As a yoga instructor and lifelong running enthusiast, Sarah Brogdon knows how symbiotic and beneficial incorporating both sports can be. "Running has always been meditative for me, and yoga is a great complement to lengthening and opening the tight muscles involved with running," she says. "It also keeps the mind and attitude flexible."
Sarah teaches some Power Yoga classes which link movement with breath, often in a heated room which allows muscles to open more easily and joints to move more freely. For anyone who is brand new to the practice, Sarah explains that if you only have one hour to get your workout, a Power Yoga class is great bang for your buck. She works with a wide variety of athletes from other sports who benefit from practicing, although for some “it’s a bit of an ego-check initially.”
Yoga requires flexibility and many athletes come to the mat with very tight muscles. They may feel eager to progress to a more advanced variation of a pose, but physical limitations (often tight hamstrings or hips) will keep them in a more simple or basic expression of the pose. “It can be frustrating,” she laughs and adds, “after years of running I had a special disdain for half pigeon and other hip openers.”
Sarah’s had a few breaks from running during two pregnancies but after speaking with her student, one Randy Whorton, the two of them decided to organize a yoga fun run in conjunction with this year's annual RiverRocks festival, considering the sports are so naturally complementary.
Sarah and Randy wanted the event to be open to all levels, as a way for people who are not elite athletes (though they are welcome too!) to participate in the excitement and energy of the RiverRocks festival. They’ve planned a short 2.6 mile run with beginner yoga added on, though more advanced yogis will have the freedom to play as they wish. “I'd like to think we'll have avid runners who haven't done much (or any) yoga, as well as the flip side--yogis who wouldn't normally run except to the raw juice bar... Hopefully, people who don't normally do both will realize what the other activity has to offer, and we might just convert some runners to yogis and vice versa."
The plan for the yoga run is “to stick with basic postures that should feel good on warm muscles after a bit of running. The sessions along the trail will be relatively short (think 10 minutes or less), and standing poses. She’s planning on some standing warrior postures as well as some great balancing poses and openers for the hips, IT bands, etc. “My hope is that our bodies will feel refreshed as we begin jogging toward our next stop. At the end, we'll do a longer (maybe 20-30 minute) practice, and we'll have yoga mats laid out on a huge tarp.”
How can you get ready for the RiverRocks Yoga Run ? Sarah says to bring a mat if you have one, but if you don't, they’ll have some you can use. “We’ll have fun, and we’ll enjoy moving and stretching in the outdoors.”
The event will be held on Sunday, October 12th at 2:00pm at the Reflection Riding Nature Center and Arboretum. It should last about 90 minutes or less. To RSVP, check out the Facebook Event. The address for Reflection Riding is 400 Garden Road, Chattanooga, 37419.