Yoga, it’s everywhere.
But is it part of your training?
Yoga has exploded in popularity over the past several years, and yogis of all ages use their practice to gain physical strength, calm their minds, and work through life’s stresses.
As plant-based athletes and runners, yoga can be a major training tool to help both the mind and body, whether you’re training for a goal race or running to stay in shape.
How My Yoga Teacher Wife Changed My Running
Yoga is to my wife Katie as running is to me. It’s her way of staying healthy — both mentally and physically — and her escape from a hard day. It’s her meditation and platform for a good sweat.
And it shapes the way she lives her life. For example the yogic practice of ahimsa — or non-violence to all living things — is one of the main reasons she follows a vegetarian diet (I’m still working on her with that whole vegan thing …).
But when we started dating some six years ago, I didn’t get it.
I mean, I’m a trail runner. I like mud, rocks, and grunting my way up mountains … not group chants, twists, and something called mountain pose (which at the time looked to me like just standing).
Like I said, I didn’t get it.
Then, in an attempt to impress my new girlfriend, I went to a class … and it clicked.
My body felt refreshed and strong, and my mind reset.
It released areas of my body overworked from running, and strengthened many of my neglected muscles. And after a few injuries from recent marathon training cycles, yoga felt like just the tool my training had been missing.
Since that first class, Katie has gone on to become a 500 hour registered yoga teacher (RYT500) with a focus in yoga therapy, which means that every day she uses yoga to help someone work through a physical or mental ailment.
Many of those she teachers are runners, either fighting a recent injury or lingering overuse pain from years of pounding the pavement.
So when I sat down to write this post, I knew I had to tap into her experience and knowledge about using a regular yoga practice for better training. You’ll see her advice sprinkled in throughout the post, along with two classes designed for runners which you can find below.