Today I have a bit more on running and stress for you; after this I’ll be back to blogging about running technique. I’m starting to get excited for the Olympics, are you? I promise you some running form/technique analyses of the distance events.
I’ve spent a long time on the topic of stress, though, because through more than a decade of professional practice I’ve found that all the many ways that running and stress interact are responsible for many, many running injuries that didn’t have to happen.
Last week I reviewed an album of running meditations for you. This week I have something different to help you reduce the life stress that may be impairing your ability to run well, sleep well and recover properly.
Heart of the Palm is a guided relaxation I created years ago in the style of the Sounder Sleep System and taught to students looking to reduce their daytime stress and sleep better at night.
I taught it to people in outpatient psychiatric centers, outpatient AIDS day programs, programs for cancer survivors, a halfway house for ex-offenders, in workshops at the New York Open Center for people struggling with insomnia and stress, and even once, memorably, to a room full of sleep medicine doctors, all of whom fell asleep sitting right there in their chairs.
I loved teaching it because I loved watching people’s faces and bodies relax, the stress and tension melting away, until every single one of them looked beautiful. No matter where people were coming from or what they were struggling with, they felt they felt clearer, calmer, and better by the end of the class.
If that sounds like something you could use, or even if you just want an easy technique to use for five minutes in the middle of the day to help you relax, then give it a try.
The audio talks you through a full-length version, which is good for learning and you can also use in bed at night. But once you get the hang of it you can do it anywhere you can sit or lie down undisturbed for a few minutes.
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Jae Gruenke, GCFP, is a running technique expert and Feldenkrais Practitioner. Known as a “running form guru,” she is the Founder and CEO of The Balanced Runner™ in New York City and The Balanced Runner UK. She has helped runners from beginner to Olympian improve their form to become pain-free, economical, and fast.