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Hot Yoga

Friday, October 29, 2010

So itís been twelve days since my last run, aka the Girlfriends Half Marathon. Iím still pretty proud of my race - in fact Iím wearing my finishers necklace at work today! It reminds me that I am strong and some days I need that reminder more than others. Today is one of those days.

But let me back up a bit.

Before my HM Iíd been toying with the idea of trying hot yoga. Most folks I asked had good things to say about their experience with it and several of my runner friends said that it was a big part of helping them recover after long runs. HmmÖrecover after long runs. You mean like after 13.1 miles? Sounded like something I should check out.

So eleven days ago I carefully walked into the local yoga studio and plunked down my $10 for 10 classes. I wasnít sure what to expect except that itíd be hot and Iíd only be out $10 if I hated it. But I didnít hate it. In fact I loved it. I came home from that first class woefully aware of how tight my lower half was but totally energized and looking forward to my next class. Four classes in I paid for six month unlimited membership Ė with a huge smile.

So Iím hooked. This has been, by far, the easiest HM recovery ever. I was ready to go out and do a long run less than a week later. No stiffness. No soreness. In fact stuff that was sore before I ran that half eased up too. I walk out of practice feeling on top of the world and incredibly energized. In fact on the days I donít go I feel a bit out of sorts. Iím guessing that will go away as I add some running and strength training back into my schedule next week. Another ďfringeĒ benefit? Me time. An entire practice session where Iím focused on absolutely nothing else but me, my body and how it is performing each posture. That is a priceless gift in my busy world. And after working my body that hard I find myself making much better fuel choices when I get home. Iím back to looking at that questionable food or beverage and wondering if itís really worth it. And so far, for the most part, it hasnít been.

They say that yoga is a full mind, body, soul workout and I have to agree. Unfortunately I came to that conclusion after a full blown sobbing breakdown in the middle of practice last night. I was having a pretty good practice (I finally got my silly leg up close to the right position for the ďtreeĒ pose!) and we were only 4 or 5 poses away from the end when the music changed to ďIn the Arms of an AngelĒ and I completely melted. Overwhelming grief overcame me and I dissolved into helpless tears as I wept for my son Sean. Itís been several months since I had a breakdown and even longer since it was so deep and so uncontrollable. I was in the corner of the room and I donít think too many folks saw me and if they did I truly donít care. Sobbing is my right. I stayed in the room until practice ended (too far away from the door to escape) and then found the instructor. I tried very hard to hold myself together as I explained to her that I am the Mom of an Angel Son and that her choice of that particular song was very difficult for me. She was beyond apologetic and instantly said sheíd remove it from her playlist. She found me outside as I was trying to gather myself enough to drive home and apologized again with tears in her own eyes. I could see how horrible she felt and on any other day I would have been able to comfort her but last night all I could do was cry and thank her for coming out to check on me.

So today Iím wearing my finisherís necklace because I need to be reminded that I am strong. I am strong even through my tears. I am strong because I choose to be. I am strong because I have faced the worst and survived. I am strongÖand Iím going back to yoga tonight even stronger.

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