Everyone is blogging yoga it seems. Being completely unoriginal, I thought I’d jump in and give my thoughts. Disclaimer: I am NOT a yoga teacher and have never had formal training. I’ve been practicing consistently for 4 and a half years and have learned a lot in that time. I tried yoga first via a book and that was a huge fail. I did not “get” it. It seemed too easy, I wasn’t sweating, etc. When I first took a class I “got” it right away. If your schedule allows take a couple classes before venturing out at home. But if you can’t here’s some ideas:
Save some money and skip the DVDs. There is a ton online. Start small. Don’t go for a 90 minute practice at first. Start with 10-15 minutes after your run. You can find all the postures on youtube or YogaJournal.com. I also have learned over the years, to constantly focus on tucking in my tailbone, keeping my shoulders back, and keeping my belly in. Sounds easy, but it’s hard to put it all together, all the time with every pose. I like to start with cat/ cow. Just about 5 rounds or so. Then go for sun salutations. Watch sun salutation A and B on youtube. Doing 5 of each is great. Or just do 5 of “A” . Another tip I’ve learned is as a runner always keep your knees a little bent. It takes a ton of pressure off your hamstrings. Next, do a couple seated postures. Watch Pigeon if you are not familiar. It’s my fave for runners. Yoga Journal online is great source to pick a couple. You could finish off with bridge pose or a headstand if you can do it, and if not, your legs up the wall. That’s probably about 10-15 minutes right there. If even this much sounds too complicated, I would just learned sun salutation A and do a couple after each run.
My favorite DVD I have is ViniYoga Therapy for Low Back and Sacrum. It’s very gentle, so cardio junkies will freak, but I promise you your back muscles will be sore the next day after you do it. It is a great end of the day practice with a 20 minute or 30 minute session.
This brings me to another point that has taken me awhile to get. It’s ok if your yoga is not super high speed flowing. You may not burn a million calories, but you will get so much out of it. Sometimes if I get to go to a yoga class, it’s the only time all day I’m not multitasking and rushing. A lot of us live like that, so it’s so good to have a time you are not trying to go-go-go. I’m totally hooked on yoga at this point and know it will be a lifelong interest. I really try to spread the gospel to other runners, because it’s such a perfect complement to running. I hope a couple yoga curious friends find this helpful. Yay for yoga!