Establishing a regular asana (pose) practice has enormous benefits for building strength, balance and flexibility. Based on your needs and preferences, you will find poses that appeal to you and work for you with experience.
I recommend attending hatha yoga level I classes first to ensure that you are doing the poses correctly working with an experienced teacher. You may want to shop around and try different studios and teachers to find a class that is most helpful to you.
Based on your training schedule, you may want to aim to practice yoga 2-3 times per week, starting slowly and gently. It is important for runners who have a demanding training program to take a very easy relaxed approach to yoga to experience the full effects. Less is more here. Never strain in a yoga class, as overdoing it can set you up for future running injuries. Never do anything different just before a race or big training run, start slow and gradual as you integrate running within your routine.
Once you have a good foundation, you can access yoga classes online at your convenience. I recommend Yoga Anytime, which offers a trial subscription and offers a wide variety of practices with various teachers.
Over time, you may want to develop your own home practice based on the poses that benefit you the most. While there are significant benefits to attending classes in person, you should be aware that there are options that may be helpful for committing to a regular practice.
Generally, you will want to make sure that you are including poses in your practice that can be beneficial for runners. Once you are familiar, consider the following poses that may be particularly helpful for runners based on individual needs:
• Core poses – Pelvic tilt, cat/cow in table position, bird dog from table, plank, side plank
• Lateral strength poses – single leg/double leg raises, scissoring, running legs from supine position, single leg lowering, side angle pose
• Back strengthening – Locust, locust legs, bridge, one-legged bridge
• Balance poses – Rising and lowering on toes, tree pose, stork/holding one knee in front of body, dancer’s pose, warrior three, half moon
• Inversions – Downward dog, legs up the wall, shoulder stand
[Note: If you don’t know any of these terms, ask me!]
You can gradually incorporate select yoga poses based on your individual needs, below are guidelines to use as a starting point for consideration and discussion with me:
• Hill reps or sprints – Static hamstring, quad, glut and hip flexor stretches, such as runner’s lunge, walking dog, thread needle in supine and lateral side bends
• Long road or trail run – Foot stretches, inversions, full body stretches, six directions of the spine, hip mobilizing movements (talk to me!). If you have difficulty falling asleep, try deep breathing, meditation or relaxation exercises
• Light run – Dynamic cool down such as sun salutation, balances such as tree, strong standing postures such as lunging warrior one and goddess pose
• Rest days – Strong flow sequence to build strength as well as in lateral strengthening poses to restore muscle imbalances. Meditation, breathing and relaxation to disconnect from training stressors and reset your frame of mind