Yoga for runners makes for a well-balanced runner. Individuals fall strictly into one of two exercise categories: high-impact or low-impact. This has a tendency to put runners and yoga enthusiasts at odds, when in fact the two types of activity complement one another quite nicely.
Think of it as a yin-yang philosophy, wherein running or other vigorous exercises help get the blood pumping and burn calories, while more relaxing activities, such as yoga, gently strengthen and lengthen the muscles so they're better able to perform all types of exercise.
Runners shouldn't shy away from yoga due to misconceptions that it is expensive or difficult, as many different types of people practice the mind-body exercise, many of whom are on a budget or are still in the process of getting into physical fitness. In fact, yoga is highly beneficial to runners, who may have a tendency toward imbalanced biomechanics or stiffness.
According to an article in Yoga Journal, runners sometimes experience chronic pain as a result of repetitive, high-impact exercise. When a person is not properly balanced and engages in an activity like running, the body naturally tries to compensate to prevent injury, which often puts stress on muscles, joints and bones, according to the magazine.
As a result, yoga is often recommended to promote flexibility and balance for runners. Runner's World reported on some tips for individuals who are interested in beginning yoga classes.
The news source states that yoga doesn't need to be a big investment, and that snug clothes and a yoga mat is often the only equipment needed. While doing yoga classes at home is a great money-saver once you have the basic tenets down, it's a good idea to get instructions from an experienced yoga teacher. This will help you avoid injury and get the most out of your yoga practice.
Yoga videos are an effective and convenient way to learn yoga at home.
Runners, who are sometimes competitive in nature, should keep in mind that yoga for runners is not about being better than the person next to you, but achieving your personal best for that particular session. As such, you should take a rest if you begin to feel overly fatigued or if a pose is not right for you. It's always possible to try it again at a later date, and the point of runners doing yoga is to help you avoid an injury, not incur one.
Yoga for runners should include this one very basic yoga pose that can be a valuable tool for runners: downward-facing dog. This is a resting position, but it does a great job of stretching the hamstrings and strengthening the back and shoulders.
Place your hands shoulder-width apart on your mat with fingers spread wide. Then, with your feet planted on the ground, raise your hips toward the ceiling while dropping your chest between your arms. It may help to visualize your heart touching your knees.
Once you feel you've gotten the most from this yoga pose, sink your hips back, fold your legs and rest with your torso between the thighs. This is called child's pose and is highly beneficial for those with back issues.
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