Yoga and Running

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Yogis and friends! I’m curious: do you guys enjoy running?

I’ve never really been much of a runner myself, but recently I’ve added it back into my routine.

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What I’m finding is that running can be a nice balance to my yoga practice for a couple of reasons.

  1. I’m building more stamina. I can feel my heart and lungs growing stronger when I run.

  2. Endorphins feel amazing. The post-run, post-shower feeling makes it all worth it. I feel like I’m glowing for a few hours after I go for a run.

  3. Running helps me build willpower and increase mental clarity. Inevitably during every run there is a moment where I want to give up or find myself thinking, “This is too hard” or “This sucks” or “I can’t do this,” and it’s very empowering to push through that feeling and find my strength and determination.

  4. Running without music is incredible. The feeling of being out in nature and hearing my own breath is very therapeutic. For many years, I’ve only ever listened to music while running and I have been pleasantly surprised to find that I actually prefer being without it.

  5. Running forces me to focus on hydration and good nutrition. If I’m not well hydrated, running can feel like crap, so it’s a great motivator to make sure I’m getting enough water in my system.

  6. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to track my progress. Logging 5 miles one week and 8 miles the next feels like a big deal ;) Maybe eventually I’ll get my mile time down, too! For now, about a 10 minute mile feels pretty good. I’ve been focusing more on getting out there and hitting a certain distance rather than trying to increase my speed.

  7. Running motivates me to do some yoga poses that I sometimes avoid: Hero’s Pose, Pigeon Pose, and any stretch for the quads. Running really helps me think about my knees and hips in a new way, and appreciate the strength of my legs.

  8. Running also motivates me to be more consistent with sauna and steam room therapy, which feels so good especially as the weather’s getting colder. After feeling tired from a run, I’m reminded of the importance of taking time to rest and recover, whether that’s a hot epsom salt bath, a night off from being on my phone, or an early night to bed.

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Ultimately I don’t see myself becoming a huge runner, in part because of how much time it requires and because I don’t always enjoy the feeling of my muscles being tight afterward, but for now I’m really grateful to have it incorporated into my routine.

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Do you guys like running? Any tips? If you know of any great books or websites I should check out, please leave a comment below or feel free to shoot me an email at aliveinthefire at gmail dot com.

Thanks and happy trails! ;)

PS The compression socks in these photos are by ProCompression, my favorite brand. They’ve been helping me with shin splints and I have to say, they’re super fun to wear just for the style of the bright colors! Plus they are great for playing around with handstand drills because you can slide your feet across the floor… such a great way to mix my running and yoga routines together ;)