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Yoga


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23 replies to this topic

#1 Green12

 
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Posted 14 April 2006 - 01:06 PM

Since pilates has a thread of its own I thought I would start one for yoga. I am so in love with yoga...

I was curious does anyone else weep when they do certain poses?
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#2 jerseyangel

 
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Posted 14 April 2006 - 01:09 PM

I adore Pilates--have my own machine! I would very much like to try Yoga. My husband bought me a book--kind of an "introduction" to it. I am thinking of going to a class. There are poses that make you weep? There must be a strong body/mind connection there--more than I thought. I think I will try it. :)
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#3 Green12

 
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Posted 14 April 2006 - 01:36 PM

I adore Pilates--have my own machine! I would very much like to try Yoga. My husband bought me a book--kind of an "introduction" to it. I am thinking of going to a class. There are poses that make you weep? There must be a strong body/mind connection there--more than I thought. I think I will try it. :)



jerseyangel, there really is a very strong mind/body connection. I never believed something that just looked like stretching on the floor could be so powerful. Many of the poses allow for a deep emotional release and for some people they may even weep. You should give it a try!
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#4 Guest_BERNESES_*

 
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Posted 14 April 2006 - 01:41 PM

I thought I was the only one- there have been many times I cried during yoga poses! I need to get back to it.

Patti- i bet you would LOVE yoga.
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#5 tarnalberry

 
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Posted 14 April 2006 - 07:22 PM

many people feel that hip openers, such as badda konasana (bound angle pose) uphavista konasana (seated wide angle), padmasana (lotus), and even to a certain extent janu sirsasana (head to knee) often leave people feeling a bit ... raw, emotionally, and prone to crying. the hips are said to hold a lot of emotional tension, in that line of practice. it's something you hear about quite often in some yoga traditions, actually.

as I've noted elsewhere, I love yoga as well. I've been practicing about five years, and am coming closer to having my daily home practice, besides my two to three days a week of classes. I just finished my first five-day teacher training, and plan to start teaching in the next few weeks. I've done a range of styles, including hatha, vinyasa, restorative, asthanga, baptiste, and iyengar. we're working on building a yoga room in our new house, and hope to have that done soonish as well.

what style(s) do you practice?
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA

#6 cornbread

 
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Posted 14 April 2006 - 09:16 PM

Congrats on the teacher training Tiffany - that's awesome. :)

Do you think it's beneficial for a novice to join a class or just as good to try and work from a video or something, at your own pace? The thing about the classes I tried was that there were so many other people who were way more experienced at it, and the instructor would come around and fix your pose every now and then, but the entire session seemed to be spent craning my neck to see what the such-and-such pose actually involved. :unsure:
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#7 tarnalberry

 
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Posted 14 April 2006 - 10:06 PM

Congrats on the teacher training Tiffany - that's awesome. :)

Do you think it's beneficial for a novice to join a class or just as good to try and work from a video or something, at your own pace? The thing about the classes I tried was that there were so many other people who were way more experienced at it, and the instructor would come around and fix your pose every now and then, but the entire session seemed to be spent craning my neck to see what the such-and-such pose actually involved. :unsure:


Always, *always*, *ALWAYS* a class. ALWAYS
Can't really state it strongly enough. My training this week only served to emphasize that, and I don't say it to put money in the pockets of someone who's teaching. If cost is an issue, then only go once a week, or once every other week, or once a month, but at least once a month.

The thing is, if you're trying to knit, is it very easy to learn it from a video? No, because you can't ask questions. You can't say "oh, I dropped this bit, what do I do?". You can't say "I don't understand what you just did." Doesn't matter too much in knitting... maybe your scarf will come out uneven. In yoga, though, you could hurt yourself.

It sounds like you went to a class that was too advanced for your level, and that didn't have a good enough teacher. You shouldn't compare yourself to the other students in the class - everyone's different, and everyone's different from the body they brought the last time too. (somedays, I can put the bottom of my foot on the back of my head from behind - sounds freakishly bendy-flexy, I know; other days, I'm much more normal about that sort of flexibility; today... after all that yoga, I'm too sore to do much more than type! :-)

A good teacher is going to demonstrate the pose - if you can't see the teacher doing it, move your mat so you can. If the teacher isn't doing it, go to a less advanced class so he/she is. If you're going to a style that isn't doing it, switch styles. It is totally valid to look at other students for guidance, along with listening to the instruction of the teacher, but the teacher's getting paid to do a job, and he/she should be doing it.

An example of why I ALWAYS recommend at least somewhat regularly seeing a teacher:
In training today, one of the people in my training class (hence, she's been doing yoga for a number of years and she's teaching) was sitting in virasana (hero) as directed. This is where you (to *greatly* simplify the pose to give you an idea) sit back on your heels, but then spread the feet so they're outside your hips and bring your buttocks to the ground between your feet. You probably did this as a kid and had someone yell at you about hurting your knees. This actually isn't too bad on your knees IF AND ONLY IF you have proper alignment. That means that (among other things):
  • you are properly centered between your feet
  • your knees are touching each other
  • you've manually moved your calf muscles down and out from getting in the way of your thighs
  • your toes are pointing directly back behind you
  • you've widened the ball of your feet
  • you're rolling the inner thigh outwards
That's an awful lot for a video to go over. Heck, it's a lot for a teacher to say. They'll probably cover the calves and the toes. But they can look at you and quickly determine if you're doing these things. In my class today, one of the students in training had her toes pointing out a bit, which rotates the lower leg and puts a torque on the knees which are already under a lot of strain from being pressed so tightly. That is BAD. Our teacher corrected her fairly quickly. A video would never have said a word. And she wasn't far enough off form that someone who didn't know a fair amount about yoga would ever have caught it.

So that's why I recommend finding a teacher to work with. But finding a yoga teacher (and style) is like finding a doctor - you have to find one you work with well. There are a lot of styles out there. I would encourage very beginning students, actually, to shy away from power yoga (power, bikram, baptiste) because they move at a fast enough pace that there isn't time to focus on the minutae of form for beginners. Yes, the minutae can get a bit boring, but it's also very important. After my class, I'd encourage you to try Iyengar, though it can be very challenging, I think you'll find their teaching (which is very uniform and requires more stringent certification if you make sure to get a certified Iyengar teacher) more helpful for beginners, but it isn't for everyone either, as it can be a bit dry for someone who hasn't been bitten by the yoga bug. :-) But there are a lot of styles out there to choose from.
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA

#8 pinkpei77

 
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Posted 14 April 2006 - 11:12 PM

i do bikram yoga!
i love it!!
i seemed to always pull things and be sore when i did ashtanga classes, but bikram seems to be the match for me!
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#9 jerseyangel

 
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Posted 15 April 2006 - 03:24 AM

Tiffany--Thank you so much for the info and explanation about finding a good teacher, and the importance of learning through actual classes. It was a big help to me :)
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Patti


"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

#10 cornbread

 
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Posted 15 April 2006 - 10:21 AM

Thanks Tiffany! That was really helpful. :) Even with the slightly frustrating classes I went to, I got enough of a feeling of mental well-being from it to appreciate that regular yoga would benefit me emmensly.
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#11 Guest_BERNESES_*

 
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Posted 15 April 2006 - 01:07 PM

I have to definitely agree with Tiffany about taking classes. If I had tried to learn yoga from many of the videos that are out there, I would have injured mysself. Videos, etc are great to reinforce what you learn/know but there's so much more to yoga than just the poses that's hard to get across in a video- the breathing, knowing how to get into a pose, how deep to go and how to hold it and for how long. If you find a good beginner class, it works wonders because you might feel like you're doing a pose "right" but then the instructor moves your hips or arm or whatever just a tiny bit and suddenly, it's a whole different pose. And just the energy in the room is wonderful too. :D :D

I've done hatha, kripalu, ashtanga and vinyasa. I like the activity of ashtanga but I get bored with doing the same poses in the same order everytime. I think vinyasa is my favorite because of the flow, but it also has variety.

I know some people LOVE Bikram but I've tried it twice and it just doesn't seem to agree with me.

Tiffany- CONGRATS on becoming an instructor- that is so amazing. Wish you were around here- I'd go to your classes.
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#12 tarnalberry

 
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Posted 15 April 2006 - 01:13 PM

Tiffany- CONGRATS on becoming an instructor- that is so amazing. Wish you were around here- I'd go to your classes.


Not an instructor yet... I'll probably start teaching in June, but I've got years of training ahead of me. It's a never-ending process. :-) If I learned nothing else this week, it's how little I know, even after five years of practice. :lol:

I'm glad you're enjoying it. :-)
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA

#13 penguin

 
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Posted 15 April 2006 - 01:37 PM

I need to get back into yoga, I did it a while ago while I was planning my wedding. The dr told me that would help my stomach problems by releasing stress.

I think I did hatha yoga and I loved that it left me feeling like a wet noodle. :P

I didn't like that I had to sit in positions of eons though, I think I need one that moves a bit more...

I don't think I can handle being in downward facing dog for 5 minutes at a time if I'm going to stick with it.

But I don't want the one that moves constantly

Suggestions on what would be good for me? Less boring noodle making yoga? :)
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#14 tarnalberry

 
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Posted 15 April 2006 - 04:06 PM

I need to get back into yoga, I did it a while ago while I was planning my wedding. The dr told me that would help my stomach problems by releasing stress.

I think I did hatha yoga and I loved that it left me feeling like a wet noodle. :P

I didn't like that I had to sit in positions of eons though, I think I need one that moves a bit more...

I don't think I can handle being in downward facing dog for 5 minutes at a time if I'm going to stick with it.

But I don't want the one that moves constantly

Suggestions on what would be good for me? Less boring noodle making yoga? :)


Hmm... What you're describing doesn't actually (for the most part) point to one style or another, but rather to picking the right teacher and level, though there are probably styles you'll want to avoid.

For instance, you could certainly do Iyengar (a particular variety of hatha that's pretty strict and precise about alignment but will progress you quickly), but in very advanced stages (after years of practice), you do stay in poses for 10 minutes (not arda mukha svanasana (down dog)* though). thing is, you never need to take that class - you can be challenged in a beginner class for years. I was challenged in a beginner class last week and I've done yoga for years.

A more general hatha class should be fine too, though you'd want to shop around for teachers that don't stay in one position for so long. Some teachers like it, some don't. One of the goals in yoga is to get to a stage where some of poses are comfortable to stay in for a while - but not all of the poses are suitable for that, and only after you've gotten the pose correct and developed the stamina for it. A good teacher should see if you're not ready for that.

A vinyasa or viniyoga class at a lower level might also be up your alley, as they do keep things moving (this is 'flow' yoga) but lower levels often don't move too quickly, but again, it varies by teacher. Higher levels are going to get moving faster, though, so shop for teachers off of beginner or second level classes only.

If you really don't want to move too fast, then avoid power yoga (bikram, baptiste, hot yoga) and ashtanga as these are all about movement through series of poses with some fairly quick transitions. You may find, however, that - depending on what you think of as quick - that the lower levels of some of these classes isn't a problem for you. (For instance, Mysore style ashtanga classes aren't 'led' at all, because you memorize the series, and you go at your own pace, but the teacher is there observing to correct you and offer help. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but some people love it.)

I would absolutely avoid any studio labeled Dahn Yoga - turns out it's actually a cult! :-)

Finding a yoga teacher you like is a lot like finding a good doctor - or a good restaurant we can eat at. You gotta shop around. :-) Ask friends/family/coworkers for recommendations. Check out online community sites for recommendations (I checked LiveJournal for communities for my local city and asked them for personal recommendations). Use GoogleLocal to get a map of all the places in driving distance and check their schedules for classes you might consider trying, and over the course of a couple months, try a couple places. Ok, maybe it's more like shopping for a wedding dress and a place to buy it from, but without the time pressure. ;-)

*sorry for the sanskrit - I need to improve my abilities with it, so my new 'resolution' is to never name a yoga pose without naming the sanskrit before the english
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA

#15 MySuicidalTurtle

 
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Posted 15 April 2006 - 05:18 PM

There is so much I like about yoga and only a few poses I don't enjoy. My campus offers free fitness classes, as part of our athletic fees, and yoga is one of them.
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