20 July 2006

Oh, When The Saints, Go Running In...

"Every time there was a close-up of the apostles, they were staring off in a way that appeared drug-induced. Saints did not have to stare so glassily, did not have to move with slow graceful gestures. Did they? I wanted a clumsy saint - or a fast one. A saint that liked to run like a sprinter, in little silky shorts. "

-You Shall Know Our Velocity, Dave Eggers

This great quote was contributed by Ellen (thanks!).

I am a slow runner - an Asana Bear is, by definition, not fast. And I run in Prana, not silk shorts. Still I am perhaps not as slow as the Penguin (no, not of Batman fame, the other one), but having never had the privilege of running with him, I fear the worse.

This may be why I like trail running so much... it is difficult to run fast whilst keeping an eye out for errent roots, rocks, tree limbs, mountain bikers, lose gravel, and dogs, not to mention substantial gains and losses in elevation. I don't feel the need for speed. I can feel nimble, graceful and strong without feeling slow. When I run on the road or sidewalk, I never feel fast, and the world plods past.

Yoga is similar; it's not about being "fast" (read perfect), it's in the effort and the resultant feeling of nimbleness, grace and strength. The fact that I fall over once in the while matters not one whit.

So my yoga and running are a perfect pair. The perfection is in the the way in which one approaches each of them, not the "speed," but the doing for its own sake - not to attain any particular thing.

In a similar vein, Krishnamurti said: "We all want to be famous people, and the moment we want to be something, we are no longer free."

In other words: be yourself, free yourself.

Om shanti ya'll.


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