Article by Harry Golmes
One of the most popular forms of exercise and fitness, yoga benefits almost everybody cutting across age groups due to its unique philosophy. The word ‘yoga’ comes from the word ‘yug’ that means to ‘unite’ and yoga serves to do just that. It serves to unite the body; mind and spirit into a single powerful consciousness that helps you achieve an active lifestyle among many other benefits.Let us have a course of an average mile as an example. During this, your feet will make about one thousand strikes on the ground. The impact exerted by each foot is three times your weight, sometimes four. Thus, it is natural that most runners complain about knee, back, thigh and foot problems. Imbalances from running cause a lot of problems to those who practice it but yoga for runners comes to rescue.
Knowledge of your body’s energy reserves is also imperative. Every individual faces a variation of vigor level on a daily and sometimes on an hourly basis. Again a yoga practitioner will benefit from this information; depending on that day’s or hour’s energy stock, you will be able to decide whether to follow a strenuous schedule of running or to settle for a short bout only. If you respect the limitations of your body, you will enjoy health and vitality.For runners, yoga is especially helpful not only to prevent but to heal knee injuries. Yoga helps runners improve their balance, thus avoiding falls. Additionally, yoga builds strength and flexibility, factors believed to be important in knee injury prevention. Finally, yoga has been shown to improve overall posture and can help insure alignment of the knee with adjacent areas of the body that support it.Although the similarities between yoga and running are not obvious to onlookers, many runners see (and experience) the synchronycities. Both running and yoga, they say, require discipline, flexibility, concentration, practice, and breatthing techniques. These similarities make yoga an obvious, albeit uncommon, choice for a runner’s cross training routine.
But yoga doe s more than just provide runners with added variety to their training programs; indeed, there is evidence that yoga improves the running performance of these athletes. This is possible, say experts, through yoga’s ability to balance the body, which prepares the athlete for the rigors of running and protects the body from injury.Yoga is an ancient art of self development. Hatha yoga is a series of exercise and breathing for good health.
The main benefits of yoga for runners may start with the asanas, or postures. Yoga in runners improves circulation, concentration, strength and flexibility. Astanga vinyasa (also called Dynamic or Power) yoga in runners, develop strength and make upper body muscles really strong and flexible lower body and spine. It is very useful in preparing the cardiovascular system and muscles for great performances. Gentle form of yoga is sometimes practiced to revitalize after hard training or competition. Yoga allows calmness and understanding to our minds and bodies. The focus and understanding would train the mind for competition and to develop self esteem and confidence too.Are you open to trying something that will enhance your sport? Take a yoga class. Have an open mind and tune in to your body to see if you gained any benefit, during the practice and after.
Many professional athletes practice yoga – maybe you should too…
Your state of Peace & Joy is the Quality of your Life
SADHGURU JAGGI VASUDEV is a yogi, mystic and spiritual master with a difference. He founded Isha Foundation, a non profit, non religious, public service organization which addresses all aspects of human wellbeing. From its powerful yoga programs for inner transformation to its inspiring projects for society and environment, Isha activities are designed to create an inclusive culture that is the basis for global harmony and progress. This approach has gained worldwide recognition and reflects in Isha Foundation’s special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.
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