Yoga As a way to improve Running

As many of my followers know, I’ve gotten into yoga this past summer thanks to one of my work friends who is a yoga instructor. Mostly in the beginning, it was a way to stay fit in the summer since I was not distance running. Distance running is my love and during the summer months I miss it so much. It is just too darn hot in Florida, and honestly since moving to North Carolina it hasn’t been much different.

This summer, my younger sister was taking a yoga course at NCState where she learned extensively about yoga as a practice. When I moved to North Carolina, she encouraged me to take yoga classes with her. Every Sunday for about a month we would go to free yoga classes at the Raleigh Beer Garden hosted by Corepower Yoga. As a beginner, I did not feel intimidated by this group not knowing all the yoga poses, and not being able to maintain my balance during many poses like the Tree Pose. Everyone was welcoming and very friendly. Come to think of it, I still do not know many of the yoga poses out there. That is why I call myself a beginner yogi. Unfortunately, the summer yoga series at the Raleigh Beer Garden has come to an end.

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This past weekend in Raleigh, we had the Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown. I know what you are thinking…’what on earth does this have to do with yoga or running?’ Well, on Friday morning they had a sunrise public yoga class to celebrate the Music Festival. All of Fayetteville Street in Downtown Raleigh was shut down for the yoga event that morning. Yoga started at 6:30AM. My sister and I had to wake up at 5:00AM, and go downtown. It really reminded me of how it feels getting ready for a big race. (I am so excited for race season, by the way!) For the sunrise yoga, there were about 300 people with their yoga mats filling the busy Raleigh Street. My sister and I loved the practice because it really felt like a huge community. I absolutely loved looking up at the sky during corpse pose (laying down), and we saw we were surrounded by sky scrapers. It was such a fantastic way to start the work day. The location really worked out for me too because it was close to work. After being separated for multiple years, it make me so happy that I can share these experiences with my little sister. Every day, I am so thankful to have her nearby now that my fiancé and I have moved to Raleigh. Yoga is just one of the ways we bond as sisters. Yoga is now a hobby we share together. ❤

Moving on from the sappy comments, what is surprising to me is how I’ve learned how much yoga compliments the sport of running. I am more flexible and I feel stronger on my runs. I’ve also heard many podcasts, and seen many books that attest to yoga helping athletes through recovery of injuries, and gaining strength. I will be doing yoga at least twice a week during race training. Starting new week at work, I will be teaching beginner yoga every Tuesday and Thursday to older adults. The class is so much fun, and just adds variety to the nutrition classes I also teach.

Have any of you other blogging runners gotten into yoga as a way to help improve you as an athlete?

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. annette92 says:

    I have been running for 10+ years and was exposed to a little bit of “yoga for runners” in college. It wasn’t until I graduated and started doing yoga once a week, though that I really started to feel a difference within my body. I love what yoga does for my joints, especially my hips and back. Since starting yoga regularly 2 years ago, I have learned an important lesson. It is one that running has also taught me and it goes something like this: everything that you need is already residing within you, You simply have to find a means for it to flow out of you and serve you. If you do not find something to be beautiful or serve you any purpose, remove it from your life. — Good luck yo you & namaste! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the inspiring words!

      Like

  2. terrepruitt says:

    I think yoga is the perfect balance to running . . . at least a balance to the runners on my Facebook feed or the ones I hear from. The ones who have to push themselves to finish a run and who have to distract themselves from the run and the pain . . . yoga can allow those runners to slow down and listen to their bodies and perhaps move in a healing way as opposed to trying to just finish the mileage they set as a goal for themselves despite the pain. Not saying all runners are like this, just the ones I hear from. So a softer practice could possibly be beneficial. Also, as you are saying yoga can build or retain strength . . . depending upon the yoga.

    I am so surprised and happy to hear that 300 people showed up at sunrise to do yoga. I am not an early riser, but I might have gone just to have been able to experience something so unique. Shavasana under the sky scrapers! Cool!

    Good luck with your class!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reca says:

    I’m definitely a fan of yoga and I finally tried a runners yoga video online and learned so much from it. Now that I’m out for at least six weeks, I’m going to be doing a lot of yoga that doesn’t put pressure on my foot while I heal.

    Like

  4. Sarah says:

    I just started Piyo as a way to help rehab my recent hip flexor injury. After 12 days I am noticing a little improvement with my flexibility but haven’t noticed an improvement in my running yet, but I’m not giving up yet!

    Like

  5. LoElizabeth says:

    I love this post!! I started yoga to balance out running and now it’s one of the biggest parts of my life ❤

    Like

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