Yoga, Meditation and Running: The Training Triumverate

Sometimes you’ve just got to Yoga. Picture: mackenziestudebaker.com

There are three things about me you should know: I’m horribly uncoordinated, unable to balance, and visibly uncomfortable around people I don’t know and new situations.

That’s why I decided to give yoga a go. Because, you know, when in Rome… or California.

Obviously, it didn’t go down that way at all. It took a lot of kicking myself in the butt and a phenomenal teacher to get me there.
There used to be a weekly half hour meditation session during lunch at work, before cost-cutting became de rigueur. I’m a hopeless fidget and my brain does not like to meditate but I showed up anyway.
It was fantastic.

Long story short – our trainerinstructor, yoga and meditation extraordinaire Mackenzie (her website says teacher, but I’m all about taking liberties) was an absolutely lovely person who wasn’t at all “crunchy”, and had a good dose of the ‘laugh-at-yourself’ attitude.

Mackenzie mentioned that she was running a series of night yoga and meditation classes at a studio and I figured it was time to bite the bullet.

You already know that I’m sporting some stellar distance running injuries and my hips are basically being held together with elastic bands and magic. My physio had already given me the yoga green light MONTHS ago, but I was too chicken to take the plunge.

Rocking up to the first session was nerve wracking. I can’t even tell you how many times I tried to talk myself out of showing up that day.
But I was greeted like an old friend by pretty much everyone in the room, which was exactly what I needed. So I guess that means that yoga people are basically the best people, right?
I’ll give the caveat that the classes were billed as “gentle hatha” yoga, with some guided meditation and relaxation thrown in. So they’re perfect for my inflexibility, lack of yoga knowledge and propensity to want to curl up and go to sleep.
It’s like two birds with one stone – I get to actually do some proper stretching instead of just pretending that I do that twice a day (who even does that? I’ll stretch after a run, but that’s all my muscles are getting), AND I get to have a little think about life and my reaction to things.That last part is way more useful than you might think. I love the concept that I can choose the way I respond to situations and let unnecessary criticism roll off me.

I think this may be the closest I’ve come to feeling like a Californian. I drive home afterwards and have the best sleep. Plus I always feel great on my run the next day.

And that’s how I became a yoga convert.

Check out Mackenzie’s latest workshops here. 

Linking up with Denyse Whelan Blogs, who wrote a beautiful blog about meeting her now husband 46 years ago, Running with Spoons,  Ilkasblog.

Yoga | New hobbies | Meditation | Trying something new | Aussie | Expat | Aussie Expat in US | expat life
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22 thoughts on “Yoga, Meditation and Running: The Training Triumverate

  1. LOL "when in Rome… or California"
    I would love to do yoga. I really want to be a yoga girl. I am just so incredibly inflexible and with the fibromyalgia pain I'm not sure that will change. But it might I guess. I should give it a go. I do have one big fear – What if I fart?

  2. I actually went to a Les Mills Body Balance class yesterday (my first in about 8yrs). It's a combo of pilates, yoga and teensy bit of Tai Chi added in for the warm up. I've done a bit of yoga in the past and am thinking I'll get back into it. The instructor was catering for a very large class (and not beginners) but I've got no sense of balance as well…. My old yoga instructor suggested we use a wall for a few things requiring balance but this instructor didn't give us those options (though I did it anyway). It reminded me how strong it can make you feel.

  3. I've done a bit of yoga (or breathing up other people's bums, as I like to call it) in the past and quite liked it. I have those same three things you mentioned, so I've successfully procrastinated from returning to it.

    Glad you're loving it, you crazy Californian x

  4. Oh I am so pleased for YOU!! I went to a yoga class when we first moved to the Central Coast last year…and it was H A R D for this O L D (er) lady. I liked some aspects of it but felt out of place so I didn't return. I have found yoga relaxing in some ways years and years before that. Hope this is something that continues to be part of your life/work balance (HA!). Thanks for linking up for Life This Week.

  5. Hi Kat! Thanks for sharing your beautiful Yoga post with us. I can only agree on everything you are mentioning in your article. Yoga really gives us such a better outlook on everything and we are able to cope with difficult situations so much better when we have a more Zen attitude towards things. And yes, it really does make us better Runners!!!

  6. Haha, it's the stereotype though! California: Come for the Sunshine, Stay for the Yoga. It's just too long for the license plates. Oh God. I can't remember what we call license plates in Australia now. IT'S HAPPENING!
    I'm also incredibly inflexible, although I'm not sure how how would hurt/help your fibromyalgia. I guess you could try some youtube clips to start with?
    Bahahaha, I am happy to report a zero on the fartometre so far!

  7. Aww, good old Les Mills! I think I did Body Balance once and then ran away because I was constantly falling, so kudos to you! I did love Body Combat though… once I learned the class. But then they changed it and I was back to square one.
    Glad that you did the hold onto the wall thing! I used to have to do that at Pilates. Is it possible to find a class that's more catered to beginners or do you think you'll stick with this one?

  8. I've done a couple of the youtube clips but I get distracted so easily. Even when they're 20 minute sessions. If I'm at home I guarantee that I'm thinking about what I need to do next, what I should cook, clean, why is this taking so long etc.
    But if it works for you, more power to you!

  9. Bahahaha. That seems like an apt description, and also why I love your posts Ness – you're hilarious. Well, I've started it so maybe it's time you stop procrastinating?

    Thank you! I will be a kale-consuming vegan soon enough, then you'll have to deal with those posts!

  10. Do you know what else I loved about these classes Denyse? It's a good mix of ages, (in)flexibility, and skill level. So even though I'm inflexible and have no clue what I'm doing, I still feel pretty good there. You could always try some youtube yoga to start with, they often have modification for beginners.
    Also, thank you so much for your post this week, I LOVED IT so much.

  11. I love yoga, and used to do it. I stopped for a while, but since being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, I have looked into getting back into it again. I have just borrowed two yoga dvds from my local library, and I look forward to getting back into it

  12. It's definitely a nice feeling to leave the class with. Kiddos – always getting in the way 😉 I guess you can't even do a home DVD with littlies running around, possibly getting into mischief.
    It's good that you can squeeze in a little in the morning though.

  13. I'm so tempted to try yoga, my daughter love it. But I have a bad back so I'm nervous to try. I know I can tell the instructor I need to be careful, but I don't want to hold anyone else back. If you had someone like that in your class would you be understanding, or feel like telling me to get lost?

  14. Oh Kris, I guarantee you that no one would feel like telling you to get lost. You should definitely speak to the teacher beforehand. But all of the yoga sessions I've done both in person and the you tube ones, always offer lots of different modifications. So you wouldn't be holding anyone back!

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