Every Day I am Yoga – ing

Ok, so maybe I am not yoga-ing everyday…but damn if I ain’t going to give it my best shot!

A little background I suppose is in order.

I have never (yes, never) been what you would call flexible or coordinated. I cannot touch my toes.  I have always been functionally strong. Just last summer I was hauling around 80 pound bags of concrete and hand mixing them with a garden hoe and shovel. I can’t do a handstand, but I can push mow acreage. I can run ridiculous distances, but I can’t do a cartwheel.

RockyIt was all very frustrating as a child so I just kind of let it go. Until I saw Rocky’s shoulders.

The picture was intended to draw attention to the beautiful scenery in the background. All I saw were perfectly shaped delts.

Chaturangas she said. A serious yoga practice she said. You can do it she said.

Run love yogaYeah – no.

I took a few classes at the Y, and the instructor was awesome. But it just wasn’t for me. I just couldn’t get in to it. Natalie made running Yogis look cool. She still makes running Yogis look cool. But I couldn’t take the plunge.

In all honesty, I still thought that I was going to carve time into my training schedule for CrossFit. That “functional” thing I talked about earlier really spoke to me. Strong chicks throwing around heavy stuff with amazing physiques piqued every ounce of curiosity I had. I knew that would be my next challenge. I knew that as soon as I could figure out the finances and the time, that would be where I supplemented my cross training for my runs.

Then Jill happened. And she knows just how to motivate me.

Capture

Y’all, when I tell you she is awesome, I wish I had never used the word before so you would know just how much I meant it. Jillian was effortless, graceful, powerful.

I was in Yoga Love.

I was also in Yoga jealousy. I could not do the hand stand. I could not flip the dog. In fact, there were a good many things I just couldn’t do. And I wanted to. I really, REALLY wanted to.

Yoga JillianYou see, Jillian walked through the class and talked about honoring the body, challenging yourself, respecting your limits, getting better with practice. These are all things ultra runners talk about. The ideas resonated with me in the same way Ultra running does.

It isn’t about winning a race or being better than the guy next to you. It is about winning at life and being better than you were yesterday.

I was going to make this work. Runners need to cross train, right? We need great stretches, strong cores, resilient minds – sounds like yoga to me!

Emily says, “Come to yoga with me after a run. It looks like this.”

And she drops in the middle of a 23 mile run and does this arm balance thing that I couldn’t do fresh with folks to hold me up.
Emily Yoga
Yeah, I had to learn more for real about this yoga business.

If there was any hesitation about this being the right idea, Lindsey put that to bed. Early on a Sunday morning, I set out to join her for a 5k run and Yoga in the Park. Awakening Yoga Studio had begun an every other Sunday Run/Yoga Group and I was anxious to check it out.

I ran with Lindsey and it didn’t take me long to realize she was fast. Not only was she fast – she was fast while pushing a stroller!

“You run about 21 minute 5k, right?” I asked while we ran mile 2.

“Yeah,” she said. “I PR’d at 20:50 but I was pushing the stroller.”

What?!?! Yes, you read that right. Go ahead and read it again. I offered to go with her to the next 5k she did just to watch James Michael so she could run free. Man I hope she takes me up on that!

She then proceeded to lead the most beautiful Yoga class. She was strong and elegant. There was no further debate in my head.
Yoga Lindsey1
What Rocky inspired, Jillian inflamed, Emily encouraged and Lindsey cemented – Lisa made possible. Her encouragement and partnership showed me how I too could make this work within my running practice and life parameters. And if I could do it – anybody could!

So the 30 Day Yoga challenge starts tomorrow!!! Are you reading this late? Then yours starts today!!

There is a prize and a certificate…but something tells me that if this goes like I think it will, there are far bigger rewards to be had.

Yogis, thank you. From the bottom of my rooted feet to the tips of my energized fingers, I can’t thank you enough.

Nameste.

Stay tuned while I learn what the rest of the words mean!!!

**Rocky doesn’t just do Yoga…she does a whole heck of a lot of stuff. One of the amazing things she does is an organization called Mothers Fighting for Others. Check them out. Help if you can. They are running out of money…fast…

MFFO

Comments

  1. Wowza!! Thank you so much for such an amazing and inspiring post! You are such a rockstar, we need to name a pose after you….hmmm….will be thinking!

  2. Carey Daughtry says:

    Please do keep us updated on your experience. Like you, despite my physical abilities and talents, it would surprise people just how much I lack flexibility. I have tried yoga on and off for years in an effort to marriage the practice with my martial arts training. Experiencing a yoga class gives you a respect for the practice and an appreciation of it’s value. However, I have not found it to be something I have been able to maintain with any real consistency… and I am not sure why. I think about trying it again every now and then.

    • Mine was for sure place and time. I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the importance of practicing yoga in a dedicated space and place. Being in that atmosphere really changed things for me.

      I will for sure keep you updated and maybe you and I can do a class this month together 🙂

  3. Anne-Marie (Miles) Callahan says:

    April!! Great article! I joined Awakenings 30-Day Challenge in January of this year and found it to be an amazing experience! Unfortunately, I only made it 3 weeks before life interrupted, but in those 3 weeks I gained a lot of self-esteem and lost 8 pounds! I highly recommend it – and in the yogi world just doing your best is good enough – even if you don’t make it all the way – honor your body, respect your limits and practice, practice, practice. I’m looking forward to getting back to my yoga practice soon and I hope you find it as rewarding as you hope.
    @Carey Daughtery – I recommend trying a variety of teachers… they really make all the difference in the world. Once you connect with an instructor (like what April talks about in her article) you probably will find that you can’t stay away!
    Shanti to all!

    • Anne-Marie! Great to see you again!! I am glad you are enjoying the blog. And you are so right about the practice part of the yoga lifestyle. Yet, another thing that just seems to gel with the ultra runner mentality (at least mine)!

      Maybe I will see you around the studio sometime. The new schedule seems very conducive to busy schedules!

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