Why I love Yoga

I went for my morning run today and my heel/foot was feeling a bit sore today and I realized it has been two weeks since I have been to hot yoga and that I have done a terrible job at trying to stretch after my runs and do strength work. I need to go back to yoga!!

I started yoga during my senior year of college.  I decided to not run track my senior year and wanted to try something different.  Granted, I am THE MOST inflexible person in the world.  I guess most distance runners are but I am also terribly clumsy and uncoordinated.  In seventh grade, they made us take a stretch class taught by a local dance teacher and of course I was terrible at stretching, headstands, cart wheels or anything remotely involving coordination. The teacher was so mean to me! This was before I started running and really found a sport so I just assumed I was athletically challenged. So, when I started yoga I was a bit intimated.  Even though I was really bad at it, I fell in love with yoga.

I have been doing yoga off and on since then but I really started up again when I hurt my foot last June.  My mom got me a gift card to a local yoga studio that I love called Yoga Bliss and I started going once a week.  After a couple of weeks, I started seeing lots of improvements in my flexibility and strength and it has helped tremendously with my foot.

I know that I could probably get better results lifting weights at the gym but I hate the monotony of weights and yoga provides me with something that weights do not.  Like running, it provides me with some time to be quiet, focus on my breath, and be intentional about my movements and my life.  This  time to get away and center my thoughts does wonders for my mental clarity.  Plus, after a busy day, there is nothing better than a great yoga workout followed by ten minutes of meditation/relaxation.

Anyway, I read this article in Runner’s World last month and I am going to try my best to do some yoga at home, in addition to going to class once/week. The sun salute series and pigeon pose are great to do post-run as well!

Happy Friday everyone! We have company coming in town so I best get of the internet and finish cleaning my house!!

Power Poses – from Runners World, February 2011 edition.

With its shorter days and less favorable conditions, winter is the perfect time to run a little less and strength-train a little more. Strung together, these six yoga poses form a routine that builds the abdominals, back, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and upper body while also improving balance. Targeting these areas will give you a strong foundation—which means more power, less chance of injury. Two days a week, cut your runs just a mile short to fit in this 10-minute sequence. Do the first three poses twice (one side, then the other). Then do the second three poses in the same manner.

 

 

 

CHAIR
Builds->core, legs, glutes, arms
With your feet, knees, thighs touching, sit into a squat. Extend your arms.

 

 

 

TWISTING CHAIR
Builds->core, legs, glutes, arms
While in chair, press your palms together, and rotate to the right.

 

 

 

TWISTING LUNGE
Builds->core, legs, glutes, arms
Step your left foot back while holding the twist. Keep your knee over your ankle.

 

 

 

WARRIOR III
Builds->balance and overall strength
Balance on your left foot. Fold forward, lifting your right leg. Extend your arms.

 

 

 

ARROW LUNGE
Builds->core, legs, glutes, arms
Step your right leg back into a lunge, keeping arms extended.

 

 

 

EXTENDED-LEG BALANCE
Builds->posture, balance, legs
Swing your right leg up and hold it extended in front of you.

SAGE ROUNTREE, author of The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga, developed this routine. Watch her demonstrate it at runnersworld.com/bodyshop. You can also order her strength plan (designed to be paired with marathon training) at runnersworld.com/trainingplans.

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