I can usually spot a runner in my classes, they look like they are in great shape, and have the tightest hips and shortest hamstrings.
Yoga is great cross-training for runners, it makes you strong and flexible in an open position (Frontal vs Sagittal plane movement), so you are less likely to be injured.
Yin yoga is especially good because it works the connective tissue. Connective tissue surrounds every muscle and connects to everything (really) in your body, from your teeth to your bones, around your organs to the inside of your cells. It is as strong as tensile steel and about as flexible as a plastic bag.
But, if you provide longer, sustained tension (as in holding a pose for 3 minutes or more) connective tissue draws in water and stretches. Since muscles like, say, your hamstrings are encased in fascia, it is what will actually increase your flexibility.
The 30-second stretches you try to stretch these muscles don't generally work because it is not long enough to affect the fascia.
No amount of heat, infrared or not, will affect your fascia, and while it feels good, and helps tight muscles relax the heat will not improve your flexibility as well as targeted Yin poses.
By working your connective tissue you gain not only greater flexibility, but you can start to release stored stress, tension, and even trauma from your body
See THIS blog post for more about releasing trauma
Below is a Yin Yoga Sequence for runners (and other athletes, and even regular people) that will work to lengthen your connective tissue and improve your running game, or just your fitness and health in general. It focuses primarily on the lower body, hips, and spine.
Practice once a week and start to feel a significant improvement in your flexibility.
You don't have to do every pose, but you do have to hold the one you choose to do to stretch the fascia.
Click below to download your own copy of the sequence, or see and follow it from this blog. ⬇️
© 2023 Ruth (Day) Elliott. All rights reserved. Feel free to share this content, but please provide proper attribution by including a link back to this post and giving credit to me.