Yoga offers serious perks to runners. From counteracting the pounding, tightening, and shortening of muscles to improving flexibility, relieving aches and preventing injury , Yoga is great for runners. It improves their track performance and, also helps stay healthy, fit and focused.
There is a plethora of yoga poses that can do wonders on your body as a runner. Take at look at 8 amazing yoga poses for runners that help you stay strong, agile and balanced:
1. Downward-Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana: Come on all your fours. Place your palms below the shoulders and knees below the hips. Tuck your toes and lift the knees up. Lift your hips into an inverted ‘V’ position. Hold the posture for 10 seconds.
Benefits: Stretches the hamstrings and calves and lengthens the spine.
2. Upward-Facing Dog or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana: Lie on your abdomen, facing the mat. Bend the elbows and place both hands in line with the lower ribs. Your wrists should be under the elbows. Now tuck your toes. Press the floor with hands and gently lift your hands, chest, thighs, and hips away from the floor. Keep your arms straight. Hold the posture for a few breaths.
Benefits: The yoga pose opens the hip flexors and stretches the entire front body. It also opens the chest and shoulders and expands breathing.
3. Triangle Pose or Trikonasana: Stand straight with feet wide apart. Turn the left slightly and the right thigh out to 90 degrees. Keep the heels of right leg aligned with the arch of the left leg. Press down the feet and pull up on the thighs. Inhale and raise your arms to the shoulder level. Now as you exhale, bring your hips toward the left heel and stretch the torso forward toward the right foot. Place the right hand on ankle, knee or any stable support. Hold the posture for 5 breaths. Repeat with the left foot out.
Benefits: The pose stretches the inner thighs and hamstrings.
4. Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclining Bound Angle Pose: Start in a seated pose. Pull the feet toward the pelvis and open the knees widely. Stretch your spine and hinge forward from the hips. Keep the spine extended, do not round it in order to touch the feet through the head.
Benefits: The yoga pose stretches the adductors and increases the external rotation of the hips.
5. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or One-legged King Pigeon Pose: Begin on your hand and knees. Slide the right knee backwards behind the right hand. Stretch the left leg behind. Now square the hips towards the floor and stretch the hands in front of you. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: The yoga pose is the king of all hip stretches. It releases tightness in the glutes and piriformis.
6. Child Pose: Start in a kneeling position. Lay your stomach on the thighs and head on the mat. Lengthen your arms in front, beside your legs with fingers pointing behind.
Benefits: It provides a mild stretch to the lower body. It helps build focus and releases stress.
7. Upavistha Konasana or Wide-angle Seated Forward Bend Pose: Start in sitting position. Spread both legs to the sides as wide as possible and flex the feet. Keep the spine straight and lean forward as slowly as you can.
Benefits: The pose stretches and strengthens the insides and back of the legs and strengthens the spine and abdominal organs.
8. Natarajasana or Lord of the Dance Pose: Stand on the right leg and stretch the left leg behind. Balance your whole body weight on the right foot. Now, stretch the left hand behind and try to grasp the left toe. Extend the right hand in front with palms facing down. Pivot the hip, once you are stable. Flex the left foot and think that you are pulling it away from the body. Hold the posture for a few breaths and release gently. Repeat with the other side.
Benefits: The pose stretches the front thighs and prevents from knee injuries.
So, include these amazing yoga postures for runners in your training routine and, lead towards an outstanding performance every time you run.