When I tell runners I teach yoga, they often respond, “I can’t do yoga, I am too inflexible” or “I can’t even touch my toes!”
Runners are not meant to be super flexible– with many miles of running, runners’ bodies adapt to the repetitive motion and their hamstrings, hips, and more contract. I believe that the proper amount of tightness, matched with strength, stability, and mobility, can give runners the explosiveness they need for a powerful stride.
That being said, yoga is an incredible asset to runners’ training programs, when used at the right time. Runners should practice yoga after runs to aid recovery, promote mobility, improve balance, and strengthen areas of the body that running does not access.
Yoga should not compete or serve as a workout, but instead aid one’s running.
This Yoga For Runners: A Dynamic Cooldown video is meant to serve as a 40-minute yoga practice post run or done on a recovery day. It is focused on opening the hips and elongating the side body with twists.
I just returned from Green Mountain Running Camp in Vermont where I was a yoga teacher and running counselor. It was such an honor to get to introduce many high school runners to yoga and numerous campers asked me to make a video. I also plan to record other yoga for runners videos, focusing on restoration, visualization, and targeting other major body areas, such as hamstrings and back.
Let me know if you have any requests or feedback on this video– feel free to comment on the YouTube video or on this post directly.