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Anyone who has been around me and allowed me to speak during the past several years knows that I have become increasingly interested in lifestyle changes to improve physical and psychological wellbeing. Exercise is an important piece of the puzzle.
I have recently added running to my movement practice. And I have been trying out a movement combination that is new to me: running followed immediately by vinyasa flow yoga.
One of the forms this has taken is to run to the yoga studio from my house. It is a nice distance…just a hair over 3 miles. I have been doing this in intervals, alternating between walking and running…with the running intervals a bit longer than the walking intervals, but really letting my breath dictate the length of each. And then straight into the yoga class.
I mean WOW!
Who knew!? Well, I guess a lot of people knew, but I did not know. I would be mad at y’all for not telling me, but I guess you did tell me. Maybe a lot of times. But, I digress.
I am sure, this is a little like Columbus “discovering” America (I think there were kinda already people here)….and that a lot of my long term active, fit, movement-oriented friends already knew this but…I have news….
First thing I want to report on is that run/walk intervals determined by breath are brilliant (thanks Jeff Galloway, you are a genius). No huffing and puffing is Jeff’s motto, even at the end of the run.
Saturday, I had this crazy experience of luxuriating in the walking bits. It seemed a little like stopping a meal part way through to eat dessert–again and again. Run…dessert, run…dessert, run…dessert…etc. Like some crazy exercise all-you-can-eat buffet.
“Yes sir, you may indeed have another slice of pie!”
I move every day. I have had a 6-7 day a week yoga practice for about 5 1/2 years. But the addition of running is new. Very handy on the road with no yoga classes. But, this combo is even better.
Today, I had not intended to do the combo…just running. I already did the combo 3X in the past week and that seemed sufficient.
So I went over to the Whirlpool Trail in Oxford…which I discovered, just today.
You are welcome Oxford, MS peeps.
I know, it is sad that I keep discovering things that everyone around me has known forever….but still, the excitement of discovery and all that.
So, anyhow, I did about 3.5 miles of run/walk intervals and then walked a half mile to cool down a little. I was thinking I should stretch a bit after running, looked at my phone, and realized there was an Ashtanga Yoga lunch class in 17 minutes.
I knew that there was no way I would get in as good a stretch on my own as I would in an Ashtanga class (for non-yogis, Ashtanga is a vigorous flow style yoga with very liberal amounts of hamstring stretching).
Oxford is small, so I dropped the top on my little sports car and rocked on over to Southern Star Yoga Center and got there with time to spare.
OK, I know, I already said that.
Did you guys know about this?
Anyhow, just reporting in. This whole sabbatical thing is way cool. Sleep in, read science all day, take breaks for moving. I could get used to this!
Feeling deep gratitude that my body seems to be forgiving me for all those years of neglect. And also grateful to my many friends, inspirations, cheerleaders, and movement teachers.
Namaste Y’all…see you in the road or the mat, or maybe both!
P.S. I would absolutely not recommend that anyone do this unless they are already in good shape. My movement practice started with about 6 months of gentle yoga for special needs. I am not making this up. I was in such poor condition that I could barely do the gentle yoga classes. I started running with 5 1/2 years of serious yoga practice under my belt. I am not saying you should wait that long, but go slow, go gentle. Let this be about a gift, from you to you.