Today, I’m honored to share interviews of three Run Away from Zombies readers. Trelle, Maxwell, and Rheanna have recently picked up yoga to compliment their long-distance running programs.
Meet Trelle, Maxwell, and Rheanna
Trelle began a consistent yoga program in December with a small yoga group on the beach. After her free-spirited teacher moved away, she joined a larger group at Texas Yoga Flow. She also does private lessons to meet her running-specific needs.
For her first half marathon, Trelle is fundraising for childhood cancer research through the Scott Carter Foundation. You can help her reach her goal by donating here.
Maxwell lives in Georgia and seeks physical, mental, and emotional benefits from yoga. He began yoga through Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge on YouTube. He completed his first half marathon last year, and is now training for a full marathon.
An avid hiker and runner in the Pacific North West, Rheanna uses yoga purely as opportunity to stretch and to support her active lifestyle. She uses YouTube yoga videos catered to beginners and to runners. You can read Rheanna’s Running, Travels, and Trails blog here.
Q&A: Runners Try Yoga
1. Why did you try yoga?
Rheanna: I decided to try yoga because I kept hearing about the benefits. I had a few close friends who had started doing it and they all loved it. At the time I started looking into it, I was dealing with an IT band injury and had a lot of tight muscles in general. I figured adding yoga to my stretching routine could only help.
Trelle: I began yoga to help stretch and strengthen my whole body after running. I knew I would be running longer and faster than I ever had, so getting professional guidance in this area was specifically what I was looking forward to.
Maxwell: The first time I tried yoga was in response to feeling significant anxiety. I was trying to create some space away from that anxiety.
2. Were you nervous about trying yoga?
Trelle: I was a little nervous about starting, mostly because I am completely blind. I wasn’t sure that the instructor would be able to talk me into the poses in a way that did not distract from the group class. This was not the case. He actually could talk me RIGHT into any pose, including inversions!
Maxwell: I tend to have a competitive personality and have high expectations of myself. So, I was nervous that I would fail and not be as flexible as “required” to pursue yoga.
Rheanna: I wasn’t nervous to start yoga, but if I ever decide to go to an actual yoga class, I will be nervous!
3. Have you noticed any benefits to your running?
Rheanna: I think yoga has helped my running by loosening up tight muscles that were creating problems for me and causing me to shorten some of my runs or take more rest days.
Maxwell: Before yoga, there were times I felt I was dragging or pulling my legs along while running. With a consistent yoga practice, my legs feel light and free. I am no longer fighting my body to keep moving forward. My injuries have been getting better gradually. I give some credit to yoga for that.
Trelle: I feel like it makes me stronger, more flexible, and I recover faster. It also helps me control and regulate my breathing.
4. What is your favorite yoga pose?
Trelle: My favorite poses are deep hip stretches like Pigeon, and inversions like head stands or Crow.
Rheanna: Some of my favorite poses are downward dog, the pigeon pose, and the pyramid pose. I usually have tight calves, hamstrings, and hips, so those poses help a lot.
Maxwell: My favorite pose is child’s pose. It is completely relaxing.
5. What advice do you have for others considering yoga?
Maxwell: Consider what your barrier to entry into yoga is. Seriously contemplate it and ask yourself, “Is this barrier real or self-created?” …I highly recommend trying yoga out, even if it’s just at home in private. See what physical and emotional benefits you can notice after a couple of weeks.
Rheanna: Make sure you try many different poses and watch videos from different instructors. There were a few yoga videos that I didn’t like at all, and I started thinking yoga wasn’t for me. I gave it a couple more tries with other videos and finally found a couple that I liked.
Trelle: Do it! Just do it! Especially if you are a runner. It is the most complimentary practice to running that I have found yet.
Runners Try Yoga’s Favorite Resources
YouTube Video: Lesley Fightmaster’s Yoga for Runners
Book: Fierce Medicine: Breakthrough Practices to Heal the Body and Ignite the Spirit by Ana T. Forrest (affiliate link)
iPhone app: Yoga Wake Up by Kamala Collective
What’s your story?
I can hear my story in each of these.
I remember feeling nervous about the poses, vocabulary, and my abilities. After a handful of classes, I confessed to TH, “I don’t think yoga is my thing.”
But then I clicked with those certain teachers, learned pairing ease with effort, and felt the benefits of yoga on my runs.
Thank you three for sharing your starts into yoga with us.
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Ask a runner/yoga question in the comments!
and be sure to check out Trelle’s fundraising page for childhood cancer research.