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The Benefits of Yoga

The Benefits of Yoga for Runners

I have practiced yoga for over 8 years and I have gone through phases of doing it every day to doing it once a week but it has always been part of my programme, something I have really enjoyed doing and felt the benefits of. However, I have struggled in some yoga classes with some of the movements because a runner’s body just doesn’t work like a most yogis bodies do (I wish mine did)!

I don’t know about you but I want to go to a yoga class, get a great stretch and come out feeling that my next running session is going to be so much better because of it! I get frustrated when I go to a class and have to do a headstand or wrap my leg around my head mainly because I can’t do this and know it won’t really help with my running.

Step in SCY! I have designed a yoga programme that is short, sharp and focused! We do one session a week and after 30 mins of stretching you will feel amazing, I promise. You can do this class as many times as you like in a week but my aim is to get you all doing it consistently once a week along with one S&C session to really help build a strong foundation on which to improve your running. 

My classes may be a bit different to your normal yoga class, with elements of strength, core and balancing incorporated into it but it is all there to help balance out your body and turn you into a better runner!

The benefits of yoga: 

Strengthening – It strengthens your lower body and core helping you gain more power on your runs. Through yoga we learn to stabilise and strengthen our bodies which aids in proper running form. Increasing our hip stability in particular, leads to a solid pelvis for us to drive our legs forward and building strength through are arms and shoulders in poses such as downward dog with help with our arm drive.

Increases Flexibility – Through the different poses that we do, you will increase your range of motion helping you get a greater stride length and therefore get faster. There is a balance to be had with flexibility and running as we do actually want our muscles to possess some stiffness as this helps the force move through our bodies and propels us forward. It is all about getting the balance right by having a nice range of motion and a bit of solidness to our muscles to make us run fast!

Injury Prevention – When we run, we stress our bodies and our muscles tighten, without doing anything to help compensate for this we put stress on the skeletal system and eventually imbalanced muscles get weaker and become vulnerable to injury. Yoga helps us with our bodies balance, symmetry and alignment. By giving our bodies balance and working on our alignment we can help keep those injuries away which so often happen because we are wonky and over compensating for a tight hip or over extended lower back for example.

Relaxing – This is a big one! I find as runners we are always looking to get sweaty, pushing our bodies to the limit and wanting that feeling like we have really worked out. However sometimes it is good to unwind and relax. Through yoga we intentionally slow things down which will help you to relax and unwind which in our busy lives is so important. Yes you may still find some poses challenging and you will get a sweat on but we will also relax into poses and maybe even fall asleep in a position or two (I once fell asleep for a whole hour yoga session, it was great)but your body will love you for slowing everything down.

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