Now, running encompasses just one of the ways I enjoy moving my body, and I’ve come to realize (through some setbacks and injuries), the importance of complimenting my running routine with other types of movement. Yoga is one such movement modality that can be great for runners for a multitude of reasons.
- It’s low impact, which provides a nice contrast to the high impact nature of running. Yoga can improve your joint mobility and soft tissue flexibility, and potentially help to counter physical imbalances from running.
- Yoga practice can help improve your breathing - many yoga styles include pranayama (targeted breath work). Pranayama can increase your breath capacity, as well as strengthen and mobilize your lungs, respiratory diaphragm and other accessory breathing muscles.
- Yoga can help you connect deeply to your own anatomy and increase your proprioception (knowing where your body is in space, which can help with balance, turns, and transitions in running), and interoception (your sense of internal sensations such as breathing and heart rate).
- Yoga can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body and mind relax and destress.
In the video below I walk you through 5 minutes of breath work followed by a few quick yoga poses for joint mobility and soft tissue flexibility. Enjoy!
Amanda Winkler is a yoga teacher, trainer and movement specialist. She’s worked with thousands of students from all over the world and is on a mission to empower others (especially women!) through movement.