Andrea Heller Is Breaking Misconceptions About Yoga And Runners

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My guest today is a yoga and meditation instructor, runner, and personal development coach.

It’s safe to say that she knows a thing or two about the importance of focusing on health and well-being holistically.

I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Andrea Heller today!

Andrea Heller

A Natural Athlete

Andrea Heller has been involved with sports from a young age.

While growing up, she primarily played soccer.

Andrea didn’t mind running when it was during games or practices, but otherwise, she associated running with punishment.

It was during college, that Andrea really began to enjoy running for pleasure.

Though as she will now admit, it was a winding path to get to that point.

Andrea was forced to stop playing soccer due to injury which led her to seek other ways to enjoy movement.

Yoga wound up being an ideal complementary practice to running.

Andrea was forced to slow down and get in touch with her body.

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Boston Strong

Andrea went to Boston College for her degree and loved all things about the city.

Cheering on athletes at the Boston Marathon was a huge event that she always looked forward to.

Andrea was attending college at the time when the Boston Marathon bombings occurred.

She ran the Boston Run to Remember in honor of the events of that day.

That run was the longest she had run at the time and that was the moment she really fell in love with the sport.

Her mileage grew from there leading to her first marathon taking place in Vancouver, Canada.

The race didn’t go exactly as planned, but Andrea learned a lot of lessons that she took forward to future races.

Marathon Monday

Andrea ran Boston 2019 as a charity runner for a local run club for girls.

She had always loved the energy of Marathon Monday growing up and was excited to finally take part as an athlete.

Andrea had always viewed race day as a beautiful representation of the human spirit.

The race itself lived up to everything that Andrea had envisioned.

If ever given the opportunity, she would run the race again in an instant.

While the race itself was amazing, Andrea feels quite the opposite in regard to the fundraising aspect.

Andrea Heller

Make It Personal

Andrea was responsible for raising $7,500 as a charity runner for Boston.

She was happy to be making a difference for the organization she was representing, but overall she found the entire experience stressful.

It was helpful for Andrea to tap into her networks and make it personal.

People are generally happy to give if it’s a cause that you care about.

She found a great amount of success by leveraging Giving Tuesday and spreading the word about what she was doing.

Andrea also found that people responded well when they received incentives.

For example, Andrea gave baked goods to anyone that donated a certain amount.

Her most successful event and also most stressful was an in-person raffle at a local brewery.

Balancing Intensity With Stillness

Andrea first began to get interested in yoga while in college when she was working at Lululemon.

At the time, Lululemon had a big yoga focus which first brought the practice to her radar.

Yoga was a way for Andrea to move her body in a way that she hadn’t explored before.

She could remain active but in a quieter form.

As a self-described cardio junkie, yoga provided Andrea with a way to balance intensity with stillness.

She is especially drawn to restorative and slow-flow practices.

A common misconception when it comes to yoga is that one must be flexible in order to do it.

Yoga is more about the mind/body connection rather than performing each move perfectly.

An Imperfect Practice

Yoga centers around how a body feels, not how it looks.

If a person is new to yoga, Andrea recommends seeking out a beginner or foundation class.

That will allow them time to build and give their body time to adjust.

Slowing down can often be a challenge for runners.

Yoga allows one to be more in tune with their body, therefore enabling them to recognize when they should or shouldn’t push through discomfort.

Restorative yoga can sometimes be the most challenging because you must be present with your thoughts.

Overall, it’s helpful to find a complement to running, whether or not that is yoga.

It is important to find something that works for you.

Activity Parallels Life

Andrea mostly teaches yoga privately and is not very active on social media.

Prospective clients can most easily contact her through her website Mindful Wild.

She is always practicing yoga but uses it differently depending on the season.

During a training cycle, Andrea does yoga for mobility and as active warm-ups and cool-downs.

When she isn’t actively training for a race, Andrea does a more varied yoga practice.

She loves yoga and running for different reasons, but they are complementary practices.

Running gives her a sense of freedom, that she can just put on her shoes and go.

It also has a way of acting as a parallel to life with all the ups and downs.

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Stay connected with Andrea Heller by following her on Instagram.

Andrea Heller is a fierce advocate of the mind/body connection. Yoga has helped her become a stronger runner both mentally and physically. Share on X

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