A while ago we wrote a blog with 8 Running Tips For Your First Race. We wanted to help you get out there and dedicate yourself to running a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, or even a marathon. Running isn’t always easy, but you can get better with practice and help. We were thrilled when Rachelle Ann Gabriel reached out from Life Yoga Center with a follow-up blog idea about yoga poses.
Do you want to be a better runner? Check out this great infographic, and the 10 yoga poses that can help!
Why Does Yoga Help?
Yoga is great for you. A few minutes of yoga each day can relax both your body and your mind, by releasing tension that accumulates in your muscles. Yoga poses not only keep your joints healthy, but they also can boost your immune system, according to a Norwegian study. Even better, regular yoga practice can help you reduce food cravings and stop overeating. The University of Washington found that yoga increases the awareness of the physical and emotional sensations associated with eating.
So, why does yoga help with running? It takes on your stress, and helps to relax your mind and body so you can be a better runner. It also eases the typical aches and pains that runners feel while enhancing your balance and form and reducing your risk of injuries.
What Yoga Poses Should Your Do?
If you want to be a better runner, there are 10 specific yoga poses outlined by the Life Yoga Center. You can find them all in the infographic. We’ve also outlined a few of our favorites below.
- Downward & Upward-Facing Dog
If you’ve ever completed a long run, you know how tight your shoulders, neck, and back can get. The Downward- & Upward-Facing Dog are perfect for lengthening your spine and stretching your entire body.
The Downward-Facing Dog yoga pose really focuses on lengthening and stretching your spine from the top to the bottom. It stretches your forearms and shoulders, your hamstrings and calves.
The Upward-Facing Dog is perfect for opening your hip flexors, chest, and shoulders. Holding the stretch can also help you expand your breathing, which is vital for a long-distance runner.
- Figure Four
What muscle feels the tightest after your run? Your thighs! Your inner thighs and outer hips can feel like they’ve been put through the ringer whenever you run. The Figure Four yoga pose helps you stretch your legs so you can keep running.
The exercise is simple. Lie on your back and raise your legs up, bending the right knee while placing your left ankle on your right thigh. Then, interlace your fingers behind your right thigh and pull it toward your chest. Switch legs and repeat.
- Low Lunge
If you want a fluid range of motion, then you need to be stretching with a low lunge. Low lunges strengthen your core and open your hips. The yoga pose can even help with plantar fasciitis—a runner’s bane! You’ll find that performing a low lunge regularly helps you improve your flexibility and balance since it targets various muscle groups including your abs, groin, and thighs.
Check out all the great yoga poses below and start to stretch it out!