Four benefits of yoga for runners

Yoga and running go hand in hand

You may not think there is an obvious link between yoga and running but the two activities compliment each other very nicely.

Indeed, if you’re a runner you should look to include yoga as part of your training regime because it has many benefits…

Improved flexibility and stability

From bikram to yin to hatha yoga, there are many different styles out there suiting all levels and needs, whether you are looking for something intense, or slow and tranquil to enable you to zone out and relieve stress.

Regardless, any yoga offering can really help increase your overall flexibility and loosen you up. Stretching and free flowing movements create more elasticity in your joints, muscles, connective tissues and ligaments.

Essentially, yoga is great to make runners more supple and move with greater freedom – hence having a positive knock-on effect when it comes to running, i.e; strength in your legs and faster recovery.

Strength gains

As mentioned, consistent yoga sessions will really boost your core strength and bolster those key leg muscle groups (the quads, hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors to name a few) as you follow a variety of poses and exercises.

Give yoga a go (Image credit: Urban Yoga).

Posture improvement

Having a strong, seamless structure is important for runners, in addition to keeping your body upright and avoiding any unnecessary strain.

The same can be said for yoga, where posture is fundamental and the practice teaches yogis to elongate (lengthen) the spine in a carefree manner without tension, but within their limits.

Essentially, with both physical activities, you want your body to feel as carefree and comfortable as possible, with posture having a huge role to play.

And finally…breathing

Breathing and yoga are a surefire double act, with slow and fast breathing techniques, dependent on the class, allowing yogis to experience unique sensations.

Learning to control your breathing patterns and knowing when to inhale, exhale and how long to hold breathes, can have a positive impact when it comes to running.

Controlled and consistent ins and outs enable you to gain a good rhythm and filter in and out the right amounts of oxygen you need to enjoy your running.

All in all, you can transfer skills between the two.

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