The Runners Secret Weapon: Yoga

Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.

Beginner Yogi article on running and yogaThe monotonous rhythm of your foot hitting the ground, the sound of cars, even the sound of silence, is what a runner often loves about running. It is the chance to let go and look inwards.

You can feel the movement of your body, the increase of your heart rate, the quickening of your breath – runner’s high. But what if you were to transfer the meditative effects and the physiological changes away from the trail or footpath? How about to a yoga mat?

As runners, we put a lot of pressure on our body without always giving it the time or respect that it needs to recover. We finish a run then we forget to stretch for long enough, we do not fuel it with the nourishment it needs, and we don’t listen to it when it is telling us to stop!

Here are five ways yoga can help your running:

  1. Yoga is your ultimate recovery session. It lengthens, prepares and strengthens the muscles that you have worked hard in your running training. Try a yin yoga class to counteract all that muscular contraction.
  2. You can increase your range of movement in areas such as the hips, external rotators and internal rotators. This in turn will have positive impacts on your gait and running style.
  3. You will develop strength in the stabiliser muscles of your back and abdominals which help your posture.
  4. Yoga is an excellent cross training class to help ward off overtraining syndrome. If it freaks you out taking a day off a run, pop into a power vinyasa class and get your workout that way!
  5. You learn to use your breath. Running can be hard especially toward the end of a race or training session, and I am not talking physically. Learning to use your breath can help you to harness your “mind over matter” demons and help you to control the physiological effects that your body is undergoing.

Runners are not good at being still but they are good at wanting to be effective. Yoga incorporated in your training, can be the difference that you and your body require to freshen up your running style and your program.

Embrace the stillness and take up the challenge.

If you want to get more out of your running check out

Article written by Beginner Yogi student Tanya Carr-Smith