Jason Loutitt is an incredible marathon runner who was born in Trail, BC and who has raced all over the world in 14 marathons! He also loves Bikram Yoga!
When did you start practicing? Do you remember your first Bikram Hot Yoga class?
My first class ever was at the West End studio in 2005. I lived elsewhere at the time but kept dropping into a studio once a year for a few years when visiting. I was instantly surprised at hot yoga and really had to focus – just to remember to keep breathing!
Now you continue to use Bikram Yoga to cross train for your marathon running? How does it aid your running?
Nothing comes close to offering both the physical balance and mental focus like Bikram Yoga. It also increases the body’s ability to regulate its temperature both internally and externally.
Many people have the impression that Bikram Yogis avoid running because of its impact on your joints and connective tissue especially in the knees and ankles. Just as Bikram Yoga can help your racing skills, how do you think running/racing helps to improve your practice in Bikram Yoga?
I think that like anything you do, you have to condition your body and develop an intrinsic understanding of how it works and your individual needs for strengthening, stretching, and recovery. Running and racing helps you learn about letting your thoughts go, returning to the breath, and focusing on one step at a time.
We’ve heard a lot of runners say that Bikram Yoga helps the mental challenge of running like focus, determination, and attitude. Would you agree?
I sure do! The heat stress in Bikram Yoga mimics the rise in body temperature that occurs with endurance activity. Also coping with the heart rate changes and focusing on breathing help train the mind to control these things in an automatic way when running and racing.
We have to ask – do you have an inspirational quote that motivates you to keep going? Something you use as a kind of mantra or life motto?
Get back up faster than anyone or anything that knocks you down.
An amazing running song is Kanye West’s “Stronger.” It has the most appropriate and uplifting beat. The lyrics make you feel like you can run a marathon. Do you have an absolute favourite running song?
I love music and singing out loud when running so of course try to only do so on the trails. Lately been listening to Hawksley Workmann, David Gray and songs such as ‘Waving Flag’ – love the message that we can always get stronger!
Follow Jason’s journey to Hawaii in January at his website or watch out for him in Vancouver on February 13th, 2011!