I mean, here I am, finally doing something sporty like running and then they go and tell me it's not enough and I have to do another sporty thing! I mean: yuck!
Anyway, lately I've been feeling kind of stressed out, and I started thinking about yoga. Yoga and running are very good friends, I've been told. And I suppose that makes sense. Yoga complements running. It's the ying to the yang of running. It's the salt to the running egg, it's the Big Mac you can demolish after running for an hour.
The benefits of yoga for runners
- It makes your muscles more supple, thereby reducing your risk for injuries which is always a good thing.
- When I tried chirunning, one of the most important lessons was about posture. Yoga is all about postures! So what you learn during yoga, you can use during your runs. Chirunning thought me to think of my pelvic area as a bowl filled with water. It was my job not to spill the water when I ran, so I had to slightly tilt my pelvic muscles to keep the 'bowl' upright. This is an important yoga lesson too.
- When you're doing your yoga exercises, your breathing is a central part of the exercise. When you're running how you breathe matters too. Just think of the old beginner's advice: if you can't hold a conversation because you're out of breath, you're moving too fast!
- During yoga you have to keep asking yourself: 'How does this feel? How does my body react when I contort my body in this unpleasant way?' That's mindfulness! Another thing that's important when you run: listening to your body.
- Yoga is a great way to get a work out while giving your body a break from the pounding of running.