Thursday, August 26, 2010

Training Tips Thursday

Power Yoga for Runners

I recently read an article that recommended power yoga sequences for runners' cross training.  It described power yoga as a slightly quicker paced and more aerobic routine, without rest between poses. For runners who are also yoga devotees, the upside of this approach is perhaps a better warmup or cooldown routine than many of the standard routines used by runners.  The downside is that the approach is less spiritual and meditative than other yoga practice.  However, there is room in our lives for both approaches, depending on what fits the need of the moment.  That's one of the beauties of yoga-- its versatility.

I had already found that there is a yoga pose that is similar to, but better than, the stretches commonly used by runners.  For example, the common quadriceps stretch, one hand pulling the foot and lower leg up behind the body with the knee pointing down, may be replaced by Natarajasana, or Dancer Pose. 

The article I read suggests using a vigorous sequence of the Surya Namaskara, or Sun Salutation series as a warm up before running, as a dynamic and continuous aerobic routine, starting with a few repetitions, and building to perhaps 10 repetitions with further practice.  As yoga practioners know, the Sun Salutation is not a single pose, but actually a series of poses done in a sequence.  If you already practice yoga, you probably already use the Sun Salutation as part of your daily routine.  Before running, just pick up the pace a little as you flow through the moves.  If  you are new to yoga, this series will be covered in your first beginner's lesson at most studios.  Or you can learn it from a yoga video on DVD or on the internet.  Give it a try! 


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