Athlete for Yoga: Kara Goucher
Kara Goucher is an icon, a legend, and a major Jasyoga muse. Our paths first (virtually) crossed when Kara joined the world of Oiselle. Over the years our relationship has grown from Kara’s interest in using Jasyoga to manage injuries and become a more balanced athlete, to Erin creating custom meditation and yoga content to help support Kara’s return to competitive racing post-injury.
Meditation and restorative yoga have become part of Kara’s plan for balance over the long haul, and we’re honored to support her with personalized content. As we dig into what it means to be an Athlete for Yoga, we chatted with Kara about her experience on the mat and beyond...
You have been incredibly successful in this sport for years, how have you adapted to remain on the top of your game?
Taking good care of my body both physically and mentally. Always giving it plenty of nourishment in all areas of my life. Always fueling it properly, taking the time to recover, giving myself mental breaks along the way. As I age, the recovery piece has become more and more important.
What have you added to your training over the years that has been crucial to staying healthy and strong?
I have added a lot of pre-hab, stretching, body work, and consistent appointments with a physiologist. Doing all the little things that add up to something big. Taking the time to stretch while watching TV at night, doing my hip exercises everyday, doing five minutes of yoga to lengthen the body, and talking through the stressors and reframing them so it’s back to a career that I love.
You’ve experienced lows in the sport, how do you remain resilient?
I have had many more lows than highs, but that is life. I love running so much, it is at the core of my being. I always know that the body will heal, will want to come back to harmony. I just have to wait it out and enjoy the opportunity to nurture other aspects of my life. I know that I am not done. It has required great patience at times (I am currently returning from a five month break!), but the reward is that I get my best friend back, my outlet, my happiness.
How does meditation fit into your running life?
I do a lot of meditation when running alone, just letting thoughts slip away and being at one with myself. But this summer I started mediation outside of running. It has been great. I honestly feel it helped my body to heal itself. And it calms me and brings me back to center, to focus on what I can control.
Similar to my running life. I have a brain that is always on. It is a blessing and a curse. I am always thinking of more to do and how to improve and that is an asset. But I also have a really hard time turning it off and it can affect my relaxation and rest. Meditating for just five minutes helps me to give space between those thoughts and it really makes a huge difference in the rest of my day. It brings me some peace and a slower pace for my mind.
What does “athlete for yoga” mean to you?
Convenient! I don’t have time to go to the gym again for yoga and I have different needs than the average person. But focusing on opening up my hips and lengthening my body after a hard run goes so far in aiding my recovery process. Being able to do yoga for 5-20 minutes in my own home is a blessing.
What are your 2017 goals?
Return to competition with the same fire and fight I had at the 2016 Olympic Trials. Get myself back in a USA uniform again. And enjoy the ride. I’ve been doing this for 26 years now, I sincerely appreciate the length of this career.
How will you be using yoga and meditation to help you achieve them?
To stay healthy and to stay balanced. In both my body and my mind. With balance anything is possible.
We hope you’re as inspired by Kara as we are! Share your own 2017 journey with #athletesforyoga.
New to Jasyoga Video? Use code WIN2017 for a free month of unlimited access to over 80 yoga for athletes videos at video.jasyoga.com.