Around six years ago, I was about to complete a challenge that I had set for myself, and that was to finish 35 marathons and five ultra marathons in the space of five years.
In the last year or so before I completed this, I found that I wasn’t bouncing back as quickly after my running training or events. I was getting really tight and sore and my ligaments were hurting but after mentioning it to a friend, they suggested that I should try yoga.
I happened to sign up to Kate Kendall’s class (we later founded Flow Athletic together) and I found that not only my recovery, but also my time and performance improved significantly from doing two yoga sessions per week. I still practise to this day and I have never looked back
While a decade ago yoga was considered to be ‘hippie’, and slightly intimidating, there’s no denying that despite the odds, yoga has become one of the most popular ways to train. In fact according to 2016 research, yoga is the fastest growing fitness activity in Australia, with participation figures doubling since 2008 and for good reason!
Here are some reasons to include yoga into your week if you enjoy running:
As you tend to hold poses for a while in yoga (depending on the style of class), it helps you build up your strength.
It is also great for balance, flexibility, mobility and mental endurance, all of which are needed if you were to be participating in any endurance event.
There are lots of professional athletes that consider yoga to be a very important part of their training schedule. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for you!
Many people, especially those who are desk bound suffer from poor mobility and range of movement because our muscles and connective tissue become tight and restrictive when we sit all day.
While strength training is important for everyone, if you don’t balance it out, you do risk struggling with the above.
By practicing yoga can improve your flexibility and reduce the risk to a great extent.
A study by the American Council on Exercise found that those who regularly practice Hatha yoga had significantly improved flexibility, muscular strength, endurance and balance. After eight weeks, the group improved their flexibility by 13 percent to 35 percent.
Words by Ben Lucas
Ben is the owner and co- founder of Flow Athletic, an internationally renowned yoga and fitness studio based in Paddington. Prior to a career in fitness, Ben was a professional NRL player for the Cronulla sharks and a number of other teams. After finishing his stint with the NRL, he went on to own three very successful personal training studios and during that time he also turned to Ultra Endurance running. In the space of 5 years, he ran 35 marathons and 5 ultra marathons all over the world. Due to his interest in running, he then went on to train up 101 non- runners to run and complete their first marathon! He was also named one of the 2017 ‘Men of Influence’ by Men’s Style magazine.
Love yoga? Try Flow Athletic’s Silent Yoga Disco!
The next Flow After Dark (silent yoga disco) will be PRIDE themed and it will be taking place on February 28th.
Flow Athletic have hosted a number of incredibly successful events across Australia, so far over 4, 000 people have participated in just twelve months.
The event has an electric atmosphere and is both entertaining for participants and onlookers alike as there is literally a sea of yogis moving in sync with the same intention while making no sound. For participants, it allows them to zone out and enjoy their own practice as they can’t’ hear anyone around them, yet they are part of a community who all have the same intention.
Image via @activeyogi