Many people may think that since we yoga teachers sit in the front of the room spouting phrases like, “be present”, “listen to your body”, and “know your limits and go there”, that we must have the most healthy mind – body connection known to man.  The TRUTH is that we are living the same practice we are encouraging you to live.  So while it is easy for me to repeat these phrases and write about yogic philosophy, the everyday application is just as hard for me.

The past few weeks I have struggled with a pain in my lower leg.  I secretly kept worrying about the fact that it could possibly could be a stress fracture, which would completely ruin my plans of a half marathon in December.  And, even though I secretly suspected a possibility of this injury, I still continued to run.  I knew that if I did have a stress fracture that continuing to train was the worst thing for my body. I knew that should slow down, but I didn’t.  I continued to run and took solace in the fact that I was also doing other recovery methods, such as ice baths, yoga, and manual therapy on the pain site. 

But, it continued to nag me, and I knew I should take a break.  Finally, I gave in and postponed off longer runs during the week.  I took a really honest look at my body and what it was feeling like.  I realized that I was over-pronating my ankles which I knew could lead to some stretching of the inner tissue of my lower leg.  I also took inventory of when and how much it hurt at different times.  With this new self-awareness, I set out on a long run on Sunday.  I was continuously present in my running; noticing how my stride felt, where my foot falls landed, and even how my breathing related to my posture and stride.  The run turned out to be fantastic, and I am happy to say that I am pretty sure I do NOT have a stress fracture.  YAY!

What I do have is a body that needs a little rest and recovery.  I have a body that needs a strength building week.  I had been so linearly minded in my goal for December, I had ignored all the things I knew about how a strong and recovered body makes a better runner.  I have decided to take this week off from running and dig deep into some strengthening practices of yoga that will not only stabilize my legs and hips, but also aid in flexibility for what I hope will be stronger body by the weekend.

This is how is my yoga and running and really life in general collide all the time.  If I take the time to get honest with myself (sayta) and evaluate what is going in my body and life (svadyaya), I can usually find the middle ground (brahmacharya) that brings balance and contentment (santosa) to my body and mind.

This week try to see if you can’t pick something in your life that seems slightly off-balance.  Maybe it is a physical pain in the body or maybe it is imbalance in a relationship or emotion.  Apply the principles of yoga to it.  Stay present.  Ask yourself what is out of balance.  Be truthful.  Find contentment with what is real.  See if some of these things do not help you to find the balance to heal.  Then let us know how it helped you!! 

Namaste’

Advertisements