Monday, February 23, 2015

Becoming a Yogi

When I first started going to yoga classes regularly again, for the first time in probably four years, I made it clear to myself and anyone I'd have general chit chat with prior to class starting, that I was a runner who was coming to yoga to better myself as a runner.

Somewhere along the way, that has shifted.

I find myself scouring the yoga studio's class schedule and booking my classes weeks out to ensure I get a spot to my favorites. There's enough variety in classes that there is almost always something that fits my mood and daily level of fatigue. When the weather is nice, I'll look for a ~30 minute spot of time to head out for a run. No distance in mind. No pace locked in. No heart rate data to obsess over. Speaking of data, my garmin refused to charge for months, so often I had no idea how far or how fast I was going.

And it was freeing.

And maybe that's the yogi mindset: freedom, less rigid, jumping off the severely Type A train, with an emphasis on fun and enjoyment. Running to me is fun when I'm doing well at it; it makes all the hard work worthwhile. But dedicating myself to a sport only to get knocked down by injury again and again is not fun, and clearly something I've struggled with.

But I'll be lying if I said that I didn't hope and expect all of the increased strength and flexibility that I am gaining will benefit me as a runner. I have high hopes that when I get back to running consistently, I will be able to continue attending the yoga classes that I l-o-v-e and keep injuries at bay, and maybe, just maybe finally see some breakthrough progress in my running.

And if that doesn't happen, I'll be bummed. But it's not such a bad thing to be a yogi that runs for fun, right?


Kristin Miller said...

LOOK AT YOU! I really need help with my flexibility. I'm really hoping yoga will help me!

Susan said...

Do what you love, even if that's different than what your "title" is - running will be there when you're ready for it!