Wednesday Wisdom: Zen + Running = Happiness

Has anyone else noticed that there have been a ton of yoga-related posts on running blogs lately?  It seems like last week I saw a ton, including this awesome post over on Scoot A Doot about mixing running and yoga together.  If you’ve never thought about the combo, go read that blog post!  It instantly changed my mind on yoga and what it can do for me as a runner.  My sister got me into yoga a few years ago, but I was never really a fan of it – back then I was in grad school and working full time as a nanny, so taking 1 hour out of my life to shake while holding poses and sweat in pain was not my idea of useful time.  Plus I’m the least flexible person on earth and I’m not coordinated at all so graceful sports are not for me.  Now that I’m into running, I’m realizing that an hour to workout isn’t actually a big deal – especially when it helps me get more flexible and possibly prevent running injuries.  So on Monday night, I decided to pull out an old yoga DVD that I bought at Walmart a few years ago, dug out my hot pink yoga mat, and re-tried yoga.


My first thoughts were “This feels great!”.  Deep breathing and stretching is something that I need more of in my life because I never really get to relax or have “me” time other than running.  And then came downward facing dog.  OMG it hurt!  I could feel how tight my legs were from running and while I was glad I was stretching them out, it still hurt a lot.  Then came some crazy sequences, including a warrior sequence that literally was so painful and difficult on my legs that I started crying.  My husband thought I was insane, but I kept going and finished the 53 minute DVD.  After I finished, I couldn’t stop shaking and I felt really sick, although I wasn’t sweating as much as I thought I would.  But I did feel this very strange, floaty, blissful feeling that I later realized was just the feeling of being relaxed and calm – which are two things I have not been in a loooong time.  It was very different than how I feel after a run, but it was still a good feeling that stuck with me for a while!

Tuesday I woke up super early due to someone calling out at work, which caused me to spend literally 2 hours frantically trying to get every shift covered on the student schedule.  It was my last day of covering the schedule and I really wanted to get it done correctly.  Then I spent the rest of my day dealing with crazy phone calls and even more bizarre student work situations…but the craziest part was that I handled it all without crying or freaking out.  I felt way more calm about each situation than I usually would, and I think I can partially blame yoga!  Physically, my knees hurt when I woke up but that feeling went away after a few hours.  I’m now definitely sore on my abs and upper arms, so I know I was getting a good workout!  But I’m really glad that I gave it a try, even if I was really awful at it.  My new goal is to find a runner-friendly yoga routine and do it a few times a week for at least a month.  If after a month I’m still falling over mid-pose and feeling nauseous after working out I’ll stop.  But after seeing how relaxed I felt on Monday night and Tuesday morning, and feeling much more stretched out, I’m thinking that this is something that I should keep in my workout routine!

yogarunnersI found this on Pinterest and plan on doing some poses whenever I need to stretch out!

Since I have no idea what I’m doing, I’ve been asking for help from any yogi that is willing to share their wisdom!  I’ve already been given some yoga advice from Rebecca at Strength and Sunshine.  Her recent blog post about crying while doing yoga was really inspirational and I hope I can someday get to that point with yoga (and not because of pain). She gave me some links to yoga workouts that are great for runners so feel free to check these out!

Do you do yoga on your non-running days?  What routines do you use?  Share them with me!  And does anyone else fall over/look like a hot mess when doing yoga or is it just me?

22 thoughts on “Wednesday Wisdom: Zen + Running = Happiness

  1. I haven’t been to my hot yoga classes since earlier this year but I can promise you that I flail all over the place like the spaz that I am when I’m there. Plus, you’re sweating like crazy so add in the slick sweat with the flail and it’s the most ridiculous thing ever. 😉

    1. Haha I’m glad I’m not the only one who falls a lot! Hot yoga sounds scary, I think it’s awesome you’re able to do it at all!

  2. If you can, look into taking a yoga class, even if you only go two or three times. Then you’ll know you’re doing the poses correctly and with proper form, which should help with the knee pain. If you’re holding correct form you shouldn’t have pain (aside from some DOMS, which doesn’t count).

  3. Thank you so much for including me! I am so happy I could help! You made my day 🙂 Guess what, I have a hot pink yoga mat too, haha. Mine is really old and falling apart now, but it has been with me through my whole yoga journey! I can’t wait to see how your new yoga journey will turn out and where it will take you 🙂

    1. No problem! You were so helpful with those links! I’m running tonight but tomorrow I think I might try one of those out! I’ll let you know how it goes. Also, hot pink workout gear makes everything better 🙂

  4. So glad that you enjoyed my guest post over on ScootaDoot! I’m pleased that someone could find some motivation / inspiration out of it! Obviously, I love to do yoga on my days off from running, and I have found so much benefit to engaging in a regular practice…on so many levels! (and, I have totally made a fool of myself in class…but you never will never be able to do something unless you first try! like, trying crow pose and falling over. practically on your face. hey, it’s all good!) Good luck finding your yoga groove!

    1. Of course! I couldn’t believe how much I was hearing about it recently, and your post totally pushed me to finally try it! Hopefully I get a bit more flexible and fall less as I do it more 🙂

  5. Hmmm…sounds like I might benefit from some yoga sessions 🙂 I do a few yoga stretches but I probably need to do it a bit more to get that calm relaxed feeling for the rest of the day!

    1. It was funny because someone recently told me I should do yoga to be less stressed about work and I think it actually helped me this week! It’s like running – you can focus on your breathing and really listen to your thoughts. It was really cool!

  6. Although I run a lot, I wouldn’t consider myself “a runner.” I like to constantly switch things up and an average week for me usually includes running, weight-lifting, circuit training, sometimes spinning, and yoga or Pilates. I can definitely attest though that yoga helps with all other areas of my fitness routine. It keeps me flexible and limber which crosses over into other exercises.

    Also, I posted a fun Rise & Energize Yoga video on my blog last Friday if you need any more ideas 🙂

    1. Sweet, I will totally check that out! And I’m so glad that this is going to help with my flexibility. I need a lot of help in that area haha.

  7. I try to get to a yoga class once a week, but I’m terrible about doing it on my own at home. I am also the least flexible person ever, and I totally face plant out of at least one pose per class, but I keep trying.

    1. Where do you take classes? You’re in the Philly area, right? I’m in Clifton Heights so I’m hoping I can find something cheap/nearby so that I can make sure that I’m doing the moves right. Do people fall in class all the time? I’m going to be so embarrassed if I end up taking a class because I think I spend more time falling than I do actually doing the poses!

      1. I go to YogaLove in Yardley (Bucks County). It’s pretty reasonable in terms of cost, and I try to only by as many classes as I think I’ll actually use before they expire. Depending on the class, there are always people wobbling and sometimes falling. I would look for a beginners class and be sure to let the teacher know its your first time (in my experience teachers always ask who is new to yoga or if there are any injuries).

      2. Boo! Yardley is on the other side of Philly from me! Although my husband did grow up around there (he went to Council Rock South!). Thanks for the tips! I hope I can find some good places in DelCo!

  8. I absolutely love yoga as a complement to running!! I’ve been trying out new yoga workouts that incorporate other things. I wrote a couple posts recently on a hot yoga + strength training class I took and a Yoga Hike earlier this fall. both awesome.

  9. You’re right on that SO many people have been talking about yoga this fall – including me! It’s been my go–to workout over running this season. I just needed something different and I love love love yoga, so it made sense to spend more time focusing on building those skills. The two workouts are awesome together! I hope you grow to love it!

    1. Thanks! I’ve never been really into yoga because my lack of flexibility, but I do love how it stretches me out after running! I may do more yoga than running once the weather turns bad!

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