Monday, August 9, 2010

On yoga and running.

It has been too long. At one point I lost the urge and the need to expose my yogic inner workings (read - constant complaints) and left this blog hanging cold and abandoned in the cyberspace. However my life finally got into a semblance of a routine and this urge reared its ugly head again. I mostly miss reading other people's blogs, not writing in my own, though.
It has been exactly three years since I started Mysore practice. The result - I am addicted to the practice emotionally and a little broken physically. Get this - I decided to start running, so that I would increase stamina, which would help me with my yoga practice. The thinking went this way - if I practice yoga daily, I can't function the rest of the day - too darn tired. My practice is not enough cardio-demanding and I do not build stamina fast enough. So if I start running (swimming, biking), my cardio health will improve and I will be able to do my 2-hour long practice every day. There is something that bothers me in this logical conclusion, but the lack of mental clarity prevents me from dealing with this problem at the moment.
Anyway, I went to the Fleet Feet and had running shoes fitted, orthotics inserted, socks and water bottles purchased. The guy at the store was asking me some really uncomfortable questions, like "How much do you currently run?" - hmmm, zero. "How long have you been running?" - easier to say how long I have NOT been running, which is exactly 20 years. "Are you training for a marathon or a half-marathon?" - yeah, right. Both. It was hard to explain in detail that my exercise-induced asthma prevented me not only from running, but just climbing two floors up without losing my breath completely, and that because of yoga and some clever pharmaceutical advances I finally feel good enough to start running, OK, jogging again, and so on. So I told him that I am I am training for some unspecified event in an undefined time point, which is all might be true, eventually.
So the big moment happened yesterday. I got into my brand new running outfit (completely different from any of my 349 pieces of yoga apparel) and went running to the neighboring high school stadium. A quarter of a mile track. Several runners trotting along. Cool pre-dawn weather. Boy, running felt heavy. My beautifully fitted shoes, light as a feather just a day before, weighted 5 pounds each. I run and walked, then run again and walked again. Fellow runners of all ages were passing me over - once, then twice, then three times. By the time I reached the first mile mark, I thought my life was just not worth living. Caught some concerened glances from the passerbys, but really did not care much. The only thought that was pulsing in my head in rythm with my carotid arteries beating was - after three years of intense yoga practice, is this all I can do? So very pathetic...
Good thing that I got Tova's massage later in the day. Practice on Monday was not hard at all! Asana's felt light, graceful and beautiful just by their nature, in comparison with heavy stomping produced by me a day before. And I am still feeling fine, even though I normally crash by the end of work day on Monday. Is it possible that one-mile run actually worked and increased my stamina? I know, I know, not plausible. But I will take any help I can get. So I will go running tomorrow again. Maybe I will be able to actually run this whole mile?!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

it was the massage :)

xo
tova

alfia said...

Of course!

I am telling you - my brain is muddled and I do not see the obvious things. Thank you, darling - I still feel fabulous. Magic, magic hands...

Boodiba said...

Alfi! I've missed you. I want a massage too Tova.

I have to say I don't miss running at ALL. I always hated it & I was an indoor, ten minute mile on the treadmill person - ie "jogger". I used to tack a bit on before spin class, in my gym rat days. When I left the gym for Mysore style I was a bit concerned I'd get soft, but I've only gotten leaner.

That said I think running stamina goes very quickly. I'd only been out of the gym work five or six months and my boss at the time signed me up for a 3 mile run in Central Park. A little over 3 maybe. Well... I didn't jog the entire time. There was a slow to a walk at least twice, and I always barfed on my sneakers at the end...

Christine said...

Yay!! I've missed your blog and was happy to see your post turn up in my google reader.
Good Luck with the new Running Adventure!

Christine

alfia said...

Hi, Linda! It is good to hear from you. Now, if the running stamina goes quickly, perhaps it comes quickly as well? :)

Thank you, Christine. I miss you all, too. I wish I had more time at work just to read blogs. Need all the inspiration I can get, and you guys are always very inspirational.

alfia said...

Oi, Linda - I seem to have lost access to your blog :(

alfia said...

Oh, never mind. That was the wordpress blog that does not let me in, the other one is working. :)

Boodiba said...

I'm back here: http://boodiba3.blogspot.com/

I think the running stamina DOES come back quick btw. I'll just never go back unless I quit Astanga...

Arturo said...

dear Alfia
if it's any consolation, i never have developed the stamina for running - but i did for swimming and hiking and other things. to me it's so tiring to run. i never experienced the supposed high, only pain in the innards.

it's nice to be able to say hello to Tova here too. hi Tova!

hugs
Arturo

alfia said...

Hi, Arturo! Thank you for stopping by. I enjoy your photographs and one day will have time to comment, too.
Hugs,
Alfia

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