Yoga and running are really a match made in heaven. Any time you do a sport that involves repetitive motion and stress on the body (hello running!), you are at risk for imbalance in the body. Repeated use of the same muscles and the pounding that accompanies running results in tightening and shortening of muscles.
Here is where yoga comes in. Yoga is the perfect complement to this tightening and shortening– it loosens and elongates muscles. After practicing yoga, many people say that they actually feel taller (because they are standing straighter). This is a result of the loosening and stretching that occurs during a yoga session.
The advantages of adding yoga to your running regimen are too numerous to mention, though I will highlight a few. Yoga can help you:
- increase your range of motion
- balance strength
- increase flexibility
- strengthen the mind/body connection
- injury prevention
I love running and I love yoga (especially Bikram yoga)–I just wish I could fit them both neatly into my jam-packed schedule! I typically take two rest days during the week, and I often find it hard to motivate to do any other physical activity on these days.
It is sometimes frustrating, since I can take yoga classes free as a member of the local YMCA. I know how much better I would feel after a class–I think I just need a swift kick in the pants to get there!
Do you incorporate yoga into your weekly training schedule?