Thursday, February 19, 2015

Running & Yoga: Opposites Attract

For years I have found balance through running and yoga. In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang describe how opposite forces compliment each other. They are interconnected; dependent on each other to form a dynamic system where the whole is greater than all its parts. Just as a shadow cannot exist without light, we cannot exist without both masculine and feminine qualities. Our "yang" qualities that energize us to push, endure, strengthen and overcome are complimented by our "yin" qualities that soften and ground us.

As runners, we strap on our watches, we track our pace, we clock our time. We push through fatigue, and we endure. At the end of our run we feel that we have either succeeded or failed, because as runners we are goal-oriented: we strive to achieve a certain time, pace or mileage. This focus and determination is the reason why men and woman are able to train, run, and finish a marathon, and it is a force to be reckoned with.

As yogi’s, we approach our mat with stillness and awareness. We strive to stay in the moment, focusing on the breath and the subtle movements we make. At the end of our practice we feel light, calm, and sound in mind. As yogi’s we are soul-oriented, focusing on the journey rather than the outcome. Pushing the "re-set" button, stress and anxiety melt away.

Our yin and yang qualities are interdependent: they cannot exist without each other.

What a great reminder for us to love all of our parts, all of our qualities. Instead of getting down on ourselves for the way we feel, we should embrace the mood we are in. Be soft when we are called to be soft, push & endure when we are called to dig deep and find strength. 

On the surface, the runner and the yogi appear to be very different.  In the end, these opposing qualities cultivate the same intention within us: To reach our full potential and to become the very best version of who we are. To achieve balance and live a full, abundant life.

Keep running.. and keep practicing.

Tammy Fodrey & Biopharma

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