For starters, I'm no longer as flexible as I used to be. Running does that to you apparently. I used to see runners in my yoga class struggle with forward bends and have no empathy. Well, empathy I have now, and lots of it! However, being less flexible means that I'm no longer pushing myself in the asanas. I'm letting myself just be, I deepen into poses and I'm in each and every moment.
This shift to more self-awareness and mindfulness is a big step in my yoga practice. I have a lot of trouble with self-regulating, and with holding back. I use running to expend all that energy, and I use yoga to centre it all back.
I bring yoga into my running as well. Both are melding into each other in a way. When I run, I practice pranayama, and when I'm in the zone, I'm almost in a meditative-like state. I can't imagine one without the other, so I'm glad I have both.
Because running is such a high intensity activity, my yoga is all about gazing inwards. I focus on nurturing poses like child's pose, forward bends, supine twists... I hardly ever do backbends anymore and when I do, they are gentle.
What is most important is that I feel that I am now truly practising yoga and not just an aspect of it, which is what I've wanted all these years. Strangely enough, gone are my aspirations of becoming a yoga teacher. My practice has become something intimate and dear to me that it's so personal. Sharing it with others just doesn't feel right.
I look forward to reflecting on my practice again next year to see how it has further evolved. Chances are, it's not going to be the same, but I'm also ok with that.