Adopting a daily yoga habit is the best tip I can give you if you’re a keen runner. Even 10-15 minutes a day can make a huge difference and could be key staying injury free. Read on for 9 reasons to do yoga for runners…
This is the most obvious reason for taking up yoga when you’re a runner. Runners tend to be the most inflexible people I know!
Yoga lengthens and loosens your muscles and will help to improve flexibility in the hip flexors and hamstrings. The result – moving more freely with a better running style and less risk of injury.
Running, like many sports, works some muscles far more than others. This over-stresses joints and can lead to injury. Typically, runners will have very strong quad muscles and disproportionately weak hamstring muscles.
Yoga poses work the whole body. You will soon become aware of your weaknesses, but regular practice will correct the typical muscle imbalances caused by running.
The key issue for beginner runners? Lacking sufficient leg strength to complete training schedules and stay injury free. Yoga is excellent for building strength.
Yoga poses will strengthen your core, quads, hamstrings and hip flexors turning you into an efficient running machine!
Sometimes when you’re running you need to react quickly and avoid obstacles. Having good balance reduces the risk of falls and is especially helpful if you run off-road. Yoga balance poses can really help.
Balance to a yogi is not just limited to the body. It covers all aspects of life and can help a runner be receptive to the needs of their body. A yogi runner is less likely to over-train and will take time to rest and recover.
Reduces Back Problems
The constant impact of running leads to a lot of back problems for runners. Gentle twisting and back stretches within a yoga practice can really help relieve back problems and prevent injuries.
Ankles are often a weak point for runners, especially trail runners. Yoga standing poses are an excellent way to build ankle strength.
Lung capacity is important for runners. However running tends to induce quick, shallow breathing using only the top part of the lungs.
Yoga helps runners take deep, slow, inhalations using the upper, middle and lower lung sections. The result can be increased lung capacity and running endurance.
Running can be a terrific help with stress release. Yet sometimes runners become overly competitive and anxious about races. Yoga can provide a sense of prospective and help relieve stress in the pre-race build up.
Yoga teaches mindfulness. Being fully aware of your body and your breathing can translate to getting the most out of your running. It can help you achieve your best running performances and, more importantly, find enjoyment.
Yoga For Runners: How To Get Started
It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to yoga. You’re a runner right? We both know running takes up a LOT of time. Fitting in yoga classes on top of your running schedule is difficult.
Plus, particularly for runners, there’s a lot of benefit from practicing a little yoga everyday. If you’re like me, you stiffen up after a long run and spending just 10 minutes on the mat really helps.
You can seek out free yoga classes on YouTube or try out an online subscription service. The cost is typically $15 to $25 month. I prefer using a subscription service. It helps to stick to a regular practice when you can find a class quickly and know the yoga tuition will be a consistent high quality. This is where MyYogaWorks excels. They provide online yoga courses run by professional instructors. Some of the best in the industry. (YogaWorks trains instructors – that’s how good they are).
You can dip into lessons whenever you like. It’s a bit like having your own personal yoga instructor right there in your living room at an affordable monthly fee.
Now of course attending an actual yoga class with a qualified instructor is always best. But if you can’t get to classes or you want to practice yoga everyday MyYogaWorks is a great option.
They have 1200+ Premium classes to choose from catering for all yoga standards. There’s even a yoga journey you can follow just for runners!
The classes cover all abilities, choose from beginner, intermediate or advanced. You can pick different durations, and which body part you want to focus on. I love the way they really explain and demonstrate all the positions. I’ve picked up on things I’ve been doing wrong for years.
The best bit is there’s a 14 day FREE trial you can follow before committing to their $15/month fee. (I do think this is good value. Just think how much it would cost to attend yoga classes everyday).
A 14 day trial is long enough to give your body a little boost and discover if yoga makes a real difference to your running. I’m sure it will…
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Favourite Yoga Equipment
I’m convinced yoga helps me to stay injury free as a runner. It’s made me discover muscles I didn’t even know I had! I’d love to hear if you’re a running yogi and how it helps you to keep on running!