Yoga for Runners | Beginner Yoga

The cold is upon us in Denver. With the cold outside, I’m finding it more critical to stay warm with varied yoga sequences. I had specific movements on my mind, and I wanted to make sure that we got to them while using adaptive yoga techniques. In this instance, we work a lot with Yoga Blocks as props. 

The peak poses I chose for today were Pigeon, Revolved Crescent Lunge, and Supta Baddha Konasana. I wanted to make sure that we got into poses that create more space in the upper body. We worked out our chest and triceps today; the poses we take today are a reflection of such.

In the video, I added a quote from Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff. I make mention of Prana. While I recognize that Pranayama practice typically comes at the end of the sequence, I wanted to emphasize for my students taking notice of the breath at the beginning of the class. This quote from Kaminoff emphasizes that Prana can include many different sources of life-sustaining energy. In short, Prana can be food, sunshine, and as we’re made more aware of during yoga: the breath.

I have been trying to add more Yoga and Personal Trainer literature to my reading list. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

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Active Rest

We begin today in active rest. Active rest provides a chance for the yogi to come into an awareness of their breath. We take a few minutes to work on settling the breath in before we get into warm-up poses. From Meditation, I borrow the technique of lengthening the time between inhales and exhales. I suggest we start at two counts in, two counts out, but by the end of it, I felt more comfortable moving into longer four counts in, four counts out breaths. By settling the class into relaxation rather than merely beginning the class with warm-ups, we are more clearly able to set an intention for the practice. We then work to activate our ujjayi breath.

Props

As I come to the close of my official Yoga Teacher training, I notice that I have been afraid to use props in every pose. Although I am a big fan of Yoga Blocks, I am unlikely to use them after the first few movements in our vinyasa. However, in today’s class, I take extra time to demonstrate various poses so that the poses will feel more accessible to more people. For example, I exhibit a chair pose incorporating Yoga Blocks. 

Warm-Up

The poses I suggest to warm-up in this class mostly kept us in an easy-seated position. We move through bends, twists, and cat/cow sequence while remaining in a seated position. 

Cool-Down

Rather than our usual bridge pose sequences, I take the class today through a more standard bridge pose with an interlaced-fingers variation. We also take the opportunity to sit in a more open-armed Supta Baddha Konasana. Since I usually teach this pose in Restorative Yoga, I could lay in Supta for a pretty long time. It sometimes feels weird to translate it into a quicker vinyasa sequence.

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The Class:

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Reflections

I decided to name this class Yoga for Runners. As my discussion so far has detailed, through the poses and feelings we moved through, I sought to bring about a sense of relaxation without digging too deeply into Restorative or Yin Yoga.

Another strange feature of teaching yoga has been how all of these different yoga types make me feel. I practiced ashtanga yoga for many years as a student, without realizing how this would later translate to my yoga teacher training. In this class, I tried to remain in line with my previous quick flow vinyasa sequence training.

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