3 Reasons You Should Start A Regular Yoga Practice

In January, I decided to try a technique one of my book clients — the fabulous Susie Moore — wrote about in Business Insider. The 5AM Club involves getting up at yes, 5 am, and spending the first hour of your day moving, reflecting and growing in 20-minute increments.

Like many of us, I already spend a ton of time working out so I didn’t want to add anything too intense into that first 20 minutes of moving.

But also I felt like walking around getting my coffee ready wasn’t enough.

I wanted to be more intentional.

So I thought, what’s the one thing that I’d like more of in my routine?

I decided on yoga.

I had access to a ton of classes through YogaWorks online (which is super affordable at only $15/month) so I looked for a simple class that was less than 20 minutes long and started practicing every day.

The results were ASTOUNDING.

Here are three reasons every runner should practice yoga on the regular:

Build Lean Muscle

After practicing yoga daily, I felt different so I asked Jon, my personal trainer, for a weigh-in to see where I was at.

Between January and April, I hadn’t lost any weight.

But I had lost 3.45% of my body fat, meaning that I converted that fat to muscle. Given that lean muscle is what makes us faster and fitter as runners this was a huge win.

And I only had to take 20 minutes out of my day.

Practice Self-Care

Most runners workout hard. We put a lot of physical stress on our bodies. And our lives are busy. Most of us run from one appointment or meeting to another or take care of kids, husbands, parents, co-workers all day. That creates emotional and mental stress.

I’ve found that my 20 minutes on the mat helps me sort out that stress and take a break. Sometimes, I don’t want to practice but afterward I’m always glad I did.

Dedicating 20 minutes for yoga can give ourselves some much needed love and time for ourselves. Also, if you need a reason to escape everyone for a little while, this is a great excuse. Blame me — your run coach says that you have to do yoga.

Stretch Tight Muscles

I got yelled at once by a yoga teacher because she was frustrated that my hips were not flexible enough to do certain poses (which sounds bad but it was really, really funny I swear!)

Runners are notoriously tight.

We can all benefit from more stretching, especially in our legs, and that’s a lot of what level 1 yoga is. This is my favorite “stretchy” practice on Yogaworks.

As a run coach who truly believes in the power of holistic — mind/body/spirit — training, I know firsthand — and from my clients — that yoga and mindfulness practices make us better runners.

And you don’t have to be a hardcore yogi to get benefits.

You don’t even have to practice everyday.

Try this:

Practice 15 minutes (or more) of yoga three times a week for a month.

You can practice first thing in the morning like I do, after your runs or at night — or at whatever time works for you.

You can do yoga while watching your kids or petting your dog (mine insists on it).

There’s no “wrong” way to do yoga.

I swear, because if there was I’d obviously be doing it.

I made a mellow AF yoga teacher lose her temper!

Try yoga three times a week for 30 days.

If you love it, let me know.

And if you hate it, let me know too!

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P.S. You know I’m into mindfulness practices like yoga, but did you know I also LOVE giving less fucks?

True story.

Next week, I’m starting a FREE Give Less Fucks challenge — join here!