It was fun to travel a few towns west of home to Dancing Dogs Power Yoga in Greensboro, NC, last weekend. My student Libby Ramsey runs the cheerful, welcoming studio, and I loved connecting with her staff and students. As I promised them, here are our practice notes with links to places to find further illustrations of each routine.
If you enjoy reading such notes, you’ll really enjoy my courses in Teaching Yoga to Athletes and Sequencing Yoga Classes from Welcome to Namaste, which are both available both online and in person!
Yoga to Do Before Your Workout
Six Moves of the Spine, Standing
- Mountain pose
- Standing cat/cow. Hands to bent knees, inhale to lift tailbone, open chest, and look up. Exhale and round, dropping chin to chest.
- Inhale arms up, side stretch. Lean the top shoulder forward and back if you like. Breathe into the ribcage.
- Twists. From mountain, inhale arms up, exhale to twist to side. Repeat back and forth. Notice the difference between doing this from your ankles versus holding the pelvis steady and twisting from the waistline up. For extra challenge, when you twist right, lift your right leg, and when you twist left, lift your left.
Parking Lot Yoga, aka Arrow Lunge Flow as in The Runner’s Guide to Yoga, p. 166 (now in e-format: http://www.amazon.com/Runners-Guide-Yoga-Athletes-ebook/dp/B00BWGX0CG/).
This routine builds balance and focus, fosters communication between the hip and foot (which helps protect the knee), and gives you a dynamic warm-up for your run. Do 5 rounds on each side, alternating.
- Mountain pose
- Inhale, lift left leg
- Exhale, step left foot back to arrow lunge (diagonal)
- Inhale, lift shoulders over hips to crescent lunge (perpendicular)
- Exhale, lean toward side of the front leg (side bend)
- Inhale, crescent lunge
- Exhale, arrow lunge
- Inhale, drive through, lifting left leg and stabilizing
- Exhale, mountain pose.
Yoga to Do During Your Workout
We practiced this during the Parking Lot routine, but it also applies during your workout. Focus on these points:
- Mountain pose alignment. Toes, knees, and hips face forward; core is lightly engaged; shoulders and neck are relaxed.
- Your breath, and how it coordinates with your movement. Remember your homework: to pay attention to how many steps you take per breath, and which foot is landing when you start and finish both inhalation and exhalation.
- A mantra. Develop a full roster of mantras that work for you, and practice them in both relaxing and intense moments, so they are familiar and comfortable.
- Drishti. Set your gaze, then soften around that focus. Extra credit: try going through the Parking Lot routine with your eyes closed. Be sure you have enough room to wobble and fall!
Yoga to Do After Your Workout Plank and hips (http://www.yogavibes.com/store/paid-classes/product/online-yoga-class-athletes-postworkout-core/)
- Hold plank
- Half bow
- Hold plank, lift and lower feet
- Half bow
- Pulse plank to down dog or forearm plank to dolphin
- 2x full bow or 2x half bow
- Side plank, mermaid
- Reverse table, boat, cross-legged fold 2x; reverse table, seated forward fold
Yoga to Do Long After Your Workout (aka Yoga in Bed)
Bridge pose to block, as detailed here: http://blogs.yogajournal.com/activeyogi/2011/09/two-supported-bridges.html
Reclining twists (here: http://www.yogavibes.com/store/paid-classes/product/online-yoga-for-athletes-class-reclining-twists/ and here: http://sagerountree.com/2009/09/24/sage-yoga-training-reclining-twists/) Hold each 10–20 breaths.
- Open twist: right ankle over left knee, space between the legs, left foot to long left edge of mat, drop knees right, extend arm overhead
- Closed twist: right knee over left knee, no space between the legs, left foot to tailbone, lift hips and shift to right, drop legs to left
Finally, don’t skimp on savasana. As I explain in The Athlete’s Guide to Recovery, that’s where the magic really happens.