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Yoga
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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):

  1. you are properly centered between your feet
  2. your knees are touching each other
  3. you've manually moved your calf muscles down and out from getting in the way of your thighs
  4. your toes are pointing directly back behind you
  5. you've widened the ball of your feet
  6. 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Talk to your teacher about the poses you don't enjoy. If you're not enjoying them because they're uncomfortable, there should be a way - with corrections or props - to make the pose better suited to you.

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I have only been practicing yoga for 3 years so I still consider my self at the beginner stage, there is so much more for me to learn. I agree that getting some personal instruction is necessary, as well as helpful, to become familiar with the poses and correct alignment. My accupuncturist is also a yoga instructor on the side and he got me started with the basics and then I took it from there practicing at my home with an assortment of dvds/videos. My favorites are Yoga Zone, Rainbeau Mars, and Core Power Yoga. As for styles, I think it's all been vinyasa, but I'm not totally certain on that.

I started out really slowly and worked my way up at my own pace, as my body and health would allow. IMO that's what's so great about yoga, it's not an all or nothing thing- even if you are only able to put in a little bit of effort you are still transforming, moving energy and creating change.

As for the weeping, for me this has happened with different poses at different transitional stages throughout my practice. At first I always wept when doing threading the needle. Then it was the pose (sorry I don't know the correct term for all of the poses) when I was bent over face to shins with my feet standing on my hands, toes to wrist. Then the other day I just started weeping uncontrollably when I accomplished a more advanced pose I had never done before, a one legged king pigeon pose.

I am thinking about getting training to teach yoga, a process that I'm sure will take me some time, but I look forward to the precess.

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Anybody have any opinions on the yoga sessions that incorporate weights throughout???

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Anybody have any opinions on the yoga sessions that incorporate weights throughout???

Well, I am no expert, but my instinct would be to keep the yoga & weights separate. I do both, & the yoga for me is all about listening to my body & finding these subtle balance points, just the right degree of stretch &c. It seems to me weights would throw all that off.

If you want a gentle & safe form of weightlifting that will still really challenge you, try the Slow Burn technique. You won't believe how hard a workout you can get with fairly light weights, little chance of injury.

Leah

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!

I started with Bikram yoga too-- when I had really painful arthritis the hot rooms were absolute heaven. (I'm also prone to chills & in the winter feel "cold in my bones"-- that's why my D,D,D,DH gave me a gift certificate for "hot yoga" classes.) I'd been into yoga in my youth but stopped practicing when my kids were young, & I never thought I'd do a full lotus again with my arthritic knees, but after a few years of practice, I have so much more mobility than before. I tell all my friends with arthritis to try it. (I actually practice at home now, but it was the Bikram that got me over the hump!)

Leah

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Well, I am no expert, but my instinct would be to keep the yoga & weights separate. I do both, & the yoga for me is all about listening to my body & finding these subtle balance points, just the right degree of stretch &c. It seems to me weights would throw all that off.

If you want a gentle & safe form of weightlifting that will still really challenge you, try the Slow Burn technique. You won't believe how hard a workout you can get with fairly light weights, little chance of injury.

Leah

This is what I was thinking too, that they need to be seperate, but the Core Power yoga folks here in my state hold a practice with weights often and it seems like a lot of other main stream gyms around here are incorporating weights into their yoga classes as well. So, I was just wondering if it's the "new" thing or what.

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This is what I was thinking too, that they need to be seperate, but the Core Power yoga folks here in my state hold a practice with weights often and it seems like a lot of other main stream gyms around here are incorporating weights into their yoga classes as well. So, I was just wondering if it's the "new" thing or what.

It probably is the new thing-- but as with diets the new fad isn't always an improvement! But I don't mean to discourage you from looking into it. Sometimes new is great. The Slow Burn weights are a fairly recent innovation, & for me they were a real revelation. I would just be concerned if the real value of yoga is diminished in the quest for "having it all". For me yoga is such a pure thing, just my mind & body & gravity, the closest I come to meditation. Weights have a very different vibe! For the record, I try to do yoga daily (notice I say try), elliptical trainer 2-3 times/week, & Slow Burn 1-2 times/week. If I'm doing it all I feel great. If I get too busy or lazy I start feeling it very quickly. (I'm 50 years old, so use it or lose it is true at an accellerated rate!)

Leah

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It probably is the new thing-- but as with diets the new fad isn't always an improvement! But I don't mean to discourage you from looking into it. Sometimes new is great. The Slow Burn weights are a fairly recent innovation, & for me they were a real revelation. I would just be concerned if the real value of yoga is diminished in the quest for "having it all". For me yoga is such a pure thing, just my mind & body & gravity, the closest I come to meditation. Weights have a very different vibe! For the record, I try to do yoga daily (notice I say try), elliptical trainer 2-3 times/week, & Slow Burn 1-2 times/week. If I'm doing it all I feel great. If I get too busy or lazy I start feeling it very quickly. (I'm 50 years old, so use it or lose it is true at an accellerated rate!)

Leah

queenofhearts,

I really like my yoga as is too. I feel it is challenging enough without adding weights into the mix.

I basically do yoga about 10 days on and 1 day off and walk 3-4 times a week. I want to add in pilates and thought about maybe doing some weights a couple times a week as well. But we'll see, I'll start with the pilates and see how that goes.

That slow burn sounds interesting, is there a website, or something I can look up to learn more about it??

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queenofhearts,

I really like my yoga as is too. I feel it is challenging enough without adding weights into the mix.

I basically do yoga about 10 days on and 1 day off and walk 3-4 times a week. I want to add in pilates and thought about maybe doing some weights a couple times a week as well. But we'll see, I'll start with the pilates and see how that goes.

That slow burn sounds interesting, is there a website, or something I can look up to learn more about it??

I got most of my info from the book, but here's the site:

http://www.seriousstrength.com/history.html

It really does not take a great deal of time out of your schedule & makes a big difference in strength.

Give it a try!

Leah

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I got most of my info from the book, but here's the site:

http://www.seriousstrength.com/history.html

It really does not take a great deal of time out of your schedule & makes a big difference in strength.

Give it a try!

Leah

Thanks so much for this information Leah, I will check it out :)

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