Looking for a way to wind down and recover after a run? Beth Shaw, YogaFit founder, provides eight poses to help stretch tired muscles, regardless of flexibility.
“If someone’s not that flexible, they should still do the poses,” Shaw says. “They just may look a little different. The pose is still going to feel the same for everyone. As long as you’re feeling and breathing, you’re having a successful practice.”
Seated Forward Fold
From a seated position with your legs extended, lift your arms to the sky and bend forward. Rest your elbows next to your legs and hold for 10-20 breaths.
Seated Spinal Twist
Remaining seated, cross your left leg over your right leg with your left food resting on the ground next to your right leg. Wrap your right arm around the left leg and twist over the left shoulder. Hold for 10 breaths and repeat on the other side. Shaw notes that pregnant women and people with lower lumbar spine issues should avoid this pose.
Knees to Chest
Pull your bent knee into your chest and slowly roll down, using your extended leg to support the movement. Pull your extended knee into your chest and grab either your hands or wrists underneath the knees.
Dead Bug/Happy Baby
From knees to chest, grab your big toes and pull your knees down towards the side of your body. Hold for 10-20 breaths.
Place the soles of your feet on the ground hip width apart. Your hands should be at the side of your body. Use your glutes to lift your hips off the floor, and if possible, grab your hands underneath your raised hips. Watch your belly while breathing. Hold for 10-20 breaths.
Upside Down Pigeon
Lower your body to the ground and pull your knees into your chest once again. Place the left ankle over the right thigh and lift your right foot off the floor. Push your left knee away from your body while pulling your right knee in towards your body. Switch sides.
Sit up and place your left ankle on your right thigh. Bend your right leg so it folds under your left leg and allow the left knee to drop towards the floor. Switch sides.
Legs Against the Wall
Lying on the floor, pull your body flush against a wall. Slide your legs up the wall and rest. If you have an inversion practice, you can advance from here to a shoulder stand or headstand.