Yoga Series 1 for runners – Standing Balance Sequence

After warming up with the Sun Salutation sequence, move to either the Standing Hip and/or Twist Sequence, extend the practice by finishing with this Standing Balance Sequence.   Hold each pose for 1 – 3 minutes (around 10 – 25 breaths).

Start with feet hip width apart, hands by the hips.  Inhale and raise arms overhead, come up onto the toes for Extended Mountain.  Exhale and slowly bend the knees and come down into a Half-Squat, inhale and return to Extended Mountain, drop heels to ground exhale and fold from the hips, placing hands under feet for Gorilla.  Return hands to hips and return to standing.  Bring right foot to left thigh for Tree.  Inhale and bring the right leg forward into Standing Extended Leg.  Cross right ankle over left knee and sink down into Half Lotus Toe Balance.  Fold forward, hands to mat and into a Half Lotus Forward Fold.  Release leg, inhale and return to standing.  Repeat sequence for the other side.


Extended Mountain

  • Eye gaze forward with a long neck
  • Elbows close to ears with shoulder blades down the back
  • Engage core to hold you stable
  • Keep ankles strong to stay even across the toes

Half- Squat

  • Slow and controlled as you lower
  • Quads parallel to the mat
  • Core engaged to hold body upright
  • Arms remain parallel and above the head

Gorilla

  • Bend knees slightly if hamstrings are tight
  • Palms facing up feed hands under feet
  • Toes come all the way to the wrists
  • Experiment with lifting one heel (or both) off the mat

Tree

  • Foot to ankle, calf or inner-thigh (not knee)
  • Open knee out to side as far as possible
  • Stay strong on the standing leg, lifting up the hip
  • Challenge the balance by looking up, or closing the eyes

Standing Extended Leg

  • Keep hips parallel
  • Both legs straight
  • Point and flex the lifted foot
  • Engage core to keep body strong

Half Lotus Balance

  • Cross ankle over knee
  • Flex foot to protect the knee
  • Bend standing leg at ankle and knee and sink low into a squat
  • Push palms of the hands together at chest

Half Lotus Fold

  • Bring ankle to top of the thigh
  • Flex foot to protect knee
  • Engage core and fold from the hips
  • Ground the standing leg into the mat and lift at the hips
  • Place hands on the floor or blocks for support