How Yoga gave me my all-round ‘personal best’ as a runner
~ by Gemma Young ~
I have been practicing yoga for many years and as a runner and someone who is fairly competitive, I tend to also have that competitive stance within me, even when on the mat. Not with others but with myself. Always wanting to push myself that little bit more each week, bend that little bit further, breathe that little bit deeper… the same goes for running. I am always striving for my personal best, always wanting to beat my last time.
However, practicing yoga with Laura in Southampton and the family of yogi’s has taught me how it is okay to sometimes enjoy the minimum, not get things perfect, be on the mat not to compete with myself, but to surrender myself to all that yoga has to offer my body, mind and soul. Learning and accepting this has been profound for me. The odd thing about it is that by doing regular yoga practice, learning to breathe deeply and correctly, connecting body and mind, and stretching and strengthening my body, has meant that I now run faster and longer than I ever have done!
The Yoga for Runners workshops comes highly recommended by me to enable runners to learn the basic techniques for breathing and those crucial stretches pre and post runs.
I will be running in the Bournemouth half marathon on Sunday 8th October for the wonderful Children’s charity, the NSPCC. Please feel free to visit my Just Giving page if you wish to make a contribution. Any donations would be very much appreciated and make a difference to this wonderful cause.