Yoga can improve everything from strength to endurance to mental focus. It's quickly becoming the preferred means of cross training for runners. Ashlee Willaman, a certified running coach and yoga teacher, suggests these four poses for runners.
Read more about why runners should do yoga.
Pose: Warrior 11 of 5
What it works: psoas/front of hip
How to do it: Standing on your mat, lunge forward to 90 degrees with your left leg. Your right foot, which is the back foot, should be turned out 45 degrees and your right leg straight. With your hips squared toward the front of the room, raise your arms to the sky and fix your gaze on your hands. Slowly breathe in and out several times, come back to the starting position, and repeat on the other side.
Pose 2: Downward facing dog2 of 5
What it works: hips, hamstrings, shoulders
How to do it: With your feet hip-width apart, bend over and place your palms flat on the floor with your fingers pointed toward the front of the room. Walk your feet back until you're in push-up position and then lift your backside and hips toward the ceiling. Try to keep your heels on the floor as you pull your chest toward your legs and hold for several breaths.
Pose 3: Pigeon3 of 5
What it works: glutes/piriformis
How to do it: Start on your hands and knees in table pose before extending your right leg on the floor behind your body. At the same time, bend your left leg in front of your body, bringing your left heel to your right hand. Keep your hips squared toward the front of the room as you brace yourself with your hands on either side of your body. Hold for several breaths.
Pose 4: Legs Up the Wall4 of 5
What it works: recovery and flexibility for the legs
How to do it: Scoot your backside up against a wall with your back flat on the floor. Straighten both legs to rest against the wall. This is a passive pose that requires you to relax and breathe in and out deliberately.