Most Runners Just Love Running and not much else. Hey, I'm obsessed too! However, Every Runner needs to be a Smart Runner. Smart Runners Rest, Cross Train, Stretch and have good nutrition and hydration management.
Stretches are Vital for flexibility. This Flexibility aids in comfort in running, faster speeds and most importantly it reduces the risk for injury.
Think of Yoga as a Great Big Stretch Session. But not just of your legs! It should incorporate your entire body. We use Our Entire Body when we Run, so We should Stretch that way too!
The Principles of Yoga are Exercises, Breathing and Meditation. This is exactly what Running is all about so I'm confident if you give it a try that you will find that you enjoy it too!
Most runners have really strong outer quad strength and weaker inner quad muscles **Waves Hands- it's what gave out on me at mile 22 last Marathon- my inner quads- both legs- same time!!**
Well this muscle imbalances sets up a runner for potential knee problems. Well the great news is you can strengthen your inner quadriceps muscles through certain yoga poses!
You can google YouTube for free videos, attend a class, purchase a video!
My Friendly & Different Yoga Tips as Your Not So Super Skinny or Super Flexible RunnerGuru
1) Accept where you are! Don't compare yourself to other people in class or on a video. You are unique and different. Mentally accept where you were, where you are now and where you will go with your fitness and flexibility.
2) Work your own level. If you have to take a break then do so. If you are the only grunting and making an awful (looks like you are constipated trying to poop) look then so be it! LOL- Really my faces are not so cute when I'm there- I shudder at the chicks next to me that stretch it don't hurt- Kidding me Girls- I just ran 2 hours yesterday and my legs and ass are sore *LITERALLY* if you can't hold for as long- then drop your pose and relax- If you are on the floor you can right into child's pose and hold it!
3) When you are in a class- get in the back row- you won't be center of attention- you won't feel embarrassed or shy like someone is watching you get or not get a pose perfectly! Plus this gives you an opportunity to watch other people do the moves and you can learn easier this way!
4) If you can't grab your toes and pull it the moon- then don't worry and please don't hurt yourself trying to- instead grab your calve or leg where it you feel enough of a pull to get YOUR Stretch!
5) Be comfortable with good Yoga attire- you should avoid loose clothing- it will hang and show your goods - wear tight- not only will appreciate looking at body in form fitting clothes (I hope!) but your teacher can see your form!
6) Any pre-conceptions you might have about going to a class- toss them out the window and just try it- be open to the new experience. You are worth that. There is no weight loss maximum- you can be any size- any age - any fitness level to do Yoga- I promise you that you won't be turning yourself into a pretzel or doing crazy poses, just trust the process and get outside your comfort zone!