Yoga is a tool that can help you to be a better athlete. Call it stretching if you don’t like the term “yoga”. Whatever. This discipline will help you to become a better runner and here are 10 reasons why…

  1. It can increase your range of mobility ie it helps you to move well.
  2. You learn to feel where tightness is coming from in your body and where imbalances and weaknesses are- so you can then work on these. It’s about getting your body in balance.
  3. It can bring length back to tight muscles. This is a key to injury prevention.
  4. You’ll discover your core.
  5. You’ll refine your posture – to avoid that slumped over runner’s look after many hard miles. Who has seen their finish line photo and thought they would look amazing, but discover an 100-year-old slumped over Yoda?
  6. Yoga is good for focus. Train the mind better to power you strong in the final miles of a race.
  7. Yogis are strong – in body (and also mind).
  8. It improves balance and stability – this is particularly important when trail running when a twisted ankle is more possible and can ruin your race.
  9. Proprioception – knowing where your limbs are in space. Think about rock hopping in an off-road race, or lifting your feet up around tree roots… one slight misplaced step and, again, your race can be all over.
  10. Your learn breathe work. This can increase your increase of oxygen to muscles and ultimately improve your endurance. Boom!
  11. Yoga helps you to engage muscles. For instance some people don’t use their lazy glutes to run and can just rely on the rest of the body to power them along.
  12. Yogis are strong. They look cute, but they’re kick-ass strong!
  13. Yoga embraces an arm of meditation. Calming your mind and keeping it focused and unwavering in a race is the key to doing better than great in a race.
  14. Yoga helps you sleep well, feel well, live well…
  15. Yoga will help you to iron out niggles so you spend less at the physio. Although some people might have a super cute physio and might not mind spending the money lol.
  16. You can learn mantras. When you are in the final miles of a race it’s your mind, not your legs, that drives you.

Rachel is a wellness expert, qualified yoga + meditation teacher, qualified PT and passionate runner (she has run 25 marathons and can’t remember how many half marathons and 10km events). She’s the author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness, which features 30 global experts on how to live healthier and happier. Order a copy HERE.