and practicing yoga is an essential part of her training! Yoga One regular and running fanatic Laurie Adam shares her inspirational story.
Which came first, running marathons or practicing yoga?
Marathons! And I was over 50 when I started running. I had lost weight and was having trouble keeping it off. I was a hiker, and thought I would up the intensity of my exercise to help keep the weight off. Well, I fell in love with running!
The Carlsbad Marathon (then called the San Diego Marathon) was my first. I got blisters so bad I had to walk the last ten miles and my first run after the marathon felt like I had never run before. But I loved it. That was in 2002. Since then I have run a total of 32 marathons in 26 states. My goal is to run a full marathon (26.2 miles or 42K) in each of the 50 states.
We moved downtown last year and I checked out yoga studios. I had a vague idea that yoga would be a good complement to running. I was told I have osteoarthritis in my right knee and the doctor advised me to stop running. That wasn’t going to happen! So I thought yoga would help strengthen the muscles supporting my knee.
What benefits do you feel from yoga in your daily life?
I walk to Yoga One several times a week – sometimes twice a day! I especially enjoy the early morning classes. Yoga has strengthened my upper body and core, areas running doesn’t touch. But upper body and core strength are essential for long-distance running. My knee doesn’t trouble me as much as it used to; the muscles are stronger, but I still try to be mindful of it. Yoga has helped me find calm and focus. These tools are important for running as well as for life.
Tell us about your recent trip to India and the yoga you practiced there:
My husband and I spent the entire month of June in India! We spent a week in New Delhi sightseeing and three weeks at a wellness retreat at a resort on Om Beach, on the southwest coast of India. The resort offered daily yoga in an upstairs Yoga Shala of a two story building. It has windows on all four sides, which opened. We practiced each morning with the sounds of nature all around us.
It was fascinating that the yoga in India was the same, and different from yoga in San Diego. We had three masters level instructors in the three weeks. All started and ended each class with chanting and a prayer (in Sanskrit). One instructed us to perform all the poses with “eyes closed.” Another spent a lot of time on breathing exercises – kriya yoga as well as pranayama. Since it was a wellness retreat, the instructors often told us which illness, condition or body parts would benefit from each pose.
It was nice that the poses were all familiar to me. My favorite yoga pose is shoulder stand. It was a part of the routine and I got a good sense of being on my shoulders, rather than my neck and head. I also noticed that the pose we call “cat-cow” they call “cat.” Cows are sacred there. (And they are everywhere! In fact, our driver was surprised when we told him that cows don’t run free in the US!)