Sunday I took a great workshop, Yoga for Runners, at 5 Boro PowerYoga led by Paulina Underwood. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that I’m a runner and that I also practice yoga. I love running and it does put a pounding on the body. Yoga stretches out and lengthens the muscles that running contracts. It’s pretty much the reason that I can get out of bed and walk around without too much grumbling.
So I was excited to see a 2 hour workshop dedicated to runners and yoga. I’ve been to this studio before and I find the teachers warm, engaging, and very hands on. Yoga at 5 Boro is done in a room heated to 85 degrees, which lets muscles be more pliable. It’s no where near as hot as a Bikram class so I felt energized rather than sapped at this temperature.
We started with breath work and also learned why Ujjayi breath worka as well with running as it does yoga. I’ve been working on implementing breathing through my nose while running but not with this particular breath work. As an fyi: breathing through your nose actually does let you breathe better while running although it does feel difficult at first. You can read more about this in Dr. John Douillard’s book Body, Mind, and Sport.
We then moved on to a series of sun salutations with a lot of hip opening exercises. As expected there were a lot of warrior, triangle and pigeon poses. There were blocks and straps to let you better access a pose. While I don’t always need a prop it really does let you focus on really lengthening a muscle rather than an ego based desire to get the pose right. (I’m talking about my own ego but I suspect I’m not alone on this one).
There was also a tutorial on chattaranga which was enlightening. It’s a pose I’ve struggled with, I have a block in my brain that says I don’t have enough upper body strength for this pose. My aha moment was yes, I do have the strength to do this. I’ve just been hovering too low and too far forward – hence my collapsing. Honestly, that alone would have made my day.
I left feeling stretched, enlightened, and part of a community. Not bad for 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon. I am definitely looking forward to more classes. (note: there are more workshops being offered in October and you can find more information on their website: http://www.5boropoweryoga.com/).
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