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Runners and athletes, in general, have discovered the benefits of incorporating yoga into their training for added mobility, stability, strength, focus and flexibility.
Although they appear different on the surface, there are parallels between the two disciplines – the connection with the breath to find your rhythm, the power of the body and mind to get through the physical challenge, and the feeling of freedom and invigoration at the end of a session. Yoga and running complement each other well.
Yoga can be used by runners in a few ways:
1.  Pre Run
Before you take off, it is beneficial to warm up the muscles you will be activating on the run. Concentrate on the large muscle groups of the legs first – the quadriceps and hamstrings and then work through the calf muscles, as well as opening up through the hips and mobilising the chest, arms and torso. Yoga poses can be used within this warm up to start releasing the muscles and reducing the risk of injury. To ensure your muscles are fired up and have a fast response rate, focus on shorter, more dynamic stretches.
2.  Post Run
At the end of a run, take some time to stretch to help release tension and reduce swelling in the legs. This is the time to take it down a notch and move into long, deep holds to work into the flexibility of the muscles and gain more mobility. Effective hip openers, mixed with forward folds, spine twists and shoulder stretches are a great way to ease the body after a hard session and aid muscle recovery.
3.  Cross Training
Incorporating a regular yoga practice into your training schedule can help to transform your performance. A cleansing hot yoga practice in a heated room will help to lengthen and strengthen muscles, increase focus and balance, and clear the mind. A dynamic vinyasa style practice energises and rejuvenates the body by flowing through a sequence that elevates the heart rate and develops strength and stamina. A gentle yoga class at a slower pace with long, deep stretching and holds will work to enhance muscle tone and mobility. It is also another great option if you need a blissful class to relax and unwind.
To share the benefits of ‘Yoga for Runners’ with you, Kula Yoga are holding a FREE workshop this Saturday September 22 from 8-9am. We are partnering with the lululemon athletica Camberwell store’s running group, ‘lululemon lightfeet’, and opening the invitation up to everyone in the community. We will spend some time working through yoga poses that help to warm your body up for a run and then flow through a vinyasa sequence to demonstrate how yoga can help to build strength, mobility and stamina. We’ll finish off with some cool down poses, stretching deep into the major muscles used when running.
There is no need to book a space, however please arrive at least 15 minutes before class to register if this will be your first visit to Kula Yoga.
See you on Saturday morning.
Sweat, stretch and smile,
Kula Yoga has a beautiful hot yoga studio in Hawthorn East. Kula offers ‘Hot’ yoga for detoxification, dynamic ‘Flow’ yoga as well as a gentle ‘Light’ class.  Kula also provides Melbourne workplaces with group corporate yoga programs to build employee health, fitness and wellbeing. Kula Yoga offers staff a unique yoga experience to strengthen their minds and bodies. Find out more about our beneficial group yoga programs on our website www.kulayoga.com.au