When you get into entrepreneurship, you learn a lot about yourself really quickly. Being a sole proprietor is not a easy gig. Many of us make the move because we think we have something special to offer that isn’t currently out there. When I heard about MEAS Active, a local, female-owned fitness apparel brand, my interest was immediately piqued. After trying on the pants, I fell in love and then meeting Erin Roddy, knew we had to work together. We are excited to collaborate on some fun events coming up, share her amazing products in our office and offer her knowledge to our community.
Erin is a long-time runner and lover of yoga. Check our her blog below to learn how the two complement each other. Let us know what you think, comment below
The Benefits of Yoga for Runners.
Incorporating a regular yoga practice into your running plan can greatly improve your health, performance, and even your mental strength.
Here’s how you can incorporate it into your schedule and the benefits behind doing so.
According to Hopkinsmedicine.org at John Hopkins Medical center, yoga is a practice that, by itself, offers an abundance of benefits. Yoga improves strength, balance, and flexibility. It is great for stress management and encourages your body to relax. Thus, encouraging better sleep. Yoga provides more energy and helps to establish better moods.
Runners of all levels can benefit from adding some type of cross training to their regular routine. Yoga, specifically, can boost many of the physical and mental aspects of running. It helps to build alternative muscles and prevent injury and it can boost focus and mental strength as well.
Below, I’ll talk about the ways yoga is a great supplement to your running plan and ways you can incorporate it into your schedule.
The benefits of Yoga for Runners
No matter how fit or fast you are, or many miles you can put on your legs, yoga is always a good activity to add to your cross-training routine.
Yoga is great for strengthening muscles that you use while running and it is great for injury prevention. As a runner, we are often doing the same motion over and over, therefore we miss many of the components of strength training other muscles outside of those we use to run.
The practice of yoga helps to strengthen your core, your upper body and your lower body. Strengthening your lower body will give you more power in your legs for long runs and will also help with your speed. Building your core is essential because it provides increased stabilization in your torso. This allows you to run farther & faster and more efficiently!
Lastly, a strong upper body is necessary. Having both a strong back and arms will improve your posture, provide a better arm swing and help transfer energy from your legs to your arms; assisting with fatigue experience in longer runs.
All of these elements are key to injury prevention and allows maximum efficiency for runners.
You can gain flexibility by holding yoga poses for longer periods of time and this aids in creating elasticity and loosens up muscles, joints and ligaments. This will help enhance your range of motion and will allow for freedom in your running form.
It is no surprise that yoga aids in better breathing for runners. One of the the most important practices in yoga is conscious breathing. We’ve learned that breathing slower allows for a more relaxed state and faster breathing creates more “energy.”
Focusing on your breathe allows you to tune into how your body feels.
Going “inward” to our body and making adjustments as you run is very beneficial to runners. Additionally, learning to focus on your breathing increases oxygen flow, helping to relieve anxiety and manage stress even better while running.
Finding balance can often be overlooked is learning to balance your running schedule.
Balance is just as important as logging miles and it is imperative that we allow our bodies to rest, recover and heal. Adding yoga to your training plan will help to avoid the burnout of running mile after mile, especially during a training cycle. Creating balance will also give you the time to recover those muscles that are being used and allow other muscles jump in.
Lastly, yoga teaches us to look after our bodies and understanding this will allow you to balance hard training with rest & recovery.
It has been said that “running is 90% mental and the rest is physical.” Ask any runner at mile 22 of a marathon what gets them to the finish and most will say that their body is their vehicle and their mind is the engine pushing it to the finish. With that being said, yoga teaches us discipline and helps to control our emotions, while also providing techniques in relaxation & meditation. This not only helps during moments of discomfort in a run, but it also help to improve concentration and give you the ability to appreciate the mind and body you have that allows you to push to the finish.
How to Incorporate Yoga into your running schedule?
Incorporating any cross-training routine into a running schedule depends on many different factors. Are you in a training cycle? Where are you in a training cycle? Are you injured or recovering from an injury? And so on.
If you are just starting to run, or even if you are a regular runner just looking to add some cross-training, start slowly. Add a beginner or intermediate level yoga class and listen to your body. I encourage runners to take a 45 minute yoga class the day after a long, easy run or after a rest day. Since you are working muscles that are not regularly worked, it is likely you will be sore the day or two days after. Thus you probably will not want to take a class the day before a long run or a hard run.
Customize Your Yoga Practice.
We have established that yoga can do great things for runners and the practice of yoga is an amazing compliment to your running schedule! From here, keep in mind that you will ebb and flow. If you are in an intense training cycle, yoga should be the second priority. However, if you are a casual jogger you can play around with your yoga practice as much as you’d like!
About the author:
Erin Roddy is the founder of MEAS Active. Having grown up as an avid runner and a multi sport athlete, Erin has always had a passion for an active lifestyle. As a young teen and into her adulthood, she leaned on running as a way to cope with the ongoing challenges of depression & anxiety.
After years of living a fast paced, unhealthy and what felt to be a very thankless lifestyle as a designer in the NYC fashion industry, she found herself, once again suffering from depression and anxiety. She turned to running as her outlet, joined a local track team, trained for the NYC marathon. In doing so she had an AH-HA moment where she was hit with some realizations to motivate her to start MEAS.
1. Being active while encouraged & supported by the other active women provided her with a sense of empowerment.
2. She wanted to wear beautiful active apparel that could withstand her most vigorous workouts.
3. There was a way to design and make clothes with a purpose that gives back to community.
This is when MEAS Active was born. Active apparel combining fashion, function and on a mission to encourage, celebrate & empower women through their health & wellness journey.