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In fact, running can in many ways be likened to a regular yoga practice that follows a set sequence to achieve specific goals. Variation is important in maintaining a fresh approach and alleviating the negative effects of intense training. While you may be intent on your time and distance, the suggestion is that focusing on the ‘moment’ could help Many of us have a tendency to over- emphasise our predetermined goal(s). We are conditioned to believe that progress is only achieved when that end-point is reached. However, we can measure advancement another way. Actively focusing on how we perform a technique can make the body much more efficient and graceful. This fosters ease of movement, which can equate to less energy being expended.

The overall result is less stress on the body and easier steps towards the end-goal. This is reflected in yoga, where the focus is more about the moment than it is about the end result. However, many people find this shift in mental emphasis easier said than done. They need to learn that the foundation of being truly present, as we are running or practicing yoga, resides in the breath. However, like our physical bodies, the technique of breathing must be trained in order to improve, and not taken for granted.

Attention to the breath as we perform an activity brings greater clarity to our current state. This creates an acute awareness of how we are actually feeling, and we can adjust our workload and exercise duration accordingly. Yoga can be a wonderful supplement for the runner, in aiding recovery and restoring balance from an energetic and physical perspective. It can assist in reversing muscular imbalances that may have been created by overuse, misuse, or injury. However, like attempting your first full marathon, the practice of yoga poses should be gradual and consistent. Patience and persistence in breath-centred training will steadily pave a direct and injury-free path to your goal. Happy stretching

Vincent Bolletta www.yogashala.co.nz  Extract from Fitnesslife 2008

Submitted At: 26 October 2009 9:18am | Last Modified At: 26 October 2009 7:55pm
Article Views: 1713

Yoga Therapy, with emphasis on directing the practice to the needs of the individual. Using movement, breath, sound and meditation to restore balance. Yoga in Auckland.

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