Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Yoga for Ultra Runners

Yoga is an integral part of my life as an athlete and as a person. I practice so that I can rest in Shavasana at the end and visualize my life as I want it to be: my body, mind, spirit. Through my daily practice of power vinyasa yoga, I have become stronger than ever before in my life. I believe it has helped me become more mentally tough in ultras and flexible in life. I usually choose to practice hot vinyasa yoga. The intense sweating is an incredible detoxifier, warms the muscles making them more flexible, and provides the side benefit of heat training for ultra marathons. On a mental level, hot yoga helps me feel very calm, relieves stress and allows me to connect to my body and the rest of the world through flowing breath, heat, and asanas.

These probably sound like incredible benefits, and they are undoubtably amazing. I think the power of yoga is in the daily practice. Doing yoga once a week will certainly benefit you, but it is unlikely to bring the same magical benefits as a daily practice. I practice vinyasa power yoga anywhere from 5 to 12 hours of yoga a week, depending on where I am in my training schedule. I do less yoga in the 2 weeks before a 100 mile race. I do the most yoga when I am doing slightly lower running mileage 35-70 miles a week) but when I am still 3-8 weeks away from an event. I've included some links to a few of my yoga-inspired articles, tutorials and interviews as well as some informational links for anyone who may be interested in trying (or expanding) their yoga practice.

My tutorial on How to Do a Yoga Headstand for Ultra Runners:

Bridge Pose and Wheel Pose for Runners, Tutorial: 


Racing ultra marathons with high volume yoga trainingHURT 100 Race Report
PodcastUltra Runner Podcast, Candice Burt Interview

Yoga Inspired Posts:
Resistance to Life
Using Discomfort for Change: How the Worst Yoga Class Changed my Life

What I practice:
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
Power Yoga
Hot Yoga

1 comment:

  1. Candice, thanks for the entertainment and inspiration! I thought I might mention some other aspects of yoga that I find carry over to ultras. Mula Bandha: although I would have trouble explaining how to do it, I think Richard Freeman does a great job in his videos. The "root lock" makes me feel lighter, smoother, and is a great cue for running form. Mantra: no, nothing esoteric in sanskrit. Just simple little phrases repeated to remind ones self of...whatever you need to overcome. I don't say them outloud, but playing them over and over in the brain shuts out the negative. My favorite lately is "climb with the spine" to correct my posture going up steep hills. - Happy Trails!


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