Yoga Rx: Running Injuries

By Nora Simmons

No strangers to pain, runners do a lot of damage to their bodies while pounding the pavement or tackling the trails. Yoga can help by strengthening weak, underutilized muscles while healing overworked or injured ones, as well as tendons and joints, says Baron Baptiste, former athletic trainer and creator of Baptiste Power Yoga. Add these poses to your pre- and post-run routine so you have more power to go the distance.

Pre-run warm-up: Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
Stand tall, and step your left foot back so that your feet are about a leg-length apart and your back arch is in line with your front heel. Your left toes should turn slightly in. Bend your right knee directly over the right ankle so your thigh is parallel to the floor. Lift up through the top of the spine. Keeping your hips square to the wall in front of you, raise your arms above your head, palms shoulder-width apart and facing each other. Roll your shoulders away from your ears. Stay here for five breaths. Step your left foot forward to meet your right, and repeat on the other side.

Post-run recovery: Low Lunge
Part 1: Face forward, and step your left foot back into a lunge. Bring your left knee and top of your left foot down to the mat. Your right shin should be perpendicular to the floor. Lift up through the crown of your head, and look forward, hands resting on your right thigh.

Part 2: Bring your hands behind your back, interlacing your fingers. With your elbows straight but not locked, move your arms away from your buttocks. Pull your shoulders back and down, so you feel a release in the front of your chest, neck, shoulders, and upper back. Stay here for five breaths. Release your hands to the floor, and step your left foot forward to meet your right, moving into Standing Forward Bend. Repeat on the other side.