The practice of yoga usually provides physical benefits to runners. It secretes endorphins and helps control anxiety and stress. It is a tool that strengthens both your body and your mind. Yoga is gradually introduced into the world of runners for its physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Discover some of the benefits that yoga if you are a runner.
1. The feet
The feet are one of the pillars of yoga, which provides balance and is also the basis of asanas. As a runner, you know the importance they have in your workouts. That is why this millenary activity is so beneficial for running.
Most importantly, it prevents problems related to posture and makes you aware of the way you put your feet on each stride. Increases flexibility and stretching. When running, some muscles are shortening and losing elasticity. Yoga poses help you stretch after workouts and avoid injuries and stiffness.
2. Strengthens the body
When you do yoga, you work posture and body awareness. You strengthen and tone your body, so you prevent and avoid injuries that are caused by the impact of the tread on the ground or asphalt. By basing the activity on balance, yoga is good for those disciplines in which there is no stable or changing terrain. It helps you to be a better marathoner.
A marathon requires good muscular training for several months, without injuring you, and a physical and mental resistance for the day of the competition. With yoga, you not only avoid injuries and reduce pain, but it also trains you mentally to overcome the challenge.
3. Breathing control
Having controlled breathing and knowing how to dose the air is one of the priorities you have when running, nothing better than yoga to internalize and perfect this practice. It is also very useful for relaxation after those hard workouts in which you have worked harder than usual.
In yoga, breathing is pranayama, the vital energy and with practice in yoga, you learn to breathe consciously, bringing more oxygen to the tissues, and bring calm to your mind and emotions. It increases your breathing capacity.
4. Activate the circulation
Any asana does it, although the best ones if you are looking to reactivate the blood flow in your legs, are the inverted calls. These activate blood flow and pumping of the heart, after a race nothing better than performing asanas where your head is down, and your legs are raised.
5. Recover the most used muscles during the race
The hamstrings are the most punished muscles of running, so it is important that you stretch them and do not place them incorrectly while training. Many asanas are designed to tone and stretch this area of the body. The usual practice of yoga will help you recover this part and avoid the pain of having strained your muscles. Yoga helps you recover from injuries.
6. Avoid stress
Yoga helps you recover from injuries. Yoga gives you a perspective of the present in which you live. Some runners give a lot of importance to their training and competitions, which can cause them to put aside other aspects of their life. And when injured, they lose the joy of living. With yoga, you focus on the now.
On what really matters to you, on recovering from the injury, and with practice, you also get your ration of endorphins and happiness, without running! Perhaps this condition is one of the activities most recommended by doctors and specialists.
When you do it frequently, you are able to control the mechanisms, mental and physical, that lead you to nervousness, anxiety, and fatigue. It helps you achieve a night of restful sleep. Rest is part of race training. The practice of yoga helps you fall asleep, and that this is the deep healing for your muscles and your mind. It calms the body, mind, and heart. Before or after a race, yoga helps you focus, relax, and focus on your goals.
7. Strength and endurance
With the usual practice of yoga, you perform a joint work between muscles, ligaments, and joints; this helps you to increase the power and energy with which you face the race. It increases physical and mental endurance. Some yoga postures or sequences require a good physical form, with mastery and control of the mind and body, which helps you prepare for the most intense or toughest races.
Yoga is intense physical work, with postures or asanas that require muscular strength and good coordination. With the practice of 2-3 days a week, yoga helps you strengthen and prevent damage to muscles, ligaments, and joints.
8. Improves the digestive system
There are many asanas focused on the digestive system. If you are a regular runner, you know the importance of good digestion in training and racing.
9 . Complements the toning of the muscles
If we focus on training and racing, the muscles that work more with the lower ones. Surely you go to the gym to not neglect the rest of the muscles, one of the best practices to complement the upper body is yoga. Choose asanas that help you tone, abdomen, triceps, biceps, and forearms.
10. Prepare your mind for new challenges
Yoga and meditation are the best allies for your mental preparation. In addition, you can relieve stress and nervousness prior to a race and the anxiety of hard training days. Yoga teaches you to meditate. Something that is very similar to the feeling of ‘entering the area’ that you experience the day when your career is perfect, it seems that you float and feel good about yourself, your life, and what surrounds you. With yoga, you can get that feeling every day by meditating.
Besides the fact that there are thought to be 300 million yoga practitioners worldwide and over 6000 yoga studios only in US, yoga became a more natural choice for drug rehab centers, emotional rehabs, etc. More and more people tend to look for other options besides prescription drugs.
Interesting related article: “Benefits of Yoga supported by science.”