5 Essential Yoga Poses For Runners:
1) Downward Facing Dog Pose (Dandasana)
2) Warrior I pose (Warrior II Pose)
3) Virabhadrasana III
4) Ardha Matsyendrasana (Standing Forward Bend with Hands on Knees or Feet on the Ground).
5) Supta Padangusthasana (Downward Facing Bow Pose).
1) Dandasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose
The first pose which is considered as the most essential for all yogis. It helps in maintaining flexibility and balance. Also it helps in strengthening the muscles of your back, shoulders, neck and arms. If you are not able to do any of these things then you will have no chance to run fast!
You need to practice this pose regularly so that you can develop proper posture and strength.
Benefits Of Doing Dandasana Properly:
Strengthens the Back Muscles. Strengthens the Shoulders. Helps in Developing Flexibility and Balance. Helps in Developing Strength in Your Neck and Arms.
Prevents Spinal Injury due to Falling Down from Sitting Up Straight. Prevents Lower Back Pain Due to Sitting Up Straight. Keeps Your Body From Drooping At All Times.
2) Warrior I pose (Warrior II Pose)
The second pose is the warrior pose, which primarily focuses on the thighs and side of your body. This pose is very much important for runners to keep their body flexible and strong. Also helps in keeping your body from getting injured through sudden movements or falls. It helps in strengthening the legs, thighs, abdomen and hips.
This pose also prevents cramps in your legs while running.
Benefits Of Doing Warrior I pose (Warrior II Pose) Properly:
Strengthens Your Thighs and Other Leg Muscles. Helps in Developing Kick techniques. This helps in Developing a Fast Sprint. It is also useful for people who want to kick objects with their legs like cyclists or soccer players.
Warriors are known for kicking their opponents with their legs hence the name of the pose!
3) Virabhadrasana III
The third pose is the Virabhadrasana III, which primarily focuses on your legs, thighs and abdomen. As a runner you will get the most out of this pose since you need all the strength you can get in your legs and thighs. This pose also helps in strengthening your wrists and arms. It is a common pose and hence commonly practiced by many people.
Benefits Of Doing Virabhadrasana III Properly:
Strengthens Your Thighs, Legs and Abdomen. This helps in Developing Powerful and Fast Kicks. Helps in Getting Rid of Cramps in Legs. Help in Preventing Lower Back Pain.
It is typically used to prevent falls in older people and the infirm.
4) Ardh Matsyendrasana (Ardha Matseyandrasana)
The fourth pose is a very simple pose to do. You just have to stand on one leg and bend forward while placing your other hand on your knee or the floor. It primarily focuses on the inner thighs and groin. This pose strengthens the muscles of your legs, groin and waist hence making it an important pose for runners.
It also helps in improving your posture.
Benefits Of Doing Ardh Matsyendrasana (Ardha Matseyandrasana) Properly:
It is a Very Efficient Way to Relax Your Body. Helps in Preventing Muscle Cramps. It is a Very Effective Way to Energize and Relieve Tension from Your Body. This pose is very efficient in Reducing Back Pain.
This pose is very helpful in Reducing General Body Aches and Pains.
5) Dandayamana Bandha (Danda-yoga-bandha)
The fifth pose is relatively simple to do since all you have to do is sit on the floor and then draw your legs up to your chest and hold them in place. This pose helps in strengthening your ankles, knees and legs. It also helps maintain flexibility in the muscles of your legs, thighs and abdomen. It is an important pose for runners as it helps prevent muscle cramps.
Benefits Of Doing Dandayamana Bandha (Danda-yoga-bandha) Properly:
Not only does this pose strengthen your legs and ankles but it also helps improve your posture by strengthening your back and abdominal muscles. This pose prevents cramps near your ankles, knees and legs. It also helps prevent back pain. It is particularly helpful in preventing cramps in the legs and feet.
6) Vajrasana (Vajra-asana)
The sixth pose is considered the easiest yoga pose to do as all you have to do is just sit on the floor and straighten your legs in front of you. This pose helps in relaxing your muscles and relieving stress. It also helps in relieving tension in your back, legs and ankles.
Benefits Of Doing Vajrasana (Vajra-asana) Properly:
This pose is very effective in calming the mind and relieving stress. It is a very efficient way to relieve fatigue. It also helps in Efficient Breathing which leads to a more Relaxed Mood. This pose also helps in Preventing Muscle Cramps and Aches.
This pose is also very good for the Health of Your Muscles as it helps strengthen them.
7) Shashankasana (Shashanka-asana)
The seventh pose is a simple one. It involves you sitting cross-legged on the floor and then extending your hands forward while keeping your back straight. This pose helps in relaxing the muscles and relieving stress. It also helps in energizing and strengthening your entire body.
Benefits Of Doing Shashankasana (Shashanka-asana) Properly:
This pose is very efficient in relaxing the muscles of the entire body. It can help relieve fatigue and stress. This pose can energize your body and make you feel more relaxed. This pose is particularly good for people who experience Stiffness in their backs.
8) Vipareeta Karani Mudra (Viparita-karna-mudra)
The eight pose is another one that is quite simple. All you have to do is lie on your stomach with your legs straight behind you. This pose is particularly good for people who suffer from stiff shoulders and neck. It helps in relaxing the muscles of your upper body.
Benefits Of Doing Vipareeta Karani Mudra (Viparita-karna-mudra) Properly:
This pose is very good for people who experience Stiffness in their Shoulders, Neck and Chest. This pose is particularly helpful for Runners as it can help prevent muscle cramps. It is very useful in relaxing the muscles of your upper body.
These are the 8 basic poses in the Yoga training for Runners. You should always begin your Yoga training for Runners with these poses. We shall now move on to the Intermediate level of poses.
Intermediate Poses For Yoga Training For Runners
You should be familiar with the 8 basic poses at this point. The intermediate level of poses is a little more challenging than the beginner level. However, these can be learned and perfected with enough practice.
1) Bhujangasana (Bhujanga-asana)
The first pose on our Intermediate level of poses is Bhujangasana. This pose involves you lying on your stomach and then raising your legs and chest simultaneously while your arms remain stretched out at your sides. This pose can be quite difficult for many beginners as it involves a certain amount of balance. However, with enough practice, you should be able to master this pose with ease.
Benefits Of Doing Bhujangasana (Bhujanga-asana) Properly:
This pose is quite effective in stretching out your spine. This helps in keeping your body flexible and lessens the chances of you experiencing back pain. This pose also helps in strengthening your stomach muscles quite a bit.
2) Dhanurasana (Dhanura-asana)
The second pose on our Intermediate level of poses is Dhanurasana. This pose involves you stretching your legs back while keeping your arms stretched out in front of you and your palms facing the floor. While this pose seems easy enough, it can put a lot of strain on the muscles of your back. This is why you should always be careful when attempting this pose.
Sources & references used in this article:
Yoga for Runners: Ultimate Guide+ Mini Video Workout by OH Miller – 2004 – Chronicle Books
Yoga for Beginners: Simple Yoga Poses to Calm Your Mind and Strengthen Your Body by LY Mat, AYW Mat – snackinginsneakers.com
5 Signs You May Be Underfueling by C Martin – 2015 – books.google.com
Moving Through Pregnancy: The Complete Exercise Guide for Today’s Woman by S WOMEN’S, S MEN’S – feetures.com
Feminist phenomenology and the woman in the running body by BG Berger, DR Owen – … quarterly for exercise and …, 1988 – shapeamerica.tandfonline.com
Assessing User Needs of Senior Women during Yoga Exercises to Optimize the Design Criteria of Sports Bras by J Allen-Collinson – Sport, ethics and philosophy, 2011 – Taylor & Francis