Yoga isn't usually the first thing you think of when you hear "cross training", but if you've never tried it, you are missing out! It's a low impact way to get your heart rate up and improve your performance by strengthening key muscle groups and working on mental focus.
Both running and cycling can take a major toll on the hips, knees, and lower back. Over time, this tightens the musculature and limits movement. (This is why distance runners notoriously have terrible flexibility.) Endurance athletes who incorporate Moksha (hot) yoga into their training report improved stride length, better mental focus, and fewer aches and pains after runs.
Just last weekend, our very own Moksha Yoga NKY studio did a beginning Moksha Yoga for Runners class for our running groups. Let me just say - Ahhhh-mazing. I was new to yoga, and in true runner form, have zero flexbility. All of the postures can be modified as needed, so our whole group was able to get an excellent workout without overdoing it. Most of us were newbies, and I have never heard so much positive feedback from anything we have done as I heard about our class at Moksha. You leave feeling so relaxed! As a former Division 1 collegiate athlete, I figured yoga would be super easy, but everyone can get a workout if they are truly focused on their form and breathing. I canNOT recommend trying it highly enough. Plus, if you're new, you can get your first month unlimited for $40 right now!
The heat really warms up your muscles effectively, allowing you to do the postures more deeply to get a better stretch and workout with less likelihood of injury. Plus, hot yoga allows you to develop strength, flexibility, and toned muscles along with a cardiovascular workout. You get a great core/back workout (which is so critical for runners), and total boday strengthening. If you've never tried it, get your booty over to Moksha Yoga and see what it's all about!