I'm into yoga now.
I used to be into running. Really into it. I ran for years on several continents, in many cities, in all kinds of weather, usually early in the morning. My running shoes and I have been everywhere together from Stockholm to Rangoon; from Nantucket to Phuket; from Lake Como to the Napa Valley.
I wasn't particularly fast (2003 NYC Marathon time: 4h30min) but I was dedicated. In fact, once I got in the zone I had a hard time stopping. When I used to live in Venice, California, I'd go out for a run along the beach and if things went well, I'd end up calling my husband collect from a sandy pay phone and asking him to grab me some dry clothes before heading down to Manhattan or Redondo Beach--a cool 10+ miles around the Marina and down the bike path from our house--to meet me an hour later.
"We can eat pancakes! At that place you love!" I'd throw in to sweeten the deal. (That usually was enough inspiration for him to agree.) And then he'd find me at the pier and hold my clothes as I showered off in my sports bra and undies before getting dressed. On those days, I was so happy after my endorphin-inducing runs anyone could get me to do just about anything.
But that was before. Before struggling to get pregnant and having three miscarriages. Before a 60-hour labor and delivery left me struggling with (we're friends, right?) urinary incontinence. Before I had body--not body image. Although, okay yeah. Those, too--issues. Just before. When I actually had time to run.
And then there are my back problems. Every runner has them. They're the price of doing business. But I've also got scoliosis. And leg length discrepancy that's pretty noticeable if my mom doesn't hem my pant legs to different lengths (which is somewhat tricky, since I live mostly in Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA and she lives in New York. Whatever, though. We make it work.) In short: I had no business--nope, none at all--falling in love with a sport that jams up the hips, knees, bum and spine. And as a result of my foolishness, I've spent countless hours with and insane amounts of money on physio therapy, massage treatments, Pilates, acupuncture, chiropractic and other random healing modalities that I hoped could be a magic bullet cure.
So now I do yoga. In fact, I've actually been doing it on and off for almost ten years. My first experience was a four-class Intro to Yoga series to learn the basics. I then dabbled in Hatha, Vinyasa/Flow, Yoga for Athletes and Bikram. And (no surprise given my runner's mentality) I got really into Bikram, which I did pretty regularly up until trying to get pregnant. But all these years and two kids later, I've gone back to basics. On January 2nd 2010, I went back into a Hatha studio (on New Year's Day I did hot yoga. I couldn't help myself. I love it!) with the goal of re-learning my body. Of taking the time to focus on muscles and body parts that need attention if I'm ever going to feel like a whole person again (and not hate my kids and pregnancies for the toll they took on me).
So now it's me and my yoga mat...in Hong Kong, in New York and places I haven't been yet.
This is the story of my journey.