CT Blog Spotlight / Quick Yoga Mobility Flow For Runners with Naturally Shelby

At Shoreline Connecticut we love highlighting the amazing Connecticut bloggers sharing the best in fitness, wellness, and lifestyle. Today we're sharing a blog post from Shelby, the voice behind Being Naturally Shelby. A resident of the Connecticut Shoreline, Shelby writes on health, fitness, and exploration. When not writing, you can find Shelby teaching yoga, completing her MBA, along with her Institute of Integrative Nutrition classes. This girl doesn’t mess around!

For daily inspiration you can follow Shelby on Instagram @beingnaturallyshelby.

Yoga and running are being paired more and more frequently together, and it's no surprise why. Runners build up a lot of tension in their muscles, particularly in their hips, backs, and fronts of the shoulders, due to the constant repetitive movement in one direction. While this may be a sign of poor running form, it may also be a sign that your body needs to move in a direction that it is not used to. which is why mobility specific exercises are so important to incorporate into your training. In my opinion, yoga is one of the best mobility workouts you can do for yourself.

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Why Mobility Is A Must

More and more professionals are starting to bring to light how important mobility is. Mobility exercises (think bridges, moving stretches, and side hip raises) have traditionally been viewed as exercises for people who were "too lazy" to go for the heavy weights in the weight room. In reality, these mobility exercises not only promote longevity in our joints, but it also helps us recover, therefore giving our bodies the capacity to build strength and lose fat (Yep. Sleep is also part of this).

Dr. Kelley Starrett, a San Francisco based CrossFit trainer, physical therapist, and author, began incorporating a Mobility WOD (inspired by CrossFit's WOD/"Workout Of The Day") into the training methodology at his gym, and online, in order to increase the connection between the mind and the body . Luka Hocevar, a former professional basketball player, and now gym owner and coach, starting integrative " Movement Hygiene " into the programs for his clients, after he came to the realization that, even though more and more Americans are signing up for gym memberships, the obesity epidemic and volume of chronic illness continues to increase .

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Flow For Recovery

I'm not shedding any newfound light when I saw that running is time consuming (shout out to my marathoners in particular). Getting to a yoga class 4 times a week would be ideal, but juggling a running program, a lifting schedule, a career, family, housework (the list goes on and on), often pushes getting to a studio to the bottom of the list.

Mobility work, such as this flow, can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on how tense (and inversely related, how patient), you are. This flow is easy to do at home or at the gym, on its own or on a rest day, or before or after a run.

Try to hold each pose for about 3-5 deep breaths, being conscious and present in each and every pose. The mind has such powerful effects over the body, from everything to endurance thresholds to recovery capacity. See recovery as part of your training program, meaning that it will help you get stronger in your journey to your goal, and will help you perform at a higher caliber. (It will also keep you continue running well into old age )

While this flow has helped me stay balanced throughout my training, it is also great for those who play sports, and sit at a desk all day for work (hello, hip opening!)

10 Minute Yoga Mobility Flow

This flow seriously only takes about 10 minutes to complete in total. Don't be intimidated by the number of steps!

1. Begin in Child's Pose (Balasana), and focus on crawling your fingertips forward, and drawing your tailbone towards the back of the room and down towards your feet


2. Push up to Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svasana), reaching your hips up towards the ceiling


3. Lift your right leg up towards the ceiling, keeping your tows pointed down and rolling your inner thigh inwards, keeping your hips aligned


4. Place the right foot outside of the right hand, coming into Lizard Lunge, with the option of lightly pressing on the inside of your mid quad, and rolling onto the outer edge fo the right foot for a deeper stretch


5. Move your foot to the inside of the right hand, coming into Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana), pulling the right hip back into space, and lunging deeper into the front knee. Reach your hands up to the ceiling, then clasping the hands behind your back and drawing them down your tailbone


6. Tent your fingertips on the mat, straighten the right knee, and sit back into your right hip, coming into Half Split (Ardha Hanumasana)


7. Step the right foot back to meet the left, coming into High Plank Pose. Move through Chaturanga Dandasana, Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svasana), returning to Downward Facing Dog.


8. Repeat Steps 1-7 on the left side


9. Lift the right leg towards the ceiling, tilt the toes toward the right side wall and bend your knee. Hold here, then slowly transition into Flip Dog


10. Come up to Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana 2)


11. Slide the left arm down the left leg, and reach the right arm up and back, for Exalted Warrior


12. Move forward to Extended Side Angle (Utthita Parsvakonasana), keeping the right side of the body lifted off the right leg, with an optional bind


13. Return to Warrior 2, and shift both your toes towards the left side wall, clasp your hands behind your back, and bend into a Wide Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)


14. Bring your hands down to the mat, and come into a Side Lunge (Skandasana), and transition back and forth 4-5 times (either keeping your hands together at prayer, or tented on the mat if your knees are particularly achey)

15. Return to a 1 Legged Down Dog, and do 3 calf pulses


16. Repeat 9-15 on the left side.


17. Step into Crescent Lunge, reaching the arms up to the ceiling. Place your left palm behind your head, and tilt your upper body to the right, creating the opportunity for a deeper stretch in the front left hip.


18. Shift your weight into your right foot, lift the left leg up, and tilt forward into Standing Split (Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana)


19. Step the left foot down and bring your feet mats distance apart, toes pointed outwards, coming into Garland Pose/Deep Yogi Squat (Malasana) (place a block underneath you if needed!), pushing your elbows into your inner thighs.


20. Rise to a Halfway Lift (Ardha Uttanasana), then a Forward Fold (Uttanasana), and flow through a Chaturanga, Upward Facing Dog, and Downward Facing Dog


21. Repeat 17-20 on the left side (add in a Rag Doll after Malasana for this rep!)


22. Jump forward to a seated position, and lie on your back


23. Cross the right ankle over the middle of the left thigh (extend the left leg upward if you would like more of a hamstring stretch), coming into a Figure 4 stretch


24. Tilt the hips and place the sole of the right foot on the ground next to your left hip, coming into a Supine Twist variation (Jathara Parivartanasana) Extend the right arm up and back, and gently press on the inner thigh of the right leg withe the left hand.


25. Return to center, then bring the knees to the right side (another Supine Twist variation)


26. Repeat 23-25 on the left side


27. Come into Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana), rolling to the right and left, and extending the legs fully if desired. Draw the tailbone down towards the mat, as if there is a strong magnet between your spine and the floor!


28. Slowly release the legs, bringing the soles of the feet together into Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana). Option to raise the arms up and overhead.