I used to have a beautiful love relationship with both running and Yoga. It’s been an amazing journey until last year which knocked me sideways. Today, I’m in a happier place, yet I haven’t quite picked up where I left it when it went pear shaped. Here’s the painful obvious: Without actually running one never becomes a better runner. Argh…
Read on and learn about this Yogi’s trials and tribulations and I also share with you some Yogi wisdom from the good (really) old Patanjali to back it all up.
And maybe, hopefully truly, deeply … you can take some good stuff away for your own life.
So after last year, I’m currently in a little bit of a processing phase where I’m re-evaluating a lot of things in my life – what I do now, the way I do it, how it serves me. And also what I’d like to create in my life on all levels, and how I’d like my life to look going forward.
It’s a very emotional undertaking as I think the important bit about it all is to really dive deep into how I FEEL right now and how does what I do, think and eat (and all that) make me feel when I do, think and eat (and all that…)
HOW RUNNING / YOGA CHANGES MY LIFE …
Thinking about my running and practicing Yoga – when I do it (and that’s the sticky thing at the moment ie not enough…) – it makes me feel amazing. I love it so much, I so love the way it makes me feel.
- I get a deep sense of accomplishment, like I achieved something amazing after a good training session or practice.
- I feel like I’m actually able to relax, drop my shoulders, breathe deeply. After my practice I feel calm and happy. After running I feel exciting, happy and bubbly. Mostly anyway…
- Especially when running or even practicing Yoga outside, I love the grounding element of it and connecting to nature, literally re-charging with negatively charged electrons that exist in abundance in nature.
- I can just be content right there, right then. It’s all I need in that one moment.
- They both make me sleep better. And oh my and that is probably THE most important thing that always comes first for me these days. As I discovered last year not being able to sleep through the night, for a long period of time, is like an accident waiting to happen… really no happy foundation for the day…
- When I run or practice Yoga, my mind gets a break from all the chatter that’s constantly going on, because I’m having to be absolutely in the moment, listening to my body, watching out where my next step, my next move goes, always in sync with my breath.
HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU’RE RUNNING REGULARLY?
I’d love to hear from you!!
Oh and there’s one more huge reason why running makes us feel so good – there’s the social side of things, of connecting to other runners and yogis – real human interaction! No phone, no emails, no tv. Real people. Real life.
I really believe we need this more than ever today in order to grow and live a fulfilled life. Do you agree?
AND YET … I DIDN’T DO IT ENOUGH …
I just wasn’t running enough a few months back. You might ask, but what is enough?
I still wasn’t running as much as I needed to, in order to feel all the good stuff above. I missed it so much, but didn’t quite realise to which extend at the time.
It came to the point where I had enough. That point of no return. That point where I HAD to make a change….
It was exactly the same for my Yoga practice: I hadn’t practiced as much as I needed in order to continue reaping the benefits and deepen my practice to the extend I’d love to FEEL in my body and in my mind.
And as a result, every single thing in life just didn’t flow as smoothly as it usually did.
And that in turn had life feeling “less than”. Oh you good old vicious cycle…
Well, the easiest of it all. I started running again, and don’t let my daily Yoga practice slip. Sounds so flaming obvious, right??
I pondered for a while and then cut myself some slack.
All our lives have ups and downs, we run more, then we run a little less, just to pick it up again a little later.
It’s all good, that’s just life, right?
Yet my mind said it’s tricky.
It’s not as easy as that.
It’s hard! Difficult.
In Yoga philosophy there is a concept called “Vrittis”:
Vrittis in the Yoga Sutras are the “modifications of the mind” or the chatty monkey mind that keeps on giving, as well as all the habitual thought patterns we move into as a result.
Pesky little “vrittis”. It was time for you to dissipate. Pronto por favour.
THE ONE THING TO TACKLE FIRST…
Last year, my body started moving through perimenopause which comes with a bunch of symptoms that when you don’t know what’s going on, can drive you nuts. I was physically in pain after running. It took me days to recover from a gentle run. And my personal Yoga too changed drastically.
I often woke up at nights with joint aches so painful that I had to just sit on the side of my bed for half an hour and move my head in slow motion, do some side stretches, maybe a veeery easy twist too – and breathe. That was my Yoga practice.
And at the time that didn’t feel very inspirational at all. I felt stuck. Confused what was going on until I knew what changed.
Today, I feel stronger again in my body and mind ready to take on the world, yet “mini” funks still happen in my life.
The hair pulling, frustrating ones that I think we all feel at times.
So the moment I notice my mind wandering off, wanting to go back into my old, often negative and destructive patterns, that’s the moment where my prefrontal cortex needs to kick in.
And when that happens I can get myself out of my sad “everything sucks, I’m not good enough to do anything” space – right into a more logical, solution based state.
I’M ON A MISSION TO GET BACK INTO A RUNNING ROUTINE THAT ACTUALLY STICKS
- I remember my big WHY! (print it out and stick it to fridge)
- I schedule runs in my diary. I make them non-negotiable. Also: print and stick it fridge!
- Do the 54321 counting backward thing Mel Robbins teaches us (google it!). To stop my worries and tell monkey mind to zip it.
- Get my neighbours involved to remind me (and come with me) to go to club on Tuesday nights (thanks Katie 🙂
- Tell my friends I’m coming to club and drinkies afterwards (so I can’t back out!)
- Register for a race (Valencia December 2018…)
That’s probably THE biggest one that keeps me going, as I really don’t think racing without training is the most effective, pain free and fun way to do it…
What’s the one that gets YOU out of your mini funk? Would love your inspiration to add to my list!
There are a ton of articles, blogs, vlogs and videos out there that hail the amazing benefits that a Yoga practice gives to us as runners, it definitely makes us “better“ runners. And I’m behind all of them 100%. I want to become better too!!
Though without putting the work in, without lacing up my trainers, getting out there and actually doing it, I will not become a better runner. And shock, horror, without doing it in the first place, I’m not even a runner, right…?!
And neither will it improve my state of mind, my physical and emotional health or my life if I don’t regularly practice Yoga.
Take action you guys, stay awesome, keep running.
And for goodness sake, start practicing Yoga 😉
Much love to you,