January 06, 2014

Yoga for Runners by Christine Felstead

I'm an average runner and an even worse yoga practicer.  I know yoga is supposed to be something where you don't measure how well you're doing, but when after three months you still can't do the simplest of poses for an extended period of time, well, I would think that qualifies as being terrible at it.  Still, I keep trying and thought that this book might help me with soreness after running.

All different levels of yoga practicers can use this book.  It offers a variety of yoga sequences that the advanced user can skip right to, or a beginner can sit down and use the book and learn about each of the poses and the area of the body that they target.  To start with, the authors of the book have sections on a fit body, how running and yoga relate, breathing, and the different types of running injuries.  Then the chapters separate out into different body parts and include diagrams of bones and muscles, different yoga poses that target these areas, and what running injuries you can prevent or alleviate by doing these poses.  In the latter part of the book the sequences dwell and it also gives a section on "Yoga Off the Mat" which includes things you can do to help with sitting at an office job all day.

The overall format of the book is easy to follow.  The chapters are clearly spelled out and the diagrams of the poses have instructions so while you aren't 100% sure you're doing the pose right, you have a general idea of how it is supposed to be performed and where your limbs should be during the pose.  I did enjoy that they put diagrams in of the spine and other body parts to illustrate where the poses were working.  It helped picture how the move should be done.  In fact, the only thing I found rather odd about the whole book was the testimonials on yoga included throughout from various people.  Since I already had the book it seemed weird that they were trying to sell it to me through these testimonials.

I tried Yoga Sequence 2: No Excuses Post-Run after a 6.5 mile trail run that wore me out.  My hope was that it would help prevent some of the aches of the run afterward as I probably shouldn't have been running that long that day.  It took about 6 minutes and the poses were all relatively easy.  Afterwards, I noticed I didn't have any problems with my IT band like I normally do which is a positive thing.  I do still have a few aches a few days later, but I'm attributing these to the normal muscle soreness and not injury.  So while I can't say that this result is all because of the yoga I did afterward, I'm sure it's a contributing factor. I will be trying more sequences as a result of having done this one. 

This is a good book for a runner.  I can't see a non-runner using it very much but maybe a die-hard yoga person who likes to read everything on the subject would enjoy it as well.  With helpful diagrams and useful information, it definitely has a place on a runner's shelf.

Yoga for Runners
Copyright 2014
251 pages

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