Improving your posture will improve your running.
So it’s definitely worth looking into it and taking time to practice.
This sequence is designed to help you do just that, especially if you know you have a tendency to slump forward when you’re running.
As always, keep breathing long, controlled, easy breaths.
ARMS OVERHEAD POSE – URDHVA HASTASANA
Stand tall. Feet press down, legs slightly engaged. Reach arms above head. Notice if your chest poofs out, gently hug it in. Also find some engagement in your core, a slight pelvic back to avoid overly arching in your lower back if your shoulders are a little on the tight side.
HOLD 1-3 minutes
Dynamic: Inhale reach arms up – exhale lower them down, 5-7 rounds
RECLINED ARMS OVERHEAD POSE – SUPTA URDHVA HASTASANA
A sweet little, yet just as powerful option to the above: Lie down.
Lie on your back. Feel free to place a pillow under your head for comfort.
Bring your arms above your head. You may notice your upper back may naturally lift and your lower back may also arch ever so slightly (or a lot). We’re also working on our range of movement here for the shoulders.
To maintain integrity, especially for the lower back, very gently hug your ribcage towards the spine, tilt your pelvis back and pull your navel down towards the mat.
HOLD 1 – 3 minutes
Dynamic: Inhale bring your arms above your head – exhale bring them by your side again. 5-8 rounds.
SUPPORTED BACK BEND
One word. Delicious. Roll up your yoga mat and place it right underneath the shoulder blades. The arms are stretched out in a T-shape. Gently place your head back to the floor. Open your mouth. Stretch your legs out or place into Supta Baddha Konasana (soles of the feet together, knees relax out, option to place blankets under each thigh for support)
Depending on how tight you are in your upper / lower back, roll up the mat a little less or a little less tight, so there’s more give. You can also place a small pillow under your head if your neck feels compressed in this position.
HOLD 1 – 3 minutes (up to 5 minutes with practice)
Allow your shoulders to drape over the rolled up mat. Take deep breaths into the chest, into the mat underneath you – and breathe out to let go. Deeply rest.
Come onto hands and knees. Alternately arch your back (inhale) and round your back (exhale).
5-10 rounds of breaths
A beautiful and gentle pose to find decompression in the spine. Become aware of where your feel it the most. Maybe do some freestyle with some circles and side way movements.
In the mornings I usually feel I need more movement to wake up some cobwebs that build up overnight, so I like going for the more dynamic versions.
However, I also encourage you to work up to being able to hold a static position a little longer. I’d say between one and three minutes would be great. These longer holds have a greater impact on the lengthening of the muscle and fascia length, which in turn will really help you with improving your posture.
So never forget about these beauties.
I hope you enjoyed these four easy postures / moves to have you grow a little taller in no time, feeling stronger and more confident. Let me know in the comments how you got on, I look forward to hearing from you.