In my last post, I asked readers, followers and anyone if they wanted to ask me anything. I’ve gotten a few questions and requests. The most common question and request I have had is about running and yoga. I will try to address as much of that as I can here.
Yoga and running can be very beneficial when done together. I was able to run 2000+miles pretty much injury free. It was only towards the bitter end that I started to feel some aches and pains, but after a recovery month am back to feeling great. I do attribute that to a few things, one being YOGA. Yoga has many benefits for runners. It can help with rehabilitating the body after an injury by helping gain strength in a very low impact, own body weight and level pace, and helps create great flexibility which is especially great in running as we really shorten up the muscles. Yoga helps lengthen out the muscles, creates great blood flow for recovery and helps calm strained muscles.
Whether you run, cycle, walk, lift, swim, etc yoga is for everyone. Yoga works balance, agility, endurance, core, total body strength, and flexibility. For me, yoga was a great cross training workout that I could tailor to my own needs and ability. It was especially good as my body was tired, so if I needed too, I could cut back and ease into the poses or use a more restorative yoga to help reenergize myself or the weeks I felt great, challenged myself and build more strength.
Yoga for strength can be great for athletes and those recovering from an injury, as I was when I first found yoga. There is no lifting, no extra weight added than your own body weight and you work at your own pace.
Yoga for flexibility is great for athletes or those recovering from an injury as it creates warm, supple muscles to easily open up creating great range of motion, long muscles and blood flood to encourage healing. Flexibility from yoga helps prevent injury and keep you going strong. I really think the flexibility part of yoga is what kept me going all those miles. It kept my ROM and muscle length at its best.
Balance is a huge part of yoga and can really help ease an injury and help athletes. Balance helps prevent falls and you learn to go slower and softer in your flow also creating a strong core. Holding poses creates good balance too and you are less likely to take spills in your activity.
Recovery is a must in any activity especially in coming back from an injury and yoga helps put you back together, so to speak. Yoga elongates your body, creates blood flow, calm minds and when used in a restorative class, restores the energy lost in your activity or injury.
There are many types of yoga. Most yoga is good for anyone. The poses can be modified to fit your needs and ability. Any teacher can modify a pose or class to fit the most advanced yogi to a new or injured yogi. Let the teacher know and they can help guide the practice for you. There are many types of yoga though and some are better than others. For recovering from an injury, a more restorative, gentle or chair yoga is best. The props (blocks, straps, balls, wall and chair) all do the hard work for you, so you can focus in on the tight or injured area and be mindful of your body. For more strength based yoga, a flow, hot, sculpt or power class is better. Still low impact with little to no weights to build your body and cross train, yet still aid in flexibility and strength. You can also work one-on-one with an instructor for a private lesson. This way the whole session is catered just to you and your needs. This is especially good for new yogis or people with injuries and aliments, although, I do have some students request private lessons to push their practice.
For me, yoga in all different forms got me thought my car accident injury and my 2000 miles, but while I was recovering from my hamstring injury of 2013, I was not to do yoga. That is the time it would’ve been bad. My hamstrings were too over stretched and weak and all yoga would’ve done is kept over stretching. After working with a PT to correct that, I was back to yoga and with the tools the PT taught me, yoga HAS and CONTINUED to be a benefit to me.
There are many types of yoga. Check your area for restorative, power, flow, basic, gentle, and sculpt yoga. Try many types and instructors. Once you find one you love, you’ll never leave. Yoga will change your life!
I hope this addressed the questions asked. I balance running and yoga together. Yoga is my cross train and active recovery and running is my cardio and endurance. Together they have made me a better yogi runner. I can’t be my best at one without the other.