by Sally Drake
Welcome to my new column! Each month, I will feature a yoga pose, breathing technique or guided meditation that is beneficial for runners. Yoga helps improve flexibility; increase strength; enhance balance and stability; provide stress relief, better breathing and faster recovery. Even just a few minutes of yoga added to your pre or post run routine will positively impact not just your athletic pursuits, but all areas of your life.
Post of the Month: Low Lunge (Crescent Moon, Anjaneyasana)
Low lunge benefits all the muscles we use as runners and is both an energizing and relaxing pose. It stretches, strengthens and lengthens the anterior and posterior parts of the body. It enhances flexibility in the spine and opens the chest, creating energy. The pose also opens the hips, releasing tension in the lower body. And, low lunge stretches the psoas, hamstrings and quadriceps, making it perfect for runners.
Tips: Slide the reclined leg back to deepen the stretch–just as far as feels comfortable. Be mindful that the front knee stays over the ankle. Keep the lower abs drawn up and in to support the low spine.
Variation: For a deeper quad stretch, bend the back leg bringing your heel in toward your glutes, reach back and take hold of the back foot and continue to gently draw your heel closer toward your glutes.
Sally Drake has been a runner in the Capital District community for over twenty years. In May 2023 she received her 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate from Styles Yoga at the Hot Yoga Spot. You can find her this summer teaching a weekly Yoga in the Park class at Tawasentha Park in Guilderland, every Tuesday evening June 6-August 8 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Follow her on Instagram at @sdrakeyogi for more yoga inspiration.