Saturdays used to be my long run day. Since getting injured, I have slowly transformed them into yoga days.
I am very new to yoga. I have always been hopelessly inflexible, never coming close to a split even after twelve years of ballet. Running made my muscles even tighter, and my addiction to the adrenaline of high-intensity cardio made yoga seem like a slow, prolonged form of torture. Needless to say, I gave up rather easily.
But then I found myself unable to run, and I needed a place to focus my energy. I craved an outlet for it. So I slid my old beginner’s vinyasa DVD into my laptop, set up a towel on my living room floor, and sat down in front of the screen.
“Breathe in. Breathe in the energy from the earth through your sit bones, from the sky through the crown of your head. Breathe out the stress, the worries, the pain you might feel.”
I’ve never been one for new-agey meditation, but at that particular moment, I believed those words could help me.
And so I awkwarly transitioned from pose to pose, my mind centered on my alignment, my breath, my strength (and sometimes lack thereof). As I laid in Savasana, I could not locate any pain in my knees.
I felt I was on to something.
Running has many benefits. But it is also hard on the body, pounding twelve times our body weight into the ground with each of the 1750 strides we take per mile. Of course there are many intense yoga poses and flows (I certainly won’t be balancing on my head any time soon). But I’ve learned to love how accessible it is – with a bit of trial and error, there can be a style of yoga for each and every person, for each and every need.
I might be one of those people that isn’t meant to run. But I am coming to realize that everyone may be meant for yoga, me included. And today, I’ve finally decided that it’s time to leave my living room and brave a real class. I haven’t felt such nervous excitement since running left my life.
I really do think I’m on to something.
Do you practice yoga?