We all know that yoga is a great thing for yoga but there are certain things that runners should know when picking a yoga class. Not all yoga classes and styles are the same and it is important to know what you are looking for when picking out a yoga class. Are you looking to increase your flexibility or are you looking for recovery?
The first thing to say is that you don’t and can’t “Win” at yoga. It’s hard for runners to think about things like relaxing and not pushing ourselves. In yoga that can lead to some serious injuries, just like we were warned when we started running. We are so used to pushing ourselves, sometimes going on hardcore endurance runs for hours at a time. We think that yoga will be easy and if they can stretch and do binds, why can’t we?
There is a simple answer to that and it brings us to the second point. Runners are stiff. We need to be in some areas. We need tension in our hips to keep our alignment and while I love yoga, we need to be aware that that yogi that has been doing this next to us has a different set of muscles then we do.
Here are five types of Yoga so that you can pick the one that is right for you:
Also known as hot yoga this form of yoga that involves 26 specific poses in order. TO clarify, not all Bikram yoga is heated. These poses are challenging and designed to raise your heart rate. They can be used as cross training but not as recovery. While it can feel like you are sweating out everything that you’ve got and a lot of people have sung the weight loss properties of Bikram, research shows that it burns the same amount of calories as a brisk walk. And all that water weight you lost sweating? It certainly comes back the moment that you drink.
You see it all of the time and while it is on every schedule, it is not a specific type of yoga. Every instructor is different in both their poses and intensity. It is more physically focused than spiritual so expect your muscles to feel this one by the end. These poses are individual instead of flowing. There are also power hatha classes that will really make you feel the burn.
My favorite kind of yoga! This fast-paced flow yoga will have you moving from start to finish. It is a style that links all of the poses together, creating a cardiovascular element with body resistance. Vinyasa is normally the same poses class after class, giving you the ability to practice them over and over again.
None of the above types of yoga are what I would call recovery yoga. We tend to think of all yoga as recovery since we are used to high impact endurance sports. But that is clearly not the case. While the above yogas are great for cross training, they are not to be used on rest days. For something more rejuvenating, make sure to look for classes with the words “restorative” or “gentle”.