Yoga stretching benefits nearly anyone, from the sedentary to the extremely active. After all, tightened muscles can be a near-constant source of aches and pains. Joggers often complain of tense hamstrings, aching knees or sprained ankles, which is one reason why yoga stretching for runners can be so effective.
There is little doubt that yoga is easier on the joints than running. In a recent article published by Bloomberg, for instance, Julie DiMartini, a research director the University of Connecticut’s Korey Stringer Institute, emphasized that yoga results in fewer injuries than jogging, sprinting or participating in marathons.
However, this does not mean that yoga and running are mutually exclusive. In fact, Runner's World noted that these regimens can be quite complementary, since jogging provides aerobic activity while stretching and posing are anaerobic activities.
Runner Nicole Nakoneshny told the news source that yoga has improved her ability to dash along her local fitness trails.
"Endurance is never an issue for me in my yoga classes, so if we have to hold some particularly difficult pose for a long time it's not a problem, and I'm certain that's due in large part to my running," she said, quoted by the magazine.
The Yoga Journal stressed that holistic stretching routines can maintain good muscle and joint health, which is a must for runners, whose feet pound the pavement thousands of times in a given jog or race.
In fact, yoga stretching has helped some of the most extreme runners in the world avoid injury.
An article in LA Yoga said that a sect of Japanese ascetics, nicknamed the "Marathon Monks," may have used yoga and meditation to stay healthy while participating in the Kaihogyo, surely one of the world's most daunting physical trials: a 1,000-day running regimen in which the monks run a minimum of 18 miles per day around Mt. Hiei.
During the final 100 days of the Kaihogyo, the monks run 52 miles daily. Since 1585, only 46 men have completed the trial, the source noted.