Feeling a bit stiff lately? As runners, we’re prone to experience tightness in the hips, inevitable leg cramps and/or the pulled hamstring. Balancing your runs with the occasional yoga practice can greatly enhance your training and prevent these “runner’s symptoms” from reoccurring. Check out these top 7 reasons for why yoga isn’t just the type of pants worn on a Sunday morning coffee run to Starbucks, but should be a part of the daily stretch.
1. Super-Human Flexibility
Look Ma, I can touch my toes! Although a fluid and full range of motion while running is good, runners don’t necessarily need incredible flexibility. However, yoga does help to open up the hips creating more stability in the hips and core while running.
2. Breath Control
In yoga your ujjayi breath is the center of your practice. This consists of coordinating your inhales and exhales with precise physical movements. For runners this is a great way to learn how to control and regulate breath or sound like Darth Vader when you run.
3. Finding That Om
Yoga is meditative. With that being said, it can be difficult to find inner peace while in a crazy pretzel-like pose. Note to runners: stick to the standard downward dog and child’s pose if doing a handstand disrupts the rest of class.
4. Strength and Balance
Yoga is the perfect strength training without having to lift weights. You could be like this dude!
And master the headstand … everywhere.
5. Mental Focus
You are infinitely more aware of your body. However, thoughts of dinner tend to linger whether you’re doing a sun salutation or running 10 miles.
6. Fewer Pulled Hammies
Once you’ve got the stretching, strengthening, breathing, and balancing act down … this will never happen again.
Besides yoga being a great workout, it also possesses secret restorative powers. It includes postures that aid in speedy recoveries from long runs, which is the key to becoming a healthier and faster competitor. Savasana is basically a nice nap accompanied by chanting monks and a soothing tea tree oil massage from the instructor.