A coworker and friend of mine has been totally obsessed with yoga for about a year and a half now. I was always slightly intrigued by it but it was her thing, I really do not have time to add one more thing to my workout routine and yoga is expensive. Plus, I didn’t want to step on her chi (I don’t even know what that means but it sounded funny) and go to the studio since it’s her thing. But since our lives have been so nuts lately our entire office went to 6am yoga a couple of weeks ago.
We went to a power vinyasa class and I was shocked by how much I loved it. I absolutely loved it. First of all, it was really relaxing. I just loved being in the dark, warm room before the sun was up and forced to put down my phone and distractions for an hour. Even when I run I have to take my phone/blackberry so I’m never truly away from it but at the studio, not allowed! Plus, since my boss is there what’s the worst that can happen? 🙂
Anyway, since that first day about 3 weeks ago I’ve been going to the studio about twice per week. I’m really enjoying the supplement that it adds to my running. It’s good to stretch out my muscles and I’m enjoying working my core/arms and parts of my legs that don’t get used when I’m running. And I can actually see a difference in my body– my pants are a bit looser and my back and arms are more toned.
A lot of yoga centers on the mind and focus and I’m finding that’s helping in running, too. Instead of falling out of poses or quitting when it gets uncomfortable you’re taught to focus on breathing through discomfort and to go inward to make it happen rather than quitting. I’ve noticed that when running hurts lately that I’m able to focus and stay in the moment rather than focus on something external like music or scenery. Wow, that sounds new-agey but it is helping.
Another thing I enjoy (and I’ve done lots of yoga DVDs) is being told what to do. When I do yoga DVDs I skip through the breathing and relaxing and though I LOVE the really physical, difficult parts of yoga when I’m sweating my brains out, I also don’t mind just laying on my mat in a warm room while some fun music plays (we did yoga to the Glee soundtrack on Saturday. LOVED IT).
I also like that yoga isn’t competitive. You can’t “win” yoga. You just can’t. No one wins. You do what you can do and that changes everyday. Yes, I can do planks for longer now and yes, I’m getting stronger but it’s not about beating your neighbor or getting faster. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to train like an animal so I can be the best runner I can be, but it’s nice to do something physical that doesn’t have a winner.
Instead of a pure rest day I’ve been trying to take the 6am class on Mondays, go to at least one class on the weekend and then practice once during the week. It’s not always happening, but I’m definitely enjoying it.
I’ll keep ya’ll posted, but so far, so good!