5 Yin Yoga Poses for Runners to Get a Deep Hip and Hamstring Stretch

Yoga for runners is one of the videos I get the most requests for. And although yoga for runners was one of the first videos that I created on my channel, I thought it was time for a revamp (bigger and better right?)   As these are yin yoga poses, we move slowly through only a handful of poses and hold each one for about 3-5 minutes. Take your time setting up for each of these poses, get in and out of them slowly. Additionally due to the lengthy holds, you will want to keep the intensity level for each one at around a 5 out of 10 (if 1 is easeful, and 10 is painful).   Stay mindful through these poses and present in the moment, instead of letting your mind wander to what is distracting you off of your mat.   If you would prefer to have someone walk you through these poses, with some light musical accompaniment, check out the full 50 minute video for this practice: Yin Yoga for Runners.

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Yoga for runners is one of the videos I get the most requests for. And although yoga for runners was one of the first videos that I created on my channel, I thought it was time for a revamp (bigger and better right?)

As these are yin yoga poses, we move slowly through only a handful of poses and hold each one for about 3-5 minutes. Take your time setting up for each of these poses, get in and out of them slowly. Additionally due to the lengthy holds, you will want to keep the intensity level for each one at around a 5 out of 10 (if 1 is easeful, and 10 is painful).

Stay mindful through these poses and present in the moment, instead of letting your mind wander to what is distracting you off of your mat.

If you would prefer to have someone walk you through these poses, with some light musical accompaniment, check out the full 50 minute video for this practice: Yin Yoga for Runners.

You will want to have a set of blocks (or cushions/blankets) and a strap beside your mat before getting started.

1. Butterfly fold - Sitting on your mat, bring your heels together and knees wide. Work the heels towards the groin (not too close, about 6 inches or so is good). If your knees are off the mat, you may want to place a block under each for added support. Slowly walk your hands forward and bring your head to rest on a block or directly on the mat if it is accessible. Relax your upper body; shoulders, neck and arms. Find a slow and steady pace of breathing, in and out through the nose.

2. Half shoelace - Keep the right leg extended as you bend the left knee. Cross the left leg over the right, until you can stack your knees one on top of the other. Fold forward over the extended leg. Use props as needed to support yourself. Here I've brought a block on my leg to rest my head onto. Bring awareness back to your breath, as well as the sensation of the pose. Do this pose to the opposite side before moving on.

3. Pigeon pose - Or swan pose in yin yoga. From hands and knees, bring your right knee behind your right wrist and walk your left leg back. Keep your pelvis level and straight. Avoid leaning one way or the other. If you are high off the ground, use a block or blanket under your right glute. Hold upright, or walk your hands forward and melt your heart and head into the floor (or a pillow or block). Switch to the left leg forward.

4. Supine leg stretch - Lowering down onto your back with a strap handy, bend your knees and bring the feet to the floor. Lift your right leg up, hooking the strap over the ball of the foot. Extend the leg up towards the sky, flexing the foot. Instead of putting effort into the leg, let it be easeful, and find a bit of engagement in your arms. Keep the left knee bent or extend it out in front of you for a bit of a deeper stretch.

5. Supine twist - From this pose, shift your hips to the right and switch both sides of the strap into your left hand. Cross the right leg across your body and lower it towards the left. You are working the toes towards the ground, but also keep the leg working up towards the face. Reach the right arm out to the side, to help keep your right shoulder pinned to the ground and get a nice twist throughout the body. Repeat these last two poses on the other side.

Want more Yin in your life? Try out my 14-day Yin and Yang Yoga Challenge.

Practice the above poses alongside me in the Yin Yoga for Runners video below.


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Happy trails,
Kassandra

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