How can Yoga help with OCR training?

Amy doing a back curve in yoga

Amy runs A to Z Yoga. She has some great reasons for including Yoga in your OCR training….here are her top tips!

Hi Amy - for OCR races like Spartan Race UK people need stamina and endurance - how can Yoga help?

Yoga is built on stamina and endurance! Poses are generally held for longer than you would necessarily want, which really helps to build your patience and physical endurance. Yoga lessons vary in length so if you’re really trying to build your stamina and endurance I’d go for at least a 1 hour practice and combine a bit of a flow with holding poses for a few breaths. This is much like the way we teach our A to Z Yoga classes. You want to be putting yourself in a place that gets you to really feel your body work but not to the point of no return! Yoga does that so well!

When Team HulaHub did a Spartan race in the summer we all really wished we had more upper body strength - how can we improve for next time?

Yoga can definitely help with upper body strength! In fact it helps with total body strength as every pose incorporates the entire muscular system. For upper body strength in particular start working on your Yoga press ups (chaturanga dandasana), arm balances, inversions and even back bends, especially if you’re looking to work towards pull ups. Yoga done properly can be one of the best ways to build upper body strength. I mean if you can push or pull your own body weight you’re in a very strong place!

Confidence and positive mental attitude are key for Spartans - some of the races take over ten hours! Can yoga help with that too?

I think this is the one everybody comes to Yoga for. There are quite a few reasons Yoga improves confidence and your state of mind but I think the biggest is in learning to overcome your fears. Firstly the fear of attending your first class, then the fear of attempting poses you never thought you could do and then of course there are actual poses that force you to face fear, the biggest one being the handstand. Racers will face similar anxieties and fears - and elation when they’ve completed the course! The wonderful thing about overcoming your fears is how liberating it can be when you face them and doing just that has a huge impact on your confidence.


Any other benefits of including Yoga in OCR training?

Yoga complements OCR training in a big way! The last thing you want when training is an injury and by doing Yoga alongside you’ll be helping to stay flexible and strong and therefore injury free. You’ll also be training your body to do all the things it should naturally be able to do. For OCR you need to be able to move like we did way back when!


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