I’ve started back to running again now that it’s spring.  Or here in Halifax, now that it’s monsoon season.  I don’t mind running in the rain, as long as i’ts not torrential.  I put on a ballcap to keep the rain off my face, something water resistant and i’m good to go.  I find that by the time I’m feeling damp, i’m also warmed up, so it’s all good. 

There’s never any danger of overheating and you feel so virtuous by the time you’re home.  It’s like you’re warrior woman, you’ve been out in the wilderness, survived the elements and oh yeah, got a great workout in too.

Being back running reminds me how much I love Pigeon Pose, both after running as well as the morning after running.  But in the a.m. you can’t just jump into Pigeon.  It’s really uncomfortable and you’re tight you don’t get all the benefit.  You know, if the fronts of your legs aren’t stretched out, you won’t be able to get your back leg very far back, and then your hips are way up in the air, you get the idea.

So *of course* we all spend lots of time doing yoga in between runs, but for those odd times when you’re rushed, here’s the fastest way I’ve found to get to Pigeon.

Tip: start with holding for three deep breaths but if you’re getting a ‘WHOA now *that’s* a good stretch!’, hold for another couple so you get the full benefit, clearly your body needs it.

Warrior 1 with Yoga Mudra arms – clasp your hands behind your hips, squeeze your shoulder blades together as you work on straightening your arms and moving them back, away from your hips.  I like to do this chest opening stretch to help my posture during running, and anytime.

Warrior 2 – after holding the pose for at least 3 breaths, i lower my arms and twist to the front leg side with a tall straight back.  This is a good stretch for all those supporting muscles through your spine.

High Lunge – bring your hands to your front knee or overhead to deepen the stretch. Really lift the back of the back leg to stretch the muscles in the front.

Triangle and/or Wide Leg Forward Bend – if your hips and inner thighs feel tight, make time for Triangle and Wide Leg Forward Bend.  A good way to stretch the inner thighs in WLFB is to twist by putting one hand on the floor underneath your face and stretch the other hand up to to the ceiling. 

Low Lunge – Place both hands on the inside side of the front foot and lower your body to the floor, coming down on your elbows if you can.  Stay here for a few breaths or change sides a couple times if you need it, transitioning through Downward Facing Dog.

Now your body should be ready for Pigeon. 

Pigeon – Stay here for a few breaths.  I also like to rock from side to side after holding to make sure i get a thorough stretch.

Come back to standing and do Standing Forward Bend, I like to interlace my arms and rock gently from side to side, getting some movement through my spine.  Also do a IT Band and quad stretch, the other godsend stretches for runners.

I find I  can do this series of poses in 15-20 minutes and address all my post-running tight bits so that i’m ready for some cross-training – or another run!  Happy running…..