6 Reasons that Yoga & Running Make the Perfect Combo
August 8, 2016
Originally Published on YOGANONYMOUS.com.
In the fitness world, yoga and running are often seen as opposites, appealing to different people.
Well, what if we said that yoga and running go together like almond butter & jelly, the perfect combination? They do. That’s why we’re heading to Point Reyes on a yoga, running, hiking and trail running retreat.
6 Reasons Yoga + Running Make the Perfect Combo
1. Running is the ultimate cardio while yoga builds strength
If you’re looking to take your fitness abilities to the next level, combining yoga with running should do the trick.
Since running is the ultimate cardio, it improves cardiovascular and respiratory health (reducing the risk of disease in these critical systems), improves overall fitness, reduces total blood cholesterol, strengthens the bones (and potentially increases bone density) and is thought to strengthen the immune system.
Like running, yoga reduces high blood pressure, improves symptoms of heart failure, enhances cardiac rehabilitation, and lowers cardiovascular risk factors. At the same time, yoga helps the practitioner build muscle mass while helping make the muscles longer and more mobile. Some even say that yoga can be a replacement for weight training.
2. Both activities require limited equipment
Going for a run? Stop at a park afterward and get your yoga on. No equipment (well, maybe running shoes) required. Both activities require the purchase of limited gear, just a yoga mat and a pair of sneakers (at most), so there’s no need to break the bank to get involved.
3. They help you still the mind.
As you run or flow, you become a part of a moving meditation, coming into the body and escaping the monkey mind.
4. Both activities become breath to movement once you get into the flow.
As you get into your groove on your mat or your run, you’ll notice your breaths starting to align with your movements. Like yoga, your inhales and exhales will flow with every step.
If you have trouble connecting breath to movement in your running practice, taking up yoga can help you connect to your breath.
4. They allow for the interplay of shortening your muscles and lengthening your muscles
While running compresses the muscles, yoga lengthens them. Talk about a perfect combination of exercises to add to your life.
5. Yoga and running both teach you to listen to your body
Both physical disciplines are about doing what is right for your body. While running, your body will tell you when you reach your edge of distance and speed and your edge will change in time. Similarly, if you listen to your body in yoga, you will know if you are ready to try a more advanced posture or if Child’s Pose is the best option for the day.
6. Nothing better than getting the runner’s high and becoming yoga stoned
There’s no better high than the one you receive from working your body and aligning your chakras. The runners high is triggered from the endorphins and endocannabinoids (a chemical similar to natural THC) created when running.
Yoga increases neurotransmitters in the brain, increasing the parasympathetic nervous system response.