I’ve started jogging three times a week to improve my physical conditioning. It’s been almost a decade since the last time I tried running. I stopped because I developed shin splints and never got up the energy to go running again. Since taking up yoga, I’ve looked down my nose at running as repetitive torture of my joints and hamstrings, but I’ve changed my mind. It’s just so convenient to put on my running shoes, plug in my MP3 player and head to the Rockville High School track and jog alone — or go to the gym if the weather is bad. I know I need to fit in 30-40 minutes of physical exercise on my off-days for yoga.
I’ve been jogging about 2 miles, plus another miles for warm-up and cooling off, for the past two weeks. I was surprised that I was able to manage that distance with ease, though I was not pushing myself, just jogging. So far, no sore joints. In my yoga class yesterday, extended and repeated holds in chair (http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/493) pose finally made me collapse into child’s pose. I did not have any stamina in my thighs. I had depleted my reserves by jogging during the week — not that there were lots of reserves under normal conditions. That’s precisely why I started running, because I wanted to gain strength in my legs and hips.
At this stage, I’m being very gentle with myself, warming up thoroughly, stretching before and after, keeping the pace under control and concentrating on form. The running certainly makes me appreciate the stretching in yoga.