5 Yoga Poses To Fight Depression

In these hectic days, tight schedules and busy lifestyle, depression engulfs a person very easily. A good yoga for depression is the best tool to help you overcome any signs of depression.

Yoga not only helps in achieving body balance, but also helps in balancing mind and soul. It acts as a stress buster and even helps relieve mild depression. Yoga poses help you in maintaining balance and also revitalize your mind, body and soul.

There are various yoga poses which helps to cure depression. Few of these are listed below. Follow the step by step instructions of yoga poses for depression given below and get started with a new cure for depression.

1. Padmasana:

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This is also known as the lotus pose. This acts as a great depression buster. For this pose, you have to sit down on yoga mat in comfortable cross-legged position. Spread your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee, lift it up with your right hand and place it on the outer side of your left thigh. Bend your left knee, lift it up with your left hand and place it on the outer side of your right thigh. This is known as Padmasana. Place your hands on your knees, plams facing downwards. This hand mudra is known as drone mudra. Sit in this pose for as much time as you can, close your eyes and relax.

2. Viparita Karani:

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Lie down on the floor on your back, legs spread straight and hands placed beside the body. Pressurize on your buttocks and with a slight jerk try to push your legs in the upward direction. One can even support the position by resting legs against the wall. Keep your legs straight and buttocks firm. Remain steady, close your eyes and relax. Try to concentrate on your breathing.

3. Matsyasana:

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This asana is also known as the fish pose. Lie down on the floor on your back, hands placed besides the body. Now take a deep breath and try to lift up your body from your chest off the floor, tilt your head in such a way that the crown of your head rests on the ground. Slightly lift up your buttocks upwards and slowly slide your hands below your buttocks. Rest your buttocks on your hands. Keeping eyes closed; remain steady and relax. A perfect pose of yoga to fight depression.

4. Setu bandh:

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This asana is also known as bridge pose. Lie down on your back, hands placed besides the body. Bend your knees and place your feet on the ground. Keep distance between both the legs. The distance between your feet & your buttocks should be the same as that of your hands & feet. Lift up your hips & waist in the upward direction. Remain steady and relax.

5. Shavasana:

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This is also known as the corpse pose. This is the best relaxation pose which suits everyone. Here you have to lie down on the floor on your back. Let your body loose. Spread out your legs straight, letting them loose and away from the body in a comfortable position. Your hands have to be in the same position like your legs- spread apart from your body with your palms facing upwards. Relax your head but in a comfortable position. Relax your mind, body & soul. This pose is the best to combat depression.

Now say NO to depression! A healthy and stress-free life is in store for you. Try practicing yoga for depression and anxiety along with deep breathing and meditation, and you will certainly find a way out of depressed lifestyle!

6 Yoga Mudras To Overcome Any Ailments

Yoga is not only an exercise but a form of spiritual practice to improve you physical, mental and spiritual well being. It doesn’t only refer to twisting and curling your body into different shapes and poses, but it also involves some specific mudras posed during meditations. Mudras mean gestures adopted during pranayams and meditations that directs flow of energy into our body. Yogic tantras say that these mudra yoga techniques stimulate different areas of the brain.

1.  Gyan Mudra:

This is the first yoga mudra pose known as Gyan Mudra or the Mudra of Knowledge.

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How to do?

Practice this mudra when doing meditations. It’s perfect when you do it early in the mornings with a fresh mind. Touch the tip of your index finger with the tip of your thumb. The other three fingers, you may keep it straight or just keep it free, doesn’t matter even if they are slightly bent. This is a very commonly used mudra when practicing meditations.

2. Vayu Mudra:

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How to do?

This mudra can be practiced in a standing, sitting or lying down posture. It’s easy to do. Fold your index finger. As you fold your fingers you can see two bones. These are called phalanx bones. When you have folded your index finger the second bone that you see, you have to press it with the base of your thumb just as shown in the above picture. The rest of the three fingers should be kept extended as much as possible.

Do this at any time of the day as per your convenience. There is also no compulsion of doing this at an empty stomach. You may also practice this mudra with a full stomach.

3. Agni Mudra (Mudra of Fire):

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How to do?

Fold your ring finger and press the second phalanx with the base of your thumb. Keep the rest of the fingers straight. This mudra should be practiced only in sitting position early in the morning with an empty stomach. Maintain this mudra for atleast 15 minutes every day.

4. Prithvi Mudra (Mudra of Earth):

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How to do?

Touch the tip of your ring finger with the tip of your thumb. Pressing the tips of these two fingers, keep the rest of the fingers extended out.

It is preferable that you perform this mudra in the morning. However you may even do it at any time of the day and for any duration. Sit in a padmasana keeping the palms of both your hands on your knees with straight elbows. Perform this asana when you feel stressed out and exhausted. Padmasana accompanied by this mudra will immediately perk you up.

5. Varun Mudra (Mudra of Water):

This is the best yogic mudra for your outer beauty. It has a positive effect on your skin and keeps it away off all problems. A very effective yoga asana for your overall health let us learn to do this mudra with perfection.

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How to do?

Lightly touch the tip of your little finger with the tip of your thumb. The rest of the fingers should be kept straight. There is no specific time to perform this mudra. You may do it at any time of the day and in any position, but sitting cross-legged when doing this mudra is preferable.

6. Shunya Mudra (Mudra of emptiness):

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How to do?

Press the first phalanx of your middle finger with the thumb.

5 Basics To Know Before Starting Yoga

You have decided to join a basic yoga class but at the same time you are confused about what to expect and how to behave. Remember – yoga is a confluence of physical and spiritual aspects. Unless you are prepared mentally, you will never be able to achieve your goal, irrespective of its gravity. There are certain things which one ought to keep in mind before practicing yoga – at home or in the class. The guidelines are very simple and easy to remember.

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1. Patience is the key to be successful:

This is the first thing which a person must understand. Yoga does not yield results in one day. You have to practice regularly for at least 30 to 45 days, with utmost dedication to visualize results. Be it for weight loss, weight gain or diabetes, regular indulgence in yoga is sure to offer you results, but time is the buzzword.

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2. Always practice yoga in serenity:

A silent atmosphere is the basic requirement for practicing yoga. The room should be airy as well. You can turn on some light music, preferably chants such as Om. Silence and tranquility will help you concentrate on your asanas and breathing, thus rendering you with the ability to listen and acknowledge your body’s needs in a very satisfactory way. Every breath you take should be kept track of. That is one of the key reasons why gurus advice you to practice yoga early in the morning or evening. This is when the environment will be free of sounds, thus helping you to realize your inner self wholly and transform yourself.

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3. Always wear comfortable clothing:

Always choose clothing in which you are comfortable. Loose, comfortable clothes will help you breathe right while performing the asanas. Tight clothes could actually restrict free movement and at times even result in injuries. Choose cotton clothes, preferably a tee and loose track pants, as they allow absorption of the sweat and help you do your asanas with complete concentration.

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4. Never eat a heavy meal just before your yoga practice:

As with other fitness regimens, yoga also does not allow you to work with a full stomach. Try to practice yoga early in the morning, half an hour after a cup of coffee. If that does not suit you, then make sure that you wait for at least two hours after breakfast and four hours after lunch, before practicing yoga. There are quite a lot of asanas that focus on the abdomen. Working out on a full stomach can yield unpleasant results while performing those poses.

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5. An instructor is a must to learn yoga the right way.

There are countless websites now that offer A to Z information with respect to the different types of yoga, asanas, and much more. However, if you are new to yoga, then it is advisable to seek the presence of a trainer yogin or yogini [yoga teachers], who can teach you the right way of doing asanas. Like other exercises, even the slightest mistake while doing an asana can result in injury. Hence, the presence of a guru is of the utmost importance.

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Remember yoga is not about becoming an expert in an asana or just attaining a physical goal. You have to strive towards striking a harmony between body and mind. So, if you are keen on learning this art, then do remember these yoga basics.

5 Yoga Moves For Glowing Skin

1. Breathing exercise:

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Control your breathing through counts that will rejuvenate your mind and that is what makes this pose of yoga for beautiful skin so popular.

· Sit on the floor with legs crossed.

· Close your eyes, relax and breathe normally.

· Now breathe in deeply through both nostrils with the count of 10.

· Hold your breath, again by counting 10.

· Count another 10 to release the breath.

· Practice this breathing technique for 5-10 minutes.

This breathing exercise will help you control your mind and you won’t get stressed out easily.

 

2. Halasana (Plough pose):

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· Lie down on your yoga mat straight and relaxed. Put your arms by your side with palms facing the floor.

· Now slowly lift up your legs from the floor such that a right angle is formed between your upper and lower torso. Push floor with your hands so that it gets easy for you to lift your legs. Breathe and relax.

· Next bring your legs more towards your upper torso and slowly lift your hips off the floor supporting and balancing yourself with your hands.

· Continue lifting your legs and bring it beyond your head as much as possible so as to touch the floor beyond your head with your toes.

· At this point, lift your back further so that now only your shoulder and your head is resting on the floor.

· Now your back has formed an arch. Straighten your spine and support the two sides of your waist with your hands, elbows on the ground. Breathe normally.

· Hold posture for 15-30 seconds before returning back to normal position.

 

3. Dhanurasana (Bow pose):

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In this asana, your body should pose like a bow.

· Lie down on your belly with hands by your side with palms facing upwards.

· Bend your knees to bring the heels near your buttocks.

· Now take your hands back and grasp your ankles. Rest your body weight on your abdomen.

· Now pull your ankles more with your hands. As your pull your ankles more, your upper torso automatically rises.  And now your body looks like a bow.

· Keep your breathing normal.

 

4. Bharadvajasana (Twisted seated pose):

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· Sit on the mat cross-legged with both hands extended on the mat on both your sides.

· Inhale deeply and strengthen your spine.

· Shifting your left hand from the mat place it on your right thigh and twist your torso to the right. Exhale when you twist your body.

· Hold this position for 30 seconds.

· Now turn your torso to your left while placing your right hand over your left thigh. Stay for another 30 seconds.

This asana of yoga for fair and glowing skin is great for anti-aging.

 

5. Shavasana (Corpse pose):

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· Lie down straight on the floor with your eyes closed.

· Relax thoroughly and throw out all negative thoughts and tension, be it your office pressure or any disturbance in your family. Think good and positive.

· Now, stand up straight and firm with your legs apart. Cover your face with your hands and take 10 quick breaths.

· Rub the skin on your eyes, forehead and face. Again take 10 quick breaths. Then rub entire face with your fingers. Breathe properly at the count of 10.

 

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You’ll feel all your stress and tensions have disappeared.

Practice yoga, be happy and feel beautiful.

The 6 Best Yoga Poses for Travelers

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We love to travel for so many reasons: Exploring different cultures, taking a break from our inbox, and actually relaxing a little are just a few. One part we don’t particularly enjoy? Feeling super cramped and uncomfortably sandwiched between strangers (who somehow always seem to have a very unhappy baby or a hacking cough) on long flights, train rides, or road trips.

While we can’t help with your unfortunate seatmates, we can offer a way counteract all that sitting. The following yoga poses help relieve an achy back, open up hip flexors, and even provide a mini-workout while you’re on the go. They’ll bring blood flow back to your head, legs, and all those body parts that fell asleep.

The best part: You don’t need any equipment, so you can perform these moves anywhere your travels take you—a hotel room, the corner of an airport terminal, or even at a highway rest stop. Just be sure to stash some hand sanitizer in your suitcase.

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1. Half Dog (Ardha Adho Makha Svanasana)

Place your fingertips on the wall at hip-height. Walk your feet back and bend from your hips until your legs and torso form a 90-degree angle with the floor, ankles directly underneath your hips.

Benefits: Opens your chest, shoulders, back, and hamstrings.

Perfect for: Relieving lower back pain after hours spent sitting in an uncomfy plane, bus, or train seat.

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2. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Bring your feet together or hip-width apart. Reach your tailbone toward the floor, back straight, as you sit into an imaginary chair. Reach your fingertips toward the ceiling. Gaze upwards, drawing your head back.

Benefits: Strengthens your shins, legs, glutes, core, and arms.

Perfect for: Waking up all those parts of your body that don’t get enough blood flow when you’re strapped into a seatbelt.

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3. Standard Hip Opener / Quad Stretch

Stand one to two feet away from a sink or chair. Bend one leg, reach the top of your foot behind you to rest on the surface. Draw your hips forward, holding onto the surface. Make sure hips stay level. Repeat on other leg.

Benefits: Stretches your quads, opens your hip flexors.

Perfect for: Lengthening tight hip flexors and quads. Also gets blood flow to the knee joint.

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4. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Planting one foot firmly on the floor, bring the bottom of the other foot to the inside of the standing leg’s calf or upper thigh. Keep a wall within reach in case you need it for balance. Switch legs and repeat.

Benefits: Improves balance, opens your hips, engages your core, improves ankle stability and foot arch strength.

Perfect for: Stretching and strengthening the back and side of your leg (and core) that get stiff during long commutes.

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5. Standing Big Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangustasana)

Plant your left foot on the floor and straighten your left leg. Shift your weight onto it. Lift your right leg off the floor. Bend at the right knee. Reach down with your right hand to grasp the big toe of your right foot (or the outside of your right foot). While holding onto a wall, extend that right leg straight out in front of you. Modify this by drawing the right knee into the chest with your right inner elbow. Repeat on other leg.

Benefits: Improves balance, engages the core, stretches the hamstring and lower back.

Perfect for: Stimulating parts of your brain that control balance.

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6. Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Place both feet firmly on the floor and place your fingertips or palms next to the outer edge of each foot. Pull your torso forward for a serious stretch. (If touching the floor makes you squeamish, simply grasp your calves to pull your torso forward.)

Benefits: Stimulates blood flow to the brain, stretches the hamstrings and lower back, lengthens and take stress off the spine.

Perfect for: Relieving back pain from uncomfy seating positions.

10 Popular Yoga Myths Busted

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Myth 1: Physical flexibility is the keyword for practicing yoga

Practicing yoga asanas on a regular basis in fact, helps in attaining better flexibility. In reality, when compared to other forms of fitness routines, this art helps even those who have never exercised throughout their lives.

Myth 2: Yoga begets you a six-pack abs

While this art does offer you physical benefits, it has much more in store. Yoga in truth, offers you a chance to undergo complete transformation – physically, physiologically and psychologically. Thus, it transforms your lifestyle as well as your view towards life.

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Myth 3: Hot yoga is the best way to go from flab to fab

Yes, there are countless people running after this Yoga form who are in the wagon to lose weight. Bikram yoga, which is popularly known as Hot Yoga, does aid in weight loss. However, pick any Yoga form, if and when practiced on a regular basis with utmost dedication offers you the desired results.

Myth 4: Yoga is only for women

More and more women today are turning towards Yoga. No wonder we are hearing this yoga myth. In truth, anyone can do Yoga irrespective of their gender and age. The only thing you require is an open mindset. People like B. K. S. Iyengar, Bikram Choudhury, T. Krishnamacharya and many more are renowned male Yoga teachers.

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Myth 5: Tantra yoga is sex uninhibited

The demand for Tantra Yoga especially in the Western countries has resulted in the misinterpretation of this form. Tantra Yoga is a divinely beautiful experience that celebrates the union of male and female – Shiva and Shakti, to be more specific. While this Yoga form does offer a sexual release, there is more to it. Tantra Yoga actually helps in channelling your energy in a way that it is in harmony with the cosmic unison.

Myth 6: Pregnant women should refrain from practicing yoga

This myth is completely incongruous. Yoga aids in keeping your body and mind completely relaxed when you are pregnant. Various asanas have exclusively been designed keeping in mind the condition of a pregnant woman. However, like other forms of exercise, you should definitely take the advice of your physician before you get started on this as well.

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Myth 7: Practice yoga outdoors for better results

Yoga when performed in serenity, offers ideal results. However, it can be practiced anywhere. Only make sure that there is proper air circulation in the room, as breathing is a vital ingredient for all yoga poses.

Myth 8: Yoga cannot be personalized

This is yet another popular misconception. Each body is different, so are the needs of every individual. All the asanas can be modified, to a certain extent, keeping in mind the requirements of each person.

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Myth 9: Include yoga in your daily regimen for better orgasms

“Rome was not built in a day”. This proverb is very much true when it comes to this myth. The increased flexibility that comes with regular practice offers you to enjoy your sexual life in a better way, no doubt.

Myth 10: Yoga is Hinduism

This is perhaps, one of the most common misconceptions about yoga. This is a form which transforms you as a whole individual and has no strings attached to any religion. You just need to be a human being to practice yoga.

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Now that the yoga myths have been busted, we hope you can start practicing this lovely form of revitalization and rejuvenation with utmost dedication right away!

5 Chill Yoga Poses to Ease Anxiety

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The holidays are upon us, and sometimes that translates to added stress when you have too much to do and too little time.  Whatever the reason for the stress fest, as this happens, sleep and breathing become more difficult, which in turn creates more anxiety—it’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken!

Naturally, I prescribe yoga as the fix. You can try alternate nostril breathing to ease anxiety and calm a busy brain that doesn’t want to stop bouncing around. There are also a bunch of poses geared toward grounding and stilling the mind. Here are a few of my favorites. I recommend doing them all if you have time, or picking a few of your favorites whenever your thoughts won’t stop running around or your anxiety starts to climb.

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Cow/Cat

While these are technically two poses, one is not often done without the other to counter. Alternating between these several times in a row solidly links your breath to your movement and calms the mind. Cat/cow repetitions also relieve any abdominal cramping caused by anxiety.

Come to all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. On an inhale, look up and arch spine, rolling shoulders away from ears for cow. As you exhale, press the floor away with hands and knees, and round your spine (like an angry Halloween cat; see this cat pose image). Do at least five complete breath cycles (five inhales/cats and five exhales/cows).

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Devotional Warrior

Open both the hips and shoulders—two places that tighten when we’re anxious—and improve focus with this pose.

From down dog, step right foot forward, spin back heel down, and inhale arms up to frame head in warrior one. Then allow hands to fall behind you, clasp them behind sacrum, take a big inhale to open chest, and use your exhale to fold yourself inside of your right knee. Stay here for at least five deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.

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Seated Forward Fold

Do this introspective pose when you want to generate self-reflection.

From a seated position, extend legs long in front of you and together. Keeping knees soft, take a deep breath to fill yourself with space, and use your exhale to lean forward into the space you just created. If you have a tight lower back, sit on a block or blanket. Take at least five deep breaths here.

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Twist

Erase any negative energy or unwanted thoughts with twists. With each exhale, picture yourself wringing out like a sponge, getting rid of what you don’t want or need in your body or mind.

Lying on the ground, hug right knee into chest, “T” arms out to either side, and allow right knee to fall to the left. You can stay with a neutral neck or, if it feels good, look to the right. You can also take left hand to right thigh to allow the weight of your hand to ground your twisted leg. Stay here for at least five deep breaths, and then repeat on the other side.

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Legs up the Wall

This pose allows your nervous system to chill, reroutes circulation, grounds you, and brings you back to the present.

Sit sideways next to a wall and then lie down on side, facing away from the wall with butt touching it. Using arms, lift legs up the wall as you roll over onto back. Allow arms to fall on either side of you. Palms can face up for openness or face down for an extra level of grounding. Stay here for at least five breaths or, if you feel good, as long as you like.

Why You Should Try Yoga On a Paddle-board

Is your yoga routine getting a little stale? If you’re looking for a new challenge, yoga on a stand up paddle-board will reinvigorate you and push you to become an even better yogi than you thought possible — all while enjoying the natural splendor of floating on water. And it’s not just for the lucky few in tropical places like Hawaii.  Below, ten reasons you might want to try this new yoga style:

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1. It’s a better workout.

Since the platform is unstable, you have to engage your core more for better balance. Your whole midsection will have to work to keep you balanced and afloat. You have to work harder and focus more on the water.

2. It will refine your technique.

You’ll be more in tune with your poses. For example, during downward dog, if you have more weight on one side, your board will let you know.

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3. It’s more calming.

The sensation of floating helps to alleviate the heaviness that life sometimes throws on our shoulders.

4. It will help you focus on your breath.

Ujjayi Pranayama, or Ocean Breath, is a popular yoga method for breathing because the “ocean” sound is believed to soothe your mind. And some researchers believe that listening to the sound of the ocean can help people to relax. The gentle sound of water lapping while on a paddleboard will help you relax and key you in to the most important aspect of yoga: your breath.

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5. It’s empowering.

Standing up on a paddle board gives you a unique perspective of both the water and the horizon. It’s as close as you can get to walking on water, and the possibility of falling helps practitioners really focus on themselves and their poses. “It’s about letting go of the fear. You get off the water feeling really rejuvenated. It’s empowering.

6. It’s fun.

It’s well-known that novelty is important in exercise regimens in order to stay motivated and happy. According to the National Institute of Health, “Mixing it up also helps to reduce boredom and cut your risk of injury.” There are many different types of yoga, but it’s still easy to fall into a rut. Trying paddleboard yoga will keep you on your toes.

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7. It’s just a touch scary.

The very real possibility of falling into the water provides just enough adrenaline to your workout to keep you focused and motivated. And that could help you fight the ill-effects of stress in your everyday life.

8. It teaches you to get back up.

If you do fall in, you are forced to overcome the set-back, climb back up on your board, and try again — which is a life lesson in and of itself. Conquering the fear of falling in is essential. The quicker you become okay with falling into the water, the better you’ll feel and the easier it will be.

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9. It’s more challenging.

When the board is your mat, there’s less room for error. If you feel like you’ve started to master your normal yoga class, it’s time you tried this.

10. It’s beautiful.

Between breathing fresh air, soaking up vitamin D and enjoying the natural landscape, it beats just about any gym or studio out there. Yoga means union. When it’s practiced outdoors it seems like the union with nature, humanity, and the universe is truly felt.

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6 Yoga Poses to Offer Relief

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Are you dealing with shooting pains or numbness from sciatica? Discomfort is caused when the sciatic nerve (which runs from the lower spine down the back of each leg) gets pinched. It can be caused by an injury such as a slipped disk or pelvic fracture, pregnancy, or tight muscles in the lower back, hips, and legs. Whether you feel yours at night or after sitting or standing for a long time, relief is just a yoga mat away with these six poses.

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Half Moon

If your sciatica symptoms are caused by sitting or standing for long periods, stretching the outer leg can offer instant relief.

Stand on your hands and feet in Downward Facing Dog. Step your right foot forward between your hands, and rise up into Warrior 1. Open your hips, arms, and chest into Warrior 2.

Place your left hand on your left hip, and stretch your right arm straight out, creating length through the right side of your body. Shift weight onto your right foot, and lift your left foot up. Plant your right palm flat on the ground under your shoulder.

Distribute your weight evenly between your right hand and foot. Lift your left arm up, and gaze toward your left hand. Hold for five breaths, and then release the pose, coming into Downward Dog. Then try Half Moon on the left side.

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Seated Spinal Twist

Creating some movement in the spine through twisting poses can relieve pressure from the sciatic nerve. As a bonus, this pose also targets the oh-so-tight piriformis muscle.

Begin seated on your mat with your legs extended in front of you. Bend both knees and place your left heel as close to your right sit bone as you can. Cross your right foot over your left knee and plant it on the floor so your outer right ankle is next to your left knee.

Reach your right arm behind you, and place your palm on the floor. Cross your left elbow over your outer right thigh to gently increase the twist.

Gaze behind you and over your right shoulder, staying here for five breaths. Then release the twist, straighten your legs out in front of you, and do this pose with your left knee pointing up.

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Open Lizard

This variation of Lizard pose will open a different part of your hip, as well as offer a nice stretch for the hip flexor, which can also contribute to sciatica discomfort.

From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot forward between your palms. Keep your hands on the mat, and lower your left knee to the floor, pointing the toes.

Slowly lower your right knee to the right, so you’re resting on the outside of your right flexed foot. Keep your arms straight, pressing your chest forward just like in Upward Facing Dog. This will help encourage your hips to lower, increasing the stretch.

Gaze forward, and enjoy this pose for five breaths. Then switch sides.

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Locust

Strengthening the back muscles can offer relief, and here’s an effective and relaxing pose to try.

Lie on your belly with your legs together. Place your arms by your sides so your palms are facing up.

As you inhale, lift your legs, head, and upper body off the floor. Keep your hands on the floor for support. As you breathe, extend the crown of your head away from your toes, lengthening as much as you can through your spine.

Stay for five breaths, and then release back to the mat.

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Pigeon

Take this pose as deeply as you want to target the areas of discomfort around your lower back, hips, and thighs.

From Downward Facing Dog, step both feet together, and bring your right knee forward between your hands so your outer right leg is resting on the mat. If your hips are more open, inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat.

Stay here with your hands resting on your hips or your right leg, or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee.

Hold here, breathing into any areas of tightness and tension, for at least five breaths. Then place your hands on the mat in front of you, tuck your left toes, and step your right foot back. Repeat Pigeon on the left side.

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Half Wheel

Some people will experience relief from engaging the glutes and hamstrings, so give this backbend a go.

Begin lying flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body and your palms facing down. Bend your knees, placing your heels as close as you can to your bum.

With your palms and feet pressing firmly into the ground, lift your hips up. Keep your palms on the mat or clasp your hands together below your pelvis, extending through your arms. Or you can also bend your elbows and rest your hands on your lower back. If your feet are close enough, you can also hold your ankles.

Stay here for five deep breaths, lifting your hips up as high as you can.

5 poses to supercharge your run: yoga for runners

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You’re running. You feel the wind ripping through your hair, adrenaline pumping through your body, then suddenly: a cramp. Tight hamstrings. Sore feet. Your knees. If running pains deter you from being able to thoroughly enjoy outdoor or indoor jogs, do yoga for runners!

We particularly like the way that Daily Yoga structures their Yoga for Runners sessions by making a distinction between pre and post-run stretches. Their pre-run yoga routine focuses on body balance, muscle strength, and joint flexibility and makes use of simple stretches to condition the body for long-distance runs. Their post-run training restores, elongates, and loosens any tension built up in your muscles. Mobile communities like PumpUp and Daily Yoga provide the guidance and structured routines that a personal trainer would give you, but within the comfort of your home.

Our favorite pre-run yoga moves

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Standing forward fold with hands on hips

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Wide-legged forward bend with hands on hips

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Triangle pose (right and left)

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One legged pigeon pose (right and left)

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Warrior Pose II (right and left)

For more instructions on how to do these poses, check out Daily Yoga‘s Yoga for runners series and share about your routine on PumpUp! How do you warm up and cool down before and after your runs? Let us know in the comments below!