7. Make yoga a part of daily life

Yoga. I've been wanting to get into it since a short stretch of travelling in India after finishing University. With peaceful daily yoga sessions on the rooftop of the farm I stayed at during a voluntary project, and having remained in awe of the strength, flexibility and contentedness of the aging population in rural India during the entirety of my stay, I returned home convinced that yoga was the way forward.

Five years later, and I still hadn't turned intention into action. Don't get me wrong- I've dabbled like the best of us - signed up to 8 week blocks of lessons, only to find that life impedes my attendance to less than half of them. I've set New Year's resolutions. I've even re-arranged past bedrooms so that I could hop straight out of bed and directly onto my mat in the mornings. Nada.

But the last couple of months has brought hope... With the necessity to stretch after all of this training I'm doing for my very first marathon, I started thinking - what if stretching could become yoga? With this in mind, and the addition of an ever-so-handy Chrome Cast meaning I can literally throw any youtube video onto my TV (providing me with my very own in-home instructor), BINGO! You've got one yogi convert.

So I'm currently practicing 3ish times a week, mostly straight after my runs, but I've also found it to be a good alternative to my more cardio-heavy cross-training sessions between runs. Can I keep this new found habit up? Who knows. But I'm enjoying it. And it forces me to take some time to stretch properly after a run, which is already reducing my post-run soreness and improving my flexibility in general. So fingers (and most-likely legs) crossed!

Here's a few of the yoga tutorials I've found most engaging...

A great all-rounder
Adriene has hundreds of yoga tutorials on youtube. Her's were the first I unrolled my mat to in this new bout of dedication to the cause. She certainly makes yoga accessible, and what's more she's very cool / wholesome / hipster / add-your-own-yoga-chick-adjective-here.
  • A great all-rounder
  • Lots of choice to keep things fresh and tackle a plethora of issues
  • Sometimes just a touch too chirpy for me to tune in to the same tutorial more than once... but with so many to choose from, this is simply not a problem

Perfect for post-run
At just 14 minutes, this sequence by Sally Stephen is easy to squeeze in after a run. It's designed specifically to target the areas worked during your run and it’s set with the most beautiful backdrop which gets me smiling every time.
  • Perfect for post-run, especially if your time is limited
  • Soothing and expert (English-accented!) narration by Sally
  • Watch-out for the 'Happy Baby' position - not the most attractive position for your boyfriend to find you in

The ultimate strength builder
Prepare to work those legs with this 45 minute flow by Cara Gilman. She works on all the key areas which can only benefit from a bit of strengthening for all of your running needs. You feel like you've had a workout after this one.
  • The ultimate strength builder
  • Great as a cross-training session between runs
  • Cara uses blocks for quite a few positions - it's no problem to go ahead without so don't let this impede you! (Having said this I don't currently have blocks and I do feel that I could improve my technique for some positions if I didn't have to desperately stretch for the floor with my fingertips! Blocks are also a great yoga aid if you're just starting out and your flexibility is somewhat limited)

I'll keep you updated on my progress on this one, and will throw in any new tutorials I get hooked to along the way...

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