Yoga is one of the best stress busters. It offers great perks for professional runners which includes its amazing benefits of reducing aches, pains, improving flexibility and helping in recovering from injuries. Regular practice of yoga postures helps in keeping the body flexible, reducing chances of injuries and helps in keeping a strong and balanced mind and body. These postures are especially beneficial for runners.
Best Yoga Poses For Runners
This posture helps in strengthening and stretching the legs, especially hamstrings. Start by stepping your foot back ( left), at least 3 feet. Your toes will be at an angle of 45 degree. The right foot shall face to the front. Start inhaling and stay tall. Lean out a bit over your front foot. Your hands should drop towards the shin. You need to drop the forehead so that it faces your leg. As you inhale, you will get a feeling of the spine getting longer as you exhale. You should let your body slowly sink a bit lower. This will make your forehead go a bit closer to your front leg. Inhale and come up slowly. Roll up as you slowly pressing the front foot for additional support. You can repeat on your other side. Take 5 breaths.
Reclining Cobbler Pose
Start by sitting down on your yoga mat. Your feet shall be together as you start. Spread your knees wide. You need to sit and keep your hips close to the heels as much as soon as you can. You should prop the knees with your folded blankets and also lie down. This pose is helpful in opening the hips and helps in recovering from knee injury.
Upward Facing Dog
Start by lying down on the floor. You will lie down on the abdomen and face the floor. Keep your elbows bent and your hands will be on the mat. Hands will be in line with the lower ribs. Your wrists shall be aligned just under the elbows. You can reach your legs back and then press the top of the feet downwards on the floor. You can press down in your hands and straighten the arms. You will pull the chest upwards towards the ceiling and lift the front of thighs and keep your hips a bit away from the ground. Breathe normally. You can again roll down back. If you wish you can make the pose even a bit more challenging and keep the toes tucked in, instead of keeping it pointed. This will help in lifting the thighs and activating the muscles. In case you feel some tightness on your back, you can slowly rest the knees on mat. This will help in lengthening the tailbone. This posture helps runners by opening their hip flexors and also by stretching whole body.
Cow Face Fold
A good exercise to stretch some deep muscles in the glutes, IT band and also hips which adds to body flexibility. Start in a seated position. You will bring up your left foot backwards to your right hip. Your right knee will be on the left. Your left foot shall be by the left hip. In case you feel a tightness in your hips, your top leg or knee can stand instead of being flat. You will slowly grab the feet with hands. Your left foot will be in your right hand and the right foot in your left. You will then slowly lean a bit forward. Look beyond your nose. Take a deep stretch as you flex your feet. If you feel comfortable, you can keep your hands on floor just in front and then lean slowly forward. This will help in intensifying your stretch. You need to repeat the exercise on your other side. Your left knee shall be on top now.
Head To Knee Pose
A good exercise for knees and for those recovering from knee injury. You will need a chair on your mat for this exercise. Be seated on this mat and straighten your legs in front – try to be as much comfortable as you can. You will fold your left leg and slowly bring your foot near your body. You will then open the knee out as you sit down in this posture. You need to fold your torso a bit forward and over the right leg as you proceed. Your forehead shall be resting on chair. Your arms shall rest on the chair. This exercise helps in relaxing the whole body and releases tension from the legs. Take some deep breaths to relax and calm down the nerves. However, if you feel uncomfortable during any stage of the exercise, you should stop immediately.