your legs.
- Variation of reclining double pigeon pose
Cross right knee over left. Keep feet slightly flexed. Pull feet towards the floor, pause and breathe.
- Variation of supta matsyendrasana (reclining lord of the fishes pose)
From your reclining double pigeon pose, keep the grip on your feet as you relax the bent left leg to the floor. Now, extend right leg out to the left. (if it’s uncomfortable to keep your grip on the extended leg foot, try wrapping a strap around the foot and hold that instead.) Press right shoulder blade towards the floor and deepen the twist by looking to the right side.
- Reclining pigeon pose
Bringing legs back towards center, cross right ankle just above left knee. Keep right foot slightly flexed. Wrap both hands around the back of your left leg. Pull legs towards you, keeping hips on the floor.
- Supta padangusthasana (reclining hand-to-big-toe pose)
Unwind your legs from reclining pigeon pose, hugging knees into your chest. Keep hold of your right leg as you mindfully extend left leg out to rest on the mat. Now, extend right leg—find somewhere convenient to grab, whether this is wrapping fingers of right hand around right big toe, or grabbing the back of your calf, or using a yoga strap around your foot.
- Supta matsyendrasana
Hugging both knees back into your chest, let knees drop to the right side. Open arms into a t-shape and look to the left to deepen the twist.
- Supta baddha konasana (reclining bound angle pose)
Connect soles of your feet, allowing knees to drop to the sides and letting legs relax. Try supporting each knee with a small pillow or blanket for an extra restorative version.
For more yoga poses just for runners, follow along with the Nuun-sponsored yoga challenge #runnersloveyogalegs16 running from august 22-31 on the @runnersloveyoga instagram! I post a video of that day’s pose or movement the night before, and a photo with detailed written directions on the day of that particular pose. For more on yoga for runners, see my website at www.runnersloveyoga.com, where I’ve got more yoga workouts just for runners to stream anytime anywhere. We have a variety of workouts to target your core, legs, and even your it band! So, stay home after that run, rehydrate with some Nuun Sport and do some yoga in the comfort of your climate-controlled home.
Do yoga run faster,