Mary Baum

Yoga For Runners Workshop

I have a confession to make. I’ve mentioned it a few times is the past couple of weeks. My hamstring – it’s killing me. I haven’t had a genuinely good workout in over 4 weeks – my pace has been all over the place, and my stride is shortened. Every time that I get out for a run, it takes me a solid 10 minutes to just warm up, and even then, I’m running through pain. I hurt it last year at the 1Day Relay, and then re aggravated it a few weeks at our multisport day. I’m going to take the next couple of weeks to really stretch and see if it will start to heal, and then re-evaluate my goal finishing time for Chicago. I am definitely running it, I’m just not so sure if I am going to be able to keep that 3:30 goal. I need to be honest with myself (and smart), and I’m not sure if my body can handle that stress right now.

I was telling my friend Dee about my issue, and she recommended that I check out a local yoga studio’s workshop. She gave me the flyer, and as soon as I saw the name of it, I knew I was going to be signing up!

A yoga class that focused solely on runners?! Heck yes! I signed up online a few weeks ago, and Sunday was finally the day of the workshop! I was super pumped to attend, as I am willing to do just about anything (within reason of course) to get this hamstring pain to go away. I showed up to class and was surprised to see how many people I recognized just from my normal running route. It looks like we were all ready for some good runner’s yoga!!

The instructor told us to grab 2 blocks, a blanket (???), a strap, and this other pillow thing – yep, that’s the technical term ;) I grabbed all of my things, and I was ready to go!

Caroline Almon was our amazing instructor. She was a competitive runner who competed in high school, college, and professionally at the Olympic Trials! She was incredibly knowledgeable about running, yoga, and everywhere in between. I was sure to let her know about my hamstring before class started, and she was great about helping to modify certain poses so that I did not aggravate it even more. She explained every pose, and was great about hitting on the different scientific terms for which part of our body it affected. I really loved her approach. She asked us to think about how each section of the practice related to the following:

  • Balance
  • Strength & Flexibility
  • Awareness
  • Recovery

I had never had yoga broken down like this for me, so having the different poses explained in such a way with each category really clicked in my mind. Caroline mentioned how as athletes we always want to push ourselves with workouts that are cardiovascular & intense, and that it is just as important to attend yoga to help to keep your body from injury. I am taking note – more yoga, less injuries!!

The workshop was a full 2 hours, but it flew by! We did so many amazing poses, and really focused on hamstrings & hips – the areas that plague most runners. I think I will be buying myself a block, along with a good yoga strap to be able to hold the poses deeper and in my range of flexibility (which will hopefully increase!!). Oh, and if you are wondering what the blanket was for – Caroline recommended that people with tight hips use it when sitting in certain poses to help support the hips and lower back. I had never seen that before, so though that maybe some of you haven’t either ;)

This was my first time to Bella Prana Yoga Studio, and I definitely plan to be back. The environment was great, and the staff was awesome too! I had an amazing experience at this workshop, and learned so much that I plan to take back with me. I am committing to 10 minutes of yoga a day. I believe this kind of stretching will really help to heal my hamstring. Only time will tell!!

Have you ever been to a running specific workshop? Anyone else ever suffer from hamstring issues? What did you do to help heal it?



4 Responses

  1. MizFit
    MizFit August 13, 2012 at 10:23 am |

    I love my yoga for runners DVD. Soooo so helps my poor hammies!!

  2. MegG
    MegG August 13, 2012 at 10:40 am |

    My relationship with yoga is not a good one. I’ve yet to find a teacher I really love, but your experience gives me hope that they’re out there! I’ve seen yoga for runners classes in my area, but have yet to sign up, I would really like the teacher to have been a serious runner like yours. It sounds like it was the right thing for you to do for your body!

  3. Lana
    Lana August 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm |

    Checkout these sites:
    1. – they have a FREE yoga for runners class that you can download (Dawnell Something is the teacher). It will be awkward the first time because it is only audio..but its actually a good class!

    2. – 15 day free trial with classes grouped by time/style/etc…that way you can pick a 10 minutes class if that’s all the time you have!

    Cheers to a fast recovery!


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