Running and Yoga


Now that I’m back to my regular yoga practice, I have noticed some major changes that I have had to make due to running.

1. Replace Warrior One with High Lunge
I rarely practice warrior one anymore. This used to be a staple of mine; I always practiced it and I always taught long sequences based on it. Since I’ve started running I’ve noticed that the torque on my ankle is too much. If my ankles were stronger or stiffer to begin with this probably would not be a problem; warrior one seems to have no impact on my right ankle. However, as I’ve written before, I have unclipped with my left foot for years and the additional twisting it endures in warrior one has not been healthy. So, I’ve been modifying my practice, replacing warrior one with high lunge. This gives me more of a stretch in the hip flexors and my feet.

2. Be More Mindful of the Transitions from Chaturanga to Up Dog to Down Dog
Running messes up your feet more than any other activity I’ve participated in. Because of cuts and blisters (and extremely flexible ankles) it is more comfortable for me to roll my feet open and transition between these poses on the outside edges of my feet. I know that this is bad for me in the long term but it is much less painful today. So, I now am mindful of my feet while transitioning and take extra care to shift more weight into my hands so that my feet are more comfortable.

3. Inversions Feel Even Better Than Before
At the time I didn’t realize it, but my first introduction to restorative yoga was at field hockey camp, back in high school. After a long hot day at camp, we would go back to our dorm and lay on the floor, legs up the wall. Maybe it was all in my head, but it seemed to help to keep my legs fresh so I’ve been doing it after working out ever since. While this pose always felt good after cycling, it is amazing after a long run. Inversions are positions where the feet are higher than the head. They aid in recovery by helping the lymphatic system remove waste products. Inverting after working out improves circulation and increases oxygen availability to the brain. Additionally, they tend to be really fun to play with 🙂

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