Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Marathon. Yoga. Same thing?

Running a marathon and doing yoga might be pretty much the same thing. Strange, but true.
Me, sitting with my legs crossed going Ohm might not look like me dragging my bum across a finish line, but they're actually a lot alike. Here's why:
1) "I've been thinking about doing that."  If you tell someone you've run a marathon or do yoga, the response will often be the same.
2) Mind over matter.  Both practicing yoga and training for a long, hard run will make you want to quit, at some point. In both cases, the only reason to continue is because you decide to you can and will.
3) Sweat.  They're both exercise; get ready to sweat by drinking a lot of water.
4) Stretching.  Both yoga and running are better if you stretch. Note: yoga, in and of itself, is not stretching. See photo. This position is called "Flying Monk." It is a stretch of my skills, but not my muscles.

5) Admire, strive but don't compare.  Seeing someone do a sport well is inspiring and, I think, worth watching. But, we suffer when we compare ourselves to others. When doing, look inward. When seeking a new goal, look out.
6) Dress for success.  Take yourself and your sport seriously. Wear the right gear for the exercise and you'll be more comfortable and able to go longer.
7) Breathe.  Deep, steady breathing is key to both yoga and running.
8) Nice bod! After training for a marathon or doing yoga for 4 months, a new you is going to be walking around - leaner, stronger and able to do things you only once imagined.
9) Anyone can do it. Pregnant women, heavy-set guys, amputees and you all have something in common - you can do a marathon and yoga. A couple of weeks ago, an 80-year-old man completed the Pikes Peak Marathon the day after running the Pikes Peak Half Marathon. Do you still think you can't do it? See number 2.
Newsday team before a Long Island Summer Run
10) Solo or group? To improve your form, get motivated and maybe share a few laughs, practice yoga or run with others. For a more introspective, quiet time, leave the crowd behind. 

If you think of more, share!

See you on the trails!