I have dabbled throughout the years with Yoga, reflecting back now wish I had made it more part of my life, but picking it up now as a runner I have REALLY benefited from the way it makes me feel, in my mind, not only my body and wanted to share that with you!
Yoga restores the body’s balance and symmetry from the repetitive nature of running, it helps prevent injury and in time will make the runner more flexible and therefore a more all round efficient runner. Stretching out tight muscles increases the joint flexibility, decreases stiffness and reduces many aches and pains.
Yoga also brings with it increased strength, it uses more muscles than running alone, so you will become a much all round stronger runner as you’ve optimised all muscle groups rather than the one plane of muscles that running uses. Its win win!
Please, please, please watch this video on Arthurs inspirational Transformation… if you doubt the power of Yoga.. watch this!
I have had a dabble too with Pranayama breathing.. after reading the benefits of it in a women’s running magazine I was keen to download the Pranayama app onto my iPhone and decided on my last two outings to do it. I find it best to switch my music off so therefore enabling me to concentrate on this, its impossible to have Jimi Hendrix blasting and do this too!
Whats it about? Well, in summary most of us breath from the chest quite shallowly and not to the full extent of the lungs. Even while exercising, and if we breathe to the full extent of the lungs we are able to boost performance and endurance as blood is enriched with oxygen. Pranayama is the gentle control of inhalation and exhalation to encourage calm retention of breath between the two!
It does feel a little odd practicing this, especially where I have had 40 odd years of shallow breathing but will keep at it as I think its making the difference.
Finally, if you’re up for my Chinese New Year challenge then please do join in – this Sunday 7th February, to celebrate the year of the Monkey, either run 1, 7 or 8 miles.. these are auspicious numbers in connection with the Monkey! Drop me a comment if you want to join in and I can point you in the right direction.
Wishing you all well..
Kung Hei Fat Choi (Happy New Year), BBxx