Elena Babo of Enlighten Body Yoga will be the Yoga Instructor for The Mindful Run on the 5th March. She has generously provided an insight into the benefits of yoga for everyone and in particular runners below.
Being a yoga student for over ten years now, I can easily tell you why and how this amazing life long journey can change not only your physical state, but also your emotional and mental states too. For me, I'm not someone that runs too often as I've got super short legs which unfortunately don't take me very far!
I have had a multitude of students though that are heavily into their running and I can see why they come to yoga to reap the benefits of this wonderful practice.
Here are some of the reasons why I believe you should start practicing yoga if you're a runner:
1. Yoga helps not only to improve our flexibility through the yoga poses (asanas), it also helps in building strength all over the body as well as developing on balance/hand and eye co-ordination. These components help to improve running times if you're ever feeling like you're getting stuck.
2. The flexibility and strength you gain on the mat helps you to take this into your running and assist in keeping you injury free. Yoga works a lot on the quads, hamstrings, hips and hip flexors, all of which are crucial elements to help keep you strong and run more efficiently.
3. Yoga helps you to destress and aids in weight loss. I feel this point goes hand in hand as running combines both stress relief and weight loss too. Yoga however helps students to manage their emotions by bringing in the mindful aspect of the practice. Yoga teaches students to keep grounded, stay in the present moment and how to keep a hold not only on the mind but also the breath in every situation.
If you'd like to get a feel of yoga, have never been to a session or are intimated by the look of a yoga studio, just remember that yoga is a journey! It's about understanding our bodies and minds. It's about accepting ourselves just as we are. It's about learning to let go of any expectations, worries and judgments we have towards ourselves and others, as well as learning to release any tension stored in the body.
I'll be teaching a vinyasa flow class to compliment your running which will be accessible to all levels (beginners too). Come along and join me to see what all the fuss is about.
Sign up today to the Mindful Run on the 5th March to experience the full yoga benefits for yourself and be taught by Elena.