Now that we’re about a week into #runCHAARG, you probably feel like you’re starting to get the hang of things. Waking up early is getting easier + you may start to feel comfortable with running for longer periods of time, further distances, + maybe even at a faster pace. While all this running is great for you both mentally + physically, there’s another component of running that can have a positive impact on your health — what you do post-run!
As tempting as it is to just plop on the couch after getting home from a run, stretching + foam rolling afterward are essential to keeping your body healthy + able to perform to its highest potential. However, even if you do both of these things consistently, you may be missing out on benefits that stretching + foam rolling alone can’t provide. So, what can provide you with these things? Hot yoga.
Hot yoga is traditionally known as Bikram Yoga [26 poses + 2 breathing exercises], but other forms of yoga, such as Vinyasa [breath-synchronized movement, aka flow], are also offered in hot rooms. If you think yoga is intense, try cranking the temperature up to around 100-degrees… WOW. As intense as it may be, hot yoga is the perfect cross-training workout for runners. Here are four reasons why…
1] DEEPER STRETCHES + INCREASED FLEXIBILITY
Hot yoga allows you to get a deeper stretch than a non-heated yoga class. The higher temp keeps your muscles consistently warm, allowing you to stretch further + work on increasing your flexibility. The benefit? Increased flexibility can help prevent injuries! #BOOM
2] AWARENESS OF BREATH
Both running + yoga require a great deal of focus + practice with breathing. When your breathing is disconnected with your movements, your run usually tends to suffer ++ the same goes for yoga. The slower tempo of yoga makes it easier to practice breathing techniques + eventually, carry those with you on the trails.
3] BUILDS ENDURANCE — PHYSICALLY + MENTALLY
Holding poses for what seems like *an eternity* isn’t just physically testing. It takes a lot of mental strength to hold chair pose in a 100-degree room for 30 seconds, similar to a run requiring a great deal of mental toughness [especially if you aren’t a *morning person* ; )]. Sometimes 2 miles seems like a breeze, but other days — an impossible feat. A hot yoga practice will help strengthen your mental endurance, allowing you to push through the mental blocks + that voice telling you to quit.
4] UNWIND YOUR BODY + YOUR MIND
Despite its challenges, yoga is still an excellent outlet for relaxation + meditation. While running can have the same effect, its intensity + fast pace can be stressful for both our minds + bodies. Yoga’s slower nature will allow you to unwind after a long run, both physically + mentally.
If you implement some #CHAARGom time into your workout routine, you will better your relationship with running. During #runCHAARG this fall, check out a nearby studio that offers hot yoga classes + try mixing 1-3 classes into your weekly schedule. Trust us, it’s worth it ; ). Already incorporate hot yoga into your training? Let us know how it’s helped your running game!
+xo Natalie [@natalie_inchaarg], VirtCHAARG girl from Grand Rapids
+ Photography // Kaitlyn Bowman [@kaitb_inchaarg]