Yoga Rocks

pure yoga

Ever thought of using yoga as a supplementary exercise to all that mileage you’re getting from running every week? Yoga may not be high on the list of exercises to try for runners, but we decided to get the lowdown from the yoga instructors at Pure Yoga. Miyram Acosta (@yogying) and Roxanne Gan (@roxanne_yoga) take the time to answer our burning questions!

There are many styles of yoga, what are those relevant to people who run as a main activity?

Running is not just about the legs. It’s a coordinated whole-body effort. If you are looking for a style that focuses on reaching your fitness goals, increasing endurance and physical performance, the most popular styles include Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Power Yoga and Rocket Yoga. And if you’re looking for a style that focuses on recovery, stretching and flexibility, you can try Yoga for runners and Yin Yoga.


Why do you recommend that distance runners practice yoga?

Knee injuries and joint pain are common amongst runners who are often guilty of ignoring the body’s warning signals. Yoga is highly effective for pointing out imbalances which may indicate that a potential injury is not far away, so that the origin of the pain is discovered and fixed before it becomes problematic.

Moreover, the flexibility and strength that is achieved through holding challenging poses helps build patience and perseverance required for distance running.

It is common for runners to overuse some muscles while underusing others, which creates muscular imbalances. Consistently practicing yoga can fine tune this imbalance.


How much time per week should a runner devote to yoga, and how should they space these with other training?

Yoga is all about consistency. However, practicing yoga twice or thrice a week is ideal to reduce stresses on your joints after your running sessions. It helps to stretch your muscles, which accelerates muscle recovery and prevents injuries in the long run.
What are the long term health and fitness benefits of yoga?

Yoga improves one’s flexibility and muscular strength, essential for minimising sports-related injuries. A person’s joints can also be strengthened through a range of motions they otherwise would not have been exposed to on a day-to-day basis.

Yoga helps build a stronger immune system and the emphasis on breathing techniques allows the body to relieve any form of stress and tension, lifting a person’s mood and lowering the risk of depression and anxiety. With practice, students will also notice a significant improvement in their ability to concentrate.


Compared to other cross-training activities, what advantage does yoga hold over the others?

Yoga has benefits that extend beyond the physical and is ideal for holistic health improvements.

It focuses on being mindful and present with your breath, better connecting the mind with the body. The twisting and stretching in yoga poses also helps to improve blood circulation, resulting in long term benefits particularly for the digestive and circulatory systems. Aches and pains caused by other cross-training activities can also be eased with yoga.


If you’ve never tried any yoga poses before, here’s a sampling that you can try at home. It’s a chance to discover that yoga is more than a bunch of graceful looking poses as you fire up muscles that you don’t even realise you had! But don’t take our word for it, join the RUN Singapore crew in an exclusive workshop at Pure Yoga (@pureyogaSG ) on 13th May 2017 and learn from the real instructors. Sign up online now!

Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)M45A9110

 

  • Bend your knees and keep soles of feet together.
  • If your knees are lifted too high, move feet away from you.
  • Grasp feet with your hands and keep spine long.
  • Deepen stretching folding forward
  • Hold stretch for 1-2min to start.

This helps to stretch the inner thighs, hamstrings and the back.

 

Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana )

M45A9098

  • Adjust legs so you can keep both feet flat
  • If your hamstrings are tight, keeping the back leg straight, bend the front knee so your fingers can reach to the ground.
  • Lengthen the spine
  • If both legs are straight, deepen stretch by folding belly to thigh.
  • Hold stretch for 30-60sec to start.

 

Thread The Needle – Sucirandhrasana

M45A9105

  • Start by crossing your right ankle on the left thigh, just below your bent knee. Flex the right foot flexed throughout the pose to protect the knee joint.
  • Thread your right arm through the space created between the legs, and interlace your fingers around the front of the left shin, or the back of the left thigh. Use the strength of your arms to gently pull your left leg closer to your chest while moving your hips and right knee away.
  • Keep shoulders relaxed down on the mat as you slide the chin towards your chest to keep the back of the neck long.
  • Hold stretch for 1-2min to start.

 

Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

M45A9100

  • From downward facing dog, bend the right knee towards the back of the right wrist. Your ankle will be in front of your left hip.
  • Slide your left leg back, straighten the knee and point the toes back.
  • Deepen stretch by gently lowering yourself down. Slide a towel under your right buttock if needed, to keep your hips level.
  • Hold stretch for 1-2min to start.

Important: If there is pain in the front knee, avoid this pose.

(Photos and positions attributed to: Pure Yoga @pureyogaSG, Miyram Acosta @yogying and Roxanne Gan @roxanne_yoga)

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