I’ve always run. Well, not really. I’d say I ran quite a bit in high school, and then I hung up my sneakers and hit the gym. I pretty much worked out in the gym for a few years, and at one point, in my early 30’s, I was going through a tough time and I figured I’d run it out. I ran. A lot. I ran in the morning, I ran in the evening. I was living in a warm climate at the time, so I ran for most of the year, only resting in December.
This went on for about 3 years and then, on a vacation, I took my very first yoga class. It was 1999. It planted a seed that took a few months to really take hold, but once it did, yoga was part of my life. For about 2 years, I stopped running. Yoga replaced my running completely. But then, my heart yearned to be outside, especially in the summer. I loved the feeling of just throwing on my sneakers and heading out the door. I loved the biomechanics of it, the simplicity of it, how it made me feel strong and stoked my competitive fire. When I took up running the second time, because I had yoga in my life, I started to see the similarities between the two. There were so many physical as well as mental commonalities that I just started to mix the two. Run one day, practice the next. Run two days, practice the third. Over the years, as my tolerance for running in the cold waned, I pretty much took off November-April and just practiced yoga. Ran a half marathon in 2007 and a marathon in 2008. By that point, yoga and running for me were intrinsically linked. Now, I can’t imagine not doing them together.
This Saturday, August 14, 2010, I’m hosting a workshop for Runners at Charlestown Yoga. It’s a very personal event for me, because it will be filled with a lot of my own inspirations and techniques from my own running and yoga practices. I’m so excited to share with friends, old and new.
So, what do yoga and running share? Here are some of the topics we’ll bring to life in this workshop:
Meditation is great preparation
Let your breath be your guide
Feel your foundation, including all four corners of your feet
Put the power where you need it and relax the rest
Line up your joints for maximum power, efficiency and to prevent injury
Set your eyes; stay out of other people’s lives
The road is just as much of a mirror as your mat
Move from your center, outward
Move from the power of your muscles and bones to create a purposeful, light stride
Pick a mantra and use it in times of challenge to re-direct and re-focus your mind
Consistency is key
Restoration is rejuvination
And my favorite thing that yoga and running share: Pedicures are mandatory as part of your training! (for guys too!)
I would also like to credit Baron Baptiste, for sharing many related principles with me, as part of my training. In his book, Journey Into Power, you will read about the guidelines of Power Yoga and many of my thoughts above have been inspired by my training with Baron. I highly encourage you to read this book.
If this sounds interesting, I hope you’ll join me so you can see how we can bring these principles to life. Please sign up today at www.charlestownyoga.com. Only $25.00. 11am-2:00 pm.
Karen Fabian, M.S., Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher, ERYT 200HR, has been teaching in Boston since 2002. She is the founder of Bare Bones Yoga; its’ mission is to bring yoga to adults and children in creative ways. Follow her on Facebook @Bare Bones Yoga and Twitter @barebonesyoga. Visit her website, www.barebonesyoga.com