Everyone touts yoga as a perfect complement to running.
The stretching and flexibility gains in your core, quads, hamstrings and hip flexors can only help your running, right? Where running brings out the inner freak in many of us (what’s my last split? Trample the weak, hurdle the dead! Outta the way, bitches!), yoga brings balance and peace.
“In this rare hand-tinted portrait from the Kutte Ka Studio in Agra (c. 1900), we see Swami Chote in Kukkutasana pose. This swami known for his diminutive size (chote means tiny in Hindi) and amazing flexibility became a sensation throughout India at the turn of the 19th century.”
Yoga Dog photos by Dan Borris, found here with hysterical captions!
So I have now attended a few yoga classes, as I bridge the gap between the Heartland 39.3 series and the official beginning of training for the NYC Marathon…the running wedgie, if you will, where I crank up my base miles and turn my thighs into Flo Jo lookalikes (minus the muscle. They just look big and flabby.) These are just easy yoga classes offered up at the club we belong to…nothing too heavy, no bikram or hot yoga (ew!), just the basics. Frankly, the basics are difficult enough.
Here are my initial thoughts on yoga, recognizing that I’m not an inner peace kind of gal. I like to think I’m laid back, but in a tightly wound sort of way. That’s probably why running appeals to me…I can zone out on slow runs, but in a focused manner (that probably doesn’t make much sense.) So yoga is a stretch for me (get it…a stretch? Damn, I am funny!)
1: The Happy Baby Pose. This feels ridiculous, especially when she tells us to roll around. I’m paying money to roll around on the floor like an asshole? Then you tell me it’s also called the Wind Pose and that many people fart here? If I smell gas, I want a refund. That old guy next to me looks like he’s primed and ready. Point your happy baby some other direction, mister.
A word of advice? Don’t look around during this pose. You don’t want to see everyone’s junk. Eyes on the ceiling.
2: The Downward Facing Dog. Ok, I get it after a few sessions. This is a base go-to move, and it feels amazing. Still, I can’t help but think of all the raunchy jokes I can make here. My mind races in this pose.
I feel like Fifty Cent every time I get into position…
Face down, ass up!
and I’m pretty sure that singing Just a Lil Bit is not what I’m supposed to be doing right now.
Get it cracking in the club when you hear this shit!
3: The Vinyasa Flow/Sequence/Whatever. I love this. Start in the DFD, get out to the plank position, lower with elbows tucked, push up into Cobra, back down, and back up into DFD. I really like repeated exercises of this, but it is work for my twig arms to support my body weight (these a-cups really add some heft.) My friend calls this the Fuck You Pose. You can probably see why we get along.
4: The Block. Block? I don’t need no stinkin’ block! I’m better than that! I can reach my foot/the floor/my ass without any help.
A few seconds later…where’s the damn block? I have all the flexibility of a fence post.
5: Warrior III Pose. Yep, it’s a fight, alright. Me against the floor. Floor wins.
6. Child’s Pose. The name for this resting pose is a joke. I’ve had two children. Children don’t rest, and apparently, neither do my hips, because they will not lay down in this position. Maybe it’s my muffin top getting in the way. Damn kids.
7. The Tree Pose.
I can’t find the article now, but I read something about thinking of your inner thigh and the sole of the other foot as two pieces of bread, and that you’re making a serious panini. I can hold this pose, but it’s like I’m a tree during a hurricane. I wobble like a weeble, and I want to fall down.
The answer, my friend
Is blowing in the wind
8. The Eagle Pose. We had a new instructor the other day…British Charlotte. She had the voice of someone who was on downers, and the attitude of Satan’s minion, as she introduced us to the Eagle Pose. Any pose that takes four different steps to even get into puts me one step closer to a sprained ankle.
How do you breath between your shoulder blades? Do tell.
I loved it when we got into the position (somewhat) and then she told us to lower our asses and sit on that leg. If I could have unwrapped myself, and if she had been a little closer, I might have backslapped her.
9. The Attitude. Ok, so I like yoga so far. I admit it. I just don’t like the attitude, the soft voices, the comments to breathe into our tightness (WTF?) and to let our thoughts go without thinking of them (in the corpse pose.) It just makes me want to laugh. And when we finish in the corpse pose (I’m great at that pose), the one instructor comes by and scares the bejesus out of me by suddenly rubbing my temples and pulling my hair out of my headband so I’m left looking like a Chinese Crested dog.
Still, I will be back, because I am somewhat hooked. What do you think of yoga? I would love to hear any thoughts!
I will leave you with a link to a great article on drunken yoga poses…
because this is funny!