July 18, 2016

Why Runners Should Try Yoga {with CorePower Yoga}

Disclosure: This discussion is sponsored by CorePower yoga. I did not receive monetary compensation for this post.  As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 


On this blog I have mentioned multiple times how I'm always trying to stick to a regular yoga routine. I had done a really good job in the winter and early spring with attending a class at least once a week, whether that was a gentle vinyasa flow or a more intense Yoga Sculpt class at my local CorePower studio.  Of course, when the end of the semester got busy, it fell by the wayside. Now that marathon training season is underway, I'm making it a priority to incorporate yoga regularly into my weeks. Even if I don't make an actual class, I want to do some yoga poses on my own or squeeze in a 15-20 minute video. 

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I love yoga as a runner because it stretches my entire body out, especially my hips and back which get really tight. It is great to get everything loosened up, especially because after a  run I am usually spending the rest of the day sitting and standing at work or school.  


I also really enjoy yoga as a form of meditation and for the mental aspect. It's nice to be able to spend an hour focusing on an intention that you set.  It is a way to calm the mind or maybe work through an issue you were having.  Challenging yourself mentally or finding ways to calm down are important in running, especially in marathon training and long distance running which are very much mental challenges in addition to physical challenges.  

Sometimes I am having a tough day and really the only 5 minutes of true relaxation I get is the savasana.  

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I was lucky enough to get some questions I had about yoga and running answered by Ciara, the studio manager of my local CorePower Yoga studio in Baltimore. You can check out and see if there is a CorePower Yoga studio near you.  I hope it opens your eyes to how beneficial yoga can be for your running! 

What are some of the benefits of yoga for runners? Yoga has many physical and mental benefits for runners. Physically, yoga releases tension in muscles and builds strength and flexibility. This can help reduce the risk of common running injuries, including: shin splints, tight hips, low back pain, etc. 

CorePower Yoga classes, specifically, are physically intense and focus on building core strength, which will help strengthen other areas of the body. Mentally, yoga can help runners reduce stress, increase focus on breath and introduce a full mind-body awareness. 

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What is something I can do if I don't have a lot of time in my training plan? 

There are many things a runner can incorporate into their daily routine from yoga that take minimal time, yet are extremely beneficial. Something I highly recommend everyone add in to their routine is a full body stretch as soon as you wake up. Allowing your body a few moments to fully wake up and rejuvenate after being asleep goes a long way.  And, it feels really good! 

I also suggest everyone add a Sun Salutation to their morning routine. The focus of a Sun Salutation is to energize the front and back lines of the body. Additionally, it encourages your muscles to contract, including your core, in a controlled and fluid environment, which is a great warm-up for runners.

How can yoga strengthen me mentally?  One of the best things to hear from a student is that yoga has helped them off of their mat. We often start a yoga practice for the physical benefits and are truly surprised by the mental benefits its brings as well. The ability to find focus on your mat, while a million things are happening around you, is one of the most valuable mental benefits a runner can gain from practicing yoga. 

This mental strength translates to running by providing the ability to absolutely let go of all the outside thoughts happening while you run – like the doubt you feel as you approach mile five or the list of things you have to do for work – and just focus on your breath, moving and hearing the sound of that movement.  

I would also highly recommend meditation to runners. Start off small: devote five minutes of your day trying to find silence (inside and out) and then let it expand from there. Truly being present while you're on your mat is just like being present when you run, you can feel everything around you buzzing but you're in complete control of that energy?

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I love my Momentum wrap bracelet. 
What is one of your favorite yoga poses for runners? 
    Reclined Cow Face pose (or Supine Half pigeon if you have any knee pain!) is one of my favorite stretches for runners. Not only does it feel amazing but it improves range of motion in the hips and loosens tight glute muscles and hamstrings. Just be sure to keep your feet flexed in order to protect your knees and keep your tailbone down. This will ensure you get the full benefits of the pose!

    Do you practice yoga? Do you find yoga helps with other sports, routines, or overall fitness? 

    4 comments:

    1. Love CorePower so much. Ciara's classes kick my butt. It's amazing how much strength you can gain mentally and physically from yoga. I miss going regularly.

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    2. You already know how much I love yoga! I try to practice at least 2-3x/week. I go to the studio at least once/week.

      There's a Core Power near me, but I haven't tried it yet!

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    3. I'm trying to include more yoga into my routine. I'm a student so I always get such a sore back and neck from hunching over my desk! So yoga really helps with that.

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    4. I have some problems about my sleeping time. Now I am reading this post with hoping it maybe help me improving my healthy, including my sleeping time. I wish I can wake up fresh and get better sleep.

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