Here is why I think runners and nonrunners should do yoga. And the reason is not what you think.
Yes it does help with increasing flexibility, strength and muscle tone and improves balance and helps with recovery from hard runs.
But I want to talk about exposure.
And this might be more directed towards males because of my perspective. But maybe women have the same fears when it comes to committing to doing a yoga class.
Before I begin let me sidetrack for a minute and talk about running and exposing yourself…
One of the amazing things about running is the exposure you set yourself up for during a race. Running, in its simplicity, will boil life down to its purest form.
Life is no longer about job titles, the price of your car, how fashionable your business casual is. It’s no longer about family feuds, celebrity gossip or the price of oil.
You are completely open and exposed to the world. Your shirt might have blood from chaffed nipples or your face might be twisted from the feeling like knives are pierced through each leg.
Tears might roll down your face while you’re barely able to limp across a finish line.
And everyone there is witnessing it. But in the moment, it has no effect on you.
Life has been broken down to the raw and real elements of being human. Your emotions are revealed while your primary goal is forward motion and making sure you have food and water.
That’s all that matters when you strip yourself from all the unnecessary possessions and thoughts that are filled in our daily lives.
Okay, back to yoga!
This description of exposure in running might be a little on the extreme side but I think it helps support my idea.
Yoga humbles you. It exposes you almost in the same way.
It breaks down barriers that society has put up about age and gender.
I’ve been doing yoga for a short time now and I have noticed that I have been the only guy in these classes. Maybe guys are scared or have a certain stereotype that yoga is just for women?
Yoga will expose your weaknesses even in some of the most basic positions.
I am constantly showed up by women over double my age.
The first few classes, at least for me, were a little embarrassing. I couldn’t and still can’t bend over and touch my toes. Downward Facing Dog still has my arms shaking like I’m hold 500 pounds. And I can’t seem to get my leg to fully extend straight above me when I’m on my back.
It’s a lot like running. You’re in front of strangers, (but if you keep going they will be your friends), and showing them what you are not capable of or barely able to do.
To show and admit this can allow you to let go of what the outside world thinks. Just like running does late in a race.
The moment is all that matters and with this you can go to your limits and find your true potential as a human.
It will build confidence.
This openness that yoga can provide is why I think people should do it in addition to the more common benefits.
Any guys out there do yoga and feel the same way? Any females feel the same? Do you want to try yoga but have been putting it off?