Yoga and running?
A match made in heaven! Besides yoga being a great way to clear your mind and calm down after a busy day, it can be really helpful for your running goals and performance. I usually try to fit in at least one yoga session in my weekly schedule, and I adapt the type of yoga to my needs. I’d like to tell you a bit more about my preferred yoga sessions and the benefits I experience!
Whenever I step on my mat, I always try to focus on accepting myself and my practice the way it is that day. That can be quite the challenge, because I always like to be productive, efficient and better than the day before… So it can be tricky for me to accept that a practice sometimes only asks me to lie down and breathe for a few minutes!
About a year ago, I was really enthusiastic in doing Vinyasa yoga. It is an energetic version that focuses on synchronising breathing with movement. When you do some searching on Vinyasa yoga, you will find that some people describe it as vigorous, basically a guarantee for a sweat. I like that! Pushing my boundaries is something I prefer in sports, so it was a perfect fit.
For the past few months, I have been looking into Yin yoga a bit more. In this type of yoga, the focus is more on holding the same pose for a longer period of time and releasing stress and allowing your mind to calm. I’ve noticed that I start to appreciate this more, as I sometimes need a moment to come to terms with the consequences of my auto-immune disease.
There are many more types of yoga, and whether you do it at home, at the gym or at a specialised yoga studio, I would definitely advise anyone to give it a try. Even my boyfriend likes it! And for me, the combination of yoga and running works particularly well. If you have been running for a while, you might know that most runners don’t have the most flexible hamstrings. Running is a repetitive movement that does not necessarily improve the souplesse of your body.
Yoga helps to move smoothly, guided by your breath, while slowly improving your flexibility. But that is not the best advantage I have found. Because one thing I can always work on, is my posture. When working at an office all day, and having access to an iPhone with many interesting social media apps, I am not always aware of my posture and how to relax my shoulders. Whenever I am in a yoga practise, the small reminder to check my posture can be enough for the next few days.
My current focus point in training, is to run while staying tall, looking over the person in front of me. I always notice that this comes more naturally after a yoga practice and I am also more relaxed with my arms and shoulders.
Concluding, I enjoy yoga for many different reasons, but the calm feeling I have after a practice is almost addictive! When I do a home practice, I usually start up Yoga with Adriene or use the Yoga Studio app (this has turned into a paid version, but I got hooked when it was still free). Do like to combine sports to take care of your mind and body as well? And if you do yoga, what type is your favourite? Let me know!