Stretching after a long run or workout is like watching paint dry. Hence, I don't do it for very long if at all! On Monday, HQ brought in the pro, Jasyoga owner/founder Erin Taylor to teach our runner bodies a thing or two about a new concept - yoga made specifically for runners. And this was the result...

(Oiselle crew, and Lauren Fleshman!, with special guest Erin Taylor, owner/founder of Jasyoga)

Okay, we're posers but who would have thought... our new design room doubles as a yoga studio and just one class had us in perfect standing tree pose? The beauty of expanding is priceless (apparently for space AND hip flexibility). Thanks to Erin, the nest may have found a new post-run hobby. 

If you weren't here, well, you missed out - Erin knows her stuff! After being introduced to yoga in her collegiate years playing basketball, Erin created a yoga practice designed specifically for the needs of athletes. Lucky for us, her style of teaching spoke to a runner’s body more than I’ve experienced from any yoga class... Bikram, Hatha, Restorative, you name it. 

While attempting to reiterate each stretch may get me in trouble, pictures always do justice (bear with me, and the iPhone camera). Most gals in the office joined in plus our celeb weekend guest, Lauren Fleshman, to see what Jasyoga is all about. So we began, lengthening different parts of the body while always keeping a conscious focus on our breathing.

Calf stretches, foot stretches (that I didn't know were possible)...and of course, no yoga class is complete without "cat-cow."

Along with maintaining deep steady breathing, Erin's yoga series was targeting every major muscle group in my body. Everything from IT band and hamstring stretches, to lengthening the sides of the body and opening up space for the hips to move more fluidly.

As a runner, I don't realize how many different muscle groups I bang around every day, and how many of them are NOT stretched in my casual five minute routine.

As Erin explains it, there are three ways Jasyoga facilitates better running:  

  1. Erin: "Limiting your range of motion puts limits on your athleticism." Jasyoga helps prevent injuries, with emphasis on how flexibility and range of motion are key pillars for an athlete. 
  2. Erin: "Your breath is your most powerful tool because it helps you to focus and relax at the same time." As a runner, the ability to control and harness your breath can vastly increase endurance. 
  3. Erin: "Getting out of your usual plane of movement helps keep your body in balance" Jasyoga's technique helps this by strengthening and stretching the sides of the body. 

We've only just hopped on the bandwagon, joining many teams in the Seattle area including University of Washington and Seattle University athletic teams. If you're in the area and want to take a Jasyoga class, check out their Fall Jasyoga Kickoff beginning September 10th - you'll see me there! 

Huge thanks to Erin and Jasyoga. Complimentary introduction class, Luna Bars, and tee's - what an awesome gig. Ready for round 2!

August 22, 2012 — sarah

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