Whether you are a newbie to Yoga or a Yogi master, I think you will love 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene. While I prefer the challenge and focus of my favourite classes in a hot studio, Adriene’s YouTube channel has helped fill in the gaps in the comfort of my own home, when getting to the studio isn’t so easy. And surprisingly, her 30 days has been much more challenging than I thought.
This challenge will take you through 30 days of yoga with a 15-30 minute video and minimal equipment required (just your mat and yoga block). The biggest struggle I find with my practice is consistency and getting on my mat regularly. With Adriene’s short video’s, it is almost impossible to say we are too busy. Sadly though, I have found myself skipping out on my regular practice, as summer has been quite full and let’s face it routines are tough and we aren’t perfect. Remember, if life gets in the way from you hitting the mat, don’t get down on yourself, just keep your goal in sight. It’s important to keep focus on the benefits that come with daily practice and to remember a short practice is better than no practice. It is amazing how daily practice quickly improves the clarity of your mind and how your body feels.
Adriene’s mission with the 30 day challenge is to inspire you to find what feels good. To connect with this 30 day commitment to deepen your practice and take the time play. It’s all about concentrating on the fundamentals. And I will note that she is also a delight to practice with.
With a new season ahead, I am going to start from the top again and commit myself to 30 days. I challenge you to join me and take the 30 day challenge. You will not regret it. 🙂
A few years ago I had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation with the author of Yoga for Runners, Christine Felstead. Christine spoke about the safeguards of yoga and the role yoga plays with preventing running injuries. Back then I was new to running and hadn’t realized the importance of the two combined and had focused my energy on building up my stamina. However, now reflecting back, I can’t imagine one without the other and how beneficial practicing yoga has been for my half marathon training.
Running is very repetitive, as it is one constant motion for miles upon miles. This can cause tightness in the leg muscles, sore knees, tight hips and hamstrings. Muscles become shorter and tighter, which makes the body unstable and ends up putting more pressure on joints, bones, and muscles. In the past “pre-yoga”, I had experienced this tightness which led to knee pain whenever I was running longer distances. It was frustrating and a major roadblock to pushing myself further. I knew I had to do something to compensate if I wanted to continue running. Since then, practicing yoga has helped loosen and lengthen my muscles making my body more flexible and resilient to injury (no knee pain!!). I have noticed that my body is more stable and my runs are stronger, making running even more enjoyable.
Not only has yoga improved my strength and flexibility, but it has also been instrumental in my mental focus and breathing. Mindfulness and being in the present moment during each run has carried me distances when my legs were ready to give up. My breathing practiced in yoga has harmonized with my running routine, breathing more strong and consistent and allowing myself to push that extra mile.
Post run yoga sessions are essential for me at this point. Nothing feels better after a long run than a good stretch and taking the time to thank my body for pushing through the miles. Here are some poses you can try at home.