Yoga is a divisive subject, especially for runners. It doesn’t seem as though it would be something runners would be interested in doing, and even less likely that we’d see it as a necessity. However, a lot of yoga is standing still. How does that help someone whose aim is to always be in constant motion? A Sweat Life contends that yoga and running have far more in common than people give them credit for. While one deals with physical endurance, the other deals with a person’s mental constitution. As any marathon runner will tell you, to finish that grueling ordeal, both your mind and your body need to be able to overcome the final mile.
Strength and Stamina Training
We understand the need for training thoroughly. Running every day allows us to break and rebuild the connections in our muscles, making them stronger. However, strength and fitness training requires working on supporting muscles as well. Yoga teaches balance. The stretches that you do are guided to help you deal with the supporting ligaments and structures that you will be using while you run even though you won’t even realize it. Overall, yoga grants you control over-stretching and flexing these muscle groups. Runner’s World notes that yoga can help a runner build strength and flexibility while giving them mental focus.
It isn’t very easy to tell a competitive runner to relax. However, relaxation is a significant part of reaching your potential as a runner. The problem as with all of yoga is that relaxation feels like betraying your goals. You’re not running or working on improving your time. You’re just relaxing. Psychology Today mentions that a lot of people can’t relax because they put themselves on a timeline to rest, adding stress where they should be removing it. For runners, the relaxation is essential because it gives us much-needed time to gather ourselves and learn from our runs, dissecting the critical parts of what we’ve done. Yoga, with its slow, meditative poses, allows us to take stock of where we are and how far we’ve come and properly relax in a way that doesn’t promote unhealthy behavior.
Muscle strain, torn ligaments, even twisted ankles all have recovery time associated with those injuries. We’re only human – injuries happen to us whether we want them to or not. Yoga allows us to train our muscles to overcome injuries at a faster rate than if we were just doing regular cardio. The stretches limber up our muscles and allow them to work in a way that doesn’t risk tearing them all over again. The positions enable our circulation to speed up in a way similar to cardio without the strain on the joints or the ligaments that running would do.
The Right Kind of Yoga for a Runner?
Yoga, like most other things that you do to relax, is profoundly individual. There are several schools of yoga, all different teaching methods. Finding a yoga sculpt class that suits you might require you to check out several various institutions before finally settling on a single one. Don’t sell yourself short, though. You’d be surprised at how well you adapt to yoga as a runner. Don’t write off yoga as a runner before you try your first lesson. It’s far more beneficial than you think.