Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yoga for Dummy Runners

I’ve been told I need to stretch more. I’ve been given stretching exercises as part of injury rehabilitation to help strengthen weak muscles and address imbalances. There is stretching before and after training runs with the new marathon training clinic. Certainly this is easier when you have access to a facility that provides an opportunity to stretch that isn’t outside in the winter.

I have books on stretching including one for Dummies. Knowing all this doesn’t mean that it gets done on a regular basis. Granted I’m better trying to get to stretching and more aware of when I stretch and don’t stretch, the bottom line is I need to take some advice from Nike and “Just Do It!”

There are just some things that I never saw myself doing in this life. I won’t ever stand for election. Pose for Playgirl. Win the lottery. Become a contestant on Fear Factor. I also seemed to think that I would never get caught dead in a yoga class.

It seems you can teach an old dog a new trick, or minimally a downward dog if we can agree downwardish is a word

I finally attended my first yoga class.

Christine Feldstead is the originator of Yoga for Runners. I own her CD and had watched it much like a dog that knows you are trying to tell it something but just can’t make it out unless your head is cocked to one side. Figuring out yoga from a video is much like assembling the pieces of a puzzle that are still in the box. Everything is there including the picture but it takes some time and mucking about to put it all together.

My mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor. Last year I followed OneRun on Twitter and Facebook, Theresa Carriere’s story is inspirational. She has decided to run 100km in one day again this year. Her 2011fund raising campaign is beginning to swing in to gear.

The stars aligned, a butterfly flapped it’s wings and kharma took over. My first yoga class would be with Christine Feldstead in support of OneRun.

Join Christine Felstead who pioneered the development of Yoga for Runners and today is the leading authority on the practice. Yoga experience not required, but yoga mat is.”

That’s me, inexperienced yoga mat owner.

Theresa, Jeff, Marc, Nancy and KO

Luckily, I had a support group to hold my hand. KO, Marc, and Nancy (yes the same Nancy who yelled my name at mile 24 in the WDW marathon).

About 45 people attended the event. In addition to Christine there were four yogi assistants to help adjust and align our postures. We did two hours of yoga. Or should I say the class was two hours. Still recovering from my 40 mile weekend there were some things that just weren’t in the cards. But, But! I was able to hang in there for almost everything.

My downward dog still isn’t paper trained, my pigeon pooped, my warrior poses aren’t battle ready, and my corpse pose isn’t ready for burial. More importantly, forget all this hubbub that yoga is all about stretching, I must have skipped the chapter that talked about how much strength you need to hold these poses. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected to tell you that holding a plank seems like a rest position.

Now I’m intrigued. Christine was fun, informal and very informational. She understands a runner because she is one.

There is a Yoga for Runners class on Monday nights at OSOYoga. Maybe I’ll see you there. I’ll be working on my downwardpigeonwarriorcorpse pose.

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