The days are seriously getting colder and the Autumn leaves are looking more and more beautiful! Although I have to bundle up on my runs now, I often find myself smiling because the fallen leaves and vibrate colored trees are just so delightful! I keep telling myself to bring my camera with me on my run, but I always forget it, doh!
This week I’m trying to catch up on some running that I couldn’t get in last week. I usually try to run 4-5 days a week, but its easy to put off my run because I’m not training for anything. Running now is just for my sanity and weight management 🙂 mmm….food!
Last week I had a huge yoga week! I took 10 hours of yoga classes, plus my own practice at home and my thighs, buns and upper back was sore on a whole other level.
Special teachers Chuck and Maty did some intensive teaching for 3 weeks at my yoga studio. I finally managed to take their morning mysore for 4 days. Each class is 2.5 hours starting at 6:30 AM! It was exhausting waking up at 5AM, but I got SO much out of each session that it was totally worth it!
Chuck and Maty are extraordinary teachers! Maty has eyes like a hawk and can see a misaligned yoga pose from a mile away! It was great to get adjusted by her and I feel my standing postures are different now. I learned I was tensing certain muscles that prevented me from getting length in the spine or putting my hip off balance. Really really subtle adjustments made a HUGE difference in how I felt in a pose.
Chuck is such a warm gentlemen who has such a great way of explaining yoga. Yoga, not as an exercise, but as a spiritual journey. He really inspired me and made me smile so much!
They emphasis that the most important thing in yoga is the breath and the mind. Those 2 aspects are really the most challenging part of yoga. Its not the poses that are hard, its keeping the breath smooth and constant (you won’t believe how often we hold our breaths without being aware of it). The mind has to always be present so it can be sensitive to the body. Its easy for the mind to wander, so the challenge is keep it focused on what I’m doing in each pose. In 2.5 hours I felt like I used my mind for 8 hours straight. It was intense and exhausting, but also very rewarding!
Sunday was their last teaching day and of course I had to take their conducted class. We did a very slow Astanaga class and even though I hardly broke a sweat, my legs and arms were shaking with the intensity of each pose. During savasana Chuck said “If you want to feel a little bit of freedom, relax a little. If you want to feel more freedom, relax more. If you want to be completely free, relax completely.” I can’t say exactly why, but I started getting teary eyed after he said this. I wanted to be completely free and then suddenly I felt like a weight was lifted off me and I felt RELIEF.
Yoga has seriously changed my life! I don’t know what I’d do without it!
But I still really enjoy running. My yoga teacher, Michael, said he hopes I can continue to keep the balance between running and yoga. Some runners get SO into running that they become so narrow minded about health and fitness. And the same goes for yogi’s, its easy for us to think yoga is the best, but there’s really no need to make it a competition. Do I think yoga will help runners? Absolutely! Do I think doing more yoga over running is better? No! And visa versa. Its all about maintaining balance.
Last weeks running/yoga log: Nov 8th – 14th
Yoga – 10 hours Ran – 27.8k (lowest since September)
Mon – Off (legs needed a break from the 10k race)
Tues – 2.5 hrs Mysore class. 11.5k run (heavy legs)
Wed – 2.5 hrs Mysore class
Thur – 2.5 hrs Mysore class
Fri – 9k run (easy run. Can’t believe how sore yoga got me!)
Sat – 7.3k run after teaching yoga. (thighs still sore from yoga)
Sun – 2.5hr Ashtanga class