One of my yoga students, “Sara,” does endurance sports. Before her annual summer triathlon, she stops attending yoga classes as she ramps up her training. Time is limited and she believes that “loose” muscles are diminished in strength. Another student, “Chris,” will celebrate her birthday next year by running a marathon. Swimming was her original sport, and she’s a lean mesomorph body type, with tight shoulders and hips. Now that she goes on long runs on Sundays, she’s forgoing her Monday evening yoga class because she needs a post-run “total rest day.” These cases got me thinking about yoga, sports, … Continue reading Mixing yoga and sports
In yoga, it’s an advantage to have stretchy, elastic muscles. Touching the toes is not enough; yogis strive to clasp behind ankles, with forearms hugging calves and forehead pressed low on shins. But is such flexibility good for anything else? In the New York Times‘s Phys Ed column, Gretchen Reynolds wrote an intriguing article, “How Necessary Is Stretching?” on November 25, 2009. She questions the common belief that stretching and maximal flexibility enhance physical fitness. In one study of distance runners, the least flexible (based on a standard sit-and-reach test) athletes showed the most economical running strides and the fastest … Continue reading Is stretching overrated?