It is impossible to learn yoga entirely from a book or video. Every beginner does the poses wrong, and you will get little out of doing poses with bad form. You need to get yourself into some classes where a qualified instructor can watch you and correct your mistakes.
This is a form of biofeedback in which you learn to connect the subjective feeling of doing a pose a certain way with the objective feedback of an instructor saying, Okay, now you are doing it right. Once you have made that connection, you can do the pose right on your own by re-creating that feeling. Eventually, you can graduate to doing most of your yoga sessions on your own, if that’s more convenient. But just as Olympic swimmers continue to receive technique instruction from their coaches, even the most advanced yoga students exhibit little form flaws that only another, expert pair of eyes can catch.
Therefore, Rountree recommends that even runners who are advanced yoga students attend at least one yoga class per week. Rountree classifies yoga sessions performed as cross-training for endurance athletes by 10 types: balance, breath, cool, core, flow, focus, gentle, power, restore, and warm. The runners she coaches emphasize power sessions (flowing workouts made up of briefly held strength-building poses) and core sessions (made up of poses that strengthen the abdominals and of backbends that undo the fetal curl that excessive sitting creates) in the base-building phase. In the racing phase her students do mostly flow sessions (similar to power sessions but less intense), balance sessions (made up of poses that strengthen the stabilizing muscles of the legs and core), and warm sessions (flowing sessions designed to activate the running muscles before speed work and races).
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