As many of my followers know, I’ve gotten into yoga this past summer thanks to one of my work friends who is a yoga instructor. Mostly in the beginning, it was a way to stay fit in the summer since I was not distance running. Distance running is my love and during the summer months I miss it so much. It is just too darn hot in Florida, and honestly since moving to North Carolina it hasn’t been much different.
This summer, my younger sister was taking a yoga course at NCState where she learned extensively about yoga as a practice. When I moved to North Carolina, she encouraged me to take yoga classes with her. Every Sunday for about a month we would go to free yoga classes at the Raleigh Beer Garden hosted by Corepower Yoga. As a beginner, I did not feel intimidated by this group not knowing all the yoga poses, and not being able to maintain my balance during many poses like the Tree Pose. Everyone was welcoming and very friendly. Come to think of it, I still do not know many of the yoga poses out there. That is why I call myself a beginner yogi. Unfortunately, the summer yoga series at the Raleigh Beer Garden has come to an end.
This past weekend in Raleigh, we had the Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown. I know what you are thinking…’what on earth does this have to do with yoga or running?’ Well, on Friday morning they had a sunrise public yoga class to celebrate the Music Festival. All of Fayetteville Street in Downtown Raleigh was shut down for the yoga event that morning. Yoga started at 6:30AM. My sister and I had to wake up at 5:00AM, and go downtown. It really reminded me of how it feels getting ready for a big race. (I am so excited for race season, by the way!) For the sunrise yoga, there were about 300 people with their yoga mats filling the busy Raleigh Street. My sister and I loved the practice because it really felt like a huge community. I absolutely loved looking up at the sky during corpse pose (laying down), and we saw we were surrounded by sky scrapers. It was such a fantastic way to start the work day. The location really worked out for me too because it was close to work. After being separated for multiple years, it make me so happy that I can share these experiences with my little sister. Every day, I am so thankful to have her nearby now that my fiancé and I have moved to Raleigh. Yoga is just one of the ways we bond as sisters. Yoga is now a hobby we share together. ❤
Moving on from the sappy comments, what is surprising to me is how I’ve learned how much yoga compliments the sport of running. I am more flexible and I feel stronger on my runs. I’ve also heard many podcasts, and seen many books that attest to yoga helping athletes through recovery of injuries, and gaining strength. I will be doing yoga at least twice a week during race training. Starting new week at work, I will be teaching beginner yoga every Tuesday and Thursday to older adults. The class is so much fun, and just adds variety to the nutrition classes I also teach.
Have any of you other blogging runners gotten into yoga as a way to help improve you as an athlete?