I'm feeling so much better lately, compared to the previous months. There is a difference between being totally well and suffering from a light sniffle or going through the last excess of fever. I feel like I could run for hours and then do another 3 hours of karate!
Yesterday in my yoga class the teacher said something interesting. She said that sweating is the most effective way of detoxification. Skin is the largest's organ and when the skin sweats, it means that the internal organs are all heated up as well, and that is the main key in the detox process, which more or less means you are getting rid of the toxins. I sweated buckets in the class yesterday, it was so embarassing. Sweat puddles formed around the mat as we twisted and stretched.
One interesting pose that I think is useful for runners that we did yesterday was called the Fire Hydrant. It is aptly named since the post requires us to get on all fours, lift one bent leg up to the side, just like a dog peeing at a fire hydrant:
Make sure that your arms are straight throughout, bending them just counteracts the effectiveness of this position. For added challenge, straighten the lifted bent leg and bring the feet closer to your face. This really opens up your hip flexors and also strengthen your thigh and butt muscles.
Another explanation and variations of Hydrant pose taken from Unrefined Athlete website, which has a lot of useful tips on stretching and strengthening our body parts (click at the link to see the video included):
Daily Pose: Help for Hips, Back, and Core
The Fire Hydrant: I have used this pose many times for warming up my hips before running as well as basic hip, back, and core strengthening. In the video below, our model gets on all fours, lifts the right, and then the left leg up and down while keeping a bent knee.
I recommend some other variations, such as lifting your leg and holding it (envision dog peeing on fire hydrant here). Or lifting your leg, straightening it, and then holding it. You can also left the opposite arm and reach in front of you or out to the side to add additional back/ core strength and balance.
Fire Hydrant Kicks: Get on all fours, lift right leg, keeping knee bent, and kick leg out to the right and then as far back behind you as you can, almost as if you're kicking towards your left butt cheek. When you kick out to the right you have the option of straightening your leg, but keep it bent as you kick it behind you. I perform about 10-15 reps and then I switch sides. This is one of my favorite pre-run warmups because it is a dynamic stretch and gets circulation into the hips.
Well, that's about it from me today. Maybe I'm going for a run this evening. Happy stretching weekend warriors!