For November, we’re focusing on the benefits of Yoga practice for people who love other forms of physical activity. Look for upcoming articles on Yoga and climbing, Yoga and skiing, and Yoga and dance.
This may sound crazy, but Yoga and running have a lot in common. They both require practice, agility, flexibility, patience and your own breathing method. Runners who take up Yoga often begin to love running even more.
It’s all too common for runners to complain of shin splints, pulled muscles, aching knees and hips. Many of these runners have put stretching very low on their list of priorities, calling it a waste of time. Truly flexible runners rarely injure themselves and benefit greatly from combining running and stretching, especially when they take advantage of the many benefits Yoga offers.
Runners primarily work certain muscles, mainly in the legs and core. Yoga, which utilizes all the body’s muscles, including the often-neglected stabilizers, makes the runner stronger and better functioning as a whole.
Runners tend to look at running as a mission, battling the elements, challenging physical limitations and meeting personal expectations. Runners stay in touch with their abilities, developing discipline and self-control. The whole body and mind connection that Yoga provides improves a runner’s ability to achieve goals and exceed past performance levels.
Holding a Yoga pose isn’t as easy as it looks! Take a class you’ll see that Yoga can be just as difficult as running, and holding poses is a wonderful way to build up muscular endurance, one of the most important assets of a good runner.
Runners who count Yoga out as a cross training activity are really missing out on improving their technique. Aside from the many other health benefits that can be derived from Yoga, it certainly can improve a runner’s stamina, mindset and love for the sport.