Last week a reader and fellow runner requested some poses for the insides of the thighs. This area can be rather finicky and prone to tightness. If you’ve ever pulled your groin you also know that it can take forever to heal. Best to take care of it while you’re healthy with these poses and avoid all the pain.
- To start, you can sit up on the edge of a blanket legs extended in front of you. Gently bend the left knee and bring the sole of the left foot to the inside of the right thigh. Turn your torso slightly to the right.
- You can stay here, using your left hand to lightly push the left thigh down or on an exhale you can begin to lower your torso toward your right thigh. Keep your right foot active as you lower, grabbing on to the right shin, ankle or foot with the right hand.
- If you want a deeper stretch bring the left hand to the inside of the right shin, ankle or foot. This is also a deep hamstring stretch, do not bounce in this pose or try to pull yourself further to the floor than feels comfortable. Stay for 10 rounds of breath.
- To release, come up with a flat back then switch sides.
- Note: Forward folds can aggravate sciatica. If you feel any discomfort in this pose, feel free to skip.
Bakasana (Crow Pose)
- To begin, come to malasana. Stay here for a few breaths to ground yourself and stretch your legs. Place both hands on the floor about a foot in front of you, spread the fingers wide, this is your base, you want it to be as stable as possible.
- From here, lift your hips up about a foot or two and come to your tiptoes. Take your gaze in front of your hands, avoid looking straight down. Connect the insides of the thighs as high up on the outside of the arms as possible. Begin to bend the elbows to 90 degrees to create a shelf. Start by lifting one foot, then the other to test out your balance.
- If you’re feeling comfortable, lift both feet at the same time and take flight. Imagine drawing everything toward the midline and firm the belly. This pose can be rather scary for some but remember you’re not very far off the ground. You can always put a pillow in front of you as a soft place to land.
Skandasana (Surfer Pose)
- Walk your legs out about three feet with the feet pointed outward slightly. Bend into the right knee making sure that the knee is over the right ankle. Hands can be on the hips, on the thighs or to make it extra challenging they can float in the air.
- As you bend your right leg try to ground the outside edge of your left foot into the floor. Try not to collapse the chest toward the ground.
- Slowly begin to straighten your right leg and bend your left. You can move back and forth between sides as many times as you’d like, staying for at least 5 breaths on each side.
- For an extra stretch, turn the extended leg’s foot toward the ceiling, flexing the toes.
Written by Lisa Horvath.
Related: WalkJogRun Guide to Yoga for Runners