Into The Moonlight…

Sometimes you don’t realize that you love something until you realize that you need it.  Does that sound strange?  I find it odd how one hobby always seems to build into another…

I started to run because I needed it in my life.  I loved it enough to make it a priority.  My body, however, was telling me to cool my jets.  Three full marathons and a large bunch of smaller races had led to some pretty tight hammies, chronic right hip issues and a right piriformis that resembled a large rock.  After that last marathon, I decided to ease off a bit.  Just a bit.  Just scaling back until the next training season, which was about six weeks away.  I thought that strength training at home would be a great move.  Stronger!  Faster!  More balanced!  What could be better?

Hmm…

I did exactly one workout.  One.  That’s all my brain could tolerate.  I just didn’t enjoy it.  I beat myself up for about a week trying to convince myself to keep going, but it was to no avail…  I was just not a native-born strength trainer girl.  Rippling biceps and rock-hard abs were not in my future.  The only rock would remain in my right buttcheek.  Unless I could think of something else to do in the off-season that would help me out…

My previous attempts at yoga were sketchy.  My local gym has a huge yoga department, but most of it is bikram or active vinyasa.  My thought is that since I do enough hot, sweaty running during the week, I would really like to avoid any additional activities that would be equally hot and sweaty.  Yin yoga in particular was very appealing to me.  They would occasionally offer a yin class at the gym.  In yin yoga, you focus on long poses that open the hips, groin and lower back.  In other words, it’s the perfect antithesis to distance running!  And it’s best when it’s cool and breezy!  No hot-and-sweaty yoga for me!  Finding quality yin classes, however, was challenging.  Finding time in my schedule was even more complicated.

At some point over the past year, I did a YouTube search for some good online yin classes.  There are quite a few out there.  I’d try one here and there, but none of them were quite what I had hoped.  Eventually, I stumbled across Yoga With Kassandra.  She’s a young woman out of Ottawa who does a fabulous mix of yin and slow vinyasa classes on her YouTube channel.  I had liked a couple of her classes when I tried them before, but it had been months since I had even looked on her site.

As I ran less, I found that my temper flared.  I had enough extra energy to start fussing when things went wrong at work.  My fuse became incredibly short.  I realized that I needed to refocus… before I drove all of my friends and family away!  So I wandered back over to Kassandra’s channel.  Not only had she expanded her online classes, but she had also filmed a 30-day meditation challenge since I had last browsed her site.  As I looked things over, I realize that this was the perfect opportunity — not only could I stretch out my runner’s aches, but I now had a chance to focus my loose mental energy in a more productive way.  I decided that I would do yoga every day in December along with the 30-day meditation challenge.  I needed fresh perspective.  I had nothing to lose.  And I could it all from the comfort of my den while wearing my kitty pajamas.  Awesome.

I should point out that I’m not really a yoga kind of girl.  I love astronomy [another topic for another time], but I have no idea about how the phases of the moon are supposed to affect my life.  Or how crystals are supposed to channel my aura.  Zodiac signs?  You’re kidding, right?  Of the New Age, I have no clue.  I’m a pretty pragmatic girl who often goes for function over form.  Prior to this, I never really gave much thought to meditation or chakras or whatever.  Mentally, I was at a point where I was pretty drained.  For whatever reason, I decided that I would buy into it… Even if it was just for the month.  Again, nothing to lose, right?

So I started with Kassandra’s one week free yin yoga immersion.  Basically, you get an email once every day for the week, each with a link to a different yin class.  They’re all on her YouTube site anyway, but it’s just nice to have them picked out for you to try.  It’s also nice to get that email every day.  It reminded me that I needed to set some time aside if I wanted this to work.  I also made sure that I got that daily meditation in, no matter how tired I was.

I did this for the first week of December.  Something amazing happened… I would wake up in the morning, and I wasn’t sore!  Before, I had felt like a 90-year old lady trying to get out of bed.  After a week of yin yoga, however, I felt pretty darn good.  So I did it for another week.  More amazing stuff!  My temper soothed.  I stopped snapping at people.  I actually started to look forward to my yoga session every day.  It was like a delicious little piece of chocolate before bed that just made my day complete.

I will say that after two or three weeks of yogatizing and meditating almost daily, my work rage subsided.  Problems that set me off before I started all of this just didn’t seem so unmanageable anymore.  Decisions that I couldn’t tackle before were slowly coming into focus.  And my right piriformis didn’t feel quite so rock-like anymore.

Wow…

So I have to say that I love the yin yoga.  I don’t feel that I’m one of *those* yoga people who lives for the next asana.  And you will never ever get me to chant. But I am now convinced that taking that 40min block of my day really does make a difference on so many levels.  I slowly have mixed some of Kassandra’s vinyasa classes into my 3-4x/week routine.  I may add more.  Or not.  The yin is pretty awesome.  I’m not able to fit it in every day, but it has become a new hobby.  And while I still have no idea what the phase of the moon is supposed to mean [other than a busy night on call when the moon is full, of course], doing the yin yoga has taught me that I sometimes need to worry less about such details and to instead turn my brain off for a little bit every day.  And if I want to contemplate the moonlight while I’m doing that, maybe that isn’t such a bad thing…

 

Mini Disclaimer:

So I’ve never met Miss Kassandra.  She and I have never spoken or emailed.  I receive no support from her or her site.  I just found her classes at random and became hooked.  Her routines are well-organized and reasonable.  She doesn’t recommend anything crazy or dangerous.  She seems like a nice sensible girl who has a knack for the low-energy yoga forms.  That’s cool.  I’ve included a few links to her site in today’s post in case you’d like to see for yourself.  I can’t say that I’d go along with all of her recommendations and offerings, but her YouTube channel has a lot of good stuff on it.  Check it out.  🙂

 

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One thought on “Into The Moonlight…

  1. I like the sounds of that yoga class! I have a monthly subscription to Yoga International. I’ve found quite a few classes I enjoy and can do (as a large woman, it can be hard to get up and down quickly). I haven’t liked any of the vin yoga though, so I’ll give her a try.

    Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

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