Category Archives: Yoga

7 Reasons Why Runners Need Yoga

7 Reasons Why Runners Need Yoga  happyfitmama.com

I’ve loved yoga for years. It’s always been the perfect compliment to my running. However, I wasn’t as faithful to my practice in the past year or so. I kind of fell off the mat. In that time frame, I also became plagued with running injuries. I was focused on the run and didn’t have time for anything else. I knew I needed to get back to my mat but the final AHA! moment came when being evaluated by a physical therapist for my Achilles injury back in October.

She said I was tight. And that I had muscle weaknesses.

No one calls me tight or weak!

Right then and there I vowed to get back on my mat in a studio. A home yoga practice wasn’t working for me. There was just too many distractions. Around the same time, I was asked to be a part of prAna and FitApproach 30 day yoga challenge, #TakeTheLeap. I love Instagram challenges and prAna so it was a match made in heaven. Or more appropriately, a match made on a yoga mat. By the way, you can still get 15% off your total order from prAna’s new spring collection with code psps15HFM at checkout.

Since reconnecting with my mat, I’ve reaped the benefits, mentally and physically. I never want to fall off my mat again!

1. It will make you more limber. Active stretching is the most effective way to increase and maintain length in muscle fibers. Those 5 minutes you spend stretching when you get home are nothing compared to 45 minutes of active stretching in a Vinyasa yoga class.

#taketheleap yoga challenge 1  happyfitmama.com

2. It will help prevent overuse injuries that happen because of muscle/tendon tightness. When we run, everything tightens up to prevent our joints from wobbling about. And that’s a good thing. But repetitively being tight is not a good thing. Your muscles and tendons need to be pliable to keep you moving comfortably for years to come.

3. It can correct muscle imbalances & injury prevention. If you run and don’t do anything to maintain strength and flexibility, chances are that you will end up with a running injury sooner or later. You want to maintain range of motion and stretch out the muscles that get tight from running. Yoga can correct muscle imbalances created from high impact training, by aligning the joints, improving bone density and stretching and stabilizing the body to prevent pain and injury. Particularly in running injury prone areas like the IT band, hips, hamstrings and knees, calves, Achilles tendon and feet.

4. It can help you recover faster. Practicing a few yoga poses after a run when your muscles are warm will help to make you feel a whole lot better the next day. Tense muscles don’t receive blood, so use yoga after your run to keep your muscles open for movement enabling oxygen. HERE are my favorites.

#TAKETHELEAP YOGA CHALLENGE 2  HAPPYFITMAMA.COM

5. It increases your oxygen capacity. When’s the last time you took a deep, meaningful breath? Most of us are shallow breathers. It’s the “normal” thing to do. A regular practice of yoga can increase your ability to breathe more deeply which results in more oxygen being supplied to our blood system. Your muscles need oxygen to fire optimally.

6. It will make you stronger mentally. Every runner needs mental toughness. Not every run will be perfect and rosy. There will be times when you want to quit. Your legs will be tired. Ever had to hold a yoga pose while your legs are burning and shaking? It’s the same thing. I’d like to think that the reason I held it together for my recent 99 laps on an indoor track, were all a part of my mental strength building thanks to yoga.

7. It will make you stronger physically. Yoga hits the upper body, lower body and core all in one. It’s a total body workout that only requires your body weight.

#TAKETHELEAP YOGA CHALLENGE 3  HAPPYFITMAMA.COM

Disclaimer: As part of the #taketheleap challenge, I was given an outfit courtesy of prAna. All opinions are my own.

Do you do yoga?

How has it helped you in running, fitness or life?

If you don’t do yoga, why not?

#BringingYogaBack Challenge + Meal Planning

#bringingyogaback | happyfitmama.com

Who’s ready for more yoga?

Last weekend I talked about #TakeTheLeap with prAna and FitApproach. BTW – I’m loving my practice even more with the help of the challenge. Well, prAna has upped the ante by launching a mini-challenge called #bringingyogaback!

Their 12-Day Yoga Instagram Invitation campaign runs from Sunday, Feb 8th – Feb 20th and can be incorporated into your #taketheleap challenge!

prAna Ambassador, Michael Fukumura, has designed a “Spring Awakening” sequence to continue to bring people together, build a positive community, and inspire others to find their mat. I’m all about awakening Spring right now. Maybe that will stop the relentless snowfall?

#bringingyogabackHere’s the details:

12 Day Yoga Invitation!

We’re #bringingyogaback in a big way this spring and want your help!  To celebrate, we’re hosting a 12-day Instagram yoga-inspire-a-thon.

The prize?

$1000 in prAna gear for one lucky winner AND a friend!

This is not about competition—you will not be docked points for not having the perfect downward dog, don’t worry. Instead, we want to inspire you, your friends, and your family to hit the mat more often and share your progress with the larger Insta family.

As further motivation, one lucky participant will receive $1,000 in new prAna gear from our Spring Collection AND the opportunity to gift another $1000 in gear to a person of their choice (because isn’t giving as fun as receiving?).

All ability levels are welcome, so don’t feel any pressure to replicate a pose exactly… just do your best and always listen to your body.

To enter:

1) Follow @prAna on Instagram

2) Post a pic of yourself doing the pose of the day – you don’t have to post every day to enter

3) Use #bringingyogaback #taketheleap and tag both @prAna and @fitapproach     

4) Get your friends & family in on the fun

That’s it! The posing starts Monday, February 9th!

Be sure to check out prAna and their new Spring Collection. It’s gorgeous! You can get 15% off your order from prAna with code psps15HFM.

Since it’s Sunday, it’s meal planning day. Here’s what I’ve got planned:

Sunday: Fish Tacos

Monday: Broccoli Chickpea Bowl 

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup

Wednesday: Ron’s Homemade Pizza

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Healthy Chickpea “Chicken” Salad Sandwiches or over greens

Saturday: Valentine’s Day Date Night In

What is your favorite yoga pose? For me, it’s Wild Thing. It really does make my heart sing.

What’s for dinner this week?

30 Days of Yoga + What’s for Dinner

Last week I said it was time for finding yoga {again}. This week, I’m on it!

I’m ready to #TakeTheLeap and commit to 30 days of yoga with the prAna and FitApproach Take The Leap challenge.

After stepping back into a yoga studio last week, I knew it was where I needed to be. So what does this mean? Will I be going to the studio everyday?

Ummm…I wish but no.

30 days of yoga can mean 5 minutes of sun salutations to start the day or an hour long class. It’s what works for you!

Here’s what you need to do to join in:

  1. Join the Take the Leap with PrAna and Sweat Pink Facebook Page and the event page.
  2. Join the challenge on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or your blog (if you have one) and use the hashtags #TaketheLeap #prAna #SweatPink
  3. Don’t forget to tag @prana, @fitapproach and, if you joined after learning about it here, me: @happyfitmama.

Take the Leap Yoga Challenge

To kick it all off, let’s do a Mad Lib. You don’t have to do one yourself but it is kind of fun! (My answers are in bold.)

When I think about yoga, the first thought that comes to mind is LENGTH. Yoga ENLIGHTENS me and makes me feel JOY.

That’s why I am SO ECSTATIC to participate in prAna’s Take The Leap 30 days of Yoga Challenge with Sweat Pink. I plan to WILD THING my way to a more FLEXIBLE and INJURY FREE 2015!

Wild Thing Pose - happyfitmama.com

For me, the biggest challenge when it comes to yoga is TIME. Taking the Leap with prAna and Sweat Pink is a great way for me to find BALANCE (in running and life).

My favorite place to yoga is OUTSIDE because it is so OPEN.

Here’s a photo of me in my very best TREE POSE.

Tree Pose | happyfitmama.com

I tag:

Jill  – Jill Will Run

Tina – Fuel Your Future with Tina Muir

Allie – Vita Train For Life

I want these fabulous bloggers to share their very best yoga pose photos, this fun mad lib and of course, I challenge them to join me on this fun 30 day yoga journey (because they all said they NEED yoga in their lives too!).

Come on y’all, Take the Leap with me!

Join prAna’s & Sweat Pink’s Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge and be eligible to win $500 worth of prAna gear and / or be the lucky winner who gets to gift $500 worth of prAna gear to one lucky winner. They just launched their new spring collection so you best get on it!

If I win I would gift the $500 to SARAH because she’s BEEN PULLING MY BUTT UP HILLS FOR BOSTON MARATHON TRAINING.

Join the Take the Leap with prAna and Sweat Pink Facebook group / event which we’ll use for updates, sharing,and inspiration: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1525412337742204/

and event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/423377431152799

And join the challenge on Instagram, Twitter, and your blog using the hashtags:

#TakeTheLeap

#prana

#sweatpink

And of course, tag @prana @FitApproach

Who’s in???

And since it’s Sunday, here’s what I have planned for dinner this week:

Sunday:Super Bowl (GO PATS!) – Snack foods from HERE

Monday: Salmon w/ roasted winter veggies

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Wednesday: Ron’s homemade pizza w/ pick your own toppings bar

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Power Chicken Hummus Bowl

Saturday: Fish tacos w/ crunchy broccoli slaw

Are you ready to #TakeTheLeap?

What’s for dinner this week?