Friday, February 6, 2015

Bringing flexy back....


I've been doing yoga almost as long as I've been a runner. But there are just some poses I'll never be able to master. I'm lacking in the flexibility department, for sure. And running doesn't help that! But I do yoga to help me recover from my runs, and my goal isn't to be a master yogi. My goal is to stay injury free. And to have fun in the process. Yoga has certainly helped me be a stronger runner, but it keeps me humble too!

I'm participating in the #prAna and #fitapproach #TaketheLeap 30 days of yoga challenge. Today is Day 5 and I'm excited to share my first 5 poses on the blog! It has been so much fun to showcase yoga and I love seeing all these runners' posting their yoga poses on Facebook and Instagram. I hope everyone keeps posting as the month goes on.

Cow Face Pose aka Gomukhasana. Do I look like I'm in pain? Because I am. I like to call it mad cow face pose. Talk about humbling! I've got really tight hips and I can't get my knees together like a good yogi. But I sure do feel this one! My arms are in reverse namaste, but you can also hold your feet, like motorcycle handlebars. Vrooooooom.....

Revolved chair aka parivrtta utkatasana. This one really opens the glutes and hamstrings. It's also a twist, so it feels great on the spine.

Camel pose aka ustrasana. I love backbending because they open my heart. We spend so much time leaning forward, running forward, and backbends pull us out of ourselves. This pose is also great for the quads and hip flexors, as well as the shoulders.

Side plank with tree pose variation aka vasisthasana with vrikshasana. I love side plank. I feel so strong and open in this pose. By, the way, I have "double jointed" elbows and so my arms are never straight. In case you were wondering.

I started off the week with King dancer pose aka natarajasana. I was challenged by Run Salt Run, (who coincidently coined the term #kickasana) to do this pose. This is a balance pose but it is also a backbend. I am not very flexible, and even though it feels like my leg is extended really high, this is as high as I can get. And yes, I'm wearing my pajamas. Just like yoga pants, really.

As one of my instructors once told me, you get as much out of a pose as you put into it. It doesn't matter how deep or how far you go. In fact, if you go too far, you can hurt yourself. Do what you can do. Be where you are.

Are you participating in the yoga challenge? Do you practice yoga? If not, why not? And if so, what are your favorite poses?

Don't forget to check out my PowerDecal giveaway! It ends 2/11/2015 at midnight! You can jump in here: http://oldrunningmom.blogspot.com/2015/02/bumper-stickers-and-powerdecal-giveaway.html

Today I'm linking up with the DC trifecta aka CourtneyMar, and Cynthia for Fitness Snapshots!
I'm also linking up with Jill Conyers for Fitness Friday!


62 comments :

  1. I've been doing a little more yoga lately. I'm not participating in a yoga challenge officially because I haven't taken pictures of myself for one yet but I do enjoy following along and adding some yoga to my day. My favorite pose after a long run is Happy Baby. It is so relaxing and feels great as I stretch out my legs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never seen myself doing yoga and so this has been really fun and affirming for me!

      Delete
  2. The Yoga challenge is a great idea, but with my running schedule, I just could not fit it in. I try to do a few Yoga poses every day and hopefully will get to a few classes this month as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do yoga a couple times a week, but doing a pose every day and posting it is a little more challenging than I thought! LOL!

      Delete
  3. When I posted my pic of the Dancer, I was (humbly) astonished how (not) far back or (not) high my leg was either! I felt like the Black Swan (out of costume) but looked kind of tight and rigid. I love your comment "Be where you are." That speaks volumes :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought your pose looked good! I bet you felt it!

      Delete
  4. I need to get into doing more yoga. I used to do it a lot, and then it kind of became my wife's thing more than mine as I started running more and more. I enjoy it, and I feel good when and after I do it, but I find myself being drawn to run far more for its meditative qualities than to yoga. I dunno, maybe I'm weird, but I tend to get to let go more when I run.

    I do need to get started again, though. Yoga's so fun. I should probably try a local studio out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yoga is fun and it has really helped my running! I go to a studio once a week, and if I have the chance to do more, I do it at home.

      Delete
  5. I love yoga, and you're right that is very humbling! I used to be much more flexible but not since I've been a distance runner. I used to dance and could easily do a full split, now I can barely do a half split!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a yoga teacher tell me that I needed to stop running if I wanted to go deeper into the poses. Um, no. I do yoga so I can go deeper into running!

      Delete
  6. I have NEVER done yoga. I think I should start. Maybe it would help my back pain. Funny, my arms don't straighten out either. Can you do push ups? I can't. My elbows pop and scream. Nice pedicure. You remind me, it's time for one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? A yoga virgin? You have to do it. You won't have that issue with your elbows, because you'll strengthen all the supporting muscles!

      Delete
  7. Great idea for the yoga challenge. I've done yoga on and off and I really should do it more consistently. I love how I feel afterwards and I when I was doing it regularly I did gain a lot of upper body strength that I didn't have with just weight training. Thanks for sharing your poses. Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've been doing a lot less yoga lately (haha you know that). But I always cool down from a run with pigeon, double pigeon, up dog and down dog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, double pigeon. I cannot get my legs together. I'll post it and we'll all laugh and laugh...

      Delete
  9. I just went back to my yoga class yesterday and it was just what I needed! I'm making an effort to go weekly again. I feel so much better when I go.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your twisting chair pose is picture perfect! Look at that form! Love seeing photos of you doing yoga! My favorite yoga poses: prasarita, eagle, and thread the needle. I suppose it depends on what day you ask me, too--gotta listen for what the body is calling for!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never seen pictures of myself doing yoga and so this has been really fun and affirming!

      Delete
  11. I love yoga! It's fun to follow the challenge. I need to get better at taking photos, though! I finally found a gentle/restorative class that fits my schedule, so I'll be going twice a week in addition to what I do at home. I really love pigeon pose, tortoise pose, reverse warrior, and triangle pose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love a restorative class. Have you ever done yin?

      Delete
    2. I don't think I've tried yin before, but it sounds intriguing.

      Delete
    3. It's harder than you'd think because you hold the poses for so long!

      Delete
  12. I need me some.yoga! I've been going once a week and I need more. I'm.just stepping into it but I'm excited to have added it! ~crazy mama runner.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I miss my yoga! Hammy isn't ready yet... but wow... I love your poses... and your alignment is awesome. You go girl!! You are an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully you'll be able to get back into it soon. If I do too much hamstring stretching, mine talks to me.

      Delete
  14. I am jealous. You look so great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't be jealous! We're all on our own path, right? :)

      Delete
  15. i am not participating in a yoga challenge but i love looking at the pics of everyone that is!

    ReplyDelete
  16. You are doing a GREAT job with your challenge, Wendy; way to go!! Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  17. We're on the same page. I am very inflexible and posted about it today. Keep it up!!

    www.flipflopsandfurs.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I LOVE yoga. It helps so much with running. I do love revolved chair and dancer pose, but I'm a sucker for downward dog, too - when you get your alignment just right, there's no better feeling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree. DD is one of my favorite poses. I'll never get my heels down, tho!

      Delete
  19. I'm definitely doing the challenge and blogging about my progress! I'm not great at balancing poses. Really anything that requires me to stand on one leg is a crapshoot. Sometimes I rock the poses other times I'm all over the place. As for favorite poses: Camel, Wheel, Cobra- I love backbends! I also have been loving the side plank variations since I just got to a point where I could play around and lift one leg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do love backbends! What is it about them? That whole feeling of being open? Last week my yoga instructor said that they make you feel happy. I'd have to agree.

      Delete
  20. I'm loving this challenge too! It just so happens that it coincides with one from my local studio. Two challenges with one yoga pose - score!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky! I told my yoga studio about this but they have yet to bite...

      Delete
  21. I am so missing my yoga class. I am the most unflexible person you will ever meet. I can't just naturally end over and touch my toes :( but I was getting so close! I will just keep watching you- the yogi stalker :) I you do look just a little uncomfortable in that first picture- just saying! :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow, awesome work! I am terrible at yoga. I don't have the patience or flexibility... both of which I should work on. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think yoga gave me some patience...I could use more tho!

      Delete
  23. yay! yoga! Thanks for sharing your photos of various poses. Also, I'm enjoying getting an idea of different yoga outfits as well.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow, I am impressed!! I definitely need to work on my flexibility! I like the tree in the side plank, I'm going to have to try that one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My flexibility is a work in progress. I'd hate to see where I'd be at without yoga!

      Delete
  25. Yoga is so beneficial for runners. Even if you aren't the most flexible, yoga is great for stretching out those muscles that get extremely tight from lots of running.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I truly believe that yoga has benefitted my running in so many ways--flexibility, strength, breathing...

      Delete
  26. That cartoon on top is hilarious! You look great, my friend! You've reminded me that I NEED to incorporate yoga back into my world. My first thought was "how that heck will I fit yoga into my already PACKED training schedule for the 1/2 Ironman?!?!?!" But really, it's like eating....something that I must do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so agree. You can always make time for a few poses after a run!

      Delete
  27. WOW you are just all that and a bag of chips. I have been trying some of these poses but haven't been able to do many. GREAT job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been doing this for a long time, Michelle! I want to keep as much flexibility as possible.

      Delete
  28. I love the cartoon at the top! I love yoga, so I'm not sure why I don't spend more time working on my poses. I'm good at getting my runs and strength training in, but yoga - not so much...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try to do a full yoga session at least once a week.

      Delete
  29. Genetics has a huge factor in flexibility imo. I love king of the dance, it's one of my fav poses. Camel while I love, hurts my neck (I got whip lash as a teen, and leaning my head back like that is too much for me).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree. I definitely missed out on the flexibility gene!

      Delete
  30. Nice work on the challenge! That cartoon is too hilarious!

    ReplyDelete