Run More Awesome / Training

4 Fabulous Yoga Resources for Runners

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On Wednesday, I promised to share a few of my favorite yoga resources because my mental and physical wellness always improves when I take an hour or so a week to balance all the heavy work of training with some restorative yoga. If you’re not already incorporating a bit of yoga into your training, I encourage you to give it a try! Maybe these resources will do some convincing:

  • YogaToday.com. In graduate school, I was too poor to have a gym membership, so I went to iTunes looking for yoga workouts. That’s where I found Sarah, Neesha, and Adi, the instructors at YogaToday.com. Back then, their classes were free, hour-long video podcasts set in a studio. Today, their classes have moved outdoors and feature students of all levels. Though you can no longer access all of their classes for free, they offer one free class per week and it can be streamed to your computer. If you want full access to their site, you can pay the yearly membership fee of $89.95 (the best value). You can also purchase a class a la carte and download them. Even though the gals sometimes add a bit too much yoga philosophy for my liking, they take care to provide variations of poses to accommodate yoginis of all levels. They also do well to educate about how the body works in each pose and what each pose is designed to do.
  • “The Trainer’s Edge: Long and Lean Yoga with Baron Baptiste.” I first tried this video when we had streaming Netflix, and I liked it so much that when we discontinued Netflix, I bought the DVD. Not for the faint of heart, Long and Lean falls into the category of power yoga, and I often struggle to finish the hour-long session. My arms and abs and quads are not a fan of this rigorous practice, but I know that I benefit mentally and physically when I stick to the entire hour.
  • The Science of Yoga by William J. Broad. OK, so this is not a resource on how to practice yoga. Instead, it’s a picture of yoga’s sordid history, its movers and shakers, and the science behind the claims we read in the magazines. (e.g. Power yoga is not giving you the aerobic benefits you’ve been promised.) I love long form non-fiction, so I added this book to my reading list soon after I heard the first NPR interview with Broad. Plus, it better educated me about I should and should not do in my yoga practice regardless of what an instructor might encourage. And it realigned how I should expect to benefit from regular yoga practice.

As a runner, these are my favorite resources for practicing yoga. As good as these are, I am still a fan of attending yoga classes with an experienced yoga instructor where you can get real feedback about your form and ask questions. Check with your gym or your favorite yogini friend about yoga classes in your area. (And if you live in Springfield, MO, free yoga is offered at noon on Fridays on Park Central Square during the summer!)

Last, I have not read Sage Rountree’s book The Runner’s Guide to Yoga yet, but I am eager to soon. Rountree often contributes to Runner’s World and other running publications, and she was recently interviewed by Sarah and Dimity on Another Mother Runner Radio, and enjoyed listening to her speak about how yoga and running pair well together.

What about you? Do you practice yoga as part of your training? What are your favorite yoga resources?

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