This is a blog for trail runners, yet I talk a lot about yoga. Why? Because I think yoga is the perfect way to feel your body. To check-in with yourself. To see how you’re doing; physically and mentally.
I started my day today with some Yin yoga. I needed it. I’ve been sleeping too many nights on the sofa and that has fucked up my low back. It’s my weak spot. If I stand up straight, I’m even a bit out of line. I’m hanging to the left. For those who like anatomy – I know I do – my Quadratus Lumborum on the left is so tight, I look crooked.
No worries, I can fix it. Or better, yoga can fix it. Saturday I have a big race, The Brabantse Kluis Trail. 30 kilometers. I want to be fit and ready. Doing yoga will get me there. I mean running, with back pain isn’t nice. Running, while hanging to the left, isn’t nice. Unless we only have to take left turns.
There is this idea in running – and other sports – that you just have to run through the pain. If something hurts, keep on running, and it will go away. Muscle strain, yes probably. In all other cases, you will just make it worse. So we should take a break, before a little pain becomes a big one.
Feel your body
But that means you have to take a moment to really feel your body. While running, often we ignore how we feel. We’re outside, we’re happy running. There is traffic around us, or we’re with other runners.
Yoga is – at least for me – a moment for myself. A moment on my mat, where my attention is turned inside. A moment, I just feel my body and a moment to check in with myself. Every little pain I have, will come to the surface, so I can do something about it, before it gets worse.
That’s why I try to do yoga every day. In the morning on the days I’m not running, in the evening on the days I am running, and twice a day on the days my body really needs it. Like today.