"The ankles, knees, hips, calves, hamstrings and especially the low back, all take so much pounding," says Matthew Reyes, a marathoner and yoga instructor in Santa Monica, Calif. "It's the price we pay for the sport that we love, which is why adding yoga into the routine is so important."
Incorporating a few Downward-Facing Dogs into your regular fitness regimen can help relieve chronic pain in no time. "I've run the LA Marathon five times," says Reyes, who has earned rave reviews from celebrity fans like Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner. "I was the least-injured member of my running group, which had everything to do with being the only yogi in the pack."
Want to do the same to relieve lower back pain through yoga? These ten poses will get your core in tip-top shape. "I created this sequence to do after a run or even daily," says Reyes. "It may not seem like much, but your back and body will thank you."
Downward-Facing Dog1 of 10
Place your feet and hands parallel to each other 12 inches apart, with your hips lifted in the air so your body is in a triangular shape. Press your heels flat towards the floor.
Lunge2 of 10
From Downward-Facing Dog, step your right foot inside your right hand. Your back knee can be lifted or resting on the ground. Keep your left leg straight, and place your left hand outside of your left foot.
Crescent3 of 10
Keep your left leg behind you, straight and at a 45-degree angle with your foot facing towards the front of the room and your heel raised. With your right knee raised or resting on the ground, raise your torso and arms straight up from your shoulders into the air. Keep your arms parallel.
Crescent Twist4 of 10
With your palms facing together, bring your hands to your heart. Then, bring your left tricep to rest on your right thigh, twisting your upper body to the right. Make your way back to Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat the first four poses on the left side, and end in Downward-Facing Dog again.
Child's Pose5 of 10
Bring your knees down to the floor. Sit back on your heels with your head resting on the floor in front of you, arms extended towards the front of the room.
Butterfly6 of 10
Sit down with the soles of your feet together and your knees wide apart. Place your hands on top of your feet, and use your hands to pull your torso forward and down towards the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
Bridge Pose7 of 10
Lay down on your back with your feet flat on the floor near your sits bones. Keep your knees parallel. Lift your hips up into the air, interlacing your fingers underneath your body.
Figure 48 of 10
Lay flat on your back again. Bring your right ankle on top of your left knee, with your hands clasped on top of your left knee. Pull your knee towards you. Switch and repeat on the opposite side.
Twist9 of 10
Still on your back, bend your right leg then hug it in towards your chest. Use your left hand to push the right leg down towards your left side, with your right arm extended straight out towards your right side. Hold for several breaths, then repeat on the opposite side.