Marathon Series: Yoga

Wednesday 25 February 2015 by

Wanstead Flats, Running, Marathon training, Fitness, Health, London

Welcome back to week thirteen of my Marathon Series, as I blog my way to a marathon – from beginner to 26.2 miles. This week, we’re talking about yoga.

So it’s not exactly running. In fact, it’s pretty far from it. But I am a brand new yoga convert and I can’t wait to talk about it!

Yoga is a “physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline that denotes a variety of schools, practices and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism (including Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism) and Jainism, the best-known being Hatha yoga and Raja yoga.” But, at its very basic, it is a lot of core strength.

I didn’t realise how bad I was until I started – I’m not bendy or stretchy in the slightest. But within a couple of sessions I could feel my body responding. Already my shoulders are looser and my running is smoother. I don’t get weird hip or back pains on long runs, and my muscles are quicker to warm up.

Did I mention I was a complete convert!?

Yoga classes go from the very beginner to the advance and extreme (Bikram yoga, anyone?) but there is something for everyone, no matter their ability or bendiness. It also gives you the time to stop and think; to unwind from the day and concentrate on yourself for a bit.

A large part of what I love about running is the catharsis it affords – you think over the day behind or day ahead and can often figure out problems by the time you’ve run the route. Yoga is almost the same, but rather than thinking through a problem, it allows you to let go of the problem. A less stressed runner is a better runner!

I am amazed by the difference a few yoga sessions have made to my body, meaning I can push myself harder and faster with each run. Good core strength is widely known to benefit aerobic exercise, and it seems I have found my perfect combination.

Do you do yoga? What kind of core strength exercise do you incorporate in to your training?

Don’t forget to let me know how you’re getting on, using the hashtag #HoBFitness. And check back next week when we’re talking about .

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