Lululemon’s Yoga for (SeaWheeze) Runners = Match Made in Heaven

I’ve always been a big believer that

yoga + running = a match made in heaven.

This smooth 30 minute yoga practice, led by official lululemon SeaWheeze ambassador Kerri Kelly, is perfect for runners who need to get a little bendy after pounding the pavement.

mzl.uzxncxao.320x480-75I won’t be able to run SeaWheeze this year, but I was really impressed by lulu’s new SeaWheeze half-marathon training app for iOS. The SeaWheeze app [iTunes link] is

one part pocket sized personal trainer, one part DJ and one part Vancouver city guide. Beginner and intermediate training programs include cross training, yoga and running options designed to help you reach your running goals, regardless if you’re training for SeaWheeze or another half marathon. The app lets you track your training, share your progress and listen to incredible music to keep you motivated.

I don’t really need the Vancouver city guide (right now), but I can definitely use the personal training and DJ features. It would be an especially awesome tool if they eventually allowed users to select their own training start dates so it can be effectively used for other races. But, for what it is–the SeaWheeze Half-Marathon app–it does a pretty amazing job. Check out all the details on lululemon’s blog.

Happy running and stretchy yoga goodness, friends:)

Yoga is to Running as Yin is to Yang


Many of us who love both running and yoga know how important it is to balance both activities in our lives.  Not a simple thing to do since running and yoga require time and dedication to become proficient at either.  Even those who practice a fairly vigorous form of yoga have likely learned from experience that it’s a long climb back aerobically after those periods of time when they take a break from running.

I’m not sure you can ever have too much yoga, but too much running without enough yoga (or a good stretching routine) can create a lot of issues for those of us with the genetic predisposition of a two-by-four.  Instead of popping advil like candy after your next long run, why not take 20 minutes to balance out your running muscles with the following yoga sequence crafted by Callah at my yoga life:

 

Looking for more inspiration?  Check out the following links:

Yoga:  The Perfect Running Companion (via #YogaHack)

7 Days of Yoga and Running (via iYogaLife)

ChiRunning (via Amazon.com)

Born to Run (via Amazon.com)

Yoga – The Perfect Running Companion

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.3816449&w=425&h=350&fv=videoId%3D36856867001%26amp%3BplayerId%3D416421194%26amp%3BviewerSecureGatewayURL%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fconsole.brightcove.com%2Fservices%2Famfgateway%26amp%3BservicesURL%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fservices.brightcove.com%2Fservices%26amp%3BcdnURL%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fadmin.brightcove.com%26amp%3Bdomain%3Dembed%26amp%3BautoStart%3Dfalse%26amp%3B]

A few months ago I experimented with removing running from my exercise routine because I wanted to see how much flexibility I could gain by laying off the daily pavement pounding and sticking with a daily yoga practice. I have a propensity for inflexibility in the first place, but to my surprise, the lack of running really didn’t make that much of a difference in terms of increased flexibility.

However, when I decided it was time to get back out on the streets again, my lungs felt like they were going to collapse. It was at that moment, when the side-cramp and wheezing reached a critical zenith, that I realized I needed to balance out my yoga practice with aerobic exercise.

I still needed running.

While running has many benefits, it can also beat up on the body a little bit, which is why yoga complements it so well. Try some of these recommended stretches/poses from Runner’s World to stay loose and flexible after your next workout.

I also recommend checking out Yoga for Runners at Yoga Journal.

Garmin 405 ~ My New Obsession

I had a sudden urge of the “I wants it” (really bad) today when I found out that Garmin is set to release its new Garmin 405 for runners sometime this winter. Think of the opening scene in Lord of the Rings where Golem can’t stop talking about his “precious.” That was me this morning.

While I can’t stand having anything on my wrists when I do yoga, running is a different story. For me, checking my time when running has become an absolute necessity. There’s something about looking down at my Ironman Timex that makes my legs move faster. I came perilously close to buying the Garmin 305 last summer, but chose not to when I decided it was still too big for my skinny wrists. It was also a couple hundred dollars cheaper to just buy the Nike+ shoe insert that connects with my iPod. The only problem with that setup is that I feel like I have to listen to music all the time when I run.

However, I think I am now fully committed to saving up for a Garmin 405. I think it will look quite nice on my skinny wrist. Despite the fact that I clearly recognize what a materialistic obsession this is, it’s probably going to be a while before I completely eradicate my thoughts of fascinating new gadgets. Interestingly enough, Lifehacker has a post today on how to avoid getting sucked into buying the latest and greatest gadget. That ought to hold me off for a while at least.
Runner’s World video of the 405
Pre-order on Amazon (great description of the watches capabilities)

Enlightened Exercise

Men cannot see their reflection in running water, but only in still water.

Chuang Tzu, philosopher (c. 4th century BCE)

It seems like those who are really into yoga sometimes think that a yoga practice must be done at the exclusion of all other physical exercise. While it’s true that there are only so many hours in the day into which a person can cram a yoga routine around work, family, social life, eating, etc., I’ve found that a balance of yoga and other physical exercise seems to help my mind and body feel its best. Although some of us may wish we lived in Himalayan caves, practicing yoga night and day, for the overwhelming majority of us, that dream is simply not reality.

While there are undeniable benefits that come from regularly finding time to step on the yoga mat, there are many other pathways for developing the mind-body connection. Almost any physical activity, whether it’s tennis or running or swimming, when approached with the same yogic mindset can be used as an opportunity for contemplation, meditation, and breath-awareness.

Zen Habits has a great article on The Zen of Running, describing how running can be used to develop present-mindedness and concentration. Lately, I’ve been totally into running. Even though I can’t say that I always get the same peaceful, relaxing feeling of yoga when I run, I often leave the iPod at home and use the repetitive nature of running to enter a meditation-like state, concentrating mainly on my breathing patterns. All I can say is it works for me. Everyone’s different, so it may or may not work for you. But, you never know until you try.

One of the suggestions from the Zen Habits blog is to keep a journal for recording thoughts and impressions that come while mindfully exercising. Since I like running, I’ve used a website called RunningAHEAD to track my running progress. In addition to tracking miles, times, and routes, RunningAHEAD also provides a convenient way to journal any ideas or thoughts that come to mind while out running. It’s nice to look back sometimes at the journal entries and remember those days I was in the zone. It’s also very motivating.

The principles of yoga can be applied to almost any activity. For me, both running and yoga get me into that “stillness” that Chuang Tzu says must be discovered before human beings are able to see their true reflection, before they find out who they really are. For ancient yogis, it took A LOT of experimentation before they started systematizing the limbs of yoga and creating a system of movement that almost magically led to inner stillness. In fact, that experimentation has never stopped and continues still today. As John Parker said in Once a Runner, “If the furnace is hot enough, it will burn anything.” That is what yoga does for me; that is what running does for me. If that’s not yogic, then I don’t know what is.

Bottom-line: Be like the ancient yogis and try something new; you might find enlightenment along the way.

a yoga blog with tips, tools, & wisdom on yoga, books, & technology