How is practicing Yoga beneficial for runners?
People far and wide always talk about the benefits of yoga, but they typically speak in more general terms. We’ve done this many times ourselves because yoga can improve your physical and mental health whether you’re a desk jockey or physical athlete. For today’s discussion, however, we’re going to look at the benefits of yoga for runners, along with a few poses that will help improve this particular activity.
- Improves Your Flexibility — Everyone probably knows by now that yoga is a great way to gain more flexibility. Since running utilizes multiple muscles and joints at once, this makes for a more effective and pleasant running experience.
- Better Range of Motion — If you have limited range of motion, then you’ll have difficulty completing the full running gait cycle. The flexibility that you get from yoga will help improve the range of motion, thereby making you a better runner.
- Increases Muscle Strength — Muscle strength allows you to run faster and get a better workout every time you hit the pavement. There are several poses available that make yoga for runners an effective tool for improving your strength.
- Maintain Healthy Weight — A big reason why people begin practicing yoga poses is because they want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Yoga assists you in achieving this goal so that your running sessions will go more smoothly.
- Reduces Physical Stress — Running is a physically stressful activity due to pounding feet, tight muscles, joint stress, etc. Yoga will reduce these forms of physical stress through a variety of poses.
- Increases Confidence — Physical activities like running require confidence to keep you going, especially when you’re trying to improve. Since yoga focuses on your mind as well as your body, it could very well give you that extra boost of confidence that you need to excel.
- Improves Breathing — Yoga and running go hand-in-hand because proper breathing is utilized as a tool in both activities. Yoga instructors will teach you how to breathe properly, and you can easily move the skill over to your running.
- Lowers Risk of Injury — Yoga for runners can be a godsend because the added flexibility and strength will lower your risk of injury. You may even find that it has reduced chronic pain, which will improve your running capability.
- Stamina and Endurance — Being a runner takes a great deal of stamina and endurance, especially when you begin advancing. By strengthening your body through yoga, both of these will be improved.
Three Yoga Poses for Runners
There are many types of yoga poses that will improve flexibility, breathing techniques, and other attributes that will be perfect for runners. However, we’d like to help you get started, so we’ve selected just a few of our favorites:
Supine Spinal Twist
Start off on your back with your arms to the sides and palms facing down. Bend your right knee, placing your right foot on your left knee. While you exhale, drop your right knee to the left side of your body while twisting the spine and lower back.
Keeping your shoulders flat against the floor, close your eyes and relax into the pose. Gravity will naturally pull your knee downward. Hold the pose for 6-10 breaths and then repeat on the opposite side.
Downward Facing Dog
Starting from the table position, tuck your toes under, press into your hands, and lift your hips toward the ceiling. Next, spread your fingers, palms shoulder-width apart. With your arms straight (not locked), press your hips up and back, reaching your chest toward your thighs.
Then, lift up through your tailbone so that your spine stays straight and elongated. Keep your feet hips-width apart with your toes forward. Next, press your heels into the floor to feel a stretch in the back of your legs. Finally, let your head and neck hang freely and hold the position for 4-8 breaths.
Happy Baby Pose
Start on your back and inhale while bringing both knees into your chest. Next, bring your arms to the inside of your knees and grab the outside edge of each foot.
Tuck your chin into your chest with your head against the floor. Push the sacrum and tailbone against the floor and press your heels up and pull back with your arms. Next, press your shoulders and the back of your neck into the floor, attempting to push your entire back and spine flat. Hold this pose for 4-8 breaths, and then release by exhaling and relaxing your arms and legs to the floor.
Contact East West Healing Solutions to Learn About Yoga for Runners
As the leader of yoga studios in Palm Harbor and the surrounding areas, East West Healing Solutions offers yoga for runners, seniors, desk jockeys, teens, and more. If you have any questions about our services, call us at (727) 216-3972 today. Don’t forget to check out our online East West Healing Solutions store, where you’ll find all the supplies you need.