Yoga is a practice that has been around for thousands and years. However, we have seen an increase in its popularity since the turn of the 20th century. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics showed almost a 5-percent increase in yoga practice between 2012 and 2017.
All runners can benefit from yoga being added to their cross-training routines. Yoga’s mental and physical components can help you build muscle and avoid injuries. It can also improve your focus and your ability to focus.
We will explore what yoga is and all it can do for your health and performance. And how you can integrate it into your daily life.
What is Yoga?
Yoga has been practiced since around 2,000 years ago. According to the Yoga Journal, the Yoga Sutra contains 195 statements believed to have been compiled by the Indian Sage Patanjali.
Although yoga combines breathing techniques and physical poses with meditation, there were other goals than improved fitness. It was a mental focus. Better physical fitness was a priority once yoga gained popularity in Western countries in the 1920s and 1930s.
There are many kinds of yoga. These are some of the most well-known:
Ashtanga Yoga: Six established sequences of poses that link each movement to the breath are used.
Bikram, or “hot” yoga: The rooms are heated to almost 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity. It includes 26 poses as well as a series of two breathing exercises.
Hatha Yoga: Any yoga that teaches you physical poses.
Power Yoga: This is a more athletic form of yoga that is based on ashtanga yoga.
A few things will determine the type of yoga class you choose to attend. These include your experience level and whether you prefer something more challenging or relaxing. Finding a suitable course for you may take some trial and error.
What are the benefits of yoga for runners?
Research is constantly being published on how yoga can improve your running and overall health and that 12 weeks of hot yoga has significant benefits for your heart, one of the essential muscular organs in your body. Hot yoga and room temperature yoga can lower blood pressure. High blood pressure can put extra strain on your heart; yoga can help to reduce this risk.
It is no surprise that yoga is suitable for your brain. People who did yoga had more gray material.
Volume in their brains. Translation? More gray matter is a better brain function, especially regarding aging and intelligence.
Yoga can help with back pain and migraines. These benefits are independent of your ability to do the most challenging yoga poses. Even though yoga can be a strenuous workout, even simple yoga flows once a week will provide benefits.
What regular yoga practice means for your running
Yoga can be a great addition to cross-training, no matter how fit you may be.
More intense yoga, like hot or power yoga, can improve your overall fitness. This includes getting faster at sprinting or running farther on a long run. It also helps you build muscle and increase your heart rate; raising your heart rate through exercise can strengthen your heart and make it more efficient at pumping blood around your body. This will allow your heart to function better under stress and keep you from becoming tired during high-intensity activities.