by Sally Drake
Each month, I feature a yoga pose, breathing technique or guided meditation that is beneficial for runners. Yoga helps improve flexibility; increase strength; enhance balance and stability; provide stress relief, better breathing and faster recovery. Even just a few minutes of yoga added to your pre or post run routine will positively impact not just your athletic pursuits, but all areas of your life.
Yoga for Runners
Pose of the Month: Garland Pose, Malasana
Malasana, or Garland Pose, is a deep squat that releases tension in the lower body. It is a great pose after a run to open the hips and groin and stretch and strengthen the feet and ankles.
How To: Start in mountain pose. Take your feet about hips distance apart, point your toes out and heels in. Slowly bend the knees and lower the hips, coming down to a squat. Bring your arms to the inside of your legs and use your elbows to gently push the knees apart and bring the hands to the heart center. Think about creating length through the spine and keeping a soft gaze ahead of you. Hold for 2-5 breaths. To come out, slowly lengthen the legs and rise to stand.
Tips: A folded blanket under the heels provides support and stability if you experience discomfort with the feet flat on the floor. Take a wider stance to give you more space to squat comfortably if you feel tight through the hips. Try not force depth, bring the hips just as low as comfortable and that allows you to keep length through the torso. Over time and with consistent practice malasana pose will improve flexibility and range of motion from the hips to heels!
Sally Drake has been a runner in the Capital District community for over twenty years. In May 2023 she received her 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate from Styles Yoga at the Hot Yoga Spot. You can find her this summer teaching a weekly Yoga in the Park class at Tawasentha Park in Guilderland, every Tuesday evening June 6-August 8 from 6:30-7:30pm.
Follow her on Instagram at @sdrakeyogi for more yoga inspiration.