Over the past decade, the popularity of yoga has continued to climb year-over-year, doubling its participants in the US from 2002 to 2012. With benefits documented in scientific journals and medical publications, and practitioners touting yoga’s praise at every opportune moment, it would be difficult for anyone in America to not have at least heard of yoga and some of its benefits; Reduce stress! Improve your heart health! Touch your toes! Lose Weight!
Yoga for Runners
Runners are no exception. Runners have added stretching and rolling to their training logs for decades to reduce pain and improve their range of motion. Many runners regularly fill the rows of local yoga classes as well as incorporate classic asana (yoga poses) to their pre- and post-run stretching routines. Yoga has become so mainstream in the running community, it even has its own section on the Runner’s World website.
Yoga works for runners because runners participate in a high impact, repetitive sport resulting in overuse of many body parts (toes, feet, ankles, legs, hips, shoulders, arms and core). The goal of yoga for runners is to restore balance in the body to move better. Muscles that are over-used, short and tight are released as muscles that are ignored in running are strengthened, awoken and lengthened.
Breathing is part of functional movement
Breathing awareness and exercises are a foundational piece to most yoga classes and is of tremendous value to runners. As Dr. Therese Miller explained in Chapter 3 of her book, Plantar Fasciosis: The Complete Guide to Stamping Out Heel Pain, our breathing mechanics can have a global affect all the way down to our hips, feet and toes; valuable real estate in the running world. “Creating a strong anchor point near the center of the body allows your joints further from the center, including foot and ankle, to move freely.” To simplify, if our core center functions inefficiently, our extremities will also move inefficiently.
When we breathe better we move better; when we move better, we run better.
You Don’t Have to be Flexible to do Yoga
It’s understandable that taking your first group yoga classes may feel intimidating (perhaps thanks to pictures of lithe and overly flexible yogis gracing Instagram and magazine covers?) with thoughts of, “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga! I don’t know what all the poses are! What IS sanskrit?”
Forget about it!
Enter Yoga Tune Up®
Yoga Tune Up® (YTU) is is a specialized conscious fitness system integrating elements of Yoga, Corrective Exercise, Body Therapy and Self-Massage. YTU techniques are particularly beneficial to runners because it not only uses yoga techniques; it uses more than yoga. In a YTU class we teach self-care using Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls. YTU Therapy Balls are designed specifically to massage, grip, grab and fluff the many layers of connective tissue in your body; these balls are not made for lacrosse, tennis, racquetball or golf - they are for massage only! YTU techniques reduce myofascial adhesions, uncover body blind spots (areas discovered in class that are stiff, sore and/or lacking suppleness), and restore balance of body, breath and mind.
To find a Yoga Tune Up® class near you, check out the schedule page