Practicing Yoga Makes a Stronger Runner

It has been told many times over that practicing yoga brings a lot of benefits. Aside from the meditative and stretching nature of yoga which really improve one’s well being, yoga has a lot more to offer.  This article summarizes how practicing yoga makes a stronger runner.

Focus on what you hope to get out of a yoga class – it is not to turn you into a yogi but for you to integrate yoga to be a stronger runner. Don’t be worried that you’re not flexible enough – putting your foot behind your head has no relevance to your sport or your success in it so that won’t be your goal or outcome and that’s okay! As you develop more body awareness and intuition about your body’s messages, make sure that you focus on making it your practice and ask for modifications in postures if they don’t feel good in your body. It is not a weakness to ask, everyone has their areas they need to work on. What a runner may lack in range of motion, usually makes up for in strength and endurance on the mat. That’s why it is called a yoga practice.

Suggested Read: Runners and Yogaphobia 

Isn’t yoga “just stretching”?

While yoga will absolutely help in the area of range of motion, yoga also focuses on strength and balance. Doing the physical postures (asanas) with intelligent sequencing will open the body gradually, releasing muscular tightness and increasing joint movement. This is important to ensure there is enough suppleness in the joints and muscles to avoid loss of natural shock absorption and increase stress on the joints. But the great thing about yoga is that in addition to releasing tight muscles, it also builds strength in the body –addressing weak areas and muscular imbalances created by the repetitive running motion, awakening deep stabilizers that will improve performance when fatigue takes during long runs, and toning muscles not primarily used in running (upper body, spine, core) when they should play a role to make us more efficient runners.

 

Read the full article at Runners Feed. 

 

Photo copyright by Flickr user lululemon athletica. 

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