Today’s non-running accomplishment:
I’ve been trying to practice ashtanga primary series, and with each practice, I can feel my body extending a little longer, becoming a little stronger… the link I put above shows you the flow. It’s hard!
I have watched some of Kino’s videos online and she is pretty amazing too- Kino Yoga.
She makes every move look so easy and graceful (and when I do it, it’s the total opposite).
Can you hear yourself breathe? I wanted to talk about the importance of breathing- my teacher from years ago told me that with each exhale, you try to get that little pain out of your body so you can stretch longer, extend, and keep the position. Too much discomfort means you’re overdoing it but you just have to find that spot- pain but feel good pain. She even told me it comes in handy during childbirth, but I forgot everything my yoga teacher told me during my labor (both times)! I think you really have to be connected with your body in order to remember that with each exhale, you’re trying to let go of the pain. Yeah, that didn’t really come across my mind!
BUT! with running, this comes in handy. When I am running up those hills- that’s all I think about. Inhale (new energy coming in), exhale (pain, go away!).
I read somewhere- when you are born, you breathe in; when you die, you breathe out. That’s like the cycle of life on Earth and it’s important to make sure you are not holding your breath when you are practicing yoga (and again, same thing with running. When I forget this oh-so-obvious concept, I get major side stitches).
And if you’re a yogi, you’ll know and (most likely) practice ujjayi breathing.
Benefits of ujjayi breathing:
- increase the amount of oxygen in your body
- heat up your body
- regulates blood pressure
- builds energy
- detoxifies mind and body
- increase awareness
The main thing you’re looking out for when you’re practicing the ujjayi breathing is you hear your breathing. You inhale through your nose, exhale through your nose, lips sealed, muscles in your throat a little constricted so you actually make that breathing noise. Then, you’ll know that you’re practicing ujjayi breathing.
Anyhow, as I was practicing my yoga this morning, I thought I would choose one or two asana to focus and try to get better at them. I think for this and next week (since it’s already a Thursday), I will go with utthita hasta padangusthasana:
(Image borrowed from Jade)
I want to be able to do the one with the one in front of your body and then the side. The side is a little easier for me but to keep your hips level (and not raised) is tricky for me.
I feel like my arms are not long enough to reach my big toe in front of my body without seeming like I’m reaching far but my coworker/yoga teacher/counselor/mentor told me that’s not the case. Your body is made proportionally.
This is another one that I need to practice on.
I shall try my best 🙂
Tomorrow will be a short run (maybe 5-6 miles) around the neighborhood, bright and early!