Discipline, how fun is that?

by Kir

Discipline in all things? This is what I was thinking about in yoga the other night. Yes, ideally your mind should be firmly rooted in the present, but it happens. And as I was laying in Savasana, my mind started to wander. As I attempted to get back to the moment, the word discipline popped into my mind. And I hovered briefly over the thought that it takes a certain discipline to be still and let go simultaneously. I let the thought go knowing that if it was important enough, my mind would get back to it at a later date…

Let Go...

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Flash forward to this morning. I hobbled back in after a humbling 6 mile run. Yesterday, I breezed through 6 miles like it was nothing. I lead my run gfs to the homestretch and felt fantastic – anyone who runs with me knows this doesn’t happen very often. This morning, not so much. And, bam, there was that word again – discipline. It took a lot of mental discipline to get through the run without veering into the nearest cafe, ordering a latte and calling it a day!

It takes discipline in different ways to run and do yoga. Running, especially when you are training for something, takes discipline to get out there each day and to get through the miles without stopping. There are times when it takes all I have not to stop and walk. And it’s definitely not easy.

In a yoga class, I think most people find it easier to flow from pose to pose than to lay still for five minutes.  It takes discipline to keep the mind quiet.

My girlfriend is an incredible athlete and uses running as her mental and physical outlet. She’s been sidelined with an injury going on 7 weeks and can’t run at all. She told me that she likes the toughest, most physically challenging yoga classes, but the second the class winds down she is over it. She hates having to sit and be still and I know she’s not alone. She said only running gives her that full release. This girl is disciplined when it comes to pushing herself. What she’s missing out on is pulling from that same source of will to stay in the moment and allow her mind to stay quiet and her body to rest. It’s pretty interesting, at least to me.

It feels like polar opposite perspectives in running and yoga. The reward in both can be exhaustion and the peace that comes with finishing a tough run or a challenging class. For the longest time, I never understood runner’s high. Yea right, it was right up there with the green flash at sunset. But you see it once, you know it’s there. You experience a RH once and you know you can recreate it. A yogi will tell you the same thing about Savasana. Even just for the briefest moment of being fully present is like that elusive feeling of a runner’s high.

Sometimes when I’m in a yoga class and really having a hard time getting rid of my thoughts, I use a little mantra. Let (Inhale) go (Exhale) let go, let go or thank (Inhale) you (Exhale) thank you, thank. When I’m slogging out a difficult run, I use the same tactic only it’s don’t (Inhale) stop (Exhale), don’t stop, don’t stop.

Let Go...

Let Go…

And then, of course, it’s time to turn that part of your brain off completely and go have some fun. For example, now that I’ve dumped these thoughts into a post, it’s time to let go and head over to the farmer’s market to shop, have a fish taco and then decorate the Christmas tree!