No matter if you’re a bit of a sceptic or enthusiastic about yoga and its benefits for us runners, it’s well worth giving these five yoga postures a try. When regularly practised, you’ll soon notice how they can improve your general balance as well as increase your strength and stability.
Due to their challenging nature these yoga balance postures bring you right back to the present moment, helping to reduce stress and if only for a little while finding some peace within our over-loaded minds that so often tend to go off on their own.
Move your weight onto your right foot, out the left foot to the inside of your right shin or higher up to your thigh (but NEVER on the knee!). Ensure the hips are level. Hands come together in front of your heart or, for a little bigger challenge, lift your arms above your head and close your eyes, and see what happens.
KNEE LIFT WITH A TWIST
This one is similar to Tree pose, but hug your right knee towards your chest, making sure you don’t sink into your hips. Now find even more length in your spine, engaging your core and reaching your right arm up. Move your arm half way behind you; look back at your hand. Hips stay level by reaching the left hip back.
Step into a lunge, track your front knee over your ankle. Depending on hip flexibility, move your back leg towards straight, whether it’s bent or straight, keep it strong. Hips are squared, then peel your belly away from your front thigh, draw your rib cage in and reach your arms above your head, palms facing each other. Ensure your feet are hip width distance, rather than “mono-skiing.”
From Crescent Lunge, place your hands onto your hips, then move the weight onto your front leg (keep it bent to start with) and lift the back leg up. Make sure you level your hips. Don’t let either side sink or lift up. To really strongly connect and lengthen the spine, press down through your standing leg, maintain a strong core and keep drawing the outside edge of the standing leg hip reaching back. Reach your arms to the front away from your back foot stretching in opposite directions. A strong balance that really strengthens your outer hips.
This one is similar to Warrior 3, but like a star fish your hips are open to the side stacking on top of each other, one arm reaches down to the floor (or elevated onto a block or big book), the other arm reaching up towards the sky. This balance pose significantly helps to strengthen hips and legs.