Category: Yoga for Runners

Yoga for Runners: Love Thy Feet

Taking care of your feet is one of the most important things for runners to do.  Now add in touring Disney Parks around a race weekend and you’ve got some tired feet!  Well Danielle is back with some easy stretches to take care of your achy feet…this is a good one!

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Hi Everyone!

I’m back with another Yoga for Runners tip and today I’d like to talk FEET!

As runners we put a lot of pressure on our feet (literally!).  Throughout the course of training we get blisters, we bruise and lose toenails and many of us have/ will discover a ligament in our feet call the plantar fascia.

Of course we should all be doing things like making sure we’re wearing good sneakers that are the right size (be sure to get measured at your local running store!) and spending a few extra dollars on good running specific socks, but other than that we rarely give our feet the TLC they deserve!

Even if you’re diligent about doing some warm up and cool down stretches do you really think about stretching your feet??!

Here are a few stretches that will keep your feet happy and on the run pain free! (**These are great for non-runners as well, we all spend so much time on our feet!)

Arch Stretch

The above arch stretch can be VERY intense if your planter fascia are tight – take it SLOW!  You can begin just by holding it for a couple of seconds and repeating it a few times, over time as the fascia loosen you will be able to hold it comfortably for longer (trust me, I almost screamed the first time I did this!).  You should feel a gentle stretching sensation, NOT PAIN.  If this is too intense, you can begin with a less intense version below:

Alternate Arch Stretch

If your hands don’t comfortably come to your feet to gently pull back on your toes you can use a towel or a yoga strap to help.  Loop a rolled up towel or yoga strap around your feet and gently pull back on the ends until you feel a stretch in your arches.

And now that we’ve stretched the bottom of our feet, let’s not forget the top!

Top of the Foot Stretch

Take a minute or two to do some of these stretches even while watching TV at night and your feet will surely thank you!

P.S. – if you do experience arch pain one of my favorite ways to help relieve it is to keep a few golf balls in the freezer and then use them to roll under my foot, not only are you getting a gentle massage to help loosen the fascia, but you’re “icing” it at the same time!

Hope these help and until next time, happy running!

As usual if you have any questions about incorporating yoga into your running routine please feel free to leave a comment here or you can find me at www.LiveRunGrow.com or on Twitter at @dnardi710.

Yoga for Runners: Legs Up the Wall

Danielle is back with more great yoga tips for runners!  I have found today’s pose SO useful, especially when traveling and running races at Disney with all that park touring.  Enjoy!

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Hello Running at Disney Readers!

This week I thought I’d talk about the pose that really got Sarah and I started with the conversation about me doing a regular guest posting series here on Running at Disney!

Last fall I saw Sarah the night before the Disneyland 10k. She mentioned that her legs were already feeling tired and achy from walking around the parks all day, so I told her she should lay with her legs up the wall when she got back to her hotel room. She looked at me quizzically, so I explained that it is yoga pose used to restore and refresh tired legs. Sarah tried it when she went back to her room (and even Instagrammed a picture!) and the next day told me what a difference it made! 

Legs up the Wall 2

Legs Up the Wall, or Viparita Karini as it is called in Sanskrit (the language yoga is often taught in) is as simple as it sounds and looks. Begin sitting on the floor with one side of your body up against a wall. Slowly roll down to the floor so that your bottom is scooted right up against the base of the wall and your legs are extended up the wall. You may want to have a pillow for under your head just for comfort. I’ll typically set a timer and stay here for 10 minutes.

When coming down from the pose roll over to one side and take a moment or two on your side before you sit up so that you don’t get lightheaded after being inverted for so long!

This is a great pose to do when you’ve been on your feet a lot or even if you’re legs are just feeling tired and heavy. It will refresh your legs and feet by getting the lymph and other fluids that cause swelling to flow in the opposite direction, increasing blood circulation and it will gently stretch the backs of your legs. After a long run is an especially good time to do this pose since it will help to drain the lactic acid from your legs and decrease soreness!

Legs up the Wall

This pose is also very calming and is a great time for a few minutes of quiet reflection or meditation – and for all you migraine and headache sufferers, it’s been known to help alleviate headaches!

Legs Up the Wall is a simple pose that anyone can do anywhere, but the benefits are amazing and well worth the few minutes of your time!

As usual if you have any questions about incorporating yoga into your running routine please feel free to leave a comment here or you can find me at www.LiveRunGrow.com or on Twitter at @dnardi710.

P.S. – since this will be a regular monthly series, please leave a comment and let me know if there are any specific poses or things you would like me to address in future posts!

Yoga for Runners: Warm Up & Cool Down Routines

I am SUPER excited about this post!  My friend Danielle and I have been talking for a while about bringing some yoga tips to all of you RAD readers.  I strongly believe in the benefits of yoga to help in all areas of fitness and some of Danielle’s tips saved my legs when I tackled the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge last year.  This is the first of regular posts from Danielle in a new Yoga of Runners series…hope you enjoy!  Namaste 🙂

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Hello Running at Disney Readers!

I’m Danielle and I blog over at Live, Run, Grow!  I’m a runner and certified yoga teacher and recently completed my 4th full marathon as part of the Dopey Challenge.  I love sharing the benefits of yoga with other runners, so I was excited when Sarah invited me to be a regular contributor on Running at Disney!

Dopey Medal Photo

While I’ve always been a fan of yoga, I don’t think I fully understood the effect it would have on my running until I began training for my 2nd marathon.  While training for my first marathon I had unfortunately gotten a little lazy about keeping up with my yoga practice since I was so focused on running.

Training for marathon #2 happened to coincide with my yoga teacher training and I was doing 3 days of vinyasa yoga a week.  I was worried that all that yoga was going to effect my running…and it did, but not how I expected!  My long runs felt stronger, I didn’t experience the stabbing piriformis pain I had the first time around (also known as “runner’s pain in the butt”) and my long run recovery was amazing (I was barely sore after 22 miles!).

When I began running and started doing some research on training I was surprised to learn that stretching was such a controversial topic!  Many believe that stretching before a run can lead to injury…and I’m sure for a lot of people this is true.  If you don’t stretch often and your muscles are cold and tight it’s easy to push too far and hurt yourself.  But, if done correctly, incorporating yoga into your regular routine can actually stretch and strengthen the major running muscle groups and help to prevent injury!

Danielle - Yoga Headshot

So, here are some tips on how you can incorporate yoga into your training, along with some great resources for short yoga sequences and additional information:

Warm-Up

It’s important to warm up your muscles before heading out for a run to avoid injury, and yoga is a great way to do this!  While you don’t want to do static poses or stretching when your muscles are cold, dynamic poses & movement are a great way to get your body ready to head out!  I learned this short routine at a workshop I took with Sage Rountree, an internationally recognized authority on yoga for athletes.

Repeat this series 5 times on each side moving fluidly with your breath:

  • Begin in mountain pose
  • Lift arms over head and lift one knee so that thigh is parallel to floor
  • Step back with raised leg into a lunge position
  • Transfer weight into original standing leg for warrior III
  • Bring raised leg forward back into knee lift
  • Lower leg back to mountain pose

Runner's World Warm Up

You can view a video of this warm up series here:  http://www.runnersworld.com/stretching/body-shop-turn-your-heat

Strength

While many people don’t consider yoga a “real” workout, anyone who’s held a standing balance pose until their leg was shaking will surely argue otherwise.  Yoga is a great way to strengthen not only the muscles you use to run, but it will also get those muscles that sometimes as runner’s we forget about!

Cool Down & Flexibility

Let’s face it, runners aren’t usually known for being the most flexible bunch, but a little extra flexibility can go a long way when it comes to muscle recovery and preventing injury.  This short post run sequence targets the hamstrings, quadriceps, piriformis and hips and is a great way to end your run!

Hold each pose for 3-5 long deep breaths, repeating the sequence on each side.

  • Triangle
  • Triangle Forward Bend (Pyramid)
  • Lunge
  • Pigeon
  • Head to Knee Pose
  • Happy Baby

Triangle Forward Bend

You can view a video of this sequence here:

http://www.runnersworld.com/stretching/post-run-yoga-flexibility-routine

Here are some of my favorite resources for additional information on yoga for runners:

  • Any of Sage Rountree’s books, my favorite is The Athletes Guide to Yoga (All her books are available on Amazon or on her website.)
  • You can also find Yoga for Athlete’s specific classes with Sage on YogaVibes.com (and they offer a 15 day free trial!)
  • The video’s I provided are from Runner’s World website and there are a lot more where they came from (they are under Training & Plans / Stretching)

If you have any questions about incorporating yoga into your running routine please feel free to leave a comment here or you can find me at www.LiveRunGrow.com or on twitter at @dnardi710.

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