I have been all over yoga the past few months trying everything from Vinyasa flow to Ashtnaga to hot yoga and more. I’ve also been increasing my running mileage steadily while training for the Cherry Blossom ten miler. Knock on some sort of wood because I am feeling stronger and healthier than I have in a long time. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. I have learned a few things on my mat lately about Why Runners Should Embrace Yoga.
Why Runners Should Embrace Yoga
The big stretch
I’d like to say that I always stretch right after my runs but let’s be real, I don’t. Hitting the mat forces me to stretch deeper and for longer than I would on my own. I am also quickly reminded of the spots that I neglect while stretching on my own.
I have quickly become aware of imbalances in my body that I never realized existed. Learning how to recruit those areas and work on my weaknesses will make me less prone to injury. A focus on flexibility through yoga can improve range of motion and help with balance.
Strength training in disguise
Yoga teaches you to use your own body weight to build strength. Recruiting your core muscles is key to achieve poses correctly. Runners can benefit from refining their proprioception by becoming more aware of how one’s body moves in space.
Yoga classes are perfect for active recovery days. Many studios offer restorative yoga or stretching and recovery classes which can aid in muscle recovery. Who doesn’t love a good Savasana?
“Yoga and running are like Yin and Yang. After 18 years of teaching yoga to runners, I know that yoga creates greater flexibility and stability with every stride. Yoga can illuminate physical imbalances that, if not addressed, can point to potential injury. Finally, yoga teaches us to listen to our internal narrative.” — Sytera Field, owner of SyteraYoga
Runners often have a hard time getting out of their own heads and yoga can offer the perfect opportunity to do just that. Focusing on connecting breath movements can not only enhance your yoga practice but also translate into our running performance.
As you can most likely gather, I’ve become quite the fan of yoga lately and all that it can do for my mind and body. I hope to learn more techniques to improve not only my yoga experience, but my running performance as well.
Tell me-does yoga have a role in your running life? What have you learned through yoga?