running’s effect on a yoga practice

After a blockbuster run on the keyboard, words trickled grudgingly this week. I managed two post for Care2, though one was nixed for not being “newsy” enough.  My assistant editor really liked it, however, which is a slight consolation.  The civil rights piece was a first for me, but I worry about writing stuff like that for this audience.  Many of them are a hair’s breadth step from being Fox Mulder and don’t need paranoia-feeding.  Oh, and I turned in a lame mommy thing to 50 Something which goes up next week, I think.

It was spring yoga cleanse at the studio. Yang-yin every morning. Yang in honor of the spring. In the fall and winter, yin rises. Coming off a training weekend, I had my doubts about energy levels, but I surprised myself, dug down and found quite a bit of strength and vigor.

Back to running too on the treadmill.  Intervals.  Pounded out 35 minutes without breathing heavy which is an encouraging commentary on my core fitness, but it made yoga a bit tricky.

I hadn’t thought about it before last weekend, but running undoes my yoga.

We were standing about after a practice teaching lab with Kat, the instructor, and discussing the various fitness routines – in addition to yoga – that we had and someone asked her what she did.

“Um, I do yoga,” she said, in a tone and with an expression that implied that the question itself hardly needed to be asked*.

“You don’t run or bike?” Puzzled looks all around.

“Well,” she said, “friends ask me to hike or bike and I usually don’t because those things ruin my yoga. They tighten my hamstrings and glute’s and quads. Too much could undo all my work.”

I ran this by my regular teacher, Jade, and she concurred.

“You’d need a good thirty minute post run stretch to counter the tightening, ” she said. “Also, you were a runner, so your body has learned to be tight and will want to go back to that more readily than it wants to loosen and lengthen.”


But I think I will keep on with intervals at the very least, just need to balance.  And I am so all about the balance.

*Kat is an uber-yogina. She told us the story of a guy she worked with in L.A. who told her she had a fierce “game face” when she practiced – ashtanga – which she hadn’t realized. Our faces are supposed to be relaxed, no tension.

“Yeah,” he told her “it’s like – fuck off, I’m doing yoga.”

I love that.  It should be on a t-shirt, integrated into a lotus design. Patanjali would not approve though.