Running less helped me progress in my yoga practice. I learned three new arm balances this week and am holding hand stands and head stands longer since seriously practicing them for two months. I have avoided these poses for over ten years due to fear and busyness. If I had free time, I would run or surf. I always did yoga frequently, almost every day, but I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as I am now. As one yoga instructor stated, we are given so much time and energy. Someone may spend an hour meditating and someone will spend that time running 6 miles. Your choice. Since I haven’t been running due to foot pain, my yoga practice has really deepened. I am grateful for that. Sometimes you need to stop one thing to jump start another. I kept questioning why this foot pain developed. I was looking for an answer. How come I can’t run after running injury free for almost two decades? Why? What is the reason? How can I move forward? If we really listen sometimes answers will come to us immediately and sometimes it can take a long time.
As you know with any habit, it is hard to break. Running was habitual for me. I would run 3-10 miles 3-4 days a week. I never liked running until I realized I was “good” at it. I would run the same 5ks, 10miles races, and half marathons to see if I could place and/or improve my time. This meant a lot of time on the road. I ran through pregnancies, through two different baby joggers logging many miles solo and with the little ones. Then last March when I was training for the Ocean City half marathon, that I have run four times, my right foot began to hurt. It was fine until I got up to 8 or 10 miles. The ball of my foot would hurt after running a few miles and get worse until I had to stop. It felt like a burning fire-y sensation. I am a big proponent of “listen to your body” from my yoga practice. I didn’t want to run in pain. Believe me it was not enjoyable! I told my chiropractor and asked what to do. They recommended heat ultrasound. I began having treatments once to twice a week. Heat ultrasound, cupping, and dry needling to get the pain to reduce and send blood to the painful area. Nothing really helped. I did notice in August that I was able to run barefoot on the beach without pain, but when I tried to run on the pavement in shoes the pain returned. I really took it easy all fall. I tried spinning once a week, but even that hurt after 20 minutes since the affected area is the same area that pushes the bike pedal around. I tried zumba, and that hurt too! I was getting discouraged. The only things I could do pain free were yoga and surfing, which are two of my favorite past times anyway!! Also, I make a living as a yoga instructor, so that was great:)
I was really blessed to be in FL January and February. I could run on the beach barefoot without pain. I also was frequenting a local yoga studio and taking workshops. I was able to run up to 5 miles. I was really happy with this since I hadn’t been running for a while! The first few runs felt awful. Then I hit that sweet spot where you are warmed up after the first mile or two and feel like you can cruise on autopilot. Those two months being able to run saved me from giving up on running. I was also learning new yoga postures and took an acro yoga workshop, something I had never tried before. It felt rejuvenating to push myself in new ways.
After the first of the year, the instructor asked what our goal poses were for 2014. I said that mine was handstand. It was the one pose that I had avoided for ten years. If you’re not good at something the first time, isn’t it easier to quit? It was a very intimidating pose to me. The thought of balancing all of my weight on my hands made me fearful that my arms would buckle and I would break my neck. Aren’t fears callous? So I decided to overcome fear. I started really exploring it for the first time. I like the wall still, but after two months, I have held it for 30 seconds!!! Progress is progress.
My running went from about 20 miles a week to 0. I finally had an MRI and was just recently diagnosed with Morton’s neuroma. This is common. I had never heard of it before, but now that I have a name for my issue, I have met so many people who have it too. Law of attraction? Doesn’t it seem that you aren’t aware of something until you go looking for it?
Ganesha is associated as the “remover of obstacles” in Hinduism. As one my recent yoga practices stated, before the obstacle can be removed, you have to move through it. That is what I am doing now. I am trying to find ways to heal my foot through acupuncture, rest, and belief that it will heal. If not, I have the option of orthotics, trying new shoes, and doing more yoga.