Running is, without a doubt, one of the best ways you can improve your overall health.

Running strengthens the bones, joints, and the cardiovascular system, which are essential for a long and healthy life. Running has also shown to have positive effects on the mind by decreasing stress and anxiety.

However, every time your foot strikes the pavement, your body is absorbing the force of impact.

Without proper recovery, you could end up with delayed-onset muscle soreness, which is when you feel pain and stiffness in your muscles, generally one to two days after exercise.

Fortunately, yoga is one of the most beneficial ways to recover. It helps to align and strengthen the entire body while improving flexibility by elongating muscle fibers.

Yoga is also helpful for sleeping patterns, and it can help to improve recovery (1).

Try these 7 post-run yoga moves to restore and reinvigorate your body.

1. Runners Lunge

This move targets one of the most important muscles used for running - the hip flexors.

Tight hip flexors can significantly impact your stride, and so it is imperative to keep these muscles loose.

  1. Start in a standing position with the feet together
  2. Take a big step forward with your left leg
  3. Gently sink your hips down and forward into a lunge position.
  4. Sink as low as you can while keeping your hips off the floor until you feel a stretch through the front of the right hip. If this is too difficult, you can place your right knee on the floor.
  5. Hold this position for 30 seconds before switching sides.

2. Downward Facing Dog

One of the most traditional yoga moves, this exercise, stretches through the hamstrings and calves while also opening the arms and upper back.

  1. Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position
  2. Slowly extend the legs, lift the hips high, and draw your torso up into an inverted V.
  3. In completing this movement, let your head hang between your arms while keeping your gaze on your toes.
  4. Hold this pose for 30 seconds. If you wish, you can pedal the feet for a dynamic stretch.

3. Pigeon Pose

Pigeon pose is an excellent exercise for releasing the hip flexors, glutes, and quadriceps and can directly follow from the downward-facing dog.

  1. Begin in the downward-facing dog position.
  2. Lift your leg foot off the floor, extending it up and away from the body.
  3. By keeping the left leg off the floor, start bending at the knee as you draw the leg under the body, bringing it to rest just behind the left hand. The knee should remain in a bent position.
  4. Shuffle and extend the right leg out behind you with the right thigh resting on the floor.
  5. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before switching sides.

TIP! To feel the stretch more, you can walk the hands forward before resting your head on your hands.

4. Gate Pose

The gate pose stretches through the torso and hamstrings.

Gate pose is excellent for lengthening the spine and opening up the lungs.

  1. Begin in a kneeling position with the thighs and feet together
  2. Extend your right leg out laterally while keeping the left knee directly under the left hip for stability.
  3. Reach both arms up above your head.
  4. Bring the right arm down to the right thigh and slowly start sliding the hand down the leg while keeping the left arm extended above the head. The pose will open up and stretch down your entire left side.
  5. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before switching to the other side.

5. Triangle Pose

The triangle pose is somewhat an extension of the gate pose, and targets multiple muscle groups.

This pose is useful for stretching through the hamstrings, hips, groin, shoulders, and spine.

  1. Start in a standing position with your feet together.
  2. Shuffle the feet outwards, past the shoulders, into a comfortable position. Extend the arms out to the side so that the hands are in line with the shoulders.
  3. Rotate the left foot so that your toes are pointing away from you.
  4. Slide your left hand down your left leg while keeping your right arm extended.
  5. Lift the chest, keeping the right wrist directly in line with the right shoulder.
  6. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before switching to the other side.

6. Tree Pose

Tree pose is a great way to engage and strengthen the core while working on your balance.

Having strong core muscles is vital for runners as it sets a strong foundation and can improve running posture and speed.

  1. Begin in a standing position with the feet together. Find a point in front of you to focus on keeping your balance.
  2. Lift the left leg and hug it in towards your chest. With your left hand, grab hold of the left ankle.
  3. Flex the foot and bring it in to rest against the thigh of your standing leg. Bring the foot as high as possible while maintaining pressure between your foot and thigh.
  4. Bring your palms together in front of your chest. You can also lift them above your head to make this move more challenging.

7. Childs Pose

Childs pose is a great yoga movement to end this series of stretches.

The pose is a gentle, calming stretch that works through the ankles, hips, thighs, lower back, and shoulders.

It also calms the mind, so this is a great way to relax and rewind at the end of a stretching session.

  1. Begin by sitting back on your heels with your knees directly below your hips.
  2. Push back with your arms, sitting into your heels and folding your chest down towards the knees.
  3. During this movement, keep your head between your arms and keep your eyes down.
  4. Sink your glutes as far as you can into the heels.
  5. Hold this pose for as long as you want and keep breathing into your stomach.

Yoga, running and breathing training

Breathing is a great part of practicing yoga. A calm and steady breath is necessary to keep an inwards focus for when you are balancing on one leg or sinking into a deep meditation.

Just as well, breathing gives the body the energy it need to complete a good run.

Oxygen supplies the body with the fuel it need to perform without experiencing fatigue and thereby collapsing.

Whether you are doing yoga or looking to improve you running shape, the Airofit breathing trainer is designed to improve your breathing.

All Airofit training sessions and programs are completely tailored to each individual - your physical ability, age, sex, and workout preferences.

Airofit trains your breathing muscles including inspiratory and expiratory strength, vital capacity, anaerobic threshold, revitalization, etc.

Upgrade your training with the Airofit breathing trainer, which easily connects to your preferred smart device for you to keep track of your progress.

Now, deep breath and get ready to complete you next run!