Thursday, January 06, 2011
Running and yoga
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Runners injure themselves. They develop stiff muscles. They cannot touch their toes. Their knees are ruined forever and permanently. Their pelvic muscles lose tone, so they may develop incontinence. Some of them are practically fat, because they feel they need calories to survive or imagine intense hunger after a work-out. But all of these runners, who regress slowly towards a wrecked health, are not NOT NOTT doing yoga!
While training for our teacher's training course every week, once, we would climb a rocky hill:( so all u local yoga institutes which think the Sivananda training is "just for one month" have no clue how intensely the more serious amongst us train in that period and how it helps us continue with pure stamina where many of your instructors flail or cheat ... )
The first time I did it I thought my lungs will burst and I will froth blood at my lips, it was sooo tough! The sheer rock face, and at night, or day break, and in Kerala where it rains even in summer, mud, slippery forest trackless track, paths that are not there. How many things can your hands hold? Torchlight-slippers-waterbottle .. can u cling to that rockface where u slide if you are, foolish like me, to wear slippers for rockclimbing! What a frightening and demanding walk it was... Silent meditation. Chill mornings. Dark. Dew fresh/rain wet leaves and twigs tearing into u. And finally, hill top, after a breathless walk. Pure calm, sitting over soft clouds, watching the sun burst over the horizon. Singing Sivananda bhajans. Pure bliss, as the heart and lungs settle down. And then, the walk back to ashram, slipping, sliding once more, rocky roads, dogs barking at you... and hot and sweaty, where even watery tea tastes like nectar:)
Nowadays I get up in the mornings, as usual, to run with my daughter. We are there, at Jogger's Park often before the ticket counter opens. But some mad Mumbaikar is there before us, before 5.30 am. Jogging to cocks' crowing near the duck pond, some far-off church bells ringing, the dark sea untraceable into an equally untraceable horizon. Are we going to do three or five rounds, we wonder with keen anticipation before we start. Five now, and more soon. We feel high. We can do more, but decide not to. Lungs expanding, socks muddy, not talking, just running together. What need for words?
We both do yoga... so yes, I believe that will save the knees, the pelvic muscles, suppress hunger... Yoga complements everything. Then running feels like yoga. When we were given karma yoga tasks during our teachers' training course, I got to clean the toilets (while in TTC ) and the food bins (while in ATTC) -- and both felt just like yoga asanas. I used to enjoy those chores! I believe a good yoga sadhana makes u enjoy everything, and what is enjoyable becomes exhilirating, as it now feels with running!
Perhaps, after she goes I will run in the evenings. There are more tapori-rowdy types then, families for whom going to the park means gaping at the runners, but yet, I feel it could still be worth the while. She won't there... but u know, when u do some things together this way, as we do now, u can bond over the distance too:) We message each other, she from Chennai, waking me up or I her. To do yoga, early mornings, before the world wakes up. Yes, it feels then, like we are running together, mother and daughter, talking wordlessly... not needing to talk!