yoga for runners
General, Health, Lifestyle

Yoga for Runners: Why Do Runners Need It So Much?

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self”. Even Gita has described yoga as an essential part of gaining physical and mental/spiritual harmony. Being up for any sort of challenge in this modern, fast-paced world, which keeps asking for more and more from every individual in order to strive and progress, is a necessity. But will anyone be able to cope with these needs if they aren’t fit in body and mind?  The answer is a big ‘NO’. Modern-day human has therefore inculcated in themselves a culture where physical harmony is perfectly taken care of through exercises, particularly yoga.

Yoga is a part of the daily lives of many of the world’s population. Every now and then, while surfing the web, we come across many articles describing yoga and its benefit. But ever wonder how yoga can be of great use to even those who have predominantly been involved in physical activities themselves. Yes, you heard that right, and here I am talking about running. Running itself is an important physical activity that keeps the body healthy. It has such a vast number of people following it for ages that it has also turned into a global competition at national and international levels.

yoga for runners

 

Need for Yoga For Runners

Running is known to be a rigorous exercise, and the body utilizes a lot of energy and gives out heat in immense amounts. It is henceforth necessary to keep the body durable and recover the energy successively. It does involve continuous movements of various body parts and muscles, hands and legs being the most used apart from the torso. So, it also becomes important to keep it flexible and properly fledged. Apart from this, running does have some cons of its own, which mainly includes body aches, muscle pain, and feeling of physical tension in them, which can occur while or post running. This is where yoga becomes important for people who do running. Yoga will have a seemingly positive effect on how our body will react to the different side effects while running. Moreover, it will be very useful in tackling the effects with less stress.

Yoga will serve the purpose of providing strength to the important muscles as an essential workout, mainly letting us strengthen both halves of the body. As it also improves the stability of our lower limbs (an important factor in running), chances of injury will also reduce to a vast extent. Yoga is an important factor in helping us increase running speed by establishing a proper channel between all the core muscles which are keys to a fast-running act. Yoga is also useful also because it doesn’t put much pressure on the body joints. And will also help in providing free movement of many tight-bound muscles without providing any extra stress, which is not so in the case of other training exercises. A proper body-mind relationship will also be established, which will channelize the body’s energy properly while running.

Importance Of Having A Yoga For Runners Routine!

As someone who is running and opting for doing yoga as a workout to facilitate running efficiently, following a well-planned routine is very important. This varies from individual to individual as everyone has their own body capacities and time management issues. One can’t just be up and jump into either running or yoga, even if that individual is any one of them. Contrary to this article which talks about yoga in relation to runners. There must be a carved-out timing as to when will one be into these activities.

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However, as we are dealing with yoga’s aid to runners, I will stick to that. And to be more precise, following a routine doesn’t mean just a time managing one. But also one which poses to try, how long to try, which part of the body to impact through yoga, which chronological order to follow. And most importantly, whether to do yoga before or after running as a workout.  We are talking about routine in a detailed way cause yoga when done rightly and at the right time, has proved to create good mind control by providing mental power, which provides a runner a better control over themselves while high-intensity workouts and competitions. It is important that one keeps changing the poses and moves from one pose to another only after that pose has properly been completed.

yoga for runners

Types Of Yoga For Runners To Practice

Running involves the use of the entire body to be continuously in motion. All of which simply means many parts, muscles along with joints will come into effect. One shall be wise enough to choose what activities to implement in their yoga schedule, as different postures will help the body differently. Now, we shall see what poses to imply as a part of our schedule. And, of course, how they impact us in the running process. Check out the types of yoga for runners you need to practice:

1. Downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

How to perform: Keep the back straight and assure that the sit bones are lifted high. Knees can be slightly bent if need be. If the calf and hamstring muscles are intended to be stretched, bend both the knees in succession. Arms must be straight with the biceps facing up always.

Benefits

Gives a feeling in general for the areas with tightness compared to the others. And provides sensory feelings in the areas we should focus more on. Restoration of the body fuel becomes efficient, and owing to the head being below the heart in this pose, proper circulation is also provided.

2. Tree (Vriksasana)

How to perform: The first requirement for this pose is to make yourself think strongly and stay balanced. Keep your body standing upright and the back straight with active legs.  Place one foot above the knee of the other leg, above and not on top of the knee. The knee of the bent leg will always be pointing to the outside, helping to stretch the lumbar muscles. Place both the arms above the head. Keep focusing on a point in front of your vision to maintain balance.

Benefits

It’s an aid-in-disguise for providing strength to the calves, thighs, ankles, and spine. In addition to giving our shoulders, groin, and inner thighs a stretch apart from the opening of the hips. Reduces flat feet and reduces sciatic painfulness.

3. Triangle pose (Trikonasana)

How to perform: Raise the arms and make them parallel with the floor at the height of the shoulder. Get your body stretched to one side like someone were to pull your hand. Keep the back as straight as possible and make your hips face forward. Make your arm reach down as far as it can get. And ensure your body weight gets evenly distributed with the aid of your legs. Bend down on the floor with your foot not coming off the floor and keep your back straight. Touching the floor with your hand should be the goal, but reaching the shin at least won’t be bad either.

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Benefits

Helps in stretching the groin, hamstrings, the muscles around the knee, abdominal muscles, obliques, back, etc. It also gives a spine twisting in a light manner to provide it strength. This pose is especially good for runners as it opens the hamstrings and groin and increases balance by strengthening the ankles.

4. Low lunge (Anjaneyasana)

How to perform: Keep yourself in a standing position and take one step forward while keeping the other in place. Make a 90-degree angle with the knee of the leg in front by bending it. And then lower your back leg down to the floor, holding it straight. Amidst the process, keep your back straight with the tailbone in alignment under it, and the hips are to face forward. Breathe calmly throughout the process.

Benefits

This pose is known to be an excellent aid in opening the hips, with the low lunge stretching the groin and thighs as well. Relieves tight hips, which can lead to gluteal muscle problems by making them potentially less active.

Apart from these mentioned exercises, various other poses can be implied in the scheduled yoga routine to facilitate a well-flexed and durable body. They can be Bal asana, Baddha Konasana, and one can go on and on. However, when it comes to yoga and its aid to running, one needs to focus more on the quality of the asanas rather than how many asanas are performed by one. An individual should focus on how to provide proper functioning to the body parts. All of which play an active and crucial part in running and plan the asanas to be performed accordingly.

yoga for runners

Conclusive Insights

Yoga for runners as aid is not just restricted to easing up running itself. But also to a lot of other physical activities. This is because the benefits of yoga are strengthening the entire body as a unit. The benefits are not just restricted to physicality, as yoga also helps us expand our capacities to overcome stress. And set up a good channelized relationship of the body with the mind. It’s also going to inculcate in us a never give up attitude as in times of intense running when the body will drain out lots of energy. Plus, it will give you the feeling of not giving up. Yoga will help naturally switch into a calm and well-focused state of mind which will help and allow us not to give up that easily.

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