Can yoga for runners asanas help with all the issues a runner confronts? What happens when you implement a yoga routine aiming for physical and mental improvement and to prevent injury?
Having already acknowledged the benefits of Yoga, the healing and restoring effect that I could receive, and as I also have been running for the last three years, I realized that from this combination, perfectly balanced cooperation of activities would come as a result.
So I started to recommend to fellow runners, to try yoga practice along with their running.
Some of them responded some answered that they were not balanced enough or that their body was not flexible or even that they were bored and couldn’t find spare time to dedicate.
Yoga is addressed to everyone but mostly to those who are in need, and indeed, some of them are runners.
There is a variety of yoga methods, and as a full practice, one can have an intense routine if strength is needed, or someone can choose deep relaxation (Nidra), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation.
However, it’s essential to learn and develop knowledge about how our body works!
This healing practice comes to help runners throughout all three layers: Body, Breath, Mind.
Yoga for Runners for Flexibility, Balance, Endurance
Runners that keep practicing systematically with specific tough exercises and hard performances that promise to offer power, lead their body to muscular stiffness and common injuries.
Those hard-working muscles tend to shorten and contract. Without stretching, the body starts to work in instability.
Tension and stress gather to the muscular system, joints, and ligaments, causing pain and discomfort.
The results of this imbalance are sometimes shown after long terms of time.
The body starts to make more effort, muscles overwork, the weak ones grow weaker, and the tight muscles tend to be tighter.
Through asanas (yoga postures) muscles expand, the entire body coordinates with the breath, leading to a calm action for the runner’s advantage.
One needs flexible and elastic muscles to work as a natural shock absorber. Some muscular teams that support and stabilize the entire bone structure should work together.
Practicing in balance or even experiencing the lack of it, a runner can benefit from a self receptive way and learn how to adjust the body weight in a way that there won’t be any damage as the feet hit the ground.
As the runner’s body increases in power, plasticity, and litheness, so are the range of motion.
Yoga Poses to Build Breathe – Stamina – Energy
Besides the asanas and all the bodywork, Yoga for runners is about breathing too.
There are breathing techniques (pranayama), that through them, a runner can handle breathe in a way than the breathing capacity within the body can be developed and increased.
It’s wrong to restrain breath just to the upper body (chest, sternum).
It can be channeled towards the lower belly, making more space.
If breathing becomes conscious, it comes as a reward, currying large amounts of oxygen, causing blood stimulation for the muscles to work in a better way.
Most of the (pranayama) can also help to raise and save energy resources.
In that way, we can power every day with specific, energizing breathing and a clear mind so that endurance will continue to grow.
Significantly, most of the breathing exercises can be used while we run!
Reducing Injuries and Healing
Alignment is what we should always keep in mind and correct in our daily training, every step of the way, as we strive on to the road or over the trail.
Even a mindful runner may stand against an injury. Pain is a runner’s tragedy.
Our body is a group of puzzle pieces, and if one of them is broken, there’s going to be an impact on the entire body system.
For example, injured knees can affect hip alignment.
Weak ankles or unequal pelvic bones can cause tension in the anterior ligaments.
Hip flexors usually tighten due to the consciously forward movement while running, causing lower back pain.
A yoga practice that is focusing on the right aliment can be therapeutic.
Additionally, most asanas (postures), have an impact in the central nervous system and mobilize all the right “soldiers,” to heal through the fascia tissue.
Meditation – Calmness – Awareness
Runners often spend too much energy on inner criticism.
Long-running distance = busy mind!
Meditation helps to focus on using our breath at present.
We can find that persuasive, quiet, force, within. Developing awareness, increase self-confidence, learning to be observers without judgmental thinking.
To build up the greater knowledge to understand how our body works and respond, learn to listen, and answer to the message sent.
Relaxation can keep a runner-focused, and mindfulness helps save energy levels.
We don’t forget:
- Our body has instinctive knowledge; learn to listen and coordinate.
- Don’t ignore the messages that the body sends; take a break when rest needed.
- Always keep balance.
Also, read this post dor some of the best yoga retreats in Greece.