The one with how yoga makes me a happier (not better) runner

Yoga poses make us better runners, that is for realsies. I am pretty sure I have done about a million posts on this. Because sure, yoga is AWESOME for stretching out the wound up runner body. But today, changing things up here guys, I would like to talk about how yoga makes me a happier runner (and not so much a better one 😉 ).

1) Yoga = acceptance = happy running. Maybe not faster running, but happy running. Yoga somehow makes me feel a lot more accepting of myself. I feel my absolute best, calmest, and most confident after practicing yoga.

According to this lovely article:

“Women have so many expectations of themselves. We’re constantly bombarded with unreal expectations that everything should be perfect — I should look perfect and I should be accomplishing it all with ease. I think yoga allows us to take a break from all of the chaos… and start to say, ‘I have a need to be good to myself and slow down, and as I’m able to show up for myself, I’m more able to show up for others’.”

This translates to my running because I don’t torture myself if the run feels horrible. I walk a little, think about why this might be (stress in my life, I am looking at you), and then decide whether it is going to be more important to me to push through it or accept where I am and go back to running another day when my body and mind are ready for it. Regardless, I am much more accepting of not every run having to be amazing and this makes me a much happier (and slower, HA) runner.

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2) Joy of sensation. I love the feel of running. Maybe this is weird but I just feel like it is the most natural thing in the world for humans to do. I have visions of cavemen and cavewomen running around with hairy feet looking for dinner and for some reason that inspires me and makes me feel like it is a natural human thing to do. Obviously it doesn’t always feel great (hello side stitches) but most runs I love the feel of. Fun fact: I used to have a lot of dreams about running before I actually started. Like my body just craved it. Yoga has made me feel way more connected to my body and this further enhances how much I enjoy the feel of running.

3) Surrender to the moment. Yoga has made me WAY better at not constantly rushing onto the next thing. I can be crazy type A and constantly be thinking of what I’ll do next and wanting to rush what I am currently doing. Yoga has helped me rein that shizzle in a whole lot. This is definitely a huge plus for my running because I cannot stand the feeling of being miles from my house and feeling like I should be rushing back because of the bajillion things I have to do. Way to cramp my style right?

The present moment

(Image from here)

4) Meditation. Yoga brought me to meditation which I then brought into my running. Running meditation – people, it is the shizzle. All the benefits of meditation and working out rolled into one? All I can say is DO IT NOW, thank me later 😉

5) Self growth. To me yoga is about self- growth. So is running. They complement each other, and what I learn in each I take into the other. Feeling like I am moving forwards as a yogi, runner, and human makes me very happy.

While all these things make me a happy little (kiwiyogi)runner (see what I did there?), in my case, they do not contribute to speediness. And strangely and wonderfully, I am perfectly happy with that.

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How does your yoga practice impact on other competitive type activities for you??

What helps you be competitive/motivates you to strive for better running? I would love any tips to balance out my non-competitive side haha

About kiwiyogirunner

I'm a kiwi girl travelling the world and staying grounded through yoga and running! Come hang out and be besties with me while I attempt to navigate my crazy life :) For more details check out my About page!
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8 Responses to The one with how yoga makes me a happier (not better) runner

  1. This post makes me want to start doing yoga 🙂 I think I’ve been able to reign in my competitive side by being kind to myself (i.e. not beating myself up for a slow, tired run) instead of always having to compete with myself. That being said…I was a faster runner when I was constantly competing with myself! But at this time in my life, I want running to be relaxing and stress-relieving 🙂

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    • Sooo lovely to hear someone else feels the same!!! Self-kindness can be so hard but I think it can be so worth losing a little bit of that competitive edge anyway!! The minute I start trying to be competitive with my running I lose all my joy in it and so that just doesn’t work for me!

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  2. I am writing a whole post on this too! This weekend, I went back to a traditional mysore class and was reminded of something by my teacher. I told him my practice was going to ugly, and he told me ugly is good. He was right on so many levels!

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  3. Interesting take! Yoga is one of those things that I’m sure if I threw myself into full-force it would really affect my life, both physically and mentally. But it doesn’t do much for me when I go every once in awhile…whatever helps with your happiness grab the reigns and keep it up! I’m so happy to read about your experience 🙂

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    • I totally agree, it’s one of those things that goes a lot further when you do it often- at the same time though there are only so many hours in the day right? So I think it’s even more important to stick with what really floats your boat and that will have the same physical and mental effects 🙂

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  4. Interesting point #3 (surrender to the moment) That’s totally how I feel when I try to concentrate on yoga, which is one of the reasons I just don’t do it 😦 But I enjoy reading how it helps you, so keep it up!!

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    • That’s nice to hear! It’s totally not easy to do especially in our busy lives with work family etc etc! There was a quote at the yoga community I lived in last year which said something about if we always think about and look towards the next moment we lose the one we are in and everything gets sucked into the future (it said it way better than that though) and it really stuck with me!

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