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Yoga for Runners

You might be a little surprised reading the title of this blog post, as yoga and running don’t seem to go with each other. Both are amazing forms of workouts that can help people in achieving numerous types of goals related to health.

However, there are fundamental differences between the two. While running is physically straining, yoga is not. Running affects your body, whereas yoga affects both your body and your mind. Irrespective of the differences, both yoga and running are immensely beneficial for weight loss and other health-related objectives.

By the end of this blog post, you will understand yoga for runners, i.e., yoga poses that are ideal for runners. You might wonder, “Why Do Runners Need to do Yoga?”. Well, we have shared the information regarding the same in the following paragraphs. We have also explained yoga and running in short.

Yoga for Runners
Image Credit: T3

What is Running? What is Yoga? Why do Runners Need Yoga?

Running is considered to be an easy way to stay fit. People engage in a running workout in the mornings and evenings. Most people run near their houses or in local parks. Some people even choose mountainous terrains for running. You just need clothes and shoes in which you feel comfortable while running.

Just like running, yoga is also a highly preferred way of achieving fitness. Yoga is a group of practices that involve different kinds of poses. Yoga poses are aimed at providing benefits on not just the physical level but also the mental and spiritual level.

Now, coming to the point, i.e., “what does yoga for runners really mean?”, let us tell you that runners can benefit by doing certain yoga poses. People who have been running for a long time start feeling pain and muscle tension in different body parts. The same is the case with the people who have recently started running. Both new and experienced runners encounter the harmful effects of running.

Yoga for Runners
Image Credit: Running-Malaysia

Runners feel pain and muscle tension in the legs, hips, knees, ankles, and back. They also feel soreness in muscles during or after running. Some runners even get injuries, such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and the runner’s knee due to excessive running. In such a case, yoga can help runners to obtain relief from the pain and prevent injuries.

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Yoga for Runners: Which are the Suitable Yoga Poses for Runners?

As you must be aware, yoga improves blood circulation and breathing. When you do yoga on a regular basis, you will notice that your running workout sessions have become smoother and less tiring than before. Now, let’s have a look at three yoga poses every runner should do.

Tree (Vrksasana)

Tree Pose or Vrksasana is a yoga pose that requires balancing the body. Along with being a balancing asana, it also incorporates other elements, such as stability, stretch, and strength. In simple words, people who do this asana experience an enhancement in balance, stability, strength, and mental clarity. You have to stay focused to do this pose properly. It is one of the best poses when it comes to yoga for runners.

In order to do the Tree Pose, you need to do the following steps:

  1. Stand upright and keep your legs active. Keep your back straight.
  2. Bring one foot up the inside of the other leg. Place it above the knee of the other leg, i.e., rest on the thigh of the other leg.
  3. The knee of the bent leg should point to the side, i.e., it should be at 90 degrees.
  4. Pointing the knee to the side will stretch your lumbar muscles.
  5. Bring both arms up in the air above your head.
Yoga for Runners
Image Credit: Gaia

You need to keep your focus on some object or space in front of you so that you can maintain the balance of your body.

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

While the tree pose is a standing asana, the low lunge pose is a floor asana. Low Lunge Pose or anjaneyasana is also known as a crescent moon pose. As the name suggests, it requires you to lunge. The low lunge pose is a back-bending chest opener pose. It is a basic lunge pose that helps people to open up the front of their bodies. This pose of yoga for runners is beneficial in getting rid of the soreness in the muscles of the lower body parts.

In order to do the Low Lunge Pose, you need to do the following steps:

  • Stand up straight and step your right foot forward in such a way that it comes between your hands.
  • Lower your left knee to the floor, thereby sliding the left foot back. The top of your left foot should touch the floor. You should feel a stretch in the left hip and thigh.
  • Keep the hips low and lift your torso upright.
  • Sweep your arms out to the sides alongside your ears.
  • Look straight and drop your tailbone toward the floor.
  • Hold this pose for ten breaths and then stand up.
  • Repeat the pose by stepping your left foot forward.
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Yoga for Runners
Image Credit: Yoga 15

The low lunge pose helps you stretch the thighs and groin. It also strengthens your knees and helps you build mental focus. Thus, you can run for a long distance energetically.

Reclining Pigeon (Supta Kapotasana)

The Reclining Pigeon Pose or the Supta Kapotasana is a restorative hip opening pose. It is a variation or modification of the Pigeon Pose. This pose has to be performed in a supine position, which resembles a dead pigeon lying on the back. This pose of yoga for runners helps you in stretching the hips, strengthening the thighs, and improving blood circulation.

In order to do the yoga, you need to do the following steps:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent. Keep thighs parallel and hip distance apart.
  • Cross right ankle over the left thigh. Keep your right foot flexed to protect your left knee.
  • Bring the right arm through the space between the thighs and bring the left arm around the outside of the left thigh.
  • Hug your hands toward your chest and flex your right foot.
  • The support of a pillow can be taken to keep your shoulders and neck relaxed.
Yoga for Runners
Image Credit: Fitness Drum

The best part about this pose is that it is easy, even for beginners. Doing this pose will enable you to prevent problems occurring in your knees due to running.

Running is a weight-bearing exercise that helps you burn a lot of calories. You can lose weight or maintain a healthy weight by running on a routine basis. But running can also give you pain and muscle soreness. Therefore, yoga for runners is a great way to combat these issues.

If you want to reduce weight, you should also pay attention to the foods and beverages you consume. You don’t need to sacrifice eating your favorite foods. You can easily find a recipe for the healthier version of the dish you want to eat. You can drink healthy smoothies and fresh fruit juices. If you have a sweet tooth, you can find recipes for healthy sweet snacks.

Final Thoughts

Yoga can ease symptoms related to various disorders, and so, you can do running even when you are suffering from some physical disorders. Yoga also helps you sleep better and stay calm.

Priya Bhagtani