These yoga poses are great for runners looking to stretch the IT (illio-tibial) band and the muscles that put tension on the IT band; the outer hips and quadriceps.
Before you begin, be sure to gather your props - Today you’ll only need a block.
1. Begin on your back. Hug your right knee into your chest, left leg stays long. Bring knee to 90 degree angle then drop right knee over left leg until knee comes to the ground. Let your left toes fall over to the left. Take 5 long deep breaths here. Repeat on other side.
2. Come to Runner’s Lunge with your right foot at the top of the mat. Drop the back knee to the ground. Walk your hands back, straightening your right leg, foot is flexed (toes point up to the ceiling). Plant your left hand on a block, reach your right arm up (see image). Take 5 deep breaths and release your right hand down.
3. Walk both hands to the outside of your right leg and fold over. Take 5 deep breaths here before repeating #2 & #3 on the other side.
4. Come to Down Dog. Kick your right leg up and back for 3-Legged Dog. Bring right knee to left elbow, shifting forward so your shoulders are over your wrists (see image).
5. Extend your right leg out straight. Hold for a breath and then drop your foot down to the floor (see image).
6. Drop right hip to floor, keeping back toes tucked. Come down onto forearms and take 10 deep breaths here. For a greater stretch, bring the right leg forward. For less of a stretch, bring the right leg back (see image).
7. To come out of the pose, slowly come back up onto your hands, lift your R hip up and make your way back to Down Dog. Repeat #4-6 on the other side.
8. Slowly come onto your back. Bring both feet up in the air and cross the right knee over the left. Lift your head and shoulders off the ground and with each hand; grab the outside of each ankle. Slowly lower your head and shoulders back down to the ground. For a deeper stretch, pull your shins in. Take 5 deep breaths here and then switch sides – left knee over right.
Are there any stretches that you find helpful?