Tag Archives: Viparita Karani

Week 4 – It’s hot in here…

21 Jul

As the temperature outside rises here in Montreal, so do the distances for my training runs. Funny enough, i don’t mind running in hot weather, though the humidity is really a killer once you hit mile 3. As many have repeated to me, hydration is the name of the game these days. Coming from a Moksha Yoga practice background, i’m no stranger to staying hydrated during the day, in preparation for evening activities, whether they be yoga classes or training runs. The more water i drink during the day, the easier the run is. My B has taken to making me these delicious hydration concoctions, which quench my thirst like nothing else when i get home from a run. He fills a large glass half way with ice, squeezes lemon, throws in lemon slices and fresh basil leaves, and fills with water. The perfect elixir to replenish my fluids after a long run.

I’ve been tracking my times and distances using a handy little app called Runkeeper. This app has been a godsend for me, as it works in real time with a GPS. You launch the application, start the activity, and start running. A soothing, motherly voice notifies you at every mile, and even tells you your time/mile. The days of having to plot my run in advance are over! I can spontaneously run wherever i want, in any direction, and the nice lady of Runkeeper will track my distance for me! At the end of my run, i can review my stats for that activity, and compare them to past runs, which are saved in the app. They also have an online component, where all your runs are tracked on your personal Runkeeper page online. I highly recommend this app to runners who use their smart phones on runs. Best of all, it’s free!

Thanks to Runkeeper, i have noticed a trend in my runs. My best times have been early in the morning. I love early morning runs; i feel lighter on my feet, faster. When running after work, i love the feeling of my body loosening up from sitting down all day, though i do not feel the same lightness as AM runs. It’s as if my body is a little sluggish, heavier, not as nimble. My mind is also bogged down from the day, and controlled breathing does not come as naturally as in the morning. I share the same sentiment with my yoga practice. I feel a certain fluidity, ease, when practicing in the morning. Though i love the feeling of practicing after a long day of work, my body does feel much more weighed down, as if the day’s stressors have added pounds to my physical self. Dropping into Savasana is much easier in the morning, when your mind is already clear.

Since training has taken up much of my free time, my daily yoga asana practice has suffered a little. I practice twice to three times a week, and throw in some mini practices here and there after my runs. I have noticed during practice that my calves are much tighter than before training started, and my lower back is begging for attention. I’ve been favoring forward bends and hip openers, which i feel have really helped me during my runs. Who knew how stiff my hips could get when running long distances?!? A posture i have benefited from in a big bad way is Viparita Karani (legs up the wall). Taking this pose for 10 minutes or so after a run has felt AMAZING for my calves. Not to mention the slew of other benefits this poses offers the body! As Yoga Journal lists, Viparita Karani can help with:

  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Digestive problems
  • Headache
  • High and low blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine
  • Mild depression
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Urinary disorders
  • Varicose veins
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Menopause

All that in a yoga pose! I can stay in Viparita Karani forever, i love laying a small towel on my eyes and completely dropping inwards.

Even though i have not been able to practice the physical part of yoga (asana) on a daily basis, as was my routine before, i try to remind myself that i am practicing yoga in so many other ways off my mat. I feel like i practice yoga every time i eat, through my veganism, through my animal activism. I practice every time i show kindness to another being. Even cooking for my B is my yoga!

For the runners who are reading, give Viparita Karani a try, and tell me what you think! Does it help you release tension from your runs?

Please don’t forget to visit my fundraising page, here, and donate! Every little bit of money PETA raises helps give a voice to the voiceless!