5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do Post-Workout
Life is full of opposing pairs: sweet and savory, fast and slow, hard and soft. One half of the pair can’t — and shouldn’t — exist without the other. This concept is known as yin and yang, or, the idea that two opposing forces actually create a balance.
If you’re a runner, your weekly mileage falls into the ‘yang’ category, says Eric Jeffers, Life Power Yoga master trainer at Life Time Green Valley in Henderson, NV. Running, like all forms of exercise, is stressful for your body. While it builds up strength, speed and endurance, it can also leave you feeling sore and depleted if you don’t balance it out with adequate recovery — aka ‘yin.’ So instead of doing a few half-hearted stretches post-run, try something that can really help you strike a balance between stress and relaxation.
The answer: yin yoga.
Hit Your Stride: Yin Yoga for Runners
Unlike more dynamic, fast-paced yoga styles like vinyasa and ashtanga, yin yoga feels more like a meditation session than a workout. Instead of flowing from one pose to the next with little to no pause in between, yin yogis hold poses (called asanas) that require very little exertion for longer periods of time, usually between three and five minutes. “This technique targets tendons, ligaments and fascia of the lower body,” says Jeffers. “It helps relieve tension and soreness, maintains range of motion and improves circulation.”
As a bonus, students perform almost all of the poses seated or lying down — the perfect antidote to miles spent in an upright position. Consider it the perfect complement to any running routine.