Yoga and how I think it may just be the missing link...

in my marathon training.

Beware: This post reveals a lot of leg. Surprisingly, I'm okay with it. If you're not, I suggest you move along.

I know I've mentioned quite a bit these past few months about my morning yoga sessions with Dave Farmar or a podcast. But it wasn't until after Saturday's run that it dawned on me that this may just be the thing to keep my injuries at bay this go around with the marathon. I hope I'm right.

Saturday, I did one of my favorite yogadownload workouts, Yoga for Runners. I highly recommend downloading it for yourself! I have the 25 min free version, but I'm considering buying a longer version.

What I like about this class:
-poses that really help you stretch the hip flexors, hamstrings and quads
-you can feel yourself building strength

My favorite poses in this yoga session are: crescent lunge (hip flexors), standing splits (hamstrings), knee to nose in plank position (abs), half moon (balance) and boat pose.

After I finished my 25 minute session, I spent some time working on a few things I want to get better at: plow, crow and headstand. I won't show you headstand because the pictures weren't great.

Plow (great for the back, hamstrings and quads)

Crow or Crane (focuses on balance, arms and core)

This isn't easy at first, but once you trust yourself and don't worry about tipping forward onto your forehead, the balance will happen.

Supported headstand (takes a lot of arm, core and balance)
For this one, I don't have enough core strength or balance so I need to do it near a wall.

Inverted poses are great for you not only for strength and balance, but they are considered beneficial in many ways such as increased blood flow and circulation, stimulated thyroid gland, stress relief and more.
*Women who are pregnant or menstruating are should not do inversion poses.

Want more resources?
More info about inversions
Inverted postures vital for rejuvenation
Step by step pose info and a wealth of yoga articles

Lately, I've noticed that utkatasana (chair pose) is actually becoming easier. Seriously, I never thought that would happen. Now when Dave Farmar announces "the pose begins when you want to get out of it" or "let this be easy," I actually believe him.

Is there a stretch or pose that is becoming easier for you? If not, pick one you want to focus on (one you might even hate) and fit it in once a day. Soon enough, you might just not loathe (insert pose here) anymore.


Amber said…
Wow! You are REALLY GOOD at plow and Crow!! Those are two poses I SUCK at. I definitely can't get my feet to touch the floor in plow and I can't even KIND OF get into Crow.

Good job lady!
Barbara said…
I still haven't mastered crow pose. It's just super hard for me for some reason. I'm definitely going to download some of those podcasts though. Thanks for sharing.
Anonymous said…
That first picture is beyond impressive - clearly you do this Yoga stuff often, now! :) This is a great post! I hope you're right, with this "missing link" theory - yoga is definitely inching its way into my routine, too. So, lets put the theory to test!
wow - I am impressed. The Crow looks so un-doable for me! i really need to work on my core strength. thanks for the yoga for runners recommendation! I need to check this out!!
I think you can all do crow. It was tough at first, but over the last few years it has definitely gotten easier. And even easier again once you trust yourself and know you won't get seriously injured if you tip forward.

And believe it or not, there is a harder version of grow which I'd like to move into someday. You basically tip forward so your hands stay in place and your head is on the mat and then you really use your ab strength to go up into a supported hand/head stand. It's way beyond me though.
Run Jess Run said…
Thanks for the yoga entry!! I'm thinking of incorporating that into my next training plan for some cross-training!!
Raquelita said…
I haven't even begun to master bakasana. I enjoy attempting it, though.

I go to yoga class once or twice a week, but I'd like to work in a couple of shorter sessions on other days as well. I'm definitely going to check out these downloads.

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