I spend a lot of time reading articles about running. All in hopes of learning as much as I can about the sport. Secretly hoping to find a quick way to become a faster runner who can go further.
Many articles discuss the importance of cross training. It always makes sense to read that developing supporting leg muscles, keeping your core strong and just being healthy overall will enhance your running. Often times, yoga is suggested to provide an answer to all of these points.
I was hesitant to try yoga. I was scared that my scoliosis wouldn’t tolerate it and I would end up in more pain. I was scared that the mind and spirit part of it would tap into some inner stress and come out in sobbing tears on the mat in the middle of a class of strangers. I was scared to not be good enough to keep up and end up disrupting the class because of it. I was scared to be vulnerable in what I perceived as rather personal exchange for an exercise routine.
Despite all this, article after article suggested yoga. It seemed like I was not going to be able to ignore it forever and I finally decided to try to figure this out.
Luckily for me, a friend of mine teaches yoga. She is one of those individuals that just radiates positive energy. Someone who makes your day feel brighter with just a smile. Her gentle heart and compassionate presence rubs off on you and makes you want to be better. I trusted that she would know how I should start on this journey of discovering if yoga is something that is for me. To help me find out if it is something I could actually do and to guide me through the bazillion options for yoga classes, videos and techniques. I needed to figure out a starting point.
We chatted about my interest, hesitations and goals with regards to yoga and she suggested that we try a one on one session in my home. Friends hanging out and sharing is what it felt like.
It was a spectacular first introduction to Yoga.
I was shocked at the physical commitment to some of the poses we tried. I’m guessing that tomorrow morning, going up stairs will remind me that I had engaged butt muscles that have been lazy on the couch for too long. I loved that my muscles felt a little challenged.
I learned so much in such a short period of time. I became aware of small tweaks in my posture that made huge changes – you could instantly feel them. I became aware of how tight I hold my shoulders – totally going to be paying attention to that next time I run!
I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxation period at the end. Being encouraged to lay still and purposely relax your body is challenging for a busy mom of four. She provided a great tool to help. With her ever kind voice she softly said, “If thoughts come into your mind, acknowledge them and then let them go…they can be dealt with later”. This was powerful for me. I nearly broke into tears. A mother’s mind never shuts off. Never. There is always a to-do list rolling through – I should fill up the van while we are out later because they are calling for bad weather tomorrow and I hate filling up in the pouring rain. I need to book a dental appointment for Bud when we are done to get that retainer checked. I should break the news to Baby Girl that a trip to Grandma and Pa’s this March Break just can’t be fit into the schedule. Man, I’m just exhausted thinking about the fallout of tears from that one. Shoot, I need to send off those work documents.
We all do it. All day. Every day. Except this time, I was given permission to deal with it all later. That I could let it go. The list didn’t need me right then. The only thing that was important right then was my breath. The only thing that needed attention was me. WOW! Mom’s do not hear that enough, if ever. That relaxation phase of the session was priceless. I did not see that coming!
At the end of the day, after my first go at yoga, I feel strong, tall and balanced, physically and emotionally. I feel energized and eager to see what tomorrow will bring. I am expecting some slight soreness or stiffness but am hoping that this positive energy that I have found lasts into the morning light.
I will definitely be doing this again!