I started off my Saturday morning with an amazing, relaxing and inspiring yoga/pilates class at the Y. After slacking off a little this week, I was determined to get up early and get it right today. I enjoyed a mocha almond Kashi bar on my 5 minute drive and rushed in just on time, yoga mat and Smart Water in hand.
I used to do yoga twice a week for about 5 years but have been on a sort of hiatus the last couple years. Even though I knew it balanced the pounding I did to my body during half marathon training, running became the front runner and I let yoga take a backseat. I’ve done it sporadically at home, but there’s nothing as zen-ful (yes, I made up a word there) as having someone with a calming voice guide your movements. It allows me to concentrate on my breathing and on deepening the poses when I don’t have to count or think about what move I should do next.
I definitely felt the burn in my arms and hamstrings today, which told me how out of practice I am. There’s nothing quite like that first downward dog after you’ve been off your mat for a while. I am hoping to start incorporating yoga back into my weekly routine, especially since I’ll begin training for my next half marathon this upcoming week. Yoga really helps with my flexibility and stretches out my hips and hamstrings that get so tight when I run regularly. It’s also a nice break from running everyday.
In addition to the physical benefits, yoga has always been a way for me to find my balance. When I get stressed or am carrying some extra emotional baggage, yoga is a way for me to escape for a while and find the clarity I need to release those things that bog me down. It helps me to appreciate the wonderful things in my life that become hazy when I can’t see through the fog. It is my zen.
I hope that you have something in your life that brings you clarity and helps you to also escape from your demons, whatever they may be.
Now I will leave you with a poem my favorite yoga instructor and zen life coach used to recite at the end of class:
May you be filled with peace and goodness, love and light. May you be well. Namaste.