Hello bookworms and runners! I hope you’re all enjoying a fabulous book and if you’re in a winter zone, not too bogged down by the snow. I wanted to talk today about my love for running and yoga together. I truly believe that yoga is the yin to running’s yang. And the last few weeks I have really proven this notion to myself.
I made the outrageous decision in December to try and do yoga every single day, for at least 20 minutes, in 2023. I knew it was going to be hard to commit to that. Mostly because every day is different and setting a new habit is difficult. I did yoga approximately 3 times a month in 2022, so changing that to every day will not be easy. But here I am on January 27th and so far I’ve done yoga every single day in 2023. Some days are harder than others to get that practice in, but I’ve managed to push myself on those days. Even if I’m just lying on the floor for 20 minutes slowly stretching my legs or hanging out in happy baby pose, I’m doing something.
And I feel really good. My super tight hamstrings are loosening up, my hands are creeping closer to my toes in a forward fold, and my hips are hurting less and less. Part of the reason I decided to attempt this monumental task is because I have a desk job. I sit at my desk Monday to Friday for 6-8 hours a day. And that puts a lot of strain on your body. I try to get up and walk my dog once or twice a day, but it’s hard to leave a project in the middle and go outside most days. I literally have to put “go for a walk” on my to do list so that I remember to get up.
The other reason I wanted to tackle the daily yoga habit is for my running. Years ago, when I was doing yoga everyday, I was also consistently running 4-5 times per week with no injuries. I love running, and I’ve always been a runner. But the distance run and the consistency has wavered over the years. If I’m training for a specific race, I obviously run more consistently and more distance. But if I have no goal race, I slow down a little. Right before the pandemic, I injured my hamstring and couldn’t run for a long time. And that really threw me off, and then covid started and all my race plans were cancelled, and suddenly I had no training plan. So I was running much less, staying inside to avoid the rona and in general becoming more depressed and lethargic.
2022 was the year I really started to pull myself out of the funk. I got back into a consistent running routine, running around 5km 2-4 times a week all year. And I started to do yoga again, a little bit. As the year went by, I noticed myself feeling better, feeling more like my old active self. And it has been great! In 2023 I decided I was going to do 2 races. Get back on a training plan and get consistent with my running again. I also knew that if I was going to run more often, I needed to do yoga more often too. And here I am, back in a yoga and running routine and feeling great.
Mixing my yoga and running, I’ve noticed a few things. My legs don’t hurt after a run anymore. For a while, after every run I would need a full day to recover and have my legs stop hurting before I could run again. Now I run 2 days in a row, no pain, no problem. My flexibility is improving and it’s making me run a little faster, I think! My pace is hard to read in the winter because the snow everywhere slows me down, and I take more walk breaks when the terrain is tough. But I feel stronger and faster! And lastly, at the beginning of the month, I had to push myself to do the yoga each day, but now I’ve started looking forward to it. The mindset is more often “I get to do yoga” than “I still have to do yoga today.”
So these are my thoughts so far this year on my running and yoga practice. It feels good, and I feel good! I’m feeling happy and healthy and strong. It’s the best I’ve felt in a long time and I can’t wait to see what another month of this consistency will bring.
Happy reading and happy running!