by NativeRemedies on March 30th, 2011 at 7:00 am
Running and yoga don’t really seem to go hand in hand; however, some techniques runners can gain from yoga are unparalleled. For example, a runner’s muscles can become rigid and lose their flexibility through years of hitting hard pavement, causing pain in the feet and legs. Yoga can help to lessen these effects.
Individuals who tend to run long distances will agree that stretching the muscles before running is necessary. Muscles are the body’s natural shock absorbers, and in order to stay that way, they must be soft, agile and flexible. Runners tend to train repetitively, causing the same muscles to be used over and over again with the same endurance and capacity. This manner of training can lead to extremely tight, sore muscles.
How do I use yoga for my running purposes?
If you are a runner, you can use yoga to aid your tight muscles. Even though yoga is known for many other purposes, it can also be used for runners to increase their range of motion. Yoga is all about balancing the body and mind, but in a physical capacity it can also be used to balance and strengthen the muscles.
Using yoga stretches like bound angle pose, forward bend and runners stretch, inevitably works the hamstrings and the hips, enabling them to become more flexible. Also, certain poses such as tree and triangle helps to balance the body, stretch hamstring muscles and strengthen leg muscles.
On top of the helpful poses that help to physically bring the body back to a balanced state, learning yogic breathing can help you control your breath while running. Since tension is a downfall to runners, learning how to relax the body is important. Enriching the body with oxygen ultimately allows the body and mind to quickly unwind naturally.
Furthermore, if you have had injuries while running, another great way to reduce chronic pain is through yoga. Injuries will automatically correct themselves through a routine yoga practice. Some runners also like to get regular massages to reduce pain in the lower body. Natural essential oils such as peppermint, ginger and pine, helps to relieve pain and improve circulation.
Incorporating some form of yoga into your warm-up and your cool down, will help you run longer with more flexibility, while also helping to correct any imbalances in the body.
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