- Mary Caldwell For the AJC
If you're a runner, you may want to consider adding a regular yoga class to your usual fitness routine. It can provide you with many benefits, such as increasing flexibility, heightening body awareness and maintaining proper posture, according to Paige Jones, lead exercise physiologist at Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center.
Despite the benefits, the majority of runners that responded to a runnersworld.com poll said they don't do yoga. The site doesn't recommend one style in particular for runners, but instead suggests finding a class, style and instructor that you're comfortable with. Put your competitive nature aside and focus on yourself, without worrying if the person at the mat beside you can do more. And if you're training hard for an upcoming race, dial back on the frequency and intensity of your yoga a bit so you don't overdo it.
The following are some of the best yoga classes in Atlanta for runners:
Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Old Fourth Ward locations. infinityyogaatlanta.com.
Infinity Yoga has been strongly influenced by the experience of owners Becky Nickerson and Matt Shechtman. Through Nickerson's training, Shechtman found that his running injuries disappeared with yoga.
The studio has classes specifically designed for runners, as well as ones for cyclists and other endurance athletes.
Tough Love Yoga
1530 Dekalb Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-919-1008. toughloveyoga.com.
Tough Love Yoga's deep stretch yoga class is recommended for runners and other athletes. The focus is on deep, engaged stretching with long holds. Designed to release tension and tightness, the class lasts for 75 minutes.
Decatur Yoga and Pilates
431 West Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 404-377-4899. decaturhotyoga.com.
Designed to be comforting and relaxing, Decatur Yoga and Pilates offers a vinyasa-yin based class that it recommends for runners. It's perfect for all levels, including beginners, and flows along at a relaxing pace that's set to a jazz playlist.
Fleet Feet Sports
Johns Creek, Lawrenceville and Sandy Springs. fleetfeetatlanta.com.
Fleet Feet Sports holds several running clinics, including one on how to avoid injuries and help heal problem spots you already have. Class topics vary depending on the month, but they include foam rolling, stretching, massage therapy and yoga. The class is free and lasts for one hour.
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