A Marriage Made in Nirvana: Why Yoga and Running are a Perfect Pairing
It's never a question of can you, but will you?
In case you thought that yoga was an esoteric exercise reserved for orange-robed priests, middle-aged women and those who want to stick to the floor rather than jumping around during an aerobic fitness program, it could shock you to learn that there’s no better pairing of activities than running and yoga!
Grab the chance to do both at the upcoming YOLO Run 2016, where you’ll have an opportunity to help victims of breast cancer get a second chance at life. There’s only one mandate: You must go shirtless!
What does YOLO stand for? You Only Live Once. But women who survive cancer are given a second chance at life thanks to Breast Reconstruction Awareness Singapore, a nonprofit devoted to serving women electing to have breast reconstruction surgery and the organisation’s symbolic gestures include leading a drive to donate sports bras to women who want to run after their surgery.
This race not only gives runners a chance to earn personal bests, entitlements, prizes and rewards, but you can experience for yourself what it’s like to add yoga to your cross-training menu at a rejuvenating mass outdoor yoga session that could convince you the two are a great match.
Do both. Shirtless. And collect a yoga mat as part of the entitlement you receive for participating at the yogathon.
9 benefits yoga bestows upon runners
- Not only does yoga improve flexibility, but aches and pains you suffer when you train too hard can be mediated or vanish if you make some yoga moves. In particular, tight hips impact knee joints when a body is no longer in alignment and if you’re no stranger to tight hamstrings, some yoga can help you become more limber.
- Yoga builds muscle strength. You’ll notice the difference next time you cross-train with weights if you add yoga moves to your regular routine. Your balance will also be improved if you practice yoga because poor posture can lead to painful knee problems.
- Your posture will thank you. Even on days you do nothing more strenuous than carry your head around, posture can be a casualty of intensive running. Master select yoga moves and your spine gets a boost, fatigue diminishes and degenerative arthritis may be moderated or forestalled.
- Your cartilage and joints will say thank you, too. Full range of motion is achievable thanks to yoga moves that squeeze and soak cartilage with fluids that keep it supple. Take your cartilage for granted and the underlying bone is going to wear out faster and more painfully, perhaps even affecting your running capacity.
- Speaking of bone, you need yours in great shape if you hope to get to race finish lines in record time. Since some yoga postures force runners to lift their own weights, bone density is strengthened, stress levels dissipate (thanks to a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol), and yoga even helps bones retain calcium.
- Proper blood flow is essential to the running body for numerous reasons. Yoga improves the rate of blood pumped between the legs and pelvis to the heart, thereby oxygenating the lungs more robustly. That blood carries oxygen to tissues in your arms and legs. Practicing yoga even boosts haemoglobin and red blood cell levels.
- Focus is one of the qualities a runner must possess to keep an eye on the finish line during practice or marathons. Yoga is famously known for its ability to help a practitioner improve focus, coordination, reaction time and memory. You already know that running requires focus, so this aspect of yoga is particularly valuable.
- Competitors who have run into gastrointestinal tract issues while attending marathons can even reduce the number of incidents that competitors to take frequent toilet breaks. All sorts of GI issues have been known to disappear as a result of stress-reducing yoga moves that help push waste through the system properly.
- The acquisition of techniques that give one peace of mind, easier sleep, less frustration, anger and fear are all found in the principles of yoga. A relaxed runner is less at risk for injury and illnesses, and yoga is a well-known antidote for pain eradication and mood improvement that can even quell the need for medication.
Make it a double date!
What makes YOLO different from other Singapore running events? It’s both a runathon and a yogathon!
The 5km and 10km runs will kick off at the Bay East Garden/Gardens by the Bay at 7:00 a.m. on 22nd October 2016, and while the shorter distance is a Fun Run, the 10km is competitive, so runners receive timing chips to assure accurate time tracking.
Those who arrive at the finish line first qualify for three prizes: a S$150 2XU product voucher goes to the third place winner, the second place finisher receives a S$300 product voucher and the grand prize of S$500 will be collected by the star of the show.
For those who have taken part in previous YOLO events, you know that sponsor Manduka attracts huge crowds of men and women eager to contribute to breast cancer awareness and reconstruction as they put their yoga moves on display during this serene and contemplative event.
Facilitated by Liv Lo of Mindful Stretching, the rejuvenating outdoor mass yoga session has a limited number of slots, so if you're eager to take part in this event, why wait?
You can register right now at Spacebib, then show up and learn a few moves guaranteed to improve everything about your running and, according to yoga enthusiasts, you might even learn to live a more tranquil and richer life off the track!
Do you like the idea of enhanced running events; YOLO-like marathons that give participants opportunities to engage in more than one physical activity?