Role of Yoga in Half Marathon

For runners who run regularly, yoga is beneficial to them in so many ways. One will learn the stretching techniques which are needed in order for the muscles to relax before a race. After running in a half marathon usually the hamstrings and feet are tight, painful and aching. The yoga stretches can eliminate these aches and pains. In yoga a runner learns how to breathe properly thus improving the capacity of the lungs. He or she is able to overcome nervousness, anxiety and develops self-confidence. This will give the runner an advantage on the day of the race itself.

A runner who practices yoga will likewise have a very relaxed attitude thus eliminating any stress and tension thereby making the race more enjoyable. A runner can achieved better posture, correct body alignment and a stronger core when employing the yoga techniques. The first technique is the head to knee. This is for the leg muscles. This is done by sitting on the floor with the legs stretched out in front of the body. The left leg is bent a little and the left leg drawn towards the groin while the knee is pointed to the side. Then bend the opposite leg and place the forehead on the knee.

While keeping the forehead on the knee, both hands must clasp the right foot and straighten the leg. This should be executed for about 45 seconds. This should be repeated on the other side. It may look simple but it is a kind of yoga stretch which will improve one’s flexibility. Next in an erect stance with the feet pointing forward and the back straight, the body is lowered into a squat position with the heels in contact with the floor. Again this stretch should be for 45 seconds and repeated three to five times. Another technique is to bend forward with legs wide apart. This technique will benefit the back and hamstrings. To begin, one must stand in an erect position with the feet wide apart and turned slightly. Slowly bend from the waist down to the toes maintaining a straight back for 45 seconds.

The other stretches in yoga which can be beneficial to half marathon runners are as follows: diamond pose which is good for the legs and ankles; basic lunge which conditions and strengthen the legs and hips; bound angle stretch and pose which is good for the hips, groin and thighs; wall dog pose which is good for the back and hamstrings; lotus-conditioning and balance pose; and the garland pose which is great for ankles, calves and feet. The combination of the basic stretches and poses in yoga gives a runner good balance and flexibility.