Today I have a confession... This time last year I was in the midst of training for the Bath Half Marathon. I was super lean and running 7-10 miles with ease. Once I completed Bath Half I reduced my runs down and then slowly found myself not going running at all. I guess I ran myself out! I threw myself into my yoga journey with my whole heart and it changed my life! For that I am forever grateful. I am stronger, more flexible and more open than ever before but you know what? I miss the pounding of my feet on the pavement, the burning in my lungs and the sensation of my legs turning to jelly that you get from a good run. Running has always cleared my head, my own moving meditation. I am ready to let a little more cardio back into my life. So today after teaching a blissful morning yoga class I dusted off my trainers and hit the road. 20 minutes later, lungs burning, legs on fire, sweaty but with a smile on my face. It always feels oh so good to stretch out after a run so here are three yoga poses to stretch those tight hamstrings and hips.
Low lunge. A favourite of mine, great for stretching out the hip flexors and the body. Think about lengthening through the spine, energy through the fingers towards the sky and sinking the hips towards the mat. At the same time engage the thighs, drawing them towards each other.
Lizard. A great one for the hips. A couple of modifications you can take here: drop the back knee down to the mat if you need to and come down to wherever feels good, maybe you just want to hang out on the palms of the hands, that's totally fine! With breath and with time you will find that you can drop down to your forearms. Keep the gaze forwards, spine long and breath into the hip space here.
High lunge. Feel the extension and stretch through the hamstrings with this pose, think about sending energy down through the back heel and the back of the knee towards the back of the room. Once again long spine and no compression in the low back.
Another great pose is forward fold for stretching out those tight hamstrings. Allow the head, neck and chest to be heavy. Melting towards the earth.
I would love to know what your favourite workouts are for cardio. Leave me a comment :)