Half Marathon a Practice of Awareness

By: Guest Author Romina Roncato

I ran my first half marathon. That’s about 21km no stops, no walking, and no self-doubt. Where did this crazy confidence come from? I reckon from yogic style awareness. Here’s how.

Take shoulder tension for example, it’s pretty common in runners. This aggravation consumes and drains. In yoga we practice physical postures (Asana) that challenge our joints, tendons, and muscles. In response to this discomfort our shoulders tense, so we constantly direct our awareness to relaxing and re-relaxing of the shoulders. When we get sticky shoulders in running we tap into this technique not letting the tension overtake our experience.

Then there’s body scanning, moving awareness around the physical body while practicing Asana. In Yin Yoga we don’t contract muscles while stretching, we relax them. We body scan in search of where muscle contraction is occurring, the source, then relax into this area. When running, this technique can be used to detect areas of the body prone to injury. We have the tools to be constantly in tune with the state of our muscles to prevent strain.

No dry mouth, no need for water, no gasping for breath? In Power Vinyasa we breathe through our nose – long full breaths. We follow a breath movement pattern that’s physically challenging. It’s one thing to inhale and exhale slowly while sitting; it’s another when doing a Chaturanga Dandasana (high to low plank). In Power Vinyasa we practice breath awareness while the body is pushed to its edge. Pretty much like running the last leg of a race.

What am I doing here? Who do I think I am? I can’t do this!  Running more than twice the distance I have ever run before required absolute faith in me. This new achievement needed new thinking. Moving from our comfort zone involves constructive listening to our thoughts. Not instantly believing every thought that pops into our head like it’s the truth. Clearing the mind of ‘cant’ making way for ‘am’ is being frank about your thoughts.

The joy I felt crossing the finishing line came from a place of peace within me. My message to you is this; be – aware and your running dreams might come true!

Romina Roncato is a Power Vinyasa and Yin Yoga instructor. Her clients are individuals, businesses, and communities. She also has a regular gig at Abundance Yoga and Pilates Studio. A struggling fun run dabbler since her early twenties she’s finally training to run a full marathon in 2014.

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