The Benefits of Yoga for Athletes

Runners, cyclist and athletes are a rare breed of people, most just like to run or improve at their given sport. However the benefits and affects of yoga can insure they stay injury free, develop more power, increase their core strength and increase their speed.

During this blog I will refer to runners however it can be taken and implied to any sport.

Many runners fear of attending a yoga class, as they may not be flexible enough and have seen media images of lithe 20 year old’s showing their advanced poses on social media. This could not be further from the truth, especially at HartleyHeys, we are all shapes and sizes and we are at all abilities. We know as a teacher’s some students are better than us at yoga. But everyone is different and its about enjoying the process and journey. There is no specific type of yoga for runners or cyclist. Yoga is Yoga and its for everyone. Remember those that are the stiffest have the most to gain.

Running can lead to injury because of the repetitive nature in the action and the results in muscloskeletal imbalances. Yoga on a physical level re-address’s these issues, making it a perfect complement to running

There are many physical benefits

Increased flexibility – Many runners cite greater flexibility as the number one reason for starting yoga. This is a great reason to start as yoga stretches muscles that are tight, which then increases range of motion in the related joints. Increased flexibility decreases stiffness, resulting in greater ease of motion and reduces many aches and pains.

Increased strength – Runners are strong at running. However a running stride only works the lower body and movement in the sagittal plane i.e forwards and backward. Therefore certain muscles become strong and overused whilst others become weak and underused thus resulting in injury.

Runners have strong legs for running, but when they are then faced with a standing yoga pose, they are very surprised to find their legs are shaking like jelly. This is because a properly aligned yoga pose involves using muscles in a variety of planes. The muscles that are weak fatigue quickly and the muscles that are tight scream for release.

Muscles that are overly tight are also weak. For muscles to be functional they need to be able to fully relax and contact. A healthy muscle has a full range of movement, now have a think about your your own thigh muscles??????

Whilst running, you predominantly use just the lower body, from the hips down. Yoga however uses all the muscles of the body, as well as the legs, the arms, upper torso and core. This helps with posture in everyday living but not only that, a strong upper body and core allows you to move more efficiently when running, creating better form, less fatigue, less impact on the legs and therefore reducing the risk of injury.

Bio-mechanical Balance – Overusing some muscles whilst under using others creates muscular imbalances, this affects the entire musculosketal system and for runners this means injury. In Yoga to hold a pose, some muscles need to contract whilst others need to stretch creating a natural balance of strength and flexibility. A healthy bio mechanical system, simply put, ensures that muscle equilibrium is maintained.

Yoga Classes

Monday 6:00pm – 7:00pm @ St Mary’s Hall, Sabden

Tuesday 7.15pm – 8:15pm @ St Peter’s Church, Simonstone.

Thursday New starting 5th September 6.30am – 7.30am @ St Mary’s Church Hall, Sabden with Julia this is payable in a block booking -£28

Thursday – 9.15am – 10.15am Starting 5th September Nazerath Unitarian Church Hall, Padiham.

See you on the Mat 🧘🏼‍♀️💕

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