By Jana Webb, Contributor to MyVega.com
I am sure that one of your running buddies has asked you or mentioned to you the idea of jumping into a yoga class in addition to your post/pre-run stretch. You should listen to them! Yoga is a great cross-training tool to help improve your pace, sustain your sport and manage stress.
Why Yoga is Good for Runners:
Yoga is great way to alleviate stiffness and can be used to help recovery. It can help to realign your muscular-skeletal body, and assist with posture—no matter what movement you’re doing outside of yoga.
But probably the most effective application of yoga that translates into running is the meditative component. One of the practices of yoga is to be non-reactive. To understand that every sensation that passes through your body only last for a moment in time. When your body fatigues and feels likes giving up, it’s your mind that enables you to persevere. The practice of controlling your mind is like anything you practice. The more you do it the better you get at it. A great place to start is on the mat.
Finding the Right Yoga Class for Runners
All of these points seem to provide a lot of solution for the avid runner—but keep in mind that not all yoga practices are conducive for the runners’ body. I designed Joga for this specific reason. I found myself always pushing my tight body into yoga positions that my body would nor should never do. The difference between Joga and yoga is that Joga caters to those with tight bodies. It designed in a way that teaches athletes how to work within their personal range of motion while focusing on proper biomechanics and proper joint movement patterns. While there are Joga classes and teachers across North America, if you can’t find a class by all means do yoga but do your research first.
Find a yoga class that is specific for runners or that is led by a teacher who is a runner as well as a yoga teacher. These teachers will understand what your body needs. Athletic Yoga or Power Yoga are red flags for the beginner yogi as they are quite vigorous and, if the moves aren’t properly learned, can be damaging. Save those classes for when you become better versed in your own practice. Start with Yoga for Beginners or an alignment focused class like Iyengar Yoga.
If you listen to your body, it will tell you where to go.
Want more information about yoga?
- Vega Senior Education Specialist Kim McDevitt, MPH RD shows you her top 5 running stretches.
- New to Yoga? Vega Senior Consumer Educator Sarah Skalzub, RHN shares her secrets to getting started with a yoga practice—without feeling like a complete newbie.
- Help refuel with this post-yoga green smoothie by Olympian Jaime Komer
Note: Consult your health care provider before starting any exercise routine.