Dedicated runners are constantly trying to find better ways to take care of their bodies to prevent injuries. A yoga routine for runners may be exactly what you need to complement your training. Too many runners suffer from bad backs and knees, often forcing them to abandon running altogether. You will soon see that a regular yoga practice will allow you to keep running long and hard for many years to come.

The first way a yoga routine for runners can help keep you healthy is with its breathing techniques . When the body is in a contracted state during physical exertion, the muscles are tight and you have limited range of motion, leaving you in an injury-prone state. Proper breathing technique allows the body to loosen up, and increase lung capacity. While you are expelling CO2 at a higher rate, your body can concentrate on recovery instead of on waste products resulting from CO2 accumulation. Oxygen inflow is increased, keeping your muscles and joints saturated in nutrient-rich blood, both protecting them from injury while enhancing performance.

A yoga routine for runners will also prevent pain by focusing on symmetry, alignment, and balance. Regular running often stress muscles unevenly, causing imbalances in the body. For example, running can develop uneven muscle strength around the knee, creating acute knee pain. Yoga will evenly work the upper, lower, inside and outside muscles, forming a more stable support for the joint. Furthermore, unaligned hips can cause strain in the anterior ligaments in the knees, resulting in even more knee pain. And finally, if you are off-balance when running, your body compensates by working harder and less efficiently. The compensating muscles get tighter and weak muscles weaken. Those tight muscles, that should ideally be soft and supple, become brittle and hard, leaving them susceptible to tears.

Finally, the last thing a yoga routine for runners can do for you is aid the healing process of your existing injuries. Oftentimes a sore lower back is merely the result of tight hip flexors that are causing hypertension in those back muscles. This back pain can easily be alleviated through some simple hip-opening poses. Other yoga postures focus on squeezing and releasing joints, thus encouraging active nutrient-rich blood flow to those areas. The practice will also boost the body's natural healing process, producing pain-relieving endorphins and infection-fighting anti-bodies.

If you are serious about running and achieving your body's true potential, then a yoga routine for runners is an absolutely indispensable tool. Through this practice, your body will loosen up and work more efficiently. And you can finally bid farewell to aches and pains; yoga will not only prevent future complications, but will actually heal the injuries you currently have!

Author's Bio: 

Colleen Jennings has been practicing and studying yoga for over 5 years. To get more information on yoga for athletes, please visit her website.

You can also start practicing yoga at home today, and enhance your body's athletic abilities right now!