The strength, flexibility and focus you get from yoga are valuable aids to running stronger and with more comfort.
Running is a great form of exercise but when that’s all we do, our bodies is going to be out of balance. Cross training is essential to preventing injury. An excellent addition to anyone’s weekly fitness routine, runner or not, is yoga. Yoga helps to strengthen, stretch and lengthen our muscles. Think of every step you take while running. You’re exerting 3-4 times your body weight simply with one step! It’s no wonder we hear of runners who have bad knees, hips, ankles, feet, and occasional back pain. The pain is not from running but the body overcompensating for imbalances. Here are 6 yoga poses for runners, the latest edition in the Yoga for Runners series.
Benefits of the Consistent Yoga Practice For Runners May include:
- Improved Performance
- Reduced Risk of Injury
- Faster Recovery
- Improved Balance and Agility
- Improved Focus and Concentration for Competition
- Increased Strength and Flexibility
- Prevention of Sports Related Injuries
- Greater Selection of Motion
- Improved Circulation
Use this sequence to open the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, iliotibial band, and hip flexors. Practice these poses after your exercise routine or run. Your body should be slightly warm before you go deep in a yoga pose. Remain in each pose for 10-15 breaths.
Downward Facing Dog
Bring the hands shoulder width apart and feet hip with apart. Press both hands and feet down into the ground. Lengthen through your spine and release shoulders down the back. Stretch your heels down into the floor. Press the bases from the index fingers actively in to the floor.
Standing Forward Bend
Start in a standing position the right leg should be towards the top of your mat and the left leg behind you. Keeping the feet about hip distance apart and ground all corners of the feet towards the mat for balance and stability. Fold down over the front leg in a forward bend. Keep your neck relaxed by looking down for the floor as you go deeper in to the forward bend.
Step your right leg through right into a low lunge pose. Place your on the job floor finding a deep lunge as you release your back knee into the floor. Extend the arms upward to accept stretch in the upper body.
Runners tend to have tight hips, glutes, as well as the low back. The pigeon pose hurts but is easily the most effective pose to open up those areas. Contain the pose with your chest up then lay your chest over your folded leg and breathe, sinking deeper in to the pose. Work on holding pigeon for two minutes on each side. Pigeon not just stimulate the internal organs and helps with urinary disorders, but is the best pose for runners and it also relieves overall stress.
Dancer’s pose will open up the shoulders which helps to improve posture while running. Additionally, it lengthens the hip flexors and it is good for the hamstrings. As you come forward using the chest, think about lengthening over the whole front body in the shoulders to the knees.
Threading the Needle
Running isn’t just in the legs, but also with the arms as you are pumping to visit fast. Often times a runner’s shoulders will ache. Threading the Needle gently pulls the shoulder and causes it to be relax. Hold this pose on every side for 1-2 minutes.