Yoga and running

Your tips and experiences please!

1 to 20 of 44 messages
04/07/2004 at 13:16
Been running few years and after doing 5 marathons in 19 months have crashed and burned (copenhagen ended in disaster and have suffered anxiety attacks since). Anyway..have found a local Yoga teacher and have my first session this week..its primarily to help with relaxation etc but interested in benefits to running.
Ran 1 mile this morning and only had a slight panic afterwards (yes its that bad!!)
04/07/2004 at 13:55
Hope it gets better Ian!
I did Nottingham marathon 2 years ago and seriously crashed and burned, finishing in 4:16:32, when I expected around 3:40. I think I had trained through an injury which had materialised in my lower back, therefore reducing my core muscles (hence the injury).

I started yoga classes at local sports centre, after realising that I needed to build up core back muscles (to prevent further injuries) and learned how to breathe properly, relax and most of all, how to stretch properly.

2 years on, I am running up to 6 days a week and enjoying it, injury free! I still stretch a great deal and I use the relaxation techniques in work, as well as for getting to sleep.

Definitely the best decision I have ever made, and much cheaper than a physio or endless swimming sessions to maintain aerobic fitness. Give it a try!
ip(FeS2)    pirate
04/07/2004 at 15:55
Sorry to hear you're having such a hard time...

I've done some yoga, and don't find it particularly relaxing!! But definitely feel the strength, flexibility and general awareness of how your body/muscles feel/work is really useful to running.

I suggest you make sure that you learn one of the styles of yoga which focuses on relaxation first ( I think Hatha may be a good choice, but I@m no expert)...

Good luck,

04/07/2004 at 18:18
Definately think that yoga is beneficial to running - all that extra stretching, felxibilty and core strength that you gain. I wish I could get myself sorted to do it regularly as I feel so much better when doing it.

Agreee with lp about the different styles though - some are designed to give you a really good workout, but you'll obviously be focusing more on the relaxation side of things which I think is a great contrast to the both physical and mental stresses of running.

Really hope that it helps you and gets you back out there - I'm sure it will only have a positive effect so def worth a go. Anyway, 5 marathons in only 19months sounds like your body's in need of a break even without feeling stressed! Good luck with it all.

04/07/2004 at 22:46
agree - hatha is probably best for runners (well, in my experience!); iyengar should also be good but I had a sh*te teacher who insisted on forcing people's limbs back - I walked out. Avoid astanga and other 'dynamic' types of yoga - they give you a really good workout, but probably not what you need at the moment! Stretching/flexibility is obviously useful, but I found core strength to be a huge benefit. Haven't been to yoga classes for two years now but am starting again this week, specifically in order to benefit my running. Enjoy!
05/07/2004 at 08:33
I have to agree with Snail. My yoga teacher says that the style we do is a mixture of hatha and Iyengar, and I really like the precision of what that, but I would steer clear of Astanga or anything which is fast moving.

You'll get a good aerobic workout through running, and you'll find that the slower styles of yoga certainly aren't passive (I often find that I'm dripping with sweat while standing perfectly still!). The relaxation bits of the session will give you the best nights sleep for years, and your core strength will improve without you even noticing.

I've also found in yoga one of the best stretches in the world for tight hip joints, which is where it hurts after a long run!
05/07/2004 at 13:05
Interesting stuff...many thanks for this (and thanks for the messages of good luck!!). Just bought a book on Yoga at lunchtime and am really looking forward to wednesday now!
05/07/2004 at 17:11
Good Luck Ian

I think that yoga is the best thing you could do. After my weekly session I feel quite enlivened.

It not only counteracts the effects of running, it also helps you discover discover the way your body works. You constantly observe your physical limits and how to work within them
05/07/2004 at 17:22
Thanks HK.
Found my physical limits in Copenhagen and dont want to go there again [;-))
..made it through the whole work-day today without too much anxiety..first time in the office for three weeks so quite happy.
05/07/2004 at 22:13

The important things in yoga is that you stay within those limits. You do not try to force them.

However by repetition, gradually things become easier.

It gives you an awareness of what you are doing.
05/07/2004 at 23:04
Ian, Have you tried the old elastic band trick to ward off your anxiety attacks? It works like this...
Place a fairly tight fitting and strong elastic band around your wrist. You will wear this constantly! Whenever you feel an attack coming on, you give the elastic band a ping, and you tell yousrelf firmly that you are not going to let this happen, over and over again, or any other affirmation that has significance for you. The idea is that the sharp pain focuses your mind away from the fact that an attack is coming on and the affirmations help you focus your mind away from it. It won't work all the time, there'll be a few false starts, but it will work...thekey is to be very firm in your mind whenyou are telling yourself that this is not happening. As you get more adapt at stopping the attacks coming on, you will be able to just ping the elastic to stop them. Eventually the attacks will become less frequent...

Ian the attack WILL disappear, I suffered with them for years, took a few years to get back to anywhere approaching 'normal' 3 years I think...but you WILL get there...
06/07/2004 at 08:08
I have a slip of paper attached to my pc at work, cut out of a newspaper article, which says

"suffering is not caused by the experiences we have, but by our reaction to them"

I'm sure that David King's advice will work, and I'm sure that the affirmation you choose, if a positive one, will work in the same way that I can run up hills by saying over and over again "no reason to stop, no reason to stop"!

You only get better at running up hills, by running up hills. Yoga doesn't want you to push your physical limits, but you'll find over time that those limits will extend.

Just concentrate during the class, and I hope your teacher is a good, encouraging one.
06/07/2004 at 08:25
Hi Ian

I have also been suffering from panic attacks over the last two years, and still have extreme anxiety. I am learning to control it

I am yet to try Yoga, but I am considering it.

I use my running to relieve my tension, and use visual aids along the route to keep me focused.

Different people find different ways to deal with it, you will find your way!

Good Luck
06/07/2004 at 10:11
Well, thanks the 'laccy band idea...not heard of that one before but can identify with what it is trying to do....
Running is of course my normal stress reliever in life but in Copenhagen I lost control of my legs at 21 miles and collapsed on the floor (all my muscles in my legs locked and I ended up at the hospital) so the one thing I would normally do if I was feeling anxious in any way is now the primary cause for my anxiety. Bit of a double wammy really!
Currently seeing homeopath, kinesilogist and counsellor for some CBT so I'm sure I'll get there...have made some progress in last few weeks anyway...
When you talk to people you realise that in fact there's a whole bunch of people out there who have gone through the same thing which in itself is comforting!!
06/07/2004 at 11:53

I completed this year's FLM for the mental health foundation. There have about 50 runners for the event.

Maybe consider running for them, it certainly kept me focused and you meet a good bunch of people at the finisher's party.

Mental health is certainly important aswell as your physcial health

Have a look at
06/07/2004 at 12:21
Bananas - If nothing else the last couple of months (which is all it has been) has made me think differently about mental health...something that I have taken for granted for the past 37 years. One thing I have said to friends is that when I am back running and generally 100% I will 'do something' for a mental health charity so your comments are kindly noted.
06/07/2004 at 20:43
...roll on Cardiff.
07/07/2004 at 10:26

I ran 10 marathons and 2 ultras last year, left me feeling very depleted - physically and mentally. Picked up an injury at Snowdonia that resulted in a two-month lay off and each time I've tried to return to running since have broken down with problems with calfs, hamstring and achilles. Confidence has taken a knock as a result. Am about to start a series of yoga classes next week - need to try something (anything!) to help improve core strength and stability and most importantly flexibility and alignment. Hope all turns out well for you and you're back bounding along enjoying your running again before too long.
07/07/2004 at 10:43
Ian, the 'laccy band idea can from a clinical psychologist, I guess its along the CBT riute that you talked about, changing your behaviours through changing your thinking patterns, then again its probably more behaviourist than anything else now I come to think about it....
07/07/2004 at 11:21
See you at Cardiff Ian

I am in preparation for the Half Marathon, The finish goes in the Stadium is a side step to the left, step to right and over the line (scott gibbs style against england :-)

Does anyone the sytle of Yoga most associated with relaxation?
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