It’s been two weeks since my first 5K and two weeks since I took my shoes for a run. I will blame it either on the rain or Uncle Sam. Now that both are gone, I had no excuse and decided to go for my first night run since this was the last night I had baby sitters in town. As usual, the first 5 minutes are nothing but resistance and mind boggling “I’m tired and just want to walk” self conversations. After the first several minutes of running, I get a terrible side cramp. I’m certain it’s the chocolate cream puff I had after dinner that is talking to me. The other half of me tells me to keep going and you’ll be fine after you past the first 5 minutes of the run. Sure enough my other half was right. As soon as I focused on my breathing and keeping my body in tadasana like, I forgot about the cramp. It actually went away and I felt this strange lightness to my feet. This sounds cheesy but I felt like I was gliding along the pavement. I have never before felt so light during a run. My lungs didn’t burn, my nose wasn’t running, and I wasn’t gasping for air. OMG! I was actually enjoying the run.
The night was perfect. Clear skies. No wind. Felt like 75 degrees. Best of all was the sweet smelling scent of jasmine flowers in the air. I was so grateful to have my sense of smell back after a week of mad allergies. Jasmine is one of my favorite scents and it took me to a very graceful edge of my run where I was not struggling to breath or struggling against my ego and push myself. It was a blissful moment of no thoughts.
During my 5 minute cool down, the thoughts come flooding in. Good thoughts. Not only did I realize that I need to accept the reality of my ‘night owl’ tendencies. I am a night owl. Things flow better for me after dinner and the kiddos are in bed. I don’t know if it’s it psychological or just the natural rhythm of my body. I have better clarity with more energy. I love my 9pm home practice into the wee night hours. If I had to practice yoga during the morning, I would not be in love with it as much as I am now. My body doesn’t enjoy it. As I discovered tonight, I enjoyed my run better at night. What a bonus it was to practice immediately after the run to stretch out the hammies.
During my practice, I focused on dharma, living in truth of the way you are meant to be. I haven’t thought about dharma since my first teacher’s training. “You know you’re in your dharma when you don’t have to try at all,” says my teacher, Baron Baptiste. Not the case when I first started teaching. That’s besides the point now, but two years into teaching and I feel like I’m melting into my dharma in my teaching, in my life, and in my cause of building community. When we are in our dharma, we are happy. There is no struggle. Not to say there won’t be challenges. When we find our dharma and engage in our own practices and commitment, challenges become growth spurts and hurdles turn into more happiness. So how does one find their dharma?
For me it would begin with staying in the flow. So often we face a challenge or resistance and want to turn around and run in the opposite way. If I’m not happy with what is presented to me, I often ask myself what’s going on. Why am I resisting? Why am I unhappy? Why is this a struggle? Sometimes the answers don’t come right away and my other half reminds me to stay a bit and breathe through it. Armed with some awareness, I can make better decisions to either stay in this flow or find another flow. Who knows where the flow takes me. All I know is that when I’m in alignment with my flow, I’m happy. The hardest things like taking my shoes for a run can actually be fun and put me in a state of bliss. And who knows if I’m in my dharma teaching yoga. I do know that I am happy and love to share my experience with others… that’s one step closer to dharma and definitely more evening runs :)