Running and yoga might seem to be two very different types of exercise, but they definitely need not be exclusive from one another.
Fact : Runners who practice yoga on a regular basis are much more likely to stay injury-free than runners who do not add yoga into their training routine.
It may come as a surprise, but when your foot strikes the ground during a run, the force of impact is three to four times that of your weight. If you consider that your feet strike the ground over one thousand times per mile, it’s easy to see how much stress this repetitive motion creates on your body.’
Without any kind of rehabilitating practice, the likelihood of staying injury-free is, to be honest pretty slim. Here’s where yoga comes in…
- Injury Prevention
‘Yoga classes with Amanda have meant an end to all the running injuries that used to be a part of my life. I love her classes and they do me a lot of good…’
Sports injury analysis has proven that most injuries are caused by an imbalance within our own bodies. Improper alignment, joint instability or limited range of motion all have one thing in common – they will inevitably result in injury and usually pain.
If you are a runner you already know that the most common pain experienced during running usually comes from sore feet, back pain, muscle tightness, or joint stiffness. But did you know that the pain most runners feel is not from the act of running itself, but from imbalances that running exemplifies?
Bringing your body into balance means you’ll be able to run longer and harder; improve your speed and stamina and decrease your recovery time, but you’ll also reduce the changes of injury.
So instead of treating running pain with ice, why not try and prevent it through yoga?
- Why Improve balance and alignment?
Over time, poor alignment and lack of balance can cause serious joint and back pain or more serious injuries resulting in your not being able to run. So it makes sense if you want to create a sustainable running practice that you find a cross training tool that addresses these areas. Even if you only practice yoga once a week, the balance and alignment you learn will help keep you injury-free in the long run.
Think of it this way – you may see that you are building strength and flexibility in the ankle and leg muscles – but if you are able to balance on one leg in a held yoga pose there are additional advantages. When you miss a step during your trail run, experience shows that instead of twisting your ankle by falling off balance, you are able to control that movement and prevent injury.
- Increase your stamina.
Yoga and running have something in common – the importance of stamina and consistent breathing.
Correct breath control can change a run from a painful, horrible and seemingly impossible task to one of the best ways to find head space and feel great.
Here’s where vinyasa yoga comes into it’s own. Particularly in this form of yoga, the breath and body connection is highlighted by a constant flow of movement. If you have never taken a yoga class and don’t think you can build up a sweat – think again!
Most runners notice the changes to stamina and breath control really quickly when they begin a yoga practice, even if previously this was one of the most difficult aspects of their running.
- Flexibility = longer strides and faster times.
Most runners want to improve from race to race. Even if you don’t really care about your race time, seeing improvement in our performance feels good.
One of the primary factors limiting your race time is likely to be stiffness in joints and lack of flexibility and mobility throughout the muscles.
Because yoga focuses so strongly on lengthening the body/muscles through deep stretching, when a runner takes up a regular yoga practice (or even incorporates some poses in their training routine), flexibility in increases over time, causing an increase in joint motility and stride length.
- Stay focused
‘I started yoga with Amanda in September 2018. As a runner I know the importance of maintaining flexibility, especially as muscles and limbs get a little older! Amanda’s teaching provides much more than that for me. I have realised how valuable it can be to take time out, if only for an hour a week, to leave behind the ‘noise’ of the day and to breath. I now use what I’ve learned to practice for a short time each morning. Fitness, flexibility, discipline, mental well-being. I could go on…….. I thoroughly recommend yoga with Amanda.’
With unfamiliar names like “Ashtanga,” “Bikram,” and “Vinyasa,” it can be hard to keep all the schools of yoga straight. But if you can remember that Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement,” you’ll know everything you need to about this fantastic style.
You’ve may have heard the phrase “Vinyasa Flow” when referring to this type of yoga. Vinyasa Flow refers to the way this style keeps you moving from asana to asana, linking each pose to an inhale and an exhale.
As vinyasa teachers, we keep the flow of movements smooth and continuous, which can help you stay present during your yoga session. But vinyasa is ultimately based on movement and breath.
Often when we begin to practice yoga we need to find a way of anchoring our mind in what our body is doing – finding a connection which all too often has been lost. For me the ability for my mind to keep pace with my body during my yoga practice was really important when I began practicing yoga. If you have tried a yoga class and found your mind wandering off in the down-time between poses or sequences, then Vinyasa yoga is for you.
- You can push your limits.
Yoga is about listening to what your body is telling you, not the often very loud voice of your ego, but this doesn’t mean you can’t find a real challenge in a vinyasa practice . Though “Vinyasa Flow” might sound easy and relaxing, this style can seriously push your physical limits.
Vinyasa incorporates elements from all schools of yoga, so even if you’ve mastered those Iyengar standing poses, you’ll find yourself in all new territory when the instructor throws in a Anusara inversion. Its definitely about developing a safe sustainable practice which builds strength and flexibility over time but Vinyasa is perfectly able to let you push the limits of your strength, flexibility, and balance. Check out this link to see what we mean :
- Being a Beginner.
Since Vinyasa is so diverse, it’s easy to find classes tailored specifically to beginners that will still provide a healthy challenge. This style is also a great way to learn the basics of pranayama, (breathing techniques) since you’ll be cued when to inhale and exhale during each pose.
If you want to use yoga to help improve your overall fitness, reduce the risk of injury or develop the skills you need to build a strong foundation for a more advanced yoga practice, vinyasa is a really good place to begin. Why not come along to a class or give us a call to discuss on 07810 754017