This month at Adidas Run Club, the focus is yoga and how it can assist with running. I have always loved yoga as a form of exercise but have never used it in conjunction with running. So I caught up with yoga guru Kylie Rook (also known as Yoga With Kylie.) If you haven't checked her out online, do so now, she is incredible. With more than 15 years of yoga in the bank, it's evident she knows her stuff.
Kylie explained there are so many benefits of incorporating yoga stretches into a running routine and broke down the most important points. First, it helps to activate your glute muscles, which are pelvic stabilisers, and help to keep you upright and maintain a good posture. Second, it helps with breathing. We need oxygen in the muscles in order for them to function well, so breathing properly is essential. As you can see in the video, she ran me through a couple of moves you can follow along with at home. Excuse the ridiculous lack of coordination on my behalf.
After meeting Kylie, I was inspired to learn more about this topic and through the Adidas Run Club I also met yoga teacher Rachel Grunwell (founder of Inspired Health website) who further educated me. She showed how doing just a few minutes of yoga stretches prior to and after running is all it takes to help prevent serious injury and properly prepare the body for movement.
It's also just a matter of tapping into the awareness of your body. Just by doing a couple of poses, you can identify where the niggles are and then focus on those areas to balance out the body. She elaborated more on breathing, saying a few poses before you start helps you be more aware of your breathing and relaxes you - which essentially makes you go faster, as your energy is transferred to speed.
When I run now, I am a lot more conscious of ensuring I am warmed up through stretches. It really doesn't need to take long or be a hassle but, if you can just spend a few minutes engaging with the muscles and giving them some love, it could make the world of difference to your running.