I started to practice yoga regularly after I ran my first marathon. My muscles got really tight during my training, and yoga was extremely difficult for me at first. Slowly I started to improve my flexibility and balance. My runs started to improve as well. My body began to move like a well-oiled machine, and I felt lighter on my feet.
By the time I completed my third marathon, I was doing much more yoga and much less running, but was able to take 15 minutes off my best marathon time. I attribute yoga to the improvement of my athletic performance. I put together these tips for incorporating yoga into your training routine:
- The best time to start a new yoga routine is early in your training season or in your off-season. Try more vigorous forms of yoga like Power Yoga or Vinyasa Flow to build strength. You can also check out the Rhythm Flow class that Wendy Garafalo is teaching at the South Bay Yoga Conference. Rhythm Flow yoga combines elements of yoga and dance and is set to music.
- As you approach your event, tone down your yoga practice by switching to gentle forms of yoga with long holds. Try Yin Yoga. This restorative yoga practice allows the connective tissue to lengthen and release stagnation in order to feel anew.
- Right before your event you might want to try a peace of mind meditation, tuning into your body and visualizing your performance.
- After your event during recovery you might enjoy Yāpana yoga, which is an innovative blend of vinyasa flow to warm and prepare the body for poses that are held dynamically and restoratively using props for therapeutic support. Leeann Carry, the creator of Yāpana yoga, will be presenting at the South Bay Yoga Conference on Friday, August 10th and Saturday, August 11th.
Did you realize there were so many forms of yoga? Try them all until you find what works best for you. The South Bay Yoga Conference is a great place to experiment with the type of yoga that suits your needs best!
Peace and Love,