Yoga for Runners
Yoga's internal focus centers our attention on our own body's movements rather than on an external outcome. Hence runners can practise Yoga to balance strength, increase range of motion, and train the body and mind.
The series of asanas move your body through gravitational dimensions while teaching you how to coordinate your breath with each subtle movement.
The end result is that your body, mind, and breath are integrated in all actions.
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Benefits of Yoga for Runners:
- Yoga postures correct muscle imbalances resulting from high impact training, activating the large joints and spine to prevent pain and injury, especially in the hips, hamstrings, Achilles tendon and iliotibial band. Yoga helps balance lower body strength with an equal measure of lower body of flexiblity.
- Standing postures align the knee properly, strengthen the arches to provide better shock absorbers and maintain healthy connective tissue in the shin.
- Floor-based asanas can harmonize organ function and strengthen the abdomen and low back, preventing common back injuries.
- Gentle Yoga asanas can be used to relax muscle tension and recover and rejuvenate after sports.
- Yogic pranayama (breathwork) can benefit the mind in competition to increase confidence and concentration.
- When the mind, body and breath are in synchrony and the runner is moving freely in tune with internal and surrounding forces, running and Yoga become one and the same.
Beneficial yoga programsfor runners:
All the asanas in the standing, seated, supping, prone and inverted postures. Lay special emphasis on Viparita Karani, Sarvangasana, Sirshasana Bhujangasana and Dhanurasana.
The following will help immensely - Kapalabhatti, Dirga Pranayama, Anuloma-Viloma and Ujjayi.