Diary of a Running Yogi: Why Yoga for Endurance Athletes

A (very) brief history of yoga—it was started 1000's of years ago, was mostly performed by males, and has many varieties. That is only the very tip of the tip of the iceberg!

The reason we practice yoga is to clear the mind. The physical postures or poses are to help focus the mind on something other than the outside world. Then, when the mind is clear, you rest in what’s called Savasana. Most classes will include a very brief Savasana, but it should be the majority of the class! In traditional yoga, physical practice makes up 10-20% of the practice and stillness and meditation the remaining 80-90%.

Now, why is yoga important for endurance athletes? There are so many benefits—stretching, strengthening, and letting go. Many of the poses you will encounter will either stretch or strengthen different parts of the body. For example, Warrior 2 will strengthen/build endurance in the glute med (sound like something you could use work on?), and so much more. The secondary benefit is the mental part of yoga—you should be able to let go of the outside world (i.e. training, to-do list, anything!), if even for just an hour. You may also get some valuable breath work, which will benefit other forms of training, too, like cardio and resistance training.

I am a huge advocate for yoga for everyone! I have been practicing for over 18 years and taught over 2000 classes, and continue to benefit from practicing. I came to running while having a strong yoga practice, and I know it benefitted me in terms of having strong legs and having stretching already in my arsenal.

Curious to learn more and experience how yoga can benefit you, your training, and your performance? I will be offering Run/Yoga classes throughout the summer, and we are working on providing more ways for you to experience yoga. Feel free to reach out if you want to learn more or set up one-on-one sessions.

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If you’d like help setting and achieving your goals, please contact Adam Tills at adam@trifitnesswbl.com to set up an appointment.