While at yoga on Wednesday I had one of my least favorite spots in the room with a wall of mirrors directly behind me. No one and I mean no one looks good from directly behind half way through class doing downward dog as recovery for the flow you just finished. Your face looks puffy because you’re upside down and all the blood is rushing to your head, your shirt is probably flopping up exposing your shocking white belly and you are just tired enough from the last few flows to easily lose focus and stare back at your reflection confused and slightly embarrassed. Yep, that is why I hate having the mirror behind me in class it instantly shatters the Zen just achieved in my head.
Fortunately, my teacher’s focus on this particular day was on the breath and she said something the struck me as utterly profound and slapped me right back into concentrating on nothing but pushing air in and out of my lungs. She said “if your breathing is labored stay where you are, if it is strong go further. The breath has no judgment. Do what you can today.” And, so I did. I closed my eyes and thought puffy, red face be damned and breathed through the rest of class. When my breathing was strong I focused and lifted my leg higher in three legged dog and when it was labored I listened and rested for a few inhalations in child’s pose. My breath never found fault or judged me. It simply let me know what my body needed from me to give me its best for the day. The breath has no judgment.
Every time I travel I have the best intentions of sticking to my running and yoga routine from home. Admittedly, I typically don’t do well. I do a bit better with the running side of things. I think this is partly because the only extra you need to pack are shoes. From there, it isn’t that hard to find the fitness center at the hotel or a sidewalk outside. The yoga thing poses a little bit more of a challenge, but I think I may have found a couple ways to remove all my excuses on future trips. First, I have a Netflix subscription and there are yoga videos on there and second, I found a travel (read: foldable/packable) yoga mat I could easily bring with me on all of my work and personal trips.
How do you maintain your Zen while far from home? Do you even try?
Lately with the changeover to outdoor running for spring and summer my gym time has been limited to my twice weekly lunch time yoga sessions. This has sparked me to look into adding in some strength training (AKA jiggle removing) moves to the start and end of my after work runs. I came across this strength training warm up plan from Running World a while ago and have been meaning to put it to use. I also saw these moves and these on Pinterest a few days ago and then while on the plane to Seattle earlier this week it was like Fitness Magazine was reading my mind with some Get Out and Play! moves in the front of their June issue.
(Sorry, I tried to find the moves online for you but couldn’t)
What are you warm up and cool down routines? Do you include any strength moves in your runs?
P.S. Happy National Running Day!
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