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Three Rivers Ashtanga Yoga Group

Aisling Fernandez

Running and cycling have been my main mental and physical outlets since middle school and college, respectively. I learned that yoga is beneficial for the tight, unbalanced muscles of a runner's body and initially practiced with some yoga videos. When I moved to Richland in the summer of 2009, I took my first few yoga classes with various teachers and various styles. In the Winter '09-'10, I took up the challenge of leaving home at 5AM with Eric and Patrick to practice a more rigorous and structured variety called "Ashtanga Yoga." Since then, I have been practicing only once a week, now increasing to twice weekly, yet I feel increasingly light, loose and aware of my body. I attribute a recent personal record in the half marathon (first place finish for women) to the flexibility and focus on the breathe from yoga. The breath and patience of distance training and Ashtanga yoga go hand-in-hand. I love the simple requirements to practice yoga- enough floor/ground space for the length of your body and a quiet mind- you could practice anywhere in the world. It's been wonderful and it's just the beginning. Namaste.