Wednesday, 8th February 2023
Article Image

Cross-training for runners - yoga!

by Tracey Moggeridge
Monday 15th February 2016
Tags  cross training   |   Yoga   |   Tracey Moggeridge
In the next installment of our cross-training series, Tracey Moggeridge talks about her experience of yoga. If you're a typically inflexible runner, who doesn't stretch as much as you should, this sounds like a great option.

Where do I go?
Cowley in Oxford have a dedicated yoga venue, whatever style of yoga you wish to practice, there is pretty much a class for you here.
What they say about it...
YogaVenue was created to provide a dedicated space for students to enjoy their Yoga practice. We have classes for all levels so don't worry if you've never practiced Yoga before, there is a class for you at YogaVenue or if you have practiced regularly and want a challenging class, we also have that too! 
What I think about it...
I started to practice yoga late last year after prolonged injury that has been preventing me from running well and pain-free. Looking back, i can see after a few months of committed yoga practice that my attempts at trying to stretch post-running or after a gym session really weren't sufficient, and heeding the advice from a great Osteo i've taken up yoga in an attempt to help back, hamstring and glute discomfort.  I've noticed small but discernible differences to my flexibility by practicing twice a week for the last two months, I’m very slowly becoming more flexible, I have less hip and back pain, hamstrings don't scream whenever I try to touch my toes, and as for the headspace it provides - that alone is enough of a reason to keep coming back.  It's a challenge, it's so much more than holding a bunch of poses without wobbling, but it's brilliant.  
The main caveat I have, is make sure your teachers are properly trained, I’ve attempted yoga before at the hands of those who perhaps aren't as in tune with what your body is required to do when holding poses and transitioning in and out of them, the teacher and their knowledge is really important to your success.  I can't recommend YogaVenue highly enough for this, the teachers are incredible and have such deep knowledge that they are very passionate about sharing, they don't leave you stranded wobbling about unsuccessfully and are definitely in tune with everyone's capabilities. 
What did it cost?
Initially I opted for their trial scheme - £40 for 20 classes in any ten week period, during that time you can try pretty much any of their classes - just not the advanced ones, there was so much choice - hot yoga, vinyasa, restorative, bikram, a yogi's heaven.  I then bit the bullet and I now pay £75 a month for unlimited classes, you can yoga from daybreak to sunset and beyond for that price. However there are various payment plans to suit your budget. 
How much preparation was required (equipment, clothing, set-up etc)?  
A good pair of non-transparent leggings if you are a lass, tight-ish fitting shorts if you are a fella - people don't need to see things they cannot un-see and believe me you can get up close and personal into some unimaginable poses.  You may also prefer your own unsullied yoga mat although you can hire them for a small fee.  Foam blocks and bands are a great addition and freely available at the venue.  A yoga towel that snugly fits your mat is also helpful if you go down the hot-yoga route, your best bath towel is no good for standing on as it slips around too much and yoga towels are designed to be non-slip on one side. 
How hard was it on a scale of 1 - 10?  
It depends on the class you opt for and there are lots of options for you to choose from, which means you can start off gently with a restorative or Vinyasa class and move up to the harder classes once you've mastered some of the basics. In addition, most classes will give you options to challenge yourself or ease into it gently, there are no expectations of you, only the ones you put on yourself.    Yoga practice takes time and commitment, you won't see instant results, and you will find it frustrating at times, but the moment you find you can bend that bit further or your hips don't scream you can't wait for the next class. 
How much did you ache the next day on a scale of 1 - 10?  
I felt good, no aches to speak of but I do exercise in other forms so I have some strength in my muscles anyhow. That said, I can imagine if you are new to it you may feel the odd ache but nothing that would reach a 5 I would suspect. 
What muscles did it work? 
Ones you don't even know you have, and all the major and minor muscle groups in between - it's such a good all-rounder.
Could you do it if you were injured and couldn’t run?  
It depends on the injury and severity and you would be best advised to speak to your teacher before practicing, most poses require use of the whole body in some form, and if you are a runner then a number of them concentrate on the legs, you might also need to modify your poses until you've recovered. 
How good or bad was it for your street cred (with 1 being very bad and 10 being awesome)
10.  It's not just for hippies sitting on gluten-free cushions, it's for any self-respecting individual craving some feel-good, some head-space and some calm in this crazy world we turn in.  I've found I leave a class more flexible in body and calmer in mind, it shouldn't be a nice addition to your exercise routine, it should be a staple.  
How likely would you be to go regularly?
I've already made a commitment to twice a week, and more when i can, you really need to practice regularly to notice any difference to your muscle strength and flexibility.  Find a great teacher, make the commitment you won't regret it. Namaste. 
Photo by Evan Lovely https://flic.kr/p/4LjcEo (CC BY 2.0)

Related Articles

Article Image
Runderwear Support Bra reviewTracey Moggeridge tries out the new Runderwear Support Bra
Article Image
Don't let the weather winHere's our handy guide to not letting the snow disrupt your training
Article Image
Tecnica MaXi Race: a 'ginger' Brit's fir...Tracey Moggeridge took on a Tecnica MaXi race, and lots of cheese and pastry
Article Image
Cross-training for runners - mountain bi...Robert Brind makes the case for mountain biking for cross-training
Article Image
Escape to the Soul Circus yoga and welln...Taking place August 17 - 19 in the Cotswolds
Article Image
New Animal collection We take a first look at the new Animal collection
Article Image
Pulseroll reviewWe try out a vibrating foam roller
Article Image
The Private Yogi expands its offering ac...Find about more about #breatheLDN

Post A Comment

TereréJordan Blood