How does the concept of “Hot Yoga” appeal to you? It’s different and it’s very relevant from several perspectives for runners.
Background. Most runners are too strongly married to running that they can’t think of workouts beyond it. Maybe the occasional gym/strength session but it’s usually running and more running. While this is fine from the “Rule of Specificity” perspective, it does create certain issues. Running is a “linear” activity, with one foot placed ahead of the other. And most running is done on road. As a result, most runners typically have poor stability strength with some muscles getting over-developed/used, and some other less so. If this carries on for too long, it is inevitable that problems will arise.
As amateur runners, we need to consider our long term health and so don’t need muscle imbalance that will cause injuries in the short term, postural issues in the medium term and health problems in the long term.
What every Runner needs.
- Sufficient flexibility to allow for proper opening of our strides
- Sufficient stability of the core, hips and foot to optimize transfer of energy through the entire running motion
- Sufficient strength in the glutes to drive the body up and forward
How to define “Sufficient”
Be smart and get a proper assessment done by a good Physiotherapist. There are specific tests and these are based on objective criteria to define limitations in your tissue length and flexibility, and uncover your neuromuscular coordination deficits, muscle dominance patterns and strength limitations.
Hot Yoga for runners.
Besides the mental benefits of Yoga, on a physical level it restores balance and symmetry to the body, making it the perfect complement to running. I won’t get into the details of the benefits but expound on “hot yoga”.
Hot Yoga are usually 90-minute classes of 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises done in a room heated to 40 degrees C, with 40 percent humidity. For the sake of practicality, a Yoga Teacher may adapt and have you workout in thermals so as to mimic a hot room. Done properly, not only will you improve on your flexibility-stability-strength but you get used to working out in heat. And quickly learn to relax while experiencing it as well. For runners residing in cooler clime and training for SCMM, this latter aspect is a welcome benefit.
What do Runners practicing Hot Yoga have to say?
“These sessions are not only helping simulate Mumbai conditions but are helping my flexibility as the higher body temperature enables me to stretch more” shares Karishma Babbar. “When my mentor suggested hot yoga classes, I was perplexed thinking it was a typo error. But now after a few sessions I find the rhythmic yogic poses in heated conditions are improving my endurance and helping flush out toxins”, adds Joy Shakadwipee. And Dipanjan Chakraborty says, “After some initial apprehension, I am a converted believer”.
All these three runners are from Gurgaon, in training for SCMM’17 and doing their hot yoga classes at Bomiso Gym, Good Earth City Center, Sector 50, Gurgaon.
Just a final word to consult with your doctor before considering hot yoga as there is some element of risk
By Ashok Nath for Wellthy.Fit
Popular as Ash Nath, “Ash” is a running evangelist who undertakes 2-day workshops on proper Running Form & Training. And, on a selective basis, he mentors “30” runners nationwide to achieve their dreams. Incidentally Ash is an 8 time Boston Marathon qualifier!