How Yoga Made Me Stop Running.

Via on Apr 25, 2013

Woman Running

As I climb on the treadmill today the familiar-faced gentlemen beside me says, “Hi Dani! You’re still running?”

He looked surprised to see my yoga bum at the YMCA. Well, I’m standing on a treadmill with my worn out sneakers, so he is obviously referring to something else…I think to myself, what has happened to me! I used to be a “Runner.” Has yoga affected my ability to run?

Yes, and it has affected my ability to flee.

For most of my life, my water-like persona has been to run from one endeavor to the next. Shape shifting into what “I thought” everyone else wanted from me. It is much easier to shy away from ourselves than to face the truth. We are all running from something at sometime or another on this path, and quite frankly running is exhausting, and can never satisfy the soul. In the words of Carbon Leaf, “it takes the courage of a lamb to run, the fierceness of a storm to love.”

I used to think that to love was to be weak…weak in the knees, weak-willed, weak-stomached, with the floating butterflies.

I would like to thank Walt Disney for the role model of the female princess, so soft and feminine that a bird will land on her finger as she sings in her angel like voice. I still get so excited when the little squirrel that visits my front porch for the few walnuts I leave, comes to visit me, just so I can imagine I have that certain grace, and nurturing, goddess energy, that animals flock to for comfort and companionship. And thank you even more for the thought that I am the type that falls all over herself, and into the arms of the man, whom without, I would be incomplete.

Many times we end up searching outside of ourselves for everyone and everything to give our power to. It takes incredible strength to own our power, be fully ourselves, and a constant awareness that we are not falling back into those habitual thought patterns that our society, and Walt, have left impressed into our subconscious. Through my yoga practice I have found my core beliefs and strength, and it is earth shaking to finally realize this that is inherently ours.

If there are two things I want my daughters to learn from my parenting, or anyone else in life, it is that they are powerful and loved beyond what they could ever imagine.

Rumi sends a much more positive message to our soul that I’ve witnessed through the practice of yoga:

”The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”

It takes courage to be a vessel for this type of love. If we stop running… what happens when we stay?

When we stay in a difficult yoga pose, the sensations change and transform, but only if you are honest and aware of what you are feeling. In order to stay you have to be fully in touch with your emotions, even if they are socially unacceptable or unpopular. This is the most difficult part when you are a recovering people-pleaser like myself. Really feel what you are feeling. How often do we do this? We are usually too busy or the timing is not right to acknowledge what we feel, or we let our judging mind determine whether it is a good or bad to feel this way. Just stop, and really feel what you are feeling today.

It may not be popular, and it will most likely be uncomfortable, but it is the truth. To try to reason with our emotions is the biggest way to flee from our lives, as you take a back seat to your mind and emotions playing a game of tug of war. This can become a continuous inner struggle unless we let go of the rope, feel what we are feeling, and then move on purpose with purpose.

“Reason is like an officer when the king appears. The officer then loses his power and hides himself. Reason is the shadow cast by God; Go is the sun.” ~ Rumi

When Walt thaws out, I would like to see him write a story about the Princess that saves herself.

The man on the other treadmill noticed the confusion in my face waiting patiently as I reply “no, I am not still running” turn on my treadmill, put my earbuds in place, and exhaust myself for the next three miles.

 

 

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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

About Dani McGuire

Dani McGuire AKA Vani (meaning Saraswati) has practiced yoga since 1995, having studied Integral, Tantra, Ayurveda, Yoga Therapy, Prana Vinyasa, and Ashtanga. Her teaching is an alchemy of eastern philosophy and modern living. Using both life and practice as a way of inspiring self awakening, love, and devotion. She is creator of Sattva Vinyasa and Sattva Therapy. Vani has published 2 DVDs as well as mini online classes for your ayurvedic constitution. She is a columnist for elephantjournal.com, and founder of PranaYoga School of Yoga and Holistic Health, and PranaYoga Foundation. Dani leads teacher trainings, retreats, and workshops around the world as well as offering marriage, birth, and end of life support.

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10 Responses to “How Yoga Made Me Stop Running.”

  1. megan robinson says:

    love this<;;; so right on…and so perceptive…

  2. Awesome! What a great piece.

  3. Joe Sparks says:

    Running is like falling in love, if you know how to run. Like anything you put your mind to, it is a commitment , a practice a going towards your dream, at least that is my perspective, it bring joy if one feels the closeness and connection with everyone and everything as you run towards your destiny. It is true, we were born to run.

  4. pckain says:

    Thanks, Dani, for the reminder to be aware of things I run from. There is a yoga stretch that elicits a burning desire in me to run. Sometimes, it's all I can do to stay with it. I'm learning to stay with it.

  5. Lindsey says:

    "When Walt thaws out, I would like to see him write a story about the Princess that saves herself." BAM! Love this!!!!

  6. Suggestion says:

    Thanks for sharing and love the points you make. I just want to pass along a friendly suggestion that you spend some time at Katy Bowman's site (and maybe read her 1st book). You might re-think the treadmill and the worn out shoes.

  7. Anurag says:

    Nice post, apart from general benefits, asanas also work on our endocrine system and bring the endocrine glands in to harmony.

  8. Great post! Yoga can definitely change your exercise routine and outlook on life. Always for the better!

  9. P.J. says:

    This is an interesting topic. My wife is a yogi, I'm a runner. Occasionally our paths cross, but for the most part that's the way the cookie crumbles.

    Having said that, she has persuaded me to start using a Groupon we purchased for a local Bikram yoga studio. Based on some other runners I know, I'm looking forward to it helping my running.

    Thanks for the post!

  10. Andy Tang says:

    Love this! The headline grabbed me as a long time runner and the tale dealing with feminism and ultimately self love and discovery through yoga is lovely and so pleasing to read. Thank you x

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