Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

If my most recent passion is yoga, my longtime love would have to be baseball. I remember my first Major League game vividly (Aside: Opening Day at Yankee Stadium when I was six. I wore blue jeans and a floral sweater I had received for Easter. Everyone around us was smoking cigars and I was afraid we’d never get the smell out of my new sweater.) and just as clearly recall the first time I walked into Fenway Park, actually gasping in awe upon walking out of the tunnel and looking around at the intimate, historic stadium, tucked right into one of Boston’s neighborhoods.

So between my obsession with baseball and my most recent journey on the mat, I knew FenwaYoga would be epic.

And it was. The whole experience, really. Even just walking around the warning track in the almost empty ballpark.

It was especially cool since the Sox clinched the Division earlier this week. And also because the Yankees are 12 1/2 back (I made that switch years ago, for the record).

The park was so calm and seeing the stadium from a completely different perspective was magical.

In fact, we sat under the John Hancock jumbo-tron earlier this summer. 

After walking around the warning track and snapping tons and tons of shots on my phone, I settled in on my mat behind home plate and got ready to stretch.

Leading the class was master yoga teacher, Rebecca Pacheo, OmGal, from Equinox Boston. She was enthusiastic, expert, and genuinely pumped to be teaching a class in Fenway Park. Luckily, a few hundred of us were stoked to be on the journey with her.

I was genuinely interested in a normal, thorough practice, but the circumstances just weren’t normal and I snuck photos in here and there. I couldn’t help it. Could you?

Yoga, Pacheo told us, is a Sanskrit word that means union or to join together. It felt especially appropriate last night, in a place where teamwork is so critical and together-ness sometimes dictates success (Red Sox 2004 versus Red Sox 2012, anyone?).

Class included nice long holds in several warrior poses — warrior 1, warrior 2, crescent lunge — and some ab work in boat pose, side planks, and crunchy-type stuff.

As darkness fell and class wound down, we practiced bridge and, one of my favorites, wheel pose. What made this time special is that Pacheo asked us to dedicate our last wheel to someone who is a cheerleader in our life. As I pressed up into the roundest, fullest wheel I could manage, I dedicated the practice to my mother-in-law.

Meditating in savasana, Pacheo read a quote from Rumi: Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place. Be present, I thought. Be grounded. Be attentive. Be grateful. Be positive. Be thorough, even. What a poignant realization, laying on my mat in a space that, literally, no one else has done the same thing before. It was a wow moment for me. I pictured Papi or Pedroia waiting for their turn at the plate, or Salty or Tek scrambling to catch a foul pop, the entire team gathering and celebrating (20-something times this season) as a player is welcomed home after a walk-off win. 

There have been so many moments in this place before, but never one quite like the one I had, and shared, last night.