Hungry Runner

1. I hope the instructor isn’t too into yoga. I’m so not in the mood for Ohm right now.

2. Quick! Grab that last spot in the back row.

3. Let me just squeeze my mat in right here. I’m not too close to the guy next to me right? Nah. I definitely fit.

4. I hope he doesn’t sweat on my mat, though.

5. Ugh! Maybe I should just move up to the front where there’s more space.

6. No, then I might offend this guy. People might think I’m weird. Better just stay put.

7. Ok. I guess I’ll stretch a little before we get started.

8. Is that lady meditating or taking a nap?

Continue reading…

(Source: theactivetimes.com)

"When regularly practiced, periods of intense mindfulness can combat aging and reshape certain sections of the brain — no Lululemon required."

Science discovers yoga and meditation can combat aging and reshape your brain (via micdotcom)

rachaeldee:

rachaeldee:

Yoga for Runners

Hello friends! Due to the success of my Yoga for Hip Openers guide and finishing up my second half marathon last month, I thought I would put together a warm-up & cool-down guide for runners. Hope you enjoy!

Dynamic Warm-Up

When I go out for a run, I generally warm up by running about half a mile at a nice easy pace and then stopping to do some dynamic warm-ups. These will get your heart pumping and the blood flowing to your legs.

  • Standing Leg Swings: You can use a tree, or even a sign pole, to steady yourself. Keep your base leg straight and rise onto the ball of your foot, and swing your leg to the side and across your body. Do 10 of these before switching legs. You can also then turn and swing your legs front and back on each leg. Warms up your ham strings and hip flexors.
  • High Knees: For these, take very small steps and bring your knees up close to your chest. Keep your core engaged and upright so you’re lifting from your abs. I like to do these for 20 seconds, walk a bit, and then do 20 more seconds.
  • Butt Kicks: Taking small steps again, bring your feet up to kick your butt. These stretch out your quadriceps and calves. Go for 20 seconds, walk a bit, and then repeat.

Others you can include are: grape vines (sideways one step in front one step behind), backwards jogging, strides (elongated stride running), walking lunges, and skipping while swinging your arms across your body! 

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Static Cool Down

After your run, these yoga poses are great for cooling down and stretching out all the muscles you just used. Try to keep your breathing steady and hold each pose for 5-10 deep breaths.

  • Downward Facing Dog: Keep your back straight and your legs long. You’ll feel this one down the backs of your legs. Don’t be afraid to walk it out, bend each leg, and even lift one leg up at a time. Keep your neck long and look back between your legs.
  • Runner’s Lunge: Swing one leg through and have your knee bent at 90 degrees, hands on the ground, back leg straight and up on the ball of your foot. Make sure your knee doesn’t pass your big toe and feel this one through your hip flexor.
  • Triangle Pose: Front leg facing forward, back leg turned out to 10pm on the clock. Keep both legs straight and keep your core engaged and back straight as you lean over. Extend your top arm high and if you have the balance, turn to look at it. Don’t keep any weight in your bottom hand!
  • Standing Separate Leg Head-To-Knee Pose: I learned this one from the Bikram series - from Triangle pose, centre your hips to face forward and gently bring your chest toward your front leg while keeping your back straight. Don’t worry if your head doesn’t get near your knee! Reach with the chest, not the head.
  • Warrior I Pose: Bend your front leg and extend arms high, keeping same leg position from previous pose. You’ll feel this one in your back calf and quad.
  • Eye of the Needle Pose: Come onto your back and bend one leg across the other. Thread the needle by reaching through the bend in your leg and gently pull the underneath leg toward your chest. This one targets the glute and feels so great after running. 

After completing, go back to downward facing dog and repeat with the other leg in front!

Some other poses I like to include are bound angle pose (stretches out the groin), standing and seated forward folds, and happy baby pose (great for hips and groin). Also in the first picture - using a tree or pole to stretch out your calves feels soooo good after a run!

All clothing pictured is from Nike and my shoes are the Bionic Free 1.0 DC edition.

in honor of National Running Day, here’s my Yoga for Runners guide again :) 

(via the-exercist)

rachaeldee:

Yoga for hip openers

hello friends! ever since these photos of me started making the rounds on tumblr, the most common question i get asked is “what are hip openers?” so i thought i would make my next guide focused on that. hip openers are poses that help to loosen the muscles that connect to the hip joints. remember that these muscles are often very tight and be careful not to overstretch yourself. loosening the hips happens very very gradually. incorporating some of these poses into your yoga practice can help to achieve both front and side splits!

ps. i tried to put these in a coherent order so that you can flow through them with one leg, then go back and repeat the flow using the opposite leg! 

  • standing wide-legged forward fold - put your feet wider than shoulder width and bend forward while keeping the back as straight and flat as possible. you should feel the stretch in your hamstrings - hold for a few breaths, then rotate around to downward facing dog.
  • lizard pose - start in downward facing dog and raise one leg up behind you, then swing it through to place your foot next to your hand, on the outside. keep your front knee at a 90 degree angle and sink into a deep lunge, with your back knee on the floor and leg extended. you’ll feel this one in your back leg’s hip flexor (along your hip crease) and also deep in your front leg’s hip joint. 
  • pigeon pose - from lizard pose, move your hand to the outside of your front foot, keep the knee bent, and pull your foot across so it’s near the opposite hand. bend the knee as generously as you want - the closer it is to being parallel with your body, the deeper the stretch. rest here, or go down to your elbows, or even lay forward as you advance in the pose. hold for 5 breaths.
  • seated wide-legged forward fold - extend both legs wide as far as is comfortable. rest here, and then bend forward with a straight back. i also like to stretch by reaching toward one foot and then the other.
  • head-to-knee forward bend - extend one leg and bend the other at the knee. gently bring your head to your knee while keeping your back straight and your core engaged. if you can’t get down far, just keep your back straight and hold for 3-5 breaths.
  • wind relieving pose - come on to your back, bend one knee and interlace your fingers on your shin bone, about two inches below the knee. pull gently toward your body, keeping your back flush with the ground and engaging your core. you can also rotate your knee gently here.
  • happy baby pose - bend legs and grab for the inside of your heels, and try to keep your back completely flush with the mat - this will give you the deepest stretch in this pose! you can also roll a bit to massage your lower back. 
  • reclining goddess pose - release legs from happy baby and let them fall open to the floor. try to keep your lower back close to the ground and put arms wherever is comfortable. relax here and appreciate your fantastic body! 

hopefully this helps to answer some questions about hip openers! these the poses i focused on when i was trying to achieve the splits, but having loose hips can help with all kinds of other yoga poses and can also release a lot of tension from your lower back. happy hip-opening! :)

mat: Manduka Pro Black Sage

clothes: sports bra - lululemon flow Y IV, shorts - nike, hoodie - lululemon scuba, socks - smartwool

(via the-exercist)

Before I got into the health and fitness field, I never really knew just how important sleep is when it comes to overall health and well being. 

I’ve been writing a lot about the importance of sleep over the past few weeks and learning everything I have, including the mind-blowing statistics from this Huffington Post piece, I’ve been very adamant about getting 8 hours every night. 

Educate yourself and if you have trouble getting to bed on time or falling asleep when you do, try an easy yoga practice (see the linked story) as part of your before bed routine. 

Stay healthy, Hungry Readers!

The Health Benefits of Sleep
8 Before Bed Habits for a Better Night’s Sleep
13 Tips for Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

(Source: theactivetimes.com)

New habit for 2014: Logging all of my workouts in this nifty running journal. I just finished an hour of yoga! I picked a new video from YouTube today. I’ll be sharing the link on my blog later today.

New habit for 2014: Logging all of my workouts in this nifty running journal. I just finished an hour of yoga! I picked a new video from YouTube today. I’ll be sharing the link on my blog later today.

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The Hungry Runner by Katie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.