Yin yoga for the hips: for runners

Post Run Recovery: Yin Yoga for the Hips

We’ve just finished another successful Run Better with Yoga weekend retreat here in Cornwall, thank you all who came and were involved!

So, what is involved on these weekend retreats? I’m so glad you asked…

Each morning we start the day with a 75 minute strengthening dynamic yoga class, which I customise to the group but which will always be focused on warming up the body, strengthening key muscles and breath work, to get primed for running.

After breakfast we start the workshop, taking elements of the yoga practice into natural running technique. We run along the stunning Cornish coast path, stopping at points to review and add on to practising this optimal way to run.

Afternoons include a big lunch, gait analysis and time to chill.

Then, each evening, I lead a 90 minute Yin Yoga class. These classes are the opposite of the morning practice and are slow, cooling and calming. They are designed as recovery from the day and the trail run, but more than that, they help to start working on deeper set tension that has potentially accumulated over the years, even decades, improving overall posture and alignment.

Spending 3-6 minutes in each pose, in stillness and quiet can be hard for the body to accept – especially in the athlete, who habitually stays active! But staying, and relaxing, in these postures for this longer time gives the muscles and even other tissues a chance to re-lengthen and to release deep their set tension – tension that could unknowingly be inhibiting your optimal running form.

Yin Yoga can be a mental challenge, as well as a physical challenge, but offers time to train our mind on becoming so much more aware of our bodies than ever before. In this way, with practice on keeping random thoughts at bay, we can learn so much about our physicality, that it becomes clearer which poses are the ones we need to be working on the most.

Try this 12 minute Yin Yoga class, that mainly focuses on the hips. We work around the hips in a few different postures, that will help to loosen and lengthen post-run, or any evening.

Try to relax, try to be quiet and try to keep all of your attention on what it is you can feel.

Then, let me know below how you got on!

Next month’s retreat is sold out, but there are still a few places on my week retreat in Chamonix, France this September – check it out!

All my best, Helen

Helen Clare

Helen Clare, founder of Helen Clare Yoga and Run Better with Yoga, is a trail runner, senior yoga teacher and yoga for athletes coach, living in Cornwall, UK.

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