Yoga vs. Running

As many of you know, I am currently in the midst of a running hiatus. I spent the entire summer training for two marathons – Chicago and New York – and ran them back to back in one month.

I am sure you can imagine, that I am a tad burnt out from pounding the pavement multiple times a week for training runs.

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I mentioned a few days ago my winter plans for working out that doesn’t involve running –  my new aim is to focus on yoga, Pilates and strength training!

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This week was my first two week trying something new – hot yoga – and while has been so very different from my running experience, it has been amazing! I swear I have never sweat so much in my entire life as I have sweat in an hour and a half of hot yoga!

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It has been a tad weird leaving my running shoes at home, but I am sure they are just as excited for this break from running as I am!

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I think it is pretty clear that I like various aerobic exercises, specifically running. I love the fact that with proper training, I can push my body to tackle mileage I never thought I could reach. I also like the focus on aerobic exercises to maintain a strong and healthy heart, which is very important!

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I enjoy strength training exercises, like yoga, which aim to keep my muscles and bones strong. I also enjoy the focus on flexibility and stretching my body to new limits. Like reaching new miles in running, I enjoy being able to hold a new yoga position longer the more I practice.

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For me, practicing yoga is a new challenge for me. I used to do it very frequently and I always felt strong, flexible and hardcore. I want to get back to my true yogini self!

I do find it very strange that while I could probably go out and run 26.2 miles (if I needed to) right now, I can’t hold down dog for more than 30 seconds without my arms wanting to fall off! How is that possible?

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One reason for my yoga motivation lately are the amazing deals that I have been taking advantage of! Except for the race fees, running is basically free – yoga and Pilates on the other hand can get pretty pricey. I plan on taking advantage of as many Groupon and Living Social deals as possible

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Jackson loves when I am in the yoga groove because he loves laying on my yoga mat whenever I leave it on the floor.

Down Dog.

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Blink.

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This is one happy puppy. He is a yoga master for sure!

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Different exercises have different purposes and to be truly fit we have to work our bodies out in different ways. I know I can only benefit from being more flexible and stretching more in my yoga practice – I need to do a better job of incorporating both running and yoga into my workouts!

Are you a runner or a yogi? Which do you prefer to do?

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Speaking of Living Social Deals – the Philadelphia Deal for the day is at RowZone  – Anyone care to join me for a rowing workout? My upper body needs some serious strength training work!

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17 Comments

  • Reply Jaclyn (ananda prana) November 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    When I first started to lose weight, I thought running was the only answer.

    It helped, but I felt like something was missing. Yoga has really been an amazing thing for me – as a former dancer I get the stretching I loved, plus strength training and mediation all in one!

    Glad you are enjoying hot yoga so far 🙂

  • Reply asplashofhappy November 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    i love doing yoga and like you i love running. i have found that practicing yoga HELPS my running immensely. not only does it make you stronger but it helps you mentally!

  • Reply Just Me November 18, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I tried Yoga and found that I didnt really feel like it helped "lengthen or tone' me. Maybe I was doing it wrong, but I prefer the elliptical or something like Zumba if i need a more fun activity. I haven't tried Hot Yoga, but when it gets so hot in the gym I can feel my energy being sucked out of me, I dont know about the whole Hot Yoga craze. it will be interesting to follow you doing that.

  • Reply Natalie November 18, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Hi! I've been reading your blog for a bit, first time commenting though!

    Have you ever been to the rowing place before? I saw that coupon and was thinking about doing it but I can't decide how I feel about rowing.

    I did the Anajali yoga studio deal too- but I haven't been yet because I currently have a month unlimited at philly power yoga that I am waiting to use up before I use the other deal(which I LOVE btw.)

  • Reply Shannon @ Philadelphia Phitness Pharmacy November 18, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I love hot yoga. I've been attending classes at Philly Power Yoga on 20th and Walnut the past few weeks. When you're done with your groupon/living social passes you should definitely try it! Maybe we can meet up for a class!

  • Reply Elisabeth November 18, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    FYI, check out Dealmap. It maps out all the current deals for your city, so you can get 1 email with all the deals instead of however many you sign up for. In additon to Groupon and Living Social, I've also used YouSwoop and DealOn. Dealmap has all of them, so it might be worth it to sign up! Take care!

  • Reply WannabeRunner November 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    I have always wanted to try hot yoga, but am really scared of it! One of these days i will conquer the fear. 🙂

  • Reply Teamarcia November 18, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    You and I are in the same place. I call it my runnbatical. I used to do waay more yoga but somehow it fell to the wayside. trying to get back to it now.

  • Reply runningphoodie November 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Hmm, I don't think you should be feeling it in your arms when you do down dog. Try shifting your weight up and back?

  • Reply RunningOnCoffee November 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Just running; would like to get back into yoga though because I feel like I have lost all flexibility. Last time I did yoga was as a gym class credit in college…probably 7 or 8 years ago. I have a pilates DVD that I have used periodically since then, but not so much.

    I'll have to check out Dealmap!

  • Reply Valerie from Love and Running November 19, 2010 at 12:09 am

    I am definitely a RUNNER, but I have been trying to incorporate yoga into my schedule. At least 3xs a week! I do love yoga i'm just not flexible at all LOL but it truly has improved my running!

  • Reply Marilyn @ Lipgloss and Spandex November 19, 2010 at 1:37 am

    I love running. But sometimes I burn out on it too. In addition to being a workout that I enjoy, yoga's helped me a lot with my flexibility and balance, and I do think that's made me a better runner as well. And, it has really helped me be a calmer person. I haven't done hot yoga yet, but want to give it a try sometime soon! (I do the yoga classes at my gym).

  • Reply FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com November 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Hot yoga makes me dizzy, but I do enjoy normal yoga. It's just stretching 🙂

  • Reply sfauthor November 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Nice posting. Do you know about these hatha yoga books?

    http://www.yogavidya.com/freepdfs.html

  • Reply Megs November 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    HAve you tried Bikram Yoga Philadelphia? Its amazing. Its on sansom st right next to the oyster house!!

  • Reply ladypurpl November 24, 2010 at 4:28 am

    I think you have a good combination for strengthening and aerobic activity with Yoga and Running. Your body definitely deserves a break, so focus on yoga – you'll start to hurt in other ways! Love that Jackson on your mat – I just want to eat him!

  • Reply Kim @ Life Analytical June 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I LOVE yoga, but I find that I only get the full effects if I go to a class, because if I do it at home I end up losing focus or taking it easy. This gets very expensive. The best deal at my studio for as often as I’d like to go is $85 for a month of unlimited classes, which works out to be only about $7 a class as long as I’m going at least three times a week, but still.. that’d be over a thousand dollars a year if I did it every month. So I typically go to class once a week and then practice at home most days to save money, but it’s so not the same. I’m now trying to take up running because I already have plenty of clothes appropriate for running and an iPod to keep me company, so good shoes would really be the only expense. Plus I hate all aerobic exercise except dancing, so I figure my heart etc would probably like it if I did some more. I have to say though ..I absolutely do not love it yet.

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