When your run has been easy, or even moderate, you can move right into a quick practice, and, you’ll enjoy the benefit of warm and relatively loose muscles. (After a hard run, focus on recovery with gentle moves like Cat/Cow and Legs Up the Wall.) If you need to slot your routine a little later in the day, include some warm-up poses, like the Arrow Lunge Sequence, before moving into these balance poses, which challenge your strength and flexibility.
Practicing standing balance poses taxes your hips and legs to stabilize you. You’ll build strength in your standing-leg hip and lower leg while receiving a stretch for the raised or back-placed leg. Doing these three poses in sequence on one side before repeating on the other side increases the challenge. Together, these poses will stretch the main muscle groups of your hips, thighs, and lower legs, making them efficient and easy to include before you hit the shower.
In Dancer, you’ll be on the right leg with the left knee bent; for more, lean forward from the pelvis. Next, cross your left ankle over your right knee for Standing Pigeon; for more, bend your right knee and squat, and optionally stretch your chest with your fingers interlaced behind your back. Finally, step your left foot forward for Pyramid Pose, folding into it until you feel a pleasant stretch. Once you’ve held each pose for 5–10 breaths, move to the next, and after doing all three, change sides.
About Our Expert
Sage Rountree is a pioneer in yoga for athletes and an endurance sports coach. Sage is the author of seven books, including Everyday Yoga and Lifelong Yoga, co-written with Alexandra DeSiato. These tips are adapted from the second edition of her Runner’s Guide to Yoga, available now.