Running is an activity that has the tendency to lead to injuries because the nature of actions involved are repetitive. Thus with both physical and mental perspective, running activity needs you to have a proper balance that makes your running technique more effective. One of the finest ways of doing so it attend and practice yoga sessions. The main attraction with yoga is that it is suitable for all different types of human bodies and nothing much is needed in the form of gears to practice yoga. No matter what is your age and how much physically fit you are, you can avail the opportunity and experience yoga as part of your daily fitness routine. This activity complements running and helps in improving your strength, balance, stability and flexibility. A regular yoga session in your routine would help you find peace within your body, mind and soul.
Yoga and Running:
Yoga in many ways is similar to running as just like running it gives you an intense body workout. If you are practicing Power Yoga, it would be much closer to what running is. With both of these activities, you need to have complete focus and alertness of mind. Thus while you are running or practicing yoga; you would need to leave all the worldly problems and worries aside to focus on the moment. You gain more of breath awareness, stretch your body, and strengthen it while dealing with the daily stress.
Benefits of Yoga for Runners:
Yoga offers several different benefits for runners. Some of the most prominent ones include:
It helps runners in gaining strength:
If you are looking for a cross-training activity to improve your running strength, look up to yoga for much improved results even when you run at a slower pace. Yoga is an activity that aids in aligning of your bones and muscles and aids them in performing at their best levels. This activity is a full body workout that enhances your strength and stamina and makes your body muscles work with increased stability.
Yoga gives you enhanced flexibility:
Yoga is an ideal activity to be included in training of a runner as it helps them in gaining flexibility for all their body muscles. Many a times athletes suffer from muscle tightness and misalignment of bones and muscles, yoga helps in reducing tightness and aids alignment that makes body work more efficiently. With a regular yoga session you will be able to witness reduced stiffness of your muscles and your postural problems will also improve especially that with knees of a runner, back and upper leg areas.
Yoga aids recovery:
This aerobic exercise works for restoration and recovery of your body. Whether you are running a long distance or a short distance race, no matter what kind of running activity you are involved in; recovery is must. Yoga helps runner to recover fast and supports relaxation of muscles.
Yoga ensures regular stretching:
Many of the runners do not stretch their bodies enough which is most important part. A human body needs some regular stretching before or after a run in order to lengthen and relax their tightened muscles. Regular routine of yoga ensures consistent stretching and gives your body an opportunity to gain enhanced movement and flexibility.
Yoga prevents from injuries:
Muscle imbalances and tightness is a common problem with running. A regular yoga session would allow runner to explore flexibility in varied ways and helps in gaining their balance back. Not only that but as discussed earlier, it strengthens your body too. All of these and other aspects work together to prevent a runner from risk of common running injuries and problems as it works on the root cause of these injuries.
Yoga enhances breathing control:
Even when you are under stress, with yoga you will witness improved control over your breathing. Improved breathing brings with itself a number of health related benefits such as improved lung capacity, improved circulation of oxygen and many others. A deep patterned control over breathing holds real importance in performance of an athlete.
Yoga makes you more calm:
Life of a runner needs him/her to keep on running where you are always focused on improving your performance and endurance. As you take out time for yoga from your busy schedule, you actually take out some quiet and calm time for yourself to focus on physical and mental peace. This practice makes you calmer and helps you in gaining more concentration.
Yoga improves your sleeping habits:
Regular practice of yoga makes you feel more relaxed and thus at the end of the day you drift in to a sound sleep peacefully. A better night sleep routine thus helps runner to give their best performance the other day.
Beginning Regular Yoga:
For those who have never tried and practiced regular yoga sessions, it would be a mistake to step in to advanced level. Begin with a small session of yoga each day so that you will gradually get in to the pace and would be able to make a strong foundation for gaining all the benefits that you are expecting from a yoga session as a runner. Once you get yourself well in the basics, you can then proceed to more advanced options. The best part is that you don’t need much stuff to begin with yoga. All you need is a simple mat and you can join a class by some yoga instructor according to your convenience. If you don’t have time to go to a class on regular basis, there are various resources available online that could teach you how to perform yoga at home without an instructor. But it is recommended that first few sessions should be done under guidance of an instructor.
Apart from all the benefits that yoga offers you physically, it also boosts your mental health and awareness. Runners are often facing physical and mental problems; yoga helps them in improving your physical and mental sense of awareness that makes them more conscious about their body and mind. This enhanced focus and awareness enables them to improve their running performance.