Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wanderlust Festival/Ambassador Week

Yesterday I attended one of the neatest events I have ever been to!! I joined hundreds of other runner-yogis at the Wanderlust Atlanta Festival at Piedmont Park. The festival incorporated a 5k run, speaker/meditation sessions and yoga classes into a uniquely packed day with a festival vibe.

There is so much I want to share from the all day event!!  The day began with a 5k run within the park. After the run there was some downtime to explore the vendors.  All the vendors gave away wonderful goodies and each booth was interactive.  One booth screen-printed your choice of design on a cloth bag while you waited and others gave away a t-shirt if you showed them a social media pic you shared holding their product.   

Next up was the guest speaker Former NFLPlayer Keith Mitchell and a meditation session with Sage Rountree. During another break the Atlanta based Good Times Brass Band performed while food trucks arrived.

The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to yoga.  Octavia Raheem and Neda Honarva  led a traditional yoga class; then the not-so-traditional MC Yogi and DJ Sol Rising led a hip hop yoga class while playing Outcast and Beastie Boys!

The last hour or so of the day was more music and celebration. I rode my bike to the event from a friend’s house and feeling pretty tired I decided to head home. My overall takeaway from the event was how nice everyone was and how thrilled everyone was to be there. I went alone and met so many nice people! From the organizers to venders to participants, everyone had a smile and something nice to say. It was a fantastic event!!!

It was a neat coincidence that I attended Wanderlust on Sunday, as this was my ambassador week for J&A Racing. Each Ambassador was assigned a week to write about a topic related to running. My topic was Yoga for Runners and I have included my content in this post for those not on Facebook!

I have dabbled in yoga on and off since college. It wasn’t until my third half marathon that I decided to give my body a rest from training and focus more on my practice. I soon began to see and feel the difference yoga made to my running. The stiffness in my legs and shoulders became less, my core became stronger and my lower back pinched less often. The quiet self-reflection of yoga even convinced me to try running without music (something I still haven’t mastered). In this article from Runnersworld.com, Van Allen explains why yoga is great for runners, how to get started with yoga, and how to avoid injury with poses.

Now that you’ve read why yoga is great for runners, lets take a look at the various poses. In this slideshow from self.com, MacMillan explains and demonstrates yoga poses that are the most beneficial for runners.
*Make sure to expand the description of each pose to the right of the pic!

My yoga practice intensified after I injured my IT bands on both legs. I was crushed! It seemed like forever for the pain to go away. I began to focus more on yoga to ease the pain and to keep myself active.

In this video from DoYogaWithMe.com, McAlpine shows us a yoga flow to help prevent running injuries before they happen.

Hey Fellas!  Don’t think yoga is just for the girls! Lately I’ve been able to get my son, husband and even my Dad into a little downward dog.  This slideshow from Menshealth.com may explain why more and more men are willing to hit the mat than before! http://www.mensfitness.com/training/endurance/top-10-yoga-poses-for-men/slide/1

It was a fun experience sharing my thoughts and resources for yoga and running with the J&A Racing community.  Since J&A Racing is known for it’s fantastic half and full marathons, I felt it fitting to finish with this article from Wanderlust.com that explains the top 5 yoga poses for endurance athletes. http://wanderlust.com/journal/5-yoga-poses-endurance-athletes/

Get Bendy! Buzz!