Going with the Yoga Running Flow: Yoga Heals Injuries

Here is my second Article for Fitness Goop. Check it out let me know what you think.

If you are a runner or an athlete, life may throw you a curve ball. The important part is how you react to this curveball. Injuries are an unfortunate but common occurrence with runners. Yoga can help move the healing process along. From a yogic standpoint, going with the flow means to modify as things change, on and off the mat. When our circumstances change, we must make conscious decisions about how we can continue to flow, even with the changes. Healing the injury is very important. Relaxing and trusting the whole process is even more important.

The meaning of yoga is to “yoke” or to unite. In the physical asana yoga practice, the mind, body and breath are united. When working through an injury, every time you stand on your mat try and set an intention to focus on your breath, listen to your body, and be open to taking child’s pose if needed. The movement with breath becomes meditative and healing on many levels – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. This is where yoga can come into play. Yoga helps to calm the body mind and nervous system. It also helps to slowly stretch the body in a safe environment. Most importantly, it teaches students to be present in the moment by listening to the breath.

Yoga benefits athletes physically as it builds strength, endurance, stamina and also increases flexibility. It also teaches you to breathe more efficiently, improves mental focus, and helps you to stay calm and centered during challenging situation. Being in a space were you are practicing postures and being encouraged to drop the performance based process, helps athletes really ground their bodies in the moment. Here are a few things to remember as a beginner student or an athlete working through an injury.

1. Introduce yourself to the teacher and explain your injury thoroughly.

2. The body is trying to heal so choose a more restorative class such as yin, or flow, as opposed to power or hot.

3. Listen, listen, and listen to your body. You know your body better than the instructor, if something does not feel right, skip it.

4. Use the students in the room as a guide not competition. Follow them to improve the technique of the poses, not depth.

5. Enjoy the breath. Listen closely to the breath, as it is an amazing tool to guide you through the poses. If you’re breathing heavily, chances are you have gone too far in a pose.

Yoga helps to calm the body, mind, and the nervous system. It also helps to slowly stretch the body in a safe environment. Most importantly, it teaches to be present in the moment by listening to the breath. You will learn in class, that we cannot control the things that happen around us. However, we can control our breath and our reactions. The next time life throws you a curve ball pause, take a deep breath, and unroll your yoga mat.

‘The wise man lets go of all results, whether good or bad, and is focused on the action alone. Yoga is skill in actions.’ – Bhagavad Gita