What are people's thoughts on Yoga as it pertains to helping or hindering a running program?
This morning I went to my first PowerFlow Yoga session. From what I've read it's supposed to be a bit more focused on strength building than other types of Yoga. What appeals to me is basically the core and balance development that looks like might come out of it. I'm generally of the belief that looseness/flexibility does not translate to lower injury rates. So I'm not doing it for that reason per se. Actually I've read that some beleive too much flexibility can be harmful to runners.
In any event I'd be interested in other people's thoughts: Do you do Yoga and, if so, how has it impacted your running? If you don't do it, and especially if you have, why did you stop?
I do Vinyasa yoga and have recently gotten into Yin yoga (for flexibility). Since I've done Vinyasa yoga longer, I can say that it helped me straighten my posture and strengthen my core. How fast, slow, or intense Vinyasa flow is really depends on the instructor. I have one instructor who loves to power through it, while another one who focuses on slow movements. Prior to doing yoga, I wasn't very strong, so I'm happy with the results.
Of course, it took a while for me to start noticing results, and I was doing yoga 2-3 times per week and now do it once per week. Another added benefit has to do with my feet. Since I have flat feet (which hurt when I run), I find that yoga is slowly helping my feet become more flexible. Both my instructors, for instance, like to have us spend a lot of time in "downward dog" and bicycle our feet.
If there are others out there who run and practice yoga, I'd love to know what's helped you and how often you practice.