If you are running and you want to nourish your running life and give it core strength, you will know that yoga is the next big thing in the world of athletics generally. Yoga helps you to engage your mind and keep your body flexible, open and creative so you will avoid those painful stretches and the not-so-pretty aftermaths.
Yoga is fast becoming one of the most participated in sport especially because of the other benefits it provides aside the physical ones and I would advise everyone to participate in it. But as much as it is a very universal form of exercise, not everyone is designed for every type of yoga that is why you must discover the one that is most suitable for you.
most people prefer to try out different options before deciding which routine to follow permanently which can be an effective method at times, but in order to avoid having to change styles, teachers and studios countless times in the attempt of finding a perfect place and style for you, I would advise you check out the several benefits and determine what you want the result to be for you or probably determine what type of profession you are practicing.
For a sports person, certain styles of yoga are more effective and even then you would have to specify what type of sport you participate in to find the perfect option. If you are a professional runner or someone who simply loves to run Iyengar Yoga is perfect for you. Although this is not a very popular style of Yoga, it has proven to be one of the most effective routines.
THE ORIGINS OF IYENGAR YOGA
As the name goes, it was named after the legendary B.K.S. Iyengar who founded the most sought-after form of yoga till this day. The influence of Iyengar is so real that B.K.S. Iyengar has been listed among the 100 most influential people in the world.
Mr. Iyanger is one of the most notable men who brought the practice of yoga to the west and he was able to make it appealing by modifying it to suit and improve the current lifestyle of the 20th century westerner as well as to be able to preserve the core values of his style of yoga which emphasized alignment.
His style of yoga is one that is believed to have been a modification that he had to use because of his weak health that made traditional yoga impossible for him. He discovered that he got better results using things in the house to aid his yoga poses. He would lean unto a chair, hold on to a stool, use a pillow or just lie flat on a mat; and he got better results.
One very significant difference between Iyanger yoga and other forms of yoga is that it doesn’t permit a rapid change of postures as you can have in other forms of yoga. Iyanger expressed the desire and the superior quest to understand and assimilate a particular posture so you will align your mind and your body to it well enough. It takes more discipline and more commitment to acquire mastery of this form of yoga.
THE BENEFITS OF YOGA AND RECOVERY DAYS
Due to its core principle of alignment and sequencing, Iyanger yoga is one of the most powerful and effective forms of yoga. It teaches that most of the ailments in the body are as a result of compression and it seeks to create a balance that allows for proper circulation, breathing and nervous conductions.
Iyanger yoga has been reported to permanently cure emotional, mental and physical conditions where modern medicine was not forth coming with help. Depending on whom you learned from, Iyanger yoga is very effective in relieving stress, reducing pain, calming the mind, soothing rasping breaths and helping the heart to cool off.
Just like you have to eat a balanced diet to get the best out of the food you eat, a balanced practice of Iyanger yoga is needed to get the best out of its rigorous poses. Iyanger is very good at learning and practicing mindfulness and mental excellence. Most of the people who have recorded great success in Iyanger yoga are capable of intellectual exploits and improved thinking and analytical abilities.
Another very vital uniqueness of Iyanger yoga is that it expresses the desire for excellence and commitment. The grandmasters of yoga today do not only have serious respect for the Iyanger yoga, they seek to get better through it. Mastery of the most basic pose equals months if not years of practice and this means discipline, dedication and thoroughness. These qualities are needed by every runner who aims to have a good run for a long time.
BASIC IYENGAR STRETCHES
One of the reasons for the popularity of Iyengar yoga is the fact that it reduces the mystery of yoga by introducing some very simple basic equipment that makes it to look more real and engaging the body with the mind in ways that are considered modernised by traditional yoga.
However, I will always recommend that if you are starting any style of yoga, you need to go with an instructor that will guide you on how to perform the styles and to be able to get the best out of the routines. This is important as it will reduce the risk of injury and will maximise time to get results.
Below are a list of the most basic stretches and postures in Iyengar yoga that you can begin with:
Paschimottasana (Sitting Forward Bend):
It is important to take this posture carefully as it can be a bit of a stress when you are going for the first few times. This helps to improve your flexibility and how fast to adapt to change. This stretch helps the back and the hamstrings which benefits most from the stretch.
Adho Mukha Virasana (Downward Facing Hero Pose):
I always prefer this for the thighs and the back muscles; though I still make sure they are not too tight.
Tadasana Variations (Mountain Pose):
If you want to get started, this is what I always recommend. This stretch is very good for different types of arm extensions that balances and merges the mind and the body.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend):
At that point where you really need to clear your mind and get your muscles to go along with you, this is still the real deal.
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Ankle Pose):
If you are having issues with blood pressure or other cardiovascular issues, I will recommend this stretch over and over. It is also the real deal when ladies want to reduce the painful cycles
Savasana (Corpse Pose):
You need to know that if you are not careful, you may just find yourself fall into sleep with this beautifully relaxing posture. It is one that is used to control and regulate vital organs and it mimics the way a corpse lays on the ground. BKS Iyengar used to believe that this is the most difficult yoga pose because it can easily trick you to become lazy and fall asleep.
Iyengar yoga developed from using various tools and equipment in the house but these are the most established basic tools you will need to start your journey in the world of Iyengar yoga:
Sticky mats: You will need this to lie down fully or in part during certain postures. It is very good that they are comfortable enough to lie on and can endure a stretching more or two.
Blanket: No, you are not going to bed! It comes in handy when you need to roll it up into shapes to help you use for support and balance for certain poses.
Straps: When you need to stretch the muscles of the arm, the straps do a very good job and are very cheap to make.
Wood props: Props are used to rest different parts of the body such as the back, the neck, the shoulders and the thighs depending on the specific pose you are doing.
Chairs: Though you may not be using the chairs to sit, there are certain chair stretches that Iyengar recommends and the instructions are clear and precise on the size and height of the needed chair.
WHERE IT CAN BE PRACTISED
When it comes to where you can carry out Iyengar yoga, the truth is that you can do that anywhere you choose. However, for the best of results, you need to have a specific (and preferably) indoor or really quiet out door where you can focus on your poses and generate the inner energy to get results from the routines.
It is also important to note that Iyengar yoga may be very creative with the use of props and materials; it is very precise in its instructions and those needs to be carried to the latest details.
I also love to recommend that Iyengar yoga is best done in a group with a certified Iyengar instructor that will help you get the best out of the routines and reduce the possibility of missing the entire point of the routines.
As a runner, Iyengar yoga is one of the best forms of yoga that you can engage in. not only does it get very good results for the mind, the heart and the body, it will help you to get the best out of your runs by involving your mind more. Personally, I have seen it improve my endurance, my focus and my ability to make split seconds decisions in the face of disaster.
Remember, the real deal is not to be able to go a mile longer; it is to make that mile count in quality and in purpose. Running is not all about burning some calories or finding another activity to occupy space and kill time; running is and should be an expression of excellence, purpose and positive essence and that is what Iyengar yoga is all about.