Ask Christine – Questions 1-4

Ask Christine - your Yoga for Runners Expert!We’ve loved answering your questions over the past several weeks!┬áTo make it easier to find the answers to common questions, we’ll be combining several at a time into blog posts.

If you’ve got a question for Christine, about running, yoga, injuries, sports – anything! Go ahead and ask it in the comments, or send her a note!

“Hi Christine, how often should I do yoga?”

One of the most commonly asked questions. Ideally runners should do one full-body yoga class per week. That is a class that works on strength and flexibility for the entire body. For example, if your hamstrings are tight and you only stretch the hamstrings, you are missing out on the muscular balancing effect of yoga. In addition, do a little bit of yoga after every run! Really, you can make time for this! Even just 5 minutes will go a long way. Attending a class weekly as well as incorporating mini-sessions into your weekly routine (after every run is perfect!) has worked for many of my students. Try it and let us know… or give me your excuse to bust!! Check the YfR book for the “No Excuses” yoga sequence!

“Hi Christine, I have the worst time with my shoulders because I sit at a computer all day! What poses will help my case of computer shoulder?”

Ask Christine - clasp handsThe first thing that will help deal with computer shoulders is to become aware of the position of your head and shoulders throughout the day. Notice when the shoulders lift to the ears and draw them down your back. Think about the shoulder shelf, that space from the base of the neck to the top of the arms – feel it and when it’s hard or in knots, apply a self massage aiming to lengthen and soften the area. A quick, simple and effective counter effect is to clasping your hands behind your back, either when sitting or standing, and roll the shoulders up and then back to stretch the chest and lengthen the space between the collar bones. At the same time try to contract the bottom edges of the shoulder blades together and the chest will expand further. Do this at least once per hour for a wonderful self-treatment. When resuming your computer activity, try to keep the shoulders down and your head over your shoulders rather than forward. Try it for a week and I guarantee you will feel different.

Ask Christine - legs up the wall“Hi Christine, every night before bed I do a (gentle) deep spine twist to decompress from the day, I only spend a few minutes on it, but I wondered if you had any tips to make those few minutes more effective?”

Presumably you want to do a few poses to help you sleep. Great idea – a few yoga poses can tremendously induce sleep. A gentle supine twist is great, especially if you feel bloated. One of my faves is legs up the wall. Which ever you do the key is breathing – even deep inhaling and exhaling. The yoga poses are good but the breath is essential to turn on the parasympathetic nervous system which induces calm, rest and healing. 5 or 10 minutes every night is perfect.

“Hi Christine, I’m looking forward to golf season, but I always get an achy back and ribs – any tips?”

Downward Dog | www.yogaforrunners.comNow is the time to prep your body to avoid any pain and discomfort from the first game. Whether you have spent the past months running or sitting, the golf swing will place a different demand on your body. In preparation, I suggest some simple poses. Start by stretching out your spine and hamstrings with my all time favourite pose – downward dog. Do several while holding for 5 breaths, rest in child’s pose and repeat up to 5 times. Follow with spinal twists – both seated and lying down. Support with pillows as needed and hold each side for 2 or 3 minutes. Breathe deeply and try to feel the breath in the lower back ribs in particular. Try this now and throughout the season. “fore!”

Do you have a question for Christine? Feel free to ask it below in the comments!

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