A Yoga Marathon
108 Rounds of Surya Namaskar (or Sun Salutations)
A Stretching Good TimeDon't worry if you have not heard about the Yogathon. It did not just sneak up on the running calendar suddenly. This is in fact a sort of yoga marathon. Doing 108 rounds of Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations is truly a sweaty business for someone like me. My yoga mat was nearly drowned in my sweat. A total of 197 people took part in this Yogathon held at the Kompleks Belia dan Sukan Negeri Sarawak this morning. The event was organised by The Art of Living. Being a person who runs a lot I always found that yoga is really good for stretching my legs. It's one thing to go to a masseuse, it's another thing to find a really good one. Nowadays it's like playing Russian Roulette. Trust me I have had my fair share of nightmare massages. I remember trying foot reflexology after my Island Ocean Marathon. It hurt so bad that I was virtually howling. The young man doing the massage only smiled but am sure deep inside he was laughing at me. Come to think of it I did laugh at myself later.
At the gym I do do yoga whenever I can, preferring the shorter 60-minute classes to the longer 90-minute one. Our gym has an experienced yoga instructor. It would be foolish of me to not attend her classes. Of course most of my time at the gym is spent on the treadmill doing all sorts of running drills. This has helped me greatly in increasing my running speed. Just this week I ran 10km in 1:02:48. That was in fact my fastest time for that distance ever! So even after the Spring Live Active Run my training is paying big dividends. The new Asics Gel Kayano 19 I bought works like a dream cushioning my feet. My toes and the soles of my feet would be thanking me if they could. I guess they are thanking me by helping me run faster! So when I heard about this Yogathon I thought I will give it a go as it might benefit my running even more.
Sun Salutation "A"I would be the wrong person to demo how to do Surya Namaskar. What I did was rope in my friend Alvin Heng from YogaRegion to give a step by step demo on how it is done. Remember when you look at the pics, we did this 108 times! Actually it was 54 times on the left side and 54 times on the right side. If you think it is easy, it is not! However let it be known that people who practice yoga are a tough lot. There was an uncle who is in his late seventies who demonstrated incredible flexibility. One of the instructors on stage was not a spring chicken either, and he had only picked up yoga three years ago. Such is the pull of yoga to our older citizens. That just goes to show that yoga can be done by everyone. As seen by the response to the Yogathon, many people in Kuching do practice yoga. It was also nice to see so many complete all 108 rounds!
Standing in Tadasana
Namaste or Prayer Pose
Rise your arms to a back bend
Lower to Forward Fold
Shoot your right leg back to a High Lunge
Shoot your other leg back to a Plank
From an Extended Child Pose, slid forward...
Push back up in Downward Facing Dog
Right leg back to the front
Bring left leg back to the front with a straight back
Fold into Forward Fold
Rise back up into the sky
That in a nutshell is how Sun Salutation "A" is done. However this is only for the right side. For the left side the left will be pushed back in the beginning. In the Yogathon the process is repeated from right to left until the 108 rounds are achieved. Of course for this demo Alvin gave us his own version of how the Surya Namaskar is done. Other instructors have their own variation too. It's up to you which variation you prefer. The end goal is still the same.
Alvin and I after the demo
Gym buddies and running friends...The best part about this Yogathon is that it brought together people from all walks of life. Reuben Su, my running buddy, joined me. He arrived late after doing his long run (16km) early in the morning, but we had prepared his mat for him. I had run yesterday and plan to run again this evening. Then there was my MBF and all our buddies from the gym, and also our very own yoga instructor, Yikru Ng. Even a couple of trainers from Level Up Fitness, that's the name of my gym, participated. One of them is an aspiring long distance runner who took part in the SLAR 21km. Below are pictures of some of our gang...
|(L-R) Karen Than, Micolle Chiam, Cynthia, KC Chai and Bernard Lee|
|(L-R) Royston Tan, Alvin Heng, Nasa Zaidul, Micolle and me|
|(L-R) Karen, Royston, Nasa, Yikru Ng, Bernard, Micolle, KC Chai and Cynthia|
|(L-R) Yikru, Micolle, Nasa and Lilliana George|
|Reuben Su and Yikru|
|Reuben and me after the Yogathon|
|Oldest participant being interviewed|
|Alvin and the other two instructors who led the Yogathon|
|Proudly holding our certificates|
After the sweat...Sweated my way to a positively good workout. As a reward, 162 of those who completed all 108 rounds of the Surya Namaskar were given a gold certificate. Unfortunately Reuben only got a normal Spirit of Yoga certificate of participation as he had to stop earlier from exhaustion. The early morning long run had taken too much out of him. Though I know for a fact that he enjoyed the Yogathon tremendously. T-shirts were on sale and some of us bought them. Am so glad that I participated in this Yogathon. Hopefully in the future there will be more such healthy activities in Kuching for everyone to take part in. A big thank you to the organisers for making this Yogathon a success! Also enjoyed the vegetarian snacks and healthy drinks after. What's more we all managed to make many new friends all thanks to our love for yoga. Am sure my running will benefit from all the stretching.
|My certificate of participation|