I really want to talk about yoga today…
I know this is supposed to be a running blog, but truthfully I’ve always classified it as a personal blog because I knew I would never stay on topic and let’s be honest – I could never allow myself to be so structured. Boxes aren’t for this girl
I’ve been doing yoga for the past month now and I am really falling in love with what it’s doing to me. A reader, Kerry sent me this amazing article about yoga and how it springs self-transformation…..I believe it.
* I’m slowly but surely changing. I feel more balanced than I ever have before….I still have a long way to go though.
I have noticed that anytime I begin doing yoga as part of my workouts I eventually fall out of it. I definitely don’t want to do that this time. I am excited about where it might take me, my mind and my body. I love the concept of working within myself and with my own energy to change who I am inside. As mentioned yesterday I truly want to be able to both accept and give love freely. I think yoga may be my path towards that.
”Doing yoga brings many concrete benefits: it’s a powerful therapeutic tool for correcting physical and psychological problems; it retards aging and keeps you opened sexually; it gives strength and flexibility for other physical activities; it can enhance your looks, posture, skin and muscle tone, and vitality; and it can give your life a sense of grace and overall well-being.” <—- those all sounds like great things to me!
I haven’t even finished reading it yet (Ya, I know 10 pages seems super difficult….I’m a slow reader) but I couldn’t help but notice how much the first few pages could also be applied to my running…..
“If your main incentive is progress, the lack of improvement can cause you to lose interest.”
I can’t tell you how much this rings true for me – hence why I’m always changing it up! Obviously I need some new incentives, maybe energy balancing and enjoying the ride should be my new goals. As I am always losing interest in everything once I’ve reached a peak in my performance – then it’s onto the next thing.
“People think they are limited by their body’s endurance – that tiring is purely physical. I have found it is usually not the body that tires first, but rather, the mind which loses the stamina required for attention. When your mind tires, your attention wanes and begins to wander, and sensitivity to your body’s messages diminishes. You treat the body with less care, and this tires it more quickly. Yoga involves a balance between “control” and “surrender” – between pushing and relaxing, channeling energy and letting go, so the energy can move you”
How many of us runners and athletes can relate to the above text?! isn’t that always the issue: Our mind. All I ever want in life is for my brain to shut up and my body to just relax and enjoy itself. I feel like both running and yoga give me that gift. I have a hard time surrendering to what I’m now capable of and just letting go. I hope to be able to race this half with a balanced mind: one that wants to perform their best but also knows what their capable of and not pushing too hard past that.
I think I mentioned this truth both in my post on why I hate the treadmill and in my last post about my run and the decision to end it early. I think the training my mind gets from yoga can only benefit my mental strength while running. However, true pain and resistance needs to be acknowledged.
“The body’s resistance should be respected, since it is useful feedback. Trying to conquer resistance and push past pain is actually another form of resistance – resistance to your own limits, to what and where you are now”
Guilty as charged. I finally did a true Camel pose in yoga, last week I also finally had one mile that was sub 8mins in my speedwork – I think the only reason both those things happened was because I wasn’t pushing towards them, I was simply allowing them to happen and enjoying the experience. The camel pose is something I’ve been working on for a few weeks and yesterday I finally touched my hands to my ankles. (please don’t judge this pic, as 3 secs before photobooth goes off is hardly enough time to get into this position ;P)
I can’t believe how much I now look forward to yoga in my workout regime and I hope to keep it both fun and interesting because I really want nothing more than to gain balance and be full of love for all of life, living with pure motivation. I am loved and I want to be able to know and feel that at all times so that I may share it with everyone else.
I will close with this quote from the article, which I can deeply relate to….it’s probably one of the reasons I tend to throw myself head first into everything and also why I seem so depressed when I don’t have an area of focus.
At any instant, the quality of your life is directly related to how interested you are in it.
I’m interested – are you?
1. do you feel balanced?? what kinds of activities or practices allow you to turn off your mind and enjoy your body?
I don’t feel very balanced. I alternate between happiness and anger. I’m an angry girl. I need NEED to do introspective work in order to feel normal. I am a firm believer in cognitive therapy and delving into yourself to fix problems with others
2. What is your favourite yoga pose?
Hands down….downward dog – pun intended!
3. do you ever actively “work” on your energy or does that kind of thinking not appeal to you?? [there's no right or wrong answer here]
As stated above I definitely do. I just forgot to be consistent in doing so and sometimes I can’t quiet my mind long enough to work on my energy.
4. do you run? if so, do you think yoga would or has it benefited you??