For one and all, yoga is useful to each and every one of us. Even if you do not practice yoga as a form to stay fit and gyming is your preference, yoga can still come handy in areas of your life, which you thought they are required the least. Let’s talk about one such activity, which is used by many to stay fit by many people often and they take part in marathons, sprints and other challenges. Yoga can be beneficial for this, another high intensity activity as well. Overcoming the soreness levels, tightness and increasing the flexibility, yoga & running blend really well to help the runners loosen their muscles and increase performance levels.
Head to Knee Stretch or Janu Sirsasana A
A calming pose, the seated head to knee pose stretches the legs and the entire lower body to a great extent. Enhancing the flexibility of the spine, hips and thighs, the pose improves blood circulation apart from rectifying the posture as well.
Figure 4 Pose or Sucirandhrasana
Also known as thread the needle pose among other groups, this supine pose is a great hip opener. Working on the gluteus maximus and minimus muscles, which are usually found tight in runners, this pose works deeply to relieve the tightness aiding in running.
Seated Forward Fold or Paschimottanasana
Yet another pose to open up the hamstrings and stretch it, the seated pose increases the flexibility of the spine and in true sense it supports the entire back region of the body, starting from heels to neck.
Butterfly/Cobbler Stretch or Baddha Konasana
Working on one of the biggest muscles groups used in running, Seated wide Angle Pose stretches and opens up the hamstrings. Hamstrings are the reason for the change in direction required in walking as well as running, as they slow the forward motion and bring the feet backwards to go forward.
Seated Wide Angle Pose or Upavistha Konasana
Working deeply with the lower body and pelvic area, the pose is beneficial in opening the inner thighs, hips and groin region. It also works as deep therapeutic pose and strengthens the legs.
Standing Wide-Legged Forward Fold or Prasarita Padottanasana
Standing wide and bending the torso forward, this pose works on multiple large muscle groups simultaneously. Talking about muscles used in running, the pose stretches the legs, opens hamstrings, hips and is also very good for strengthening the lower body.
Cow-Face Fold or Gomukhasana
One of the must do poses for runners, the interlocking of the legs is beneficial in stretching the entire glutes, especially the small yet important piriformis muscles, which is found to be tight in the runners. It also worked deeply with the IT band, important for runners and athletes.
Add pranayama to the daily routine of yoga and feel the increase in breathing capacity too. Try these poses before running for a month and see the transformation in your stance, speed levels and suppleness of the muscles.