Posts Tagged by flexibility

Yoga for Runners: Holiday Gift Guide

Hard to believe that it is already December and it is time to kick the holiday shopping into high gear!  Danielle is here with some great gift suggestions to help incorporate yoga and stretching into your running routine or for the yogi in your life.


Hello Running at Disney readers!

This month, as we head into the holiday season, I thought instead of sharing a yoga pose or recovery tips, I’d suggest some Yoga for Runner’s gifts!

These items are great for both runners who are just beginning to incorporate some yoga into their routine and those who have a regular yoga practice but are looking to really target those running muscles that need a little extra attention!

Yoga Gift Collage

Yoga for Beginners Kit

This beginner kit comes with everything you need to get your yoga practice started – a yoga mat, block, strap & DVD all for less than $30!

Yoga for Athletes Books

Sage Rountree’s The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga and The Runner’s Guide to Yoga are my go-to’s both for my own yoga practice and when I’m putting together classes. I especially recommend The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga, a small book full of short yoga sequences specifically designed to target the muscles athletes and runner’s use the most – it would make a great stocking stuffer!

Foam Roller

If you or a runner you know doesn’t own a foal roller yet then this is the perfect gift! I really like my TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller, but there are plenty of options out there!

Yoga Classes – Online or In Person

What better way to start off your yoga practice than with some classes! I personally love in-person classes where I get the benefit of the teacher making sure I’m doing the pose correctly, but online classes and videos are also a great! For in person classes a gift certificate to a local studio would make a great gift, or you can try out online classes on a site like YogaVibes which actually has a whole series of Yoga for Athletes classes!

Happy Holiday & Namaste!


P.S. – If you haven’t already done so, please stop by and check out the 2014 Runner’s Holiday Gift Guide on my blog, it includes discount codes & giveaways for some of my favorite products!

You can find Danielle at or on Twitter at @dnardi710.

Yoga for Runners: Happy Hips

Great post this month from Danielle!!  Running can put a lot of strain on your hips and these move are SOOOO great for helping stretch that out.

Oh and before I hand it over to her, I want to send a BIG CONGRATS to Danielle for finishing her first Triathlon last month!!  Read all about it here 🙂


Hello Runners!  I’m back with another installment of Yoga for Runners and today we’re talking hips!

You probably know that hip stability and flexibility is key to keeping your legs moving and propelling you forward on your run (you probably know this even more if you DON’T have hip flexibility!), so today I’m going to share 2 easy yoga poses you can do to help open up your hips and hip flexors.

Keep in mind since these are static stretches I recommend doing them after a run or when your body is already warmed up – do NOT jump right into these poses with cold muscles or you could risk injuring yourself! 

First up is Lizard Pose!

Beginning in a low lunge (making sure your knee is over your ankle and not sailing forward in front of it!), move your front foot a few inches outward so that there is room to place both your hands on the inside of your front foot.  If you’re feeling a deep stretch here, this may be your lizard pose!

Lizard Pose

If you want to deepen the stretch you can lower your forearms to the floor, or if you need an in-between rest your forearms on a folded towel, blanket or yoga block.

Lizard Pose 2

To move directly from lizard pose to our next pose, pigeon, move your front foot inward towards your opposite hip and lower your hip dropping your knee down (so if your right leg is forward your right foot is in front of your left hip and your right knee is by your right wrist).

Pigeon Pose 1

Fold forward over the front leg and relax into the pose allowing your hips to gently open.

Pigeon Pose 2

If this pose causes ANY pain or pressure in the knee you can do this reclined version to get the same stretch!

Reclined Pigeon Pose

Hold each of these poses for 5-10 slow, deep breaths and whatever you do, do not push yourself to the point of pain!  You should feel a gentle comfortable stretch in the hip, hip flexor and piriformis area.

Adding these poses to your regular running routine will help keep your hips happy, especially as you increase mileage!

If you have any questions regarding these poses or incorporating yoga into your routine feel free to leave a comment below or you can find me at or on Twitter at @dnardi710.

Happy running!

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 🙂


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:


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:


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:

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 (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 or on twitter at @dnardi710.