“It’s really amazing to see people reconnecting with their bodies and minds and being able to recognise what they are actually capable of”

“It’s really amazing to see people reconnecting with their bodies and minds and being able to recognise what they are actually capable of”

Manchester Chi Running Workshop

20 October | 9:30am to 4:30pm | £80
Phil is co-teaching his first 1-day Chi running workshop in Manchester/Bury with Gray Caws. Spaces are limited so book now to avoid disappointment. Includes free Run Club session on Sunday 21 October.

A little on my journey…

I have always been involved in outdoor sports, from an early age, playing ice hockey and rugby in my teenage years then progressing to more hair-raising sports in the world of trad and sports climbing and bouldering. I have pretty good body awareness and balance through bouldering as 80% of sports climbing and bouldering is done through the core, legs and feet much to the surprise of people when they think arms for climbing. That coupled with the mental mindfulness needed especially in competitions being put in isolation and calming the mind was my favourite bit of the competition side.

After a bad fall climbing a sport route in 2009 and injuring my shoulder, I wanted to be active whilst recovering so took up trail running. Having grown up with asthma, I hated running from an early age and avoided it where possible. I didn’t like the feeling of breathlessness, it made me feel out of control and although it got better over time, it was always a challenge.

Chi Running

I have always had a passion for inspiring people to do things they thought they could never achieve, coupled with 20 years of performance management coaching experience in my day job.

I discovered Chi Running in early 2017 after receiving the book as a present from my partner who is a yoga instructor. She had already introduced me to the world of postural alignment and was running yoga and conditioning workshops for runners which I started to attend and it just made sense and started to click together. I also liked the fact that just as in yoga, Chi Running should be seen as a holistic practice rather than goal driven. You don’t do yoga because your flexible! And you don’t go out to injure yourself when you run but the latter is often the case.

For various reasons I used running as my go-to beat-myself-up sport, quite the opposite to my bouldering, I would stick an obligatory pair of headphones in and run with no reason other than to forget about the bad day I’d had! Only to actually feel worst, not really relaxed and at worst injure myself. I started to incorporate the Chi Running techniques into my running and I had light-bulb moments noticing pockets of effortlessness around the challenges I had been plagued with. Breathing being my major stumbling block.

Now I practice Hatha Yoga, and when I say practice I’m like the little reluctant child that got dragged into doing it but then had a sudden realisation ‘oh why wasn’t I doing that all along’ and then I find myself reverting back to my old ways and realising I felt better when I was doing it and then jump back in.

Chi Running allows me to combine all those things and more into running, yoga and my every day life. I now find myself adjusting my posture, listening to my breathing and experimenting how things feel within my body. Running is more enjoyable and, dare I say it, meditative now. No music disturbance, no beating myself up if I get too out of breath (I walk instead) and when I feel in control of not just my body but my mind again, I break back into the run.

Gradual Progress

As with anything in life gradual progress allows something to grow through its own development stages. Building good foundations with any structure will allow it to grow upwards solidly with a sound structure. poor foundations and it will collapse. As with Chi Running, gradual progression through each stage has allowed me to gradually develop my technique allowing for any changes made to settle in. I’ve used Form > Distance > Speed as my mantra for some time now and it is paying dividends.  I can now breathe with ease and relax into my runs.

My Aim

My aim… to help people make small gradual changes, in their running to achieve what seems out of reach and that it may inspire more change in all areas of their lives. It’s really amazing to see people reconnecting with their bodies and minds and being able to recognise what they are actually capable of.

I’m a big advocate of focusing on the journey not the destination in both personal and work life, The physical and mental aspects of Chi Running act as a metaphor for encountering difficulties in life; sometimes uncomfortable but even the most stubborn obstacle can be overcome with perseverance, mindfulness and generally thinking it’s not going to kill me!

My name is Phil Young and I’m a Chi Runner.


Phil is co-teaching a Chi Running Workshop in Bury 20 October with Gray Caws. Click here to book.
Visit Phil’s website at https://yourparinama.co.uk

Manchester Chi Running Workshop

20 October | 9:30am to 4:30pm | £80
Phil is co-teaching his first 1-day Chi running workshop in Manchester/Bury with Gray Caws. Spaces are limited so book now to avoid disappointment. Includes free Run Club session on Sunday 21 October.

GBP Pound sterling
EUR Euro