What it is: The Surya Namaskar A 5K. Let’s break it down: Surya namaskar A means sun salutation A, a series of poses to stretch and strengthen all the major muscle groups and greet the day. You know the 5K: running (or jogging or walking) a smidge over 3 miles.
How it works: Run for a while on a preset route, then stop at six designated areas to do a pose from the Surya A series, holding each pose for a minute. You and your race partner(s) take pictures of your poses as proof, and text those to the group organizer. Run some more, do the next pose, etc. When everyone’s done, enjoy a mimosa.
Who came up with this idea? Ted Roseen, aka Yoga Ted, hosts some of the most creative yoga events in town. He’s organized rooftop, full moon, dough-ga (featuring Glam Doll Donuts) and wine-tasting yoga classes, as well as yoga trips to luscious warm-weather destinations.
Roseen says he’s been running “since I was a hyperactive child.” He took up marathons, ultramarathons and triathlons after college to stay fit and challenge himself, then got into yoga in 2002.
Why combine yoga with running? Says Roseen: “When you begin to bridge the gap between mind and body, you begin to tap into the truer potential of both. Challenges such as races or poses become opportunities to unveil our potential, and when we begin to touch that potential, we begin to feel that vibration of who we really are. It’s that runner’s high, that yoga bliss. So, it just seemed right to combine the two for a fun event. Two sides of the same coin.”
What it’s like: At last year’s event, about 20 of us met at the lobby of the A-Mill Artist Lofts in Minneapolis and rolled out our mats in a large, sunny room for 15 minutes of a yoga warmup and stretch, and reviewed the poses in Surya namaskar A.
Roseen unveiled a PowerPoint of the race map and explained the stops and requirement to post or text photos. Then we took off through Historic Main Street Park, garnering looks and questions from passersby as we did our first forward folds on the Stone Arch Bridge.
Across the river, we wound our way along West River Parkway, through Gold Medal Park, then down onto the path near the river, then up and back across the bridge, fitting in poses, snapping photos and laughing as we went.
For a stretch we ran off-pavement, down a dirt path and to the edge of the Mississippi River for the final hands-to-heart pose, before clambering uphill and returning to the A-Mill.
Once inside, a lovely array of mimosas awaited us, along with prizes given for speed and best team name.
Who’s it for? Most participants seemed to be serious runners who were not taking this too seriously. I am a walker/jogger, not a runner, so my race partners, both marathoners, kept a snail’s pace on my behalf.
We came in dead last, but were greeted loudly and cheerfully by the other teams, who formed a human archway and high-fived us as we passed through. It definitely helped to have a familiarity with dad jokes as we did plank pose in the grass near a sign that read “Plank Surface Ahead.”
Details: This year’s Yoga 5K takes place 9-10:30 a.m. Oct. 14, starting at the A-Mill Artist Lofts, 315 SE. Main St., Mpls. Cost is $20. Sign up through the Facebook event page (facebook.com/events/2154612574781629), or visit yogatedyoga.com for information on Roseen and classes.
No excuses: Note that the event is a week after the Twin Cities Marathon, so, Roseen said, “don’t worry about throwing off your training.”