When I started this blog in 2009 I was running upwards of six miles every other day. I wasn't the fastest and yes, I had to take breaks, but I made sure to get my runs in. Running helped me to feel good, clear my mind, let go of bottled up emotions, navigate thought patterns, and sometimes drift into a day dream or two. At that time it was exactly what I needed. I was going through huge personal turbulence and if I had not found a way to release all of those emotions, I'm not sure I could make have made it.
Yoga played an important part in my life at this time too and is apparent in posts like The Power of Good Vibrations, My Conversation with Vishuddha, and my very favorite, Thank You. These posts were written free flowing and with full intention of sharing all that I was going through. I am very proud of these posts.
Unfortunately, I did not keep up with my running as well as I should have in the two years that followed. Going back to full-time work had a lot to do with that. I made a very concerted effort to find time for my yoga practice and believe me, it was my saving grace.
So why am I talking about running on a yoga blog? Good question.
I've made mention numerous times at how difficult this past year has been for me (check out this post if you new to CY) and since moving into my new home last June, I've only been running one time! I live in this beautiful neighborhood, but have failed to get my butt out the door more than once. Long walks excluded, I've been a bit lazy. That was until last week, when I decided that I needed more movement and something beyond asana practice to help me cleanse, clear and move on. I can take yoga class all day and night, but that movement hasn't been doing enough. While it's been bringing everything to the surface, nothing is clearing. It's that deep. So that's why I decided to put on my running shoes, get my heart rate going, work through the pain, and take a trot a few times a week.
When I took the Off the Mat Leadership training, we talked a lot about discharging energy, especially after traumatic experiences. For the past year or so, I have been trying to get rid of some negative energy that's been hanging on and nothing has seemed to work. However, the running is helping. Already after a few times out this week, my confidence is slowly on the upswing (it's been in the can for the past few months), my spirit is lightening, and although I'm slower than crap and my body aches (even the arches of my feet!) I'm starting to feel at ease with myself again. And it's not just about the running either. Lately I've been ready to get my booty shakin' on the dance floor! There's energy in there, just waiting to get out.
So, here's the thing. Sometimes you need more than asana to work through your stuff. Sometimes you need to run, hike, climb, claw, shake, or dance your emotions right out of you. This physical activity acts as a purge for your body and mind and will leave you feeling lighter in more ways than one.
What other activities do you do beyond your asana practice to get moving? How do you eradicate negative energy or discharge during tough times?