Algarve Spring Training Camp with 209
12th April 2019
Running Posture is important
4th July 2019
Algarve Spring Training Camp with 209
12th April 2019
Running Posture is important
4th July 2019

Why runners should do yoga.

 What is sports yoga?

“Sports Yoga is whole-body flexibility and functional movement training. It’s inspired by yoga and centred on what the sport or individual athlete requires to improve performance and avoid injury”

The idea is to keep you moving fluidly, building a stronger you - not just flexibility in muscles that feel tight from running but whole-body flexibility, core work and improved functional movement.


Training specifically to a sport requirement without a holistic approach may isolate development to individual muscle groups and can leave out parts (joints, fascia and other connective tissues) necessary for healthy functional movement.  Working with groups and individuals, range of motion can be improved to improve freedom of movement and decrease muscular tension for example.

  • Waking up hypotonic (sleepy) muscles and calming those in a hypertonic (over-active) state.  This can be through regular Sports Yoga routines and poses as part of preparation for regular exercise, warming up and/or warming down.
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Sports Yoga can help reduce the effect of chronic injuries and improve recovery.  Some injuries are unavoidable - if you trip up or fall over its generally going to hurt a bit!

  • By providing variety in loading the various muscle and joint groups. This can also allow the tissue (within limits) to have a bounce-back factor through improved elasticity.

In Sportsyoga we are looking to develop and re-balance three key areas - Stability, Strength and Flexibility to enable :

  • Correct movement patterning
  • Core stability to support (amongst other things) pelvis and back
  • Skeletal/Muscle balance & alignment
  • Improved stride length
  • Reduced injury.   The most common complaints when running are calf, Achilles and knee. It is important to promote mobility and activate the right muscles and joints.

These three areas can improve performance and range of motion by helping muscular fitness and flexibility and avoid and/or recover from injuries.

  • Strength (to drive the body forward).  Strengthening can help improve alignment and correct imbalances in healthy muscles.  Emphasis is on rotational, core, hip and lower leg strength to keep pelvis and lower joints in a good place.
  • Stability : could be seen as creating a platform for the body to operate from - an anchor that forms the basis of successful movement. Strength throughout the chain of movement is key.
  • Flexibility : paying attention to the ability of the body to stretch through exercises (such as Sports yoga) can maintain capacity to exercise, realign mis-aligned joints and improve posture.   Relaxing muscles that are tight by allowing them to elongate through relatively passive and low resistance moves and increase range of motion is a key focus.

Sportsyoga works on either a group or individual level.  The programmes are designed by Sportsyoga accredited teachers around an individual's and/or group’s requirements andthe sport they participate in.  This is achieved through specific muscle tests to assess range of motion as well as yoga based exercise to improve the three key areas of strength, stability and flexibility.  Routines can be as long as an hour or as short as 10/15 minutes!  I trained with Sarah Ramsden who is well know for training Ryan Giggs and more widely for introducing Sportsyoga across a number of professional sports and other disciplines.

Think of Sports Yoga as part of a wider training programme…

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Time spent in a regular programme of stretching (and strengthening) is future proofing performance and will keep you running !!

Shirley is a qualified yoga teacher and qualified Sportsyoga teacher with Yoga Alliance Professions working in Crowborough and surrounding areas.  She runs a Sportsyoga class each Saturday morning in Crowborough. For more information please visit