Now, you might be asking yourself or rather, posing the question back to me:
WHAT IN THE WORLD does the phrase “crazy yogi style” mean and better yet, HOW do you run like that?? Well, it’s really not that hard. It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with yoga…obsessed with practicing and obsessed with its great benefits. Trust me, if I’m doing something (i.e. doing something where my body is moving), you better believe that #1, I’m doing it because I want to and #2, I’m going to reap benefits from it because first off, why do something you don’t enjoy and secondly, why NOT benefit from its offerings (i.e. take something away from what you’re doing). After all, wisdom is power!
Alright, so now that we’ve established how much I LOVE YOGA (like double DUH) and by the way, I received my yoga teacher training course schedule today and HELLO yoga heaven!! We’re talking lots of loooong yogi hours and lots of anatomy talk, but HEY, when have I EVER turned down a challenge? Not very often. I’m ready for this baby!! I’m ready to begin!! I’m filing my toenails down, stretching my muscles far, and powering through lots of fabulous, sweaty yoga workouts in anticipation of October 24th (my first day of class)!! YES!!! Aaaand just sayin’, I totally just sounded like Napoleon Dynamite (you know when I said, “YES”)! Hehe, gotta love THAT!!
Back to my main point though, I’ve been practicing yoga for many years now, but practicing yoga does not just mean “practicing yoga” (i.e. moving your body)… yoga encompasses WAY MORE than just going through the physical motions of it all! For me, practicing yoga means:
1} Finding balance between my mind and body,
2} Creating space in my body (i.e. longer muscles),
3} Increasing my stamina,
4} Improving my overall fitness level,
5} Finding time for myself (not just physical, but mental time),
6} Opening up my body (i.e. feeling fabulous and great),
7} Finding peace and serenity,
8} Improving my quality of life,
9} Learning to live in the moment (not looking behind or forward),
10} Acknowledging that I’m not seeking perfection!!!!
WOW, WHAT A LIST, RIGHT??!!! Yep, I’d say yoga is great!! Yep, I would!! Now furthering my point from above:
Let me make something clear, I’m a huge advocate for runners practicing yoga AND “practicing yoga” for the pure physical benefits of it because I know first- hand, what NOT having yoga in my life did. I don’t EVER wanna go back to THAT place. It was a painful, scary and yucky place to be!! Whether you guys know it or not (I can’t remember if I’ve talked about this issue before), I used to have horrible right IT Band pain and when I say horrible, I mean BAAAD, BAAAD pain!! It was a while back, but MAN, was it frustrating! I couldn’t run AT ALL. You see, I’m by no means a perfect, shining example of what it looks like to not get injured because I’ve had my fair share! Trust me, I have! In college, I had both knee caps pop out, two weeks apart, which landed me (both times) an ambulance ride to the hospital, a doctor popping my caps back in place (I bonded with my knee caps over screams), and crutches.
What I’m getting at here is that by now, yoga has saved my body more than once! It has lengthened me out, given me painless (injury-wise) runs, and stretched me to the point of feeling phenomenal each day, BUT it has done more than that, too!! I can tell ya, yoga has saved me from myself, my stubborn persistence to push past my limits (body-wise)! I can’t tell you how many times I tried to push through IT Band pain…seeing other runners running circles around me…wishing I could be in their place. You see despite that fact that yoga has lengthened my body and stretched my muscles to their perfect degree, yoga has still given me more than that! Yoga has instilled wisdom in me beyond what I ever knew I was even looking for as an athlete or even as a human being. Case in point:
RUNNING CRAZY YOGI STYLE MEANS RUNNING HARD AND FREE AND SPIRITED, YET ALSO RUNNING WITH A CALMNESS OF MIND!
You see, yoga has benefited my running FAAAAR more than swimming ever will (both physically and mentally) and that’s okay! I’m a firm believer (at least where MY body is concerned) that running helps my swimmer self more than swimming helps my runner self, meaning (if anything) swimming has hindered my running in the past. I know it’s kinda weird logic, but oops, here I went on another tangent…
Let’s try this again…you see, power yoga has given my body the strength to push through some pretty tough workouts!! When I say power yoga has increased my running stamina…um, I’m NOT kidding you. I attribute my calm, stable breathing to yoga…actually, I give it 100% credit! It’s definitely the reason why my run workouts flow so well!! Also, yoga has given my runner mind the ability to turn it off or on (Wow, this is quickly turning into a Vampire Diaries episode! Gotta watch it, to get it! Hehe!), meaning I’M in control of my pain, fear, uncertainty, happiness, etc. (a.k.a. my emotions) while running!! I might be going through a tough time, heck, I might even be running through a tough workout, but guess what, I’m in control of how I respond to the pain. I’M IN CONTROL OF MY RUN!! I’M IN CONTROL OF HOW I RESPOND TO FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE!! My workout might be twirling down the commode faster than I can say, HELP ME, but I’ve learned firsthand what it feels like AND looks like to respond badly. It doesn’t end well!
If you take only one piece of advice/information from my post, take this…
EVEN IN THE WORST OF TIMES, YOU HAVE THE POWER TO FIND PEACE. HOW DO YOU FIND PEACE? FOR ME IT’S THROUGH PRACTICING YOGA!!! XOXO!! HAVE A BEAUTIFUL WEEK!!