Hey all I’m ShortSkirts aka Caitie from ShortSkirtsandScience. By day I’m a programmer for video games, but by night (and on the weekends) I’m an athletic shoes and spandex clad athlete. I’ve always played sports (Soccer, Lacrosse, and Ultimate Frisbee), but more recently I’ve fallen in love with running and just completed my first half marathon in June. Currently I play 3 Ultimate Frisbee Games a week, I am training for the Long Beach Half Marathon in October, and I hit up the occasional mountain trail or Frisbee tournament on the weekend.
Miraculously I’ve done all of this without getting injured and while having a mild case of Planar Fasciitis, but I’m not lucky or a glutton for pain. The secret ingredient that allows me to dive for discs one day and pound out 8 miles the next is Yoga.
Now I’m no Yogini, but I have been practicing for a year and I truly believe that Yoga has been an extremely important part of keeping me happy and healthy while I punish my body on the field and on the pavement. I no longer have pain from Planar Fasciitis, my core is much stronger which allows me to hold my form when I’m tired, and my arms look good in sleeveless tops, priorities people! Even if yoga isn’t your thing there are still plenty of stretches and moves to incorporate into your cool downs and warm-ups that can leave your body feeling loose and happy.
First off my personal favorite, Vipariti Karani, or legs up wall pose. This one is great for recovery after a long run. You simply scoot your hips up to the wall as close as you can get them (ideally touching) then lie down and flip your legs up so that they are resting against the wall. That’s it, hang out there for a few minutes or as long as you desire. It loosens up your hamstrings and lets your legs drain, it’s also extremely calming.
For tight calves and hamstrings I always turn to Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Dog. It’s a staple of any yoga practice, but even on its own it can be a great stretch. The important thing to remember here is your heels don’t have to touch the ground, they are just reaching. I truly believe this pose in particular is what helped make my Planar Fasciitis a thing of the past. The deep stretch you get in your caves and the back of your heel has made my pain disappear; I don’t even have to tape for Frisbee games anymore!
Another great leg lengthener is trikonasana or triangle pose, it is one of my favorite standing postures.
Got tight hips, and hip flexors try out Eka Pada Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose. While it is not the most comfortable pose to hang out in, it’s one of my favorites because of how much relief it provides to tight hip flexors, and hips.
So these are some of my favorites, but I strongly recommend checking out yoga classes in your area. Finding a teacher and style you like is key. I love my fast paced Vinyasa classes but I also attend slower paced classes to complement my busy schedule. And even if you love to sweat, heated classes may not be your thing, I’m still trying to decide if I like them or not. The most important thing to remember about Yoga is it is your practice, it’s all about doing what’s right for you and your body, and finding Santosha or contentment in your achievements.
So happy running and honeymooning to Page. Namaste!