If you would have asked me a few years ago about yoga - I would have said that it was a fad workout for people who don't want to "really" work out. Well - I was wrong. Kendra started me on yoga while we were dating - although I didn't start going regularly until this summer.
Here are the reasons that it's good for a runner to do yoga.
1) It's a full body workout. There are plenty of muscles that are not used while running. Overtime that can make you more susceptible to injuries. During a challenging yoga session you work pretty much every muscle group in your body.
2) It's a balance of strength and stretching. Heavy miles can make muscles shorter and less elastic. Yoga helps to keep muscles flexible - which again can help to prevent injuries.
3) Yoga helps the body rid itself of toxins. I'm not an expert here - but, some of the poses are supposed to help to force toxins out of your organs and muscles. "Hot" versions of yoga help with this even more because you are sweating constantly.
4) Focus on posture and breathing. When I'm running my best my mind usually flows between two thoughts - making sure that my breathing is full and relaxed - and making sure that my body is relaxed, upright, and that my stride is in a good rhythm (not too short or too long). Yoga is the same way - making sure that you are breathing correctly and that the postures are strong, but relaxed.
5) Being in the moment. Yoga helps to train the mind to focus on the moment rather than what happened earlier in the day or last week - or what you have to do tomorrow. It's hard to race well if you're stressing about something else.
6) It doesn't disrupt training. I've done 90 minute hot yoga sessions the same day as 2 hour runs. It's challenging, but you can still do the yoga - and it helps to flush out all the bad stuff you built up during the run.
Well - I'd write more - but, I gotta get running to the sunday night community yoga class at Charm City!