There’s almost endless areas you can turn to undo your stressful days. Meditation centers, yoga classes, bootcamp, spin, the list goes on and on and on.
The best thing about all these different de-stressors though? You can choose whatever works for you! This is important because there is no one way for everyone to find what brings a sense of calm back into their life. So whether you need to zen out or sweat it out – I’ve got you covered with this running guide and yoga flow.
If you need more ideas to bring calm into your life, check out my previous post here.
My go to strategy when I’ve had a stressful day: get outside for a solid thirty minutes (or more if you’re feeling adventurous). Walk, jog, sprint – just get yourself out of the day-to-day grind and into your body and breath. Follow it with a simple yoga flow (I’ve got you covered below, duh); OR you can start with the yoga and then do your run, whatever your heart desires.
Give yourself this time.
You deserve it. No questions asked, okay?
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Your Running Guide
This is your time to reeeeealllly check in with how you’re feeling – energetically, mentally and physically. If you’re feeling depleted and the thought of moving sounds exhausting, choose the ‘light’ option. If you’re still on fire from the day’s activities, take on the ‘challenge’ to get your energy out.
You have my permission (as if you actually need it) to NOT push yourself and take a light jog. Walk if your heart desires it! Keep it light with this pace. Light = you could easily chit chat. Stay at this pace for thirty minutes.
So maybe you had a rough day and need something that will make you sweat, but not throw your body’s stress through the roof. If that’s you, this is your pace! Hard enough to break a sweat and conversation would be difficult, but not so much that you’ll feel depleted when your 30-minutes are up.
Fartlek! One of my favorite ways to kick my runs up a notch. Get ready to push yourself.
Start with a five-minute warm-up jog. Then we shift into the fun stuff: running HARD for one minute, then slow it way down for two minutes (almost walking). Once the two-minute rest is up, you‘re back to nearly sprinting for the full 60-seconds. This time is meant to be a challenge, so challenge yourself! Complete the three minute circuit for a total of five times.
From here, run at a medium pace for five minutes and then cool-down for five minutes. BAM – tough run done.
Your Yoga Practice
Like I said before, this practice is simple, which is how it’s intended to be. If you want to spice things up, I recommend heading here instead. Just starting yoga? Either follow the flow below, or check out my other post dedicated to beginners here.
Seated Neck Stretches
Finding any kind of a comfortable seat, relax your shoulders and reach the head high to lengthen the spine. Moving slowly, gently begin to drop the right ear to the right shoulder. Pause here for two breaths. Exhale to roll the head forward, bringing chin to chest, holding for two breaths. Inhale as you rise the to the left, bringing left ear to left shoulder. Pause here for two breaths before moving back through center, and then back to the right. Repeat two more times each side.
From you seated neck stretch, come back to a neutral position. Extending the legs in front, coming to sit on the hips if you weren’t already there, and begin widening the legs to wherever is comfortable. Before moving on, ensure your hips are rooted into the ground. Start folding forward, reaching forward the entire time to keep the spine long.
Reclined Cow Facing Pose
Bringing the legs back together from the Straddle Fold and roll onto your back. Lifting the the legs and bringing the right leg on top of the left. Reach up and grab the outter shins with the hands, gently pulling the legs down towards the chest. For a deeper hip opening, focus on bringing the feet wider apart. Hold each side for at least five breaths.
Twisted Reclined Pigeon
Releasing from reclined cow facing pose and keeping the legs elevated, bring the right ankle on top of the left knee. Rather than staying in pigeon, drop the bottom of the right foot to the floor on the left side. Keep the spine long and breath in the right outer hip. Stay on each side for at least five breaths.
Supported Fish Pose
This is the only pose where you’ll need some props. Options include: two blocks and a blanket, a bolster, pillows, or rolled up blankets. If you get more creative, let me know what you ended up using! I am going to show options for using the bolster and for using the blocks and blanket.
Bringing your prop underneath the spine, starting about behind the belly button. If that placement doesn’t feel good for you – by all means, please adjust! Roll onto the prop and open through your chest, letting the head rest naturally. Hold here for five to ten breaths.
Legs up the Wall
Ahh, the final pose to undo your stressful day. Remove the props that were being used in Supported Fish Pose. Bring the hips as close to a wall as you can get them and lay flat on the back bringing the legs up the wall. Allow yourself to relax here for ten breaths before moving on with the rest of the day.
And there we have it! Your simple guide of running and yoga to bring balance into your (previously) stressful day. Let me know how this went for you in the comments below!