More Yoga for Runners

A Road Map

Ah, to live in the moment.  That's what yoga's all about, right?  Learning how to be present and live fully in the moment.  Yes....and there's more too.  It's more than just being a free spirit, eschewing deodorant, and hairy legs :)  I kid :) sort of.

Yoga is about paying attention fully in the moment so you can make the most informed decisions possible.  It's about zooming out and getting an eagle eye perspective, taking that information, and then diving in for a deep detailed investigation.  

It's always a play between expansion and contraction.  We open ourselves to the big and we go into the small and back out again.  On and on it goes.  (Keep on rocking baby, till the night is gone - for those who love particular Swedish bands :) with palindromic names.  Super Trouper makes for a great running song by the way.)

Course correction, I got off topic.  Ultimately, we get to know ourselves on a grand level and also on a small one through the practice of yoga.

What can make this journey more purposeful and meaningful is having a road map.  And even better, having access to someone who's gone down that road before you.

When I ran my first half marathon (and only one so far :)) I knew I needed a plan.  I had done 5Ks and ran on a regular basis.  But I really had no idea how to prepare for 13.1 miles!!!  Should I just go it on my own and do guess work, running here and there?  Or should I find someone who has a great track record (ha ha!) and has done this many times before?  Is there a teacher I can go to and learn from?  

That was a no brainer for me.  I LOVE to learn and am filled with gratitude for all the teachers that have come into my life.  Without them and their loving guidance, I wouldn't be where I am today.

This began my journey to the Flying Pig 1/2 Marathon.  I found my "coach", printed out my road map - matching it to my ability - Novice!  (As much as I would have liked to jump right into pro!) And I followed the formula so to speak.  It wasn't easy.  I almost didn't make it.  

The more you practice yoga, the more you pay attention to the signals your body sends you.  You learn to take action when your body and spirit speak to you.  No more ignoring it, pushing forward.  Pay attention to the quiet whisper now, so it won't be a loud yelling, not going to go away anytime soon pain.  

Just weeks from the Flying Pig, 10 weeks into my training, my right quadricep (front of my thigh) started to feel unhappy.  Everything was ok until mile 5 and then it refused to work.  I felt like a broken piggy.  No flying for me.  Maybe I could have pushed through it, but deep down inside I knew that was a dangerous game to play.

 

What to do?  

 

When things fall apart the best thing to do is STOP. DROP. Ask your question and MEDITATE.  Meditation can be the moment after I pray, when I really listen.  

 

Here's what I got:  I needed to go back to my "coach", road map in hand, and do some course correcting.  

 

Even when we have the road map, being able to reach out and ask for help from someone who has been there and seen it all (or almost all) is invaluable.  As much as we prepare, bumps and potholes are still there in the road and sometimes sneak up on us.  How we will navigate through those moments?  

That's where your practice saves you.  You've been doing the work.  Your community and friends rally.  And your "coach" is there to help get you back on your feet.

I am happy to say, I followed the advice I was given, my piggy wings came back to life - and I was able to complete my 1/2 marathon!!! Woo hoo!

 

 

My goal with this blog is to be your "coach", giving you little road maps to help you navigate the world that is yoga.  Being here to answer questions. And creating a community where we rally for each other as we run this race together!! 

 

Here's to the journey with friends, teachers, and guides!  I'm so glad that you're here on it with me.   And best of luck to all who are running this weekend!

 

with light and love,


Tip #6 - Where there's a will, there's a way.

Running will present opportunities - moments of struggle, exhaustion, injury. Moments of elation, runner's high, triumph. We realize that if we just keep showing up each day, we'll eventually reach the finish line. Then it's off to the next race!

Intense West Side Stretch/Pyramid Pose! Let's keep hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors happy! 😊

  1. Find a tree or post.

  2. Stand about a torso's distance away.

  3. Step your right foot forward, left foot back. Swivel your left foot flat - about a 45 degree angle. Feet about hip distance wide.

  4. Square your hips to the tree and plant your hands onto it.

  5. With the mound of the right big toe pressing down, anchor your outer right hip back.

  6. Enjoy and take 5 deep breaths.

  7. Switch sides!

Happy running and yoga-ing!


Tip #7 - Keep on the sunny side with hopeful heart openers! 😊

We use those wonderful arms of ours as we run, sometimes more than we realize. Here is a pose that will reduce neck and shoulder tension. Another benefit of shoulder and heart openers is they naturally lift our mood! 😄

  1. Find a tree or post.

  2. Place your right palm flat on the tree.

  3. Stand tall. Draw the head of the right shoulder back and press the right palm actively against the tree.

  4. Slowly turn your feet, hips, and heart away from the tree.

  5. Enjoy and take 5 deep breaths.

  6. Switch sides!

Happy running and yoga-ing!


Tip #8 - Bloom Where You're Planted! 😊🌺

We can't always control what's going on around us. What we can do, is choose how we respond to a situation. That will make all the difference! Remember, it's not what you do, it's how you do it!😄

Using Tree Pose/Vrksasana we will build strong and stabilizing outer hips!

  1. Find a tree or post.

  2. Standing on your left leg. place the sole of your right foot onto your left inner thigh.

  3. If your balance seems off, place your left hand on the tree.

  4. Squeeze the inner thighs towards each other and stand tall.

  5. If you feel steady, bring your hands into prayer position.

  6. If you feel really steady, reach your arms high to the sky. Keep squeezing the thighs towards each other and start to reach your left hand for the tree.

  7. Enjoy and take 5 deep breaths.

  8. Switch sides!

Happy running and yoga-ing!


Tip #9 - "Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up."👊😜
-Dean Karnazes

To keep moving forward, we must have open thighs. 😉

  1. Find a tree or post.

  2. Standing on your left leg, bend your right leg and reach for the outside edge of your foot.

  3. If your balance seems off, place your left hand on the tree.

  4. Press your foot into your hand and lengthen from your right hip out through your right knee.

  5. Super important - keep your knees next together.

  6. Enjoy and take 5 deep breaths.

  7. Switch sides!

Happy running and yoga-ing!


Tip #10 - You've gotta walk before you can fly.

Ok, this pose is similar to the previous one, yet very different.  The difference here is that we'll lift that back leg while holding onto the inside edge of the foot.  The intention for this pose is to get a shoulder stretch and chest opening.  We're not trying to get the foot to the tushie.  Rather we press the foot away from our bottom and create a beautiful tear drop shape with our arm, leg, and back. Let's give it a try!

  1. Find a tree or post.

  2. Standing on your left leg, bend your right leg and reach for the inside edge of your foot. (Your thumb will be pointing to the sky and your palm faces your foot.)

  3. If your balance seems off, place your left hand on the tree.

  4. Press your foot into your hand and away from the tushie.  

  5. Do your best to keep your hips square and your chest facing the tree or ground.  (I'm turning my chest a little in the pose above to send you a smile, but you should keep facing the tree :) )

  6. Hinging at the hips bring your chest forward so you can lift your leg a little higher.  Do your best to keep that right knee at hip height.

  7. Enjoy and take 5 deep breaths.

  8. Switch sides!

Happy running and yoga-ing!