My main issue these days when I go jogging is not speed or distance but how to keep the mind from being distracted by other thoughts. I want to keep my mind in my body while I run and realise how difficult it is to keep it still for even a few seconds despite chanting mantras and other such stuff.
Another problem I am facing is that of keeping the right posture. Since I am wary of injury I run very slowly so something about my posture collapses. I keep thinking of all the stuff I have read and try it - lift leg, keep hands straight at right angles, look straight ahead etc. I find that I do not do these either.
So my runs are going on without too much efficiency.
Until today I tried this technique after I remembered a line from the book 'Born to Run' where he describes the raramuri runners style as one where one can balance a pot on their head - so still was it. So I decided to make my head the focus of my attention and try to make it still.
The moment of made my head still I found myself looking straight out in the distance instead of looking at my feet. My posture straightened. Most importantly I found that when my head was still I had no distracting thoughts.The same principle applies in cricket too. The still head.
There is a connection between a still and straight head and focus and attention and posture. This is the key to all awareness, openness and even happiness. When I started running better thanks to this posture, I could actually find myself smiling.
The book describes the raramuri who smile and laugh their way to 100 mile runs in a day. I do think I stumbled on to something with this. The still head stops distracting thoughts, increases focus, body awareness, absorbs more and as a bonus, also increases joy in the system.
The still head is the central piece around which everything falls into place.
More on this as I experiment some more. Right now I am thrilled with the discovery.