Hello fellow Vitalyte fans! Let's talk about one of my favorite things — yoga and more specifically, yoga for runners — because it's something that all of you athletes out there should really start incorporating into your workout routines.
One thing that's true about runners is that there is always a ton of wear and tear on their bodies. The constant pounding on pavement, or trail, messes with their knees, hamstrings and feet. The force of impact on each foot is about three to four times your weight, so it's honestly no wonder why so many of you are in pain. But that pain that you feel is not from the running itself, rather it's from imbalances that running causes and exacerbates.
Fear not runner friends, you don't have to be in pain and you don't have to stop running either. You just need to add a little yoga to your life. Do so and you will be happier than a kid on Christmas morning...
The wonderful thing about yoga is that it's goal centers around achieving internal focus and understanding one's body. As a runner, you can use yoga to balance strength, increase your range of motion and to train your body and mind. Breathing exercises in yoga will can teach you how to coordinate your breath with each movement you make. Breath awareness is also the key to reducing tension - an athlete's main handicap.
Yoga can also help you improve your VO2 Max. Runners with a high VO2 Max have the capacity to pump large amounts of oxygen-rich blood to working muscles. Pranayama and asana conditioning helps to maximize the size of your pump and the quantity of fresh blood coursing through your body.
Now, pain. The athlete's worst enemy. Even the most well-balanced, relaxed runners can face injury. And when one body part is off, it affects the entire rest of the body. Yoga postures can get rid of pain in any part of your body and bring that balance back to it. If you can start incorporating some yoga postures into the warm-up and cool-down portions of your workout, you will begin to see much better results.
Stay tuned friends... in the next week, I will start introducing some great yoga poses to eliminate common athlete pains.