A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

DVD Review: Yoga for Runners

on April 26, 2014

Last night, I took advantage of a quiet night in the hotel to try out the new yoga DVD I ordered a few weeks ago. The DVD is Christine Felstead’s Yoga for Runners: The Essentials (that link is just to Amazon so you can see the details – not an affiliate link and this isn’t a sponsored post!) and overall, I’d recommend it for a runner looking to work some yoga into their routine, especially for a yoga beginner.

imageLooking at the cover of the DVD points out the one complaint I had about the program actually. That smile on the cover is the only smile you’ll see! The entire DVD is populated with serious faced, black dressed people demonstrating the yoga moves. It’s a big of a downer, especially with the requisite yoga music in the background.

Other than that particular quirk, I really enjoyed the DVD and thought it was very well done. The start screen menu has several chapters you can choose from: Introduction, Foundation, Hamstrings, Hips or Play all. It also advises that you watch the entire DVD first to familiarize yourself with the routine a bit before attempting it the first time. I would definitely agree with that recommend if you new to yoga. It helps a bit to know what you’re getting into!

It starts with a brief introduction explaining Christine’s background as a runner and the specific needs of runners that yoga could address.  This section lasted only 3-4 minutes. She explains that the people demonstrating the poses with her are runners and will be demonstrating some of the modifications you may need to make to accommodate the areas of tightness and imbalance we get from running sometimes.

The “Foundation” section (20 minutes) walks through several very basic general yoga poses, like downward dog, child’s pose, mountain, etc. With each pose, she goes into a lot of detail about exactly what parts should be moving and where, to get into and out of the position. She also talks through modifications (some of which demo’d by the other runners) and prioritizes what part of the pose is the most important (for example, maintaining a straight back even if it means you can’t bend as much). She explains the purpose of each pose, both as a general yoga practice and to highlight the specific needs of runners. In this section in particular, the talked about how to incorporate these “foundation” poses into every day life. If you’re new to yoga and just want to get  your feet wet, start with just this section for a little while and you’ll get a decent stretch and some of the relaxation benefits of yoga.

The “Hamstring” section (10 minutes) walks through simple stretches for calves and hamstrings. Again, lots of explanation for every step. The poses flow fairly quickly, with about 5 breaths spent in each pose so you definitely don’t get bored. I appreciate the time she takes to explain how to get in and out of the poses.

The “Hips” section (15 minutes) included some of my favorite runner yoga poses, including pigeon pose and bound angle pose. My hips honestly feel so good after that I’ll forgive the lunges. I hate lunges. For some reason, I do not have the balance needed to make lunges work!

Overall, it’s focused more on stretches and less on strength, which is again good for beginners I think and addresses the biggest reason most runners look to yoga in the first place. One other thing I really liked about this DVD is that it included a little flyer in the DVD case explaining the bone and muscle terms you’d hear, with a diagram so if you don’t know where your quads or hamstrings are, you have a reference. I’ve never seen that with a yoga DVD but I think it’s a great idea!

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I can do the moves without any extras, but they do go through how you would use yoga blocks, straps and/or towels/blankets to modify the movements. If you want ease into yoga to support your running practice, this would definitely be an approachable way to ease into it. Even as someone fairly familiar with yoga, I appreciated the explanation about how these moves specifically helped with runners, the routine itself  efficiently targeted the issues I was interested in as a runner and I felt like it moved quickly enough to keep me from good bored.

All in all, a nice little workout on Friday night to get me ready for today’s run. What are your favorite yoga DVDs? Do you prefer DVDs/streaming video classes or group classes with an actual instructor?

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7 responses to “DVD Review: Yoga for Runners

  1. Kristin says:

    Ohhh yaaay, love this!!! Will have to check it out!! I practice Bryan Kest yoga!!

  2. Would you say this DVD has a sense of relaxation as well, or just generally doing poses? I love the one I have now because it’s set at the ocean and is great for poses and relaxation, but it wasn’t made specifically for runners.

    • It’s a little more active than relaxing, but still has the soothing music and rest period at the end. I have another Deep Stretch DVD (that’s the title of it – Mimi somebody) that’s more relaxing and less focused for runnres.

      On Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 1:04 PM, A Little More Each Day wrote:

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  3. […] found a great write-up by Jessica from A Little More Each Day. Check out her review, it’s very thorough and […]

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