My yoga story starts with running. I only ran competitively in high school for a couple seasons. I enjoyed it but it didn’t feel like the best fit either. I was running short distances (100m, 200m) and let’s be real, I’m all about the mid to long distances so why I ran the short, I have no idea. It wasn’t until I started running in college that I truly fell in love with the half marathon distance. I started to love running so much that I admittedly over did it and for my first half marathon, I ended up with a stress fracture that “healed” in time for me to run the race. Let’s just say that race was in May and I didn’t “really” run the rest of the summer as I was still reeling in pain. Now I use the quotations because if you are a runner reading this, you probably know that feeling where you think everything is fine and you’ve spent a significant amount of training and time invested into this race so by golly, you are going to run it. Athletes are conditioned to push our bodies to the edge. The problem I learned was, I didn’t actually know what my edge was.
Fast forward 4 years and lots of miles (plus additional injuries) later, I stepped into my first yoga class. I was a terrible student; I would leave right before savasana (telling myself that I didn’t have time to “just lay there”) and topple onto other students in balancing poses that required core stabilizing muscles that had clearly never been activated in that way. Not only that, I hated it. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t move faster or why the teacher was using words that were most definitely in another language. I wore an older cotton running shirt and running shorts in a room full of very put together outfits (when Lululemon was an exclusive, almost hidden brand) and what seemed like extremely and unnaturally bendy bodies. Somehow, for some reason, I kept showing up. At first once a week. Then a couple times a week. Then, almost daily. Somewhere between down dog and pigeon pose, I fell in love.
I loved how yoga connected me to my body unlike anything else. I enjoyed the ripple effect of class. I was surprised to see myself interacting with coworkers and people on the street differently. But at the same time, I was like, “what is this sh*t? Am I a yogi now? What the freak is a yogi anyway??” Despite any questioning I had, I couldn’t ignore the fact that my running aches and pains had disappeared and I was actually able to return to running and mileage + speed. I felt like I was physically lighter and that allowed me to breeze through training runs and races. Before long, I completed my yoga teacher training at the Yoga Loft in Tampa in 2013 with a brilliant teacher, Ashley Thesier. I knew immediately that I wanted to make yoga more accessible and relatable to athletes, without the fluffy language and with poses they actually needed. I knew runner’s and athletes have tight, busy schedules (and are usually overachievers), so I thought it was important to provide an hour succinct, specific, and targeted class.
That’s what I set out to do 6 years ago and that’s what I still aim to do. I’ve taught athletes how to get into their bodies, actually learn their edge, and experience the gift of yoga and how it can give you more access into your running and life than you may realize. You may not like it at first, and that’s ok. You may not be good at it. In fact, you probably won’t be able to touch your toes. That’s ok too. But what if…What if you did get better at running? What if your injuries did improve? What would that do for you? What if you actually did start to catch gimmers of relaxation and you realized it wasn’t such a bad thing? Or what if you realized that in slowing down, there’s so much to gain? What if.… The only way to find out is to show up.
I’m teaching yoga for runners and athletes starting Monday, June 10th at the Center for Love and Light event space (1145 Zonolite Road NE, Suite 7, Atlanta, GA 30306), 6:30-7:30pm, $16. Register at: Precisionpt.org under “Services” -> “Book Online” ….let me know if you have any questions and can’t wait for you to start to answer your own “what ifs…” Can’t make this one? No worries! Book for a different Monday session with the online calendar booking system.