Yoga for Runners, by Lexie Williamson
Review by Jennifer Lu’Becke and Cat Croteau
This book couldn’t have arrived at a more perfect time in my life as I am training for my first full marathon. I tend not to take the time to stretch after running and I know I should. I spent a year working one-on-one with a yoga teacher and felt the amazing benefits, but my brain is currently in run mode. All I want to do is run, run, run! As I log in my mileage—I realize that balance is key to prevent injury—and I WANT to run this race more than anything! Yoga for Runners to the rescue!
Lexie Williamson is a British Wheel of Yoga and Yoga Sports Science instructor specializing in yoga for runners and cyclists. She works one-on-one with athletes and also teaches workshops in Surrey and London. Williamson has written for magazines including Runner’s World, Triathlete’s World, Cycling Fitness, and Outdoor Fitness. She has also written the book, Yoga for Cyclists, which I will review in the future.
According to Williamson some of the benefits of yoga for runners include yoga as a “prehab.” She suggests using yoga as cross-training to help prevent injuries. Yoga also provides techniques to harness the mind and to stay mentally focused—which is key to a great run. Yoga can provide training for endurance breathing. I can attest to this. Yoga has helped my running breath significantly. Yoga also contributes to strengthening the core and helps improve balance, promoting better posture and optimizing recovery.
Doing yoga is a perfect training partner for running. I highly recommend Lexie Williamson’s book for runners because it is designed specifically for them. Yoga for Runners is laid out well, with photos to demonstrate each pose and yoga sequence. I specifically like how Williamson shows a pose and then includes information on which muscles that pose targets plus how to perform the pose and with how many breathes. She also mentions the results one should see in their running by practicing said pose and includes an advanced version of the pose and how to modify it.
My fellow-reviewer, Cat Croteau also read Williamson’s book and has the following to say about it.
Yoga for Runners is a straightforward, boiled down look at yoga as a series of postures or stretches to help your body and mind prepare for and recover from running. While I missed the Eastern influence and spirituality that often times goes hand in hand with doing yoga, I can appreciate the basic breakdown of various postures and Lexie Williamson’s attempt to make yoga appeal to a variety of people. In truth, no matter why you practice, yoga it is a great tool to help your body avoid energy by becoming more flexible and strong while also expanding your breathing ability. Williamson has created a training manual-style book that takes away the mysticism of yoga and gives everyone a chance to explore and enjoy yoga for its many benefits.
Next time you finish a run, slip off your running shoes, grab Yoga for Runners, and roll out your mat!