Yoga can benefit runners in many ways. But, you need to try hot yoga. It sounds intimidating, but the benefits for runners are incredible. Hot yoga is practicing traditional yoga moves, with one change: The temperature of the room is about 104 degrees. Prepare to sweat.
Also called Bikram Yoga, the exercise has been gaining popularity for awhile. The reason this practice is so beneficial is that the temperature allows your muscles to completely warm up. This reduces overstretching your muscles and prevents injury. Christopher Treimain, a long-time instructor at Yoga State, located at various locations in Michigan, explained why hot yoga is good for runners.
The elevated temperature rises your heart rate, which makes the workout more strenuous. You certainly get used to sweating, so running on a hot summer day won’t feel nearly as warm.
Your breath is a central part of the exercise, with your inhales and exhales leading your movements. This is important for runners specifically, because you get used to using your lungs as part of your workout. Focusing on your breath during running can also help you get through a difficult stretch of miles.
This goes without saying, but your feet are obviously important for runners to take care of. Treimain described that practicing yoga strengthens your feet and make them more stable to land on when you’re running.
Listening To Your Body
Injury prevention is so vital for runners. Runners tend to be stubborn and run through injuries. It is important to listen to your body, and practicing hot yoga forces you to listen to your body. It is a perfect way to “check up” on your limbs, joints and muscles to make sure everything is okay. Long term, hot yoga can prevent future injuries.
Mentally, the practice is very encouraging. The instructors focus on confidence and positivity. You are encouraged to attempt to step out of your comfort zone. A safe space is created for you to push yourself without feeling self conscious. These ideals can be taken from the studio to your trail, sidewalk or treadmill. Instead of an instructor telling you to trust your athletic abilities, you can encourage yourself to finish a long run.
So maybe you regularly participate in yoga, but the heat intimidates you? Don’t quit before you try it! Instructors and other yogis are very supportive of newcomers. You are encouraged to take breaks during the session if you are feeling tired.
Every runner should incorporate hot yoga into their exercise routine. It helps your body as a whole and helps you as a runner.