Monday, April 26, 2010

DISCOVER Yoga for Runners

Spring is finally in the air. It’s a time for renewal and a great opportunity to shake off the winter blahs. And if you’re like millions of other Americans, you’re already hitting the streets or trails for an invigorating morning run.

Much like the yoga movement, running has become an obsession in our country. In fact, a recent study by Running USA shows that the number of road race finishers has more than doubled over the past twenty years.

But whether you’re training for a marathon or just running to get in shape, yoga should be part of your daily regimen.

Okay, yoga and running may not seem like the perfect match. How can the relaxed, mind-body balance of yoga align with the intense, aerobic demands of running? Consider the benefits of increased flexibility, stability, and oxygen capacity---as well as the potential to reduce or prevent injury---and you’ll understand why yoga is the ideal cross-training platform for runners.

And if you’re worried that you don’t have time to practice yoga regularly, start small. Simple stretching and breathing routines before and after a run can make a big difference. When you’re ready for a little more structure, and have a little more time to invest, just grab a yoga mat and head over to the local yoga studio or gym. Practicing yoga even a few times a week can go a long way in getting your mind, and body, ready for the big race.

Next up, we’ll take a closer look at which styles of yoga are best for runners, the benefits of each, and the yoga props and gear that make the most sense for your practice.