Yoga poses for runners
How can I benefit from yoga as a runner?
First, yoga helps strengthening the leg muscles. In that regard, it can prevent knees and feet problems. It also helps in getting a flexible spine and a strong core. The gained stability will be a huge advantage during your runs.
As a matter of fact, most of the runners do yoga for the prevention of injuries. Injuries happen when your body parts are not according to the need. Running requires a whole-body effort e.g if your hips are stable then you don’t need to worry about the stress on your knees and ankles. Similarly, forward momentum is important for the runners which is provided by the arms. So, running is not all about your lower body, upper body is also important.
Here are some pre-run and post-run yoga poses that will be helpful for anyone who loves running.
Pre-Run Yoga Poses
Do these poses before going to the running track:
Vrksasana – tree pose
Stand straight on one leg and bend the other leg in the forward direction
This should be your first pose before leaving for a race. It is simple and the outcomes are marvelous. It engages your hips, your glutes and gets your knees and ankles in working position. You stand on one leg in this posture, building core strength as you stumble to stabilize the posture.
This posture looks easy but is very effective if executed correctly. Thighs and glutes should burn. You need to feel the stretch in your back leg’s hip flexor. As a bonus, raise your hands to work on your chest openingwhich is important to improve your breathing.
Utkatasana – deep squat
This pose is great to strengthen all the core body, as well as the glutes. It can be difficult for newcomers but you will be amazed at how quickly you improve if you do it regularly. Keep the pose for 25-30 seconds.
If you want a little extra burn, repeat the exercise twisting your torso.
Standing Side Stretch
In this pose, we are focusing on the upper body to improve breathing. In addition to this, it will also stretch and strengthen your core muscles. Overall, it can improve cardiovascular ability and reduce back pressure. Hold the position for 30 seconds on each side.
Post-Run Yoga Poses
This post-run pose is very simple and important. It especially helps stretching the thighs and the hip flexors. Running can be very stressful on the hips, so it is very important to stretch this area just after the run. Raise your hands to add some extra chest opening and help your breathing.
Uttanasana – Standing forward bend
This posture helps relax the head and neck muscles while stretching the back of the legs and the lower back.
If you want an extra stretch in the lower back, bend the knees a little.
Downward Facing Dog
This pose is important to stretch the lower back and the hamstrings. If you have tight hamstrings, bend your knees as much as you need until you feel a good stretch in the lower back. To help stretching the hamstrings and the calves, you can bend one knee while extending the other. It is great after a race that put pressure on your back, thighs, arms and legs. It will also help slowing down your body and mind.
Virabhadrasana III – Warrior 3
Probably the most challenging pose in this article, warrior 3 requires core strength and a strong mind. It has the benefits of strengthening and lengthening the muscles used while running, i.e. legs, shoulders, ankles, hip muscles and back muscles. Besides, this pose is all about balancing so it is also great for your core muscles.
Malasana – Garland pose
This pose release mental tension and stretches your ankles and back torso. It provides your new sense of freedom after a fierce race. This is simple and easy pose for anyone to do.
These were some yoga poses that can be useful for any runners. Follow these to avoid injuries, stay fit and healthy!