Since I run so often, I don’t have time for a lot of other exercise.  I’m well aware that yoga is very important to runners.  Stretching does great things for the muscles and can really help with strength and balance as well.  Even though I don’t often find the time for a lengthy yoga practice, I have a few poses that I find especially beneficial.  Even if you don’t regularly work out, these moves can still help you.  If you sit at a desk in front of a computer all day, these may be extremely beneficial to you as well.

1.  Pigeon pose – this pose is an amazing stretch for the hip flexors.  Women especially deal with hip issues but I’ve found this pose a great way to open up my hips and keep them healthy.  This video demonstrates the proper way to get into pigeon pose as well as modifications if you need them.

2.  Tree pose – is a great pose for balance and coordination.  I found this one challenging at first but quickly improved.  For me, it’s a good balance of mental and physical challenge.  As with most other yoga poses, tree pose is easy to modify based on your current level.

3.  Warrior 3 – I love all the warrior poses but my favorite is Warrior 3.  This pose is good to increase strengthen ankles and legs.  It helps build core strength and works on balance as well.  All things I need!  This pose is a little more challenging but this video shows how to move from Warrior 1 to Warrior 2 to Warrior 3.

4.  Chair pose – there’s just something fun about sitting in chair pose without there actually being a chair.  Chair pose is another pose great for hip flexors and really stretches the calves.  Both good things for runners!

5.  Child’s pose – child’s pose is a resting pose usually done between more challenging poses.  It’s a great way to stretch out your arms and your back and just feels great.  Since I work in an office all day, I find this especially useful to stretch out and relieve some of the tension from sitting in the same position all day.

Do you have a favorite yoga or stretching pose? Is stretching a regular part of your day?

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