Healthy feet and lower legs, that are strong and flexible, are absolutely vital for finding your optimal running technique and staying injury free in this area. Don’t let this area be overlooked!
This is a flowing Vinyasa yoga based class that covers all areas, including hamstrings, hips and core, but our main focus is taken to the feet and lower legs. We explore some creative ways to help maintain the stability that the foot should provide, how to maintain a strong, yet flexible Achilles tendon and calves, and stretching the elusive top of the feet and shins 😉
Ideally do this 28 minute class on a non-running day, as much of it is standing sequences but we wind down with some floor based poses and a little myofascial release. Have a tennis ball to hand if possible.
Check out these previous blogposts, if you haven’t already! Yoga for Feet and Yoga for Achilles.
Thank you to all the yoginis who came on the Rejuvenating Weekend Yoga Retreat in Cornwall this weekend and made it such a special experience for myself and the group. Each time I bring together a group of strangers on a yoga retreat I am so overjoyed at the connection formed so quickly between one another!
Our retreat began with a Friday evening class to physically ease out travel tension and emotionally bring our minds in tune with our body. Then, we got to eat! I was thrilled to get Sam Lomas on board for this retreat, having already worked with him on Tiree this Summer. I think I can speak for everyone in saying that we were super impressed with Sam’s cooking – he made everything from granola and bread to curry, lentil salad, beetroot burgers, avocado chocolate mousse to apple and blackberry crumble. He even picked the beetroot and the blackberries! We will be hearing much more from Sam very soon, and I will be encouraging him to share some recipes!
Saturday morning I got everyone warming up their hips and shoulders ready for the day: after breakfast we all walked to the beach from where I took a group on a coastal path run to Crantock; in the afternoon we went back to the beach for a swim! Saturday evening I took the chance to lead a very relaxing restorative class to re-lengthen muscles and turn inward. Sunday began with a core focussed asana practise followed by an 8 mile walk/run to St Agnes and back, with the afternoon spent relaxing in the Retreat. Each class I taught took a different focus, both anatomically and spiritually.
This was the very first group to stay in the much eagerly awaited Retreat at Lime House and we were all hugely impressed! Check out the new interior images we have added to the website.
We will be running this retreat again in next year – see the site for dates and booking details.
I have been teaching yoga to athletes of all sports for many years and have seen how it can benefit them in a multitude of ways. As I have always loved to run, naturally I love to share the benefits of yoga with fellow runners.
Here are my main reasons for a runner to incorporate yoga into his or her training programme:
1. Release tension through stretching with full body awareness – yoga is not merely stretching. By moving mindfully, that’s with complete awareness of what you are doing, you become more in tune with what your body needs and can then move deeper into a stretch or back off when your body needs to.
2. Reduce risk of injury by safely strengthening muscles – yoga is not only about stretching and increasing flexibility. It is an excellent way to safely increase muscle strength and effectively build up joint stability – protecting knees, hips and ankles from running injuries. Runners can also benefit hugely from developing more core strength to improve posture and gait.
3. Increase lung capacity with breathing techniques – conscious breathing is a big part of yoga. Time movements with the breath to learn how to breath ‘properly’ and practise breathing exercises to increase your lung capacity. Become more mindful of how you breath so that you can breath deeply and bring in that extra required oxygen at the end of a race!
4. Optimise recovery – stretching and re-lengthening your muscles after a race or training run combined with allowing them to relax, will prompt much quicker recovery, so that you will be ready for that next run refreshed.
5. Improve performance – essentially, if you optimise your recovery in between sessions you can train harder. In addition, you are lessening the risk of injury and improving your strength, posture, gait and breathing.
6. Develop mental focus – through challenging postures and learning to time movements with the breath to calm and focus the mind. Many top sports clubs (including the All Blacks) do yoga primarily for the mental focus it gives.
7. Increase flexibility and balance – almost all runners have tight muscles due to the repetitive contractions of the movements involved, but re-lengthening these muscles with conscious stretches not only releases tension and reduces risk of injury but will help to improve your stride. This is particularly beneficial for trail runners who have to vary the length of their stride depending on the terrain. Balance is key here also when running over and around natural obstacles!