Yoga for runners & triathletes
A Chi Running and Yoga workshop with Nick Constantine and Mark Russell reminded me how important it is to remain flexible as I get older, especially for injury-free sports performance.
I have recently written about chi running – and the benefits for injury-free longer distance running – for my Sunday Mail column. A lot of the same principles, balance, focus, alignment and relaxation, are found in a yoga practice, too.
Mark owns Kridaka Yoga, based in Glasgow. He is a runner and triathlete and so he knows all about the pains of taking part in sport. He offers yoga sessions for runners and triathletes in and around Glasgow and also balances Nick’s chi running teachings with yoga sessions at workshops in Scotland and Northern England.
Mark says: “In longer distance races, there is a danger that your form changes and loses integrity as you tire. This can lead to imbalances and possible injury.
“Returning to the principles of the chi running form throughout races brings focus to moving in a more relaxed and aligned way.
“The yoga postures that I focus on are also designed to allow runners to become more aware of how they use their breath in training and races.”
Yoga postures for runners
Lengthening postures include:
- Downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana)
- Seated forward folds (paschimottanasana)
- Pigeon (eka pada rajakapotasana).
All these postures are offered with modifications for runners who tend to be very fit although a little stiff.
Recovery postures include
- Reclined spinal twists (supta matsyendrasana)
- Legs against the wall pose (viparita karani)
- Thunderbolt pose (vajrasana).
Balance postures include:
- Tree posture (vrksasana)
- Stick (Tuladandasana)
Balance postures are especially useful for runners increasing their proprioception, which is vital for reducing injury risk.
Find out more in an earlier yoga for runners blog.