Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Running Yoga

Blue Mound State Park (BMSP) is an ideal
setting for Running Yoga
This morning I went out for a relatively low-intensity run in Training Zones 1-2 (50-70% of my 187 beats-per-minute maximum heart rate). After a few minutes of cruising along at this pace, I noticed my senses sharpening; the wind in the trees became more audible, the trail beneath my feet provided sensory feedback, and the in/out movement of breathing woke up my ribcage. For the next 50-minutes, I enjoyed a Running Yoga practice in the forest that's near the Blue Mounds Dharma Center.

The physical body can be a direct portal to experience the mind's true nature. Over the past few years, I've been exploring how running may offer the opportunity to pull back the curtain to reveal the state of Yoga.

In my experimenting, I've found that running at different intensities influences the mind in specific ways. For example, when I'm approaching aerobic threshold (when heart-rate is ~50% of maximum), my senses seem to be heightened. Sounds seem to be crisper, colors appear brighter, and I experience physical sensations in my body more keenly. This heightened perception helps me to rest my mind in Object Meditation.

While there is no direct substitute for seated meditation, I've found these moving meditations in BMSP to be highly nourishing.

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