How yoga is beneficial for your runner’s feet
Most of us know the ancient practice of yoga has myriad benefits for the body, mind and spirit. Add to that, yoga offers some serious perks for runners, like improving flexibility and helping with recovery from long runs.
Adding a simple yoga routine to your weekly training regime tailored specifically to the biomechanics of running and the stresses put on a runner’s body, can have beneficial impact. The pluses are aiding recovery and prevention of strains and muscle fatigue in the long run.
Many runners (myself included) are quick to state the lack of time to fit in a yoga session to our already busy lives. We’ve drawn upon the knowledge of JackRabbit team member and yoga instructor Vincent Gerbino, to share his tips on a few yoga poses any time-crunched athlete can fit into their day for maximum benefits.
This session, we focus on an area special to all runners – feet. They support us and take much of the running load. They can be prone to ailments such as plantar fasciitis, tightness and general aches and pains.
Read on to learn three key yoga poses for feet easy to incorporate into your day to keep your feet stretched and importantly build strength.
3 YOGA POSES FOR FEET
(and preventing plantar fasciitis)
Yoga Instructor, Vincent Gerbino
‘These are poses familiar to anyone who attends my yoga classes. A little yoga each day goes a long way in terms of strengthening your body and bringing you to amore blissful every-day state. You’ll need to be barefoot to reap true benefits of these poses, plus, doing so will help you have better connection and control on your feet when your running shoes are on.
It is best to use a yoga mat, mostly for safety’s sake and to get good grip to hold the positions for Fist Lunges and Fist Toes pose. Toes stands can be done wherever you have a stable & hard flat surface.’
Lunge Pose: Start with the lunge, at it activates the whole leg, from the hip socket down to the ankle and foot. Start out standing at the top of your mat (known in yoga as Mountain pose).
Drop the hands to the floor and stabilize them under your shoulders, bring your weight to your right foot and step your left foot straight back. Keep right knee directly above right ankle. Dig the ball of your left foot gently but firmly into the mat, so that you are pushing down behind the big toe.
Let the toes spread and push down behind each of the smaller toes. Hold the lunge for at least 20 seconds. Step back to the top of your mat and repeat the exercise on the other side.
FIST TOES POSE
Fist Toes Pose: Start out standing at the top of your mat. Drop the hands to the floor and stabilize them under your shoulders. Step left foot back and then the right foot to make a right angle with your legs and your torso (known in yoga as Downward Dog pose).
Feet should be hip-width apart and hands shoulder width apart. Flatten the back and align arms with the torso. Flip the feet and make fists with your toes; toe knuckles will dig down into the mat as the tops of the feet and fronts of the shin stretch.
This pose takes some getting used, to start with short intervals, not holding the pose for more than ten seconds. Repeat three or four times. At you get used to the mechanics of the pose, lengthen the intervals to 20 seconds.
Toe Stands: Toe stands can be done in stationary fashion, or you can also walk around. Simply stand and then raise your heels off the ground.
Push down behind your big toe and let the toes spread enough so that you feel stable pressure behind each of the smaller toes as well, and don’t let the ankles roll in or out.
You can do longer stints for toe stands as this movement flows the pattern of normal plantar flexion, the motion we do when walking and running. You can walk around the house or hold the pose in one place. Make sure you remain connected to how the movement feels if you are walking around.