It seems that many of the runners I know also incorporate yoga into their routine. I have been trying to practice yoga at least once a week for about a year now, although I tried yoga for the first time something like 8 years ago. Lately I have found myself appreciating its importance more than ever. So I thought in today’s post I would point out some of the reasons why yoga is a great supplement to running!
- You will get a good, deep stretch. I know I talked about why you may not need to stretch here, but I think yoga is different. You are holding the poses for long and really taking the time to stretch out the muscles. It is also key that you are listening to your body while in yoga to protect it.
2. You will work on your breathing. Yoga has a big focus on breathe, which will carry over to your running.
3. Relaxation and stress reduction. The instructor will help you to clear your mind and learn to focus on your practice. We all know that when we are stressed we are more likely to end up injured, so hopefully yoga can help prevent that.
4. A Break from running and life. Sometimes I feel like I am always running or working. Attending a yoga class gives me time away from those things and other life duties to focus on myself.
5. Mental training. Some parts of yoga can be quite challenging, and it can be another way to practice persevering and overcoming challenges, just like we want to do when running.
6. Get more in tune with your body.I have found that yoga has helped me to become more aware of tight muscles or other places that I need to relax. It can also help you to recognize imbalances that can then be addressed to become stronger runner.
7. A challenge. We are runners, and we like to run far and fast (usually). Yoga is another challenging activity. There is always something new to work on. I have finally (sort of) mastered crow- I held it for 10 seconds last week!
8. Sweat. Go to a hot yoga class, and you may sweat more than you do on your 10 mile run. Runners love to sweat, right?
9. Balance. Some of the poses involve balancing, which is something that as runners we should be working on.
10. Core work. In many yoga classes there is quite a bit of core work involved. Who can turn down an extra opportunity to work on the core?
What do you think? Do you practice yoga regularly?
If so, how do you feel it helps you with your running?