When I was contacted by Ashley Lauretta from MapMyRun powered by Under Armor, to comment on the benefits of Yoga for runners, I wanted to share some less obvious Yoga practices to nourish their athletic readers.
Being a student of Yoga Therapy entails looking at our sports, vocations and daily activities for clues as to what will keep us strong and balanced in the game of life. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali teach us that opposites heal. If we take this to be true, then in the case of a high impact cardiovascular sport like running, low impact relaxation would offer the greatest benefit.
Beyond the delicious Yoga poses we might might do before and after a run, below are 3 subtle Yoga techniques I shared with the readers of MayMyRun to address the deeper levels of our being that Yoga is so good at keeping healthy:
HYDRATION SEAL OF THE HANDS (Jala Mudra)
The Benefits: “This move is ideal for maintaining hydration throughout the body,” shares Jones.
The Move: Sit upright with a straight spine and connect the pads of your little finger and thumb on both hands with palms facing up and other fingers extended. Hold for at least 2 minutes.
ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING (Nadi Sodhana)
The Benefits: “This provides stress relief for the nervous system to recharge after a long run,” explains Jones. “It also promotes mental health and focused relaxation.”
The Move: Sit upright on a cushion with a straight spine. With your hand of choice, raise your hand to your nose and push on the side of your right nostril with your thumb or ring finger (depending on hand of choice), plugging it. Take a deep breath in through your left nostril, plug your left nostril with your thumb or ring finger as you hold the breath. Then unseal the right nostril and let your breath out. Repeat by breathing in your right nostril, alternating sides for roughly 10 breaths.
AYURVEDIC OIL SELF-MASSAGE
The Benefits: “You’ll receive nourishing hydration for joints, muscles and nerves for healthy range of motion and faster recovery time,” comments Jones.
The Move: It is best to do this near a shower and make sure you are in an area where you won’t slip as you enter the water. Take some warmed massage oil and either massage your whole body in long, circular motions or focus specifically on sore muscles. After you’ve rubbed in the oil and boosted circulation, take a warm shower to rinse the oil that wasn’t fully absorbed.