“At the end of a marathon, the body is totally spent and depleted of fuel," says Jai Sugrim, Certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher and host of Yoga Sutra Now. "It is the mind that brings you home to the finish line,” Endurance requires equal parts physical and mental strength, and yoga (in addition to fitness) helps with concentration. During the final stretch of a race, you can use meditative techniques to push negative thoughts aside and focus on getting your butt across the finish line.
Abdominal strengthening, says Boston-based yoga teacher, Karen Fabian, founder of Bare Bones Yoga, “is one of the most important things to keeping a body strong, centered, and powerful.” Most Hatha yoga series include such core strengthening poses, which do more than just hone your six-pack. A strong core supports the body from the inside out, improving running posture and protecting your back and hips.