rydra_wong: A woman (yoga teacher Jess Glenny) lies on the floor in a reclining twist. (yoga -- twist)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
BBC Radio: Ouch: Yoga after paralysis

Tiffany Joiner -- yogaplegic on Instagram -- talks about returning to yoga after a spinal cord injury, solo travelling, and the importance of the yoga and disability communities on Instagram.
rydra_wong: A woman (yoga teacher Jess Glenny) lies on the floor in a reclining twist. (yoga -- twist)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I want all yoga classes to be like this (I may be a bit cat-deprived at the moment):

Yoga Studio Invites Shelter Cats To Do Yoga And Helps Them Find Homes

Link has wonderful, wonderful photos and video.
rydra_wong: a yoga practitioner does a jump through, the motion turning into a blur (yoga -- jump through)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
A new meta-analysis has come out looking at the benefits of yoga in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease:

The Guardian: Yoga may provide similar health benefits to ‘cycling or brisk walking’

Abstract: The effectiveness of yoga in modifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

This is fascinating because it's previously been assumed that, because yoga's not an aerobic exercise per se (unless you're doing a vigorous practice like Ashtanga), it may be very beneficial in other ways, but won't substitute for aerobic exercise.

But this study suggests that yoga performed well on a variety of measures of cardio and metabolic health (cholesterol, blood pressure, heart rate, trigylcerides, etc.).

I suspect it may still not be a substitute if you're trying not merely to prevent cardiovascular disease but to improve your heart and lung stamina for a sport, or whatever; if you want better aerobic endurance you have to train aerobic endurance.

But it's very impressive, and comforting for those of us who shudder at the prospect of running.
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I love this with a deep love:

Yoga Mantras for Jerks by Mallory Ortberg at The Toast

Also I am fairly sure I have done this yoga.
goodbyebird: Mara: Mara Prince floating in the air, meditating. (C ∞ this is who I am now)
[personal profile] goodbyebird
Just wanted to share this excellent write-up on downward facing dog for beginners. I've had some issues with this pose myself, and this article gave me a lot of great advice on how to approach this pose and what adjustments I might have to make.

Take a look at the eyes of your elbows (the insides or creases of the elbows). Let each elbow eye face the opposite corner of the mat. So your right elbow eye faces the left corner of the mat, and the left elbow eye faces the right corner. You probably will have to rotate your upper arms to accomplish this, but let your hands stay connected to the mat.

To feel this external rotation in your upper arms, come out of the pose for a moment, and bring your arms out to your sides at shoulder height, like an airplane. Let your palms and the eyes of your elbows face the ceiling. Now flip your hands over so your palms face the floor, but the elbow eyes still face the ceiling. This is the rotation of the arms we’re looking for in down dog. Now come back to the mat, and re-setup your hands. Point your elbow eyes to the opposite corners of the mat by externally rotating your upper arms. Notice how that broadens the collarbones and draws the shoulderblades down the back.
rydra_wong: a yoga practitioner does a jump through, the motion turning into a blur (yoga -- jump through)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
From The Hairpin:

10 Things My Yoga Instructor Said That Almost Made Me Quit Yoga

The comments are very much worth reading, for some particular gems, some interesting arguments about whether particular lines are useful visual images to improve alignment or complete gibberish, and one person's realization that their yoga teacher has not in fact been referring to their "sith bones" all this times.

Also the comment: "Tuberosity of the ischium sounds like a tentacle porn title."

Anyone heard any particularly great -- or appalling -- lines in their classes?
muck_a_luck: (Smiley Boromir)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
Lovely yoga.

Nice long sivasana.

The Barbarian appears and proceeds to stand over me, one foot on either side of my hips.

So I'm looking up at her and she says, "What are you doing? Having peace?"

I said, "Well, I was." :)
dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
[personal profile] dorothean
I had what I think was a PTSD reaction in a yoga class, triggered by a pose. Putting the description of my reaction under a cut, although I'm not describing the original trauma itself at all.

Read more... )

What I am looking for here is some (gentle) advice, ways to think about this, and to see if anyone else has experienced this kind of thing.

Here's what I'm already thinking of trying:
+ practicing the scary poses on my own, outside of class, so I can get used to how they feel
+ ditto practicing meditation
+ seeing if my dialectical behavioral therapy notes have any useful ideas
+ talking to my teacher about it
+ talking to my therapist about it (if it keeps happening)
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Namaste Two)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
My journey toward meditation practice )

Anyway, all that said, I picked up Rodney Yee - Meditation & Yoga (Yoga For Meditation) (it seems to have two alternate titles) at the library this weekend.

It is divided into an introduction and five segments and runs around an hour in length. The first segment is Mountain, a very gentle hatha sequence that seems designed to get the kinks out and open your whole body up for ease of breathing.

Mountain is followed by Garden, a chair yoga sequence for opening the hips. I have never done any chair yoga, assuming it was to assist those not flexible or strong enough yet for a "real" asana practice. Live and learn! I was impressed by how using the chair as a prop allowed range of motion that really leveraged hip-opening.

Tree invites you to go to a wall with your yoga block and develop the traditional seated postures used for meditation. Mr. Yee explores Baddha Konasana, Virasana, Siddhasana, and Half and Full Lotus.

Wind is a reclined meditation to help bring focus to the breath.

Sky is a seated meditation, combining the posture guidance and breathing of the earlier sequences with a guided meditation.

The asanas of Mountain are appropriate for all levels of practitioners, though if you are not familiar with yoga you might want to plan to get some familiarity with these few postures so that you can integrate them into the achievement of a calm openness, rather than just be focused on how the postures are done. For a person who knows the asanas already, as usual Mr. Yee is very good at helping you to find the subtle adjustments that will better align your postures and help you to find balance.

The seated postures in Tree, however, are surprisingly challenging. Mr. Yee instructs each posture with a block first, then without. Also, I didn't have a convenient wall. Possibly this would have been easier if I had done as instructed. Mr. Yee again brings his ability to suggest adjustments that bring lightness and fluidity to the spine.

While Wind is not billed as the "meditation" segment, this is a great warm-up for the final meditation finale in Sky. Again, attention to the fluidity of the spine and the ease of the breath, and an added attentiveness to breathing. This is relaxing and establishes the beginning of the attentiveness of meditation.

By the time I got to Sky, I was feeling relaxed and open, ready to expand my mind though the feeling of the minor adjustments of my posture and the flow of my breath. For the first time, I felt during a seated meditation the same loss of boundary that I occasionally feel during my moving meditations.

For me, this DVD was an excellent aid to getting more deeply into a seated meditation. I don't know if it was the careful preparation prior to the beginning of the meditation, or if it was the guided nature of it, but I definitely recommend this DVD to anyone who is experimenting with meditation practice, like me.
rydra_wong: A woman (yoga teacher Jess Glenny) lies on the floor in a reclining twist. (yoga -- twist)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Images of yoga practitioners in the Western media are almost invariably of white people (mostly female), which is more than somewhat ironic, all things considered.

So I was interested to run into this tumblr:

http://blackyogis.tumblr.com/

It's also a source of really gorgeous images full stop, for anyone who's looking for inspiration (or icon material).
justhuman: Fox leaping vertically to snag a snack (foxhunt)
[personal profile] justhuman
A bit of yoga fun - Rob Osborn creates a Super Pop Yoga Series showing pop culture icons in yoga poses.
rydra_wong: A woman (yoga teacher Jess Glenny) lies on the floor in a reclining twist. (yoga -- twist)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Velveteen Rabbi reviews Robbi Nester's "Balance".

It's a short collection of poems based on individual yoga poses. If you want a sample, you can read the "Paschimottanasana" poem at the link, and download the "Adho Mukha Svanasana" poem at the publisher's page.

Sounds interesting. Anyone know of any other yoga poetry out there?
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Namaste Two)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
William J. Broad interview on Science Friday (a radio program). Interesting chat with him, though I had to leave the car right when he started talking about injuries.
0jack: Closeup of Boba Fett's helmet, angular orange stripe surrounding a narrow window on a greenish metallic field. (Pearl clutching!)
[personal profile] 0jack
For your enjoyment, a clip of an 80s yoga video... definitely catering to the "female gaze". *cough* May not be safe for the average office or the unfunky. Also, definitely NOT a "beginner's cooldown".

Embedded video here )
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Just wanted to link to this excellent, snarky and incisive piece in Hyphen Magazine on the "yoga debate" started by William Broad's NY Times article:

The Yoga Debate: An Existentially Challenged Desi Chimes In by Kirti Kamboj

On the pro-yoga side was expert Rebecca Greenfield. She held positions such as: "When done right, yoga is a sweaty work-out. And, no, we're not just talking the 'hot kind.'" And, "Admittedly, yoga attracts some of the worst people on the planet: The image obsessed girls mentioned above, super-hippies, and self-righteous spiritual types. But any human that's obsessed with a type of exercise is generally intolerable."

I found these points both illuminating and disturbing. Before, I was under the assumption that I'd been doing yoga all my life. Yet things I believed to be the core of yoga -- yama niyama ideals, body awareness, breath control, etcetera -- have no place in it at all. When done right, as Greenfield points out, yoga is a series of sweaty contortionist work-out poses.

So all this time, I've been inadvertently lying, saying that I do yoga, when weeks can pass without me striking even one sweaty contortionist pose.


(Mod, could we have an "articles" tag, please? And/or a "meta" tag?)
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Namaste Two)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
I came across this guy's article the other day. How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body. Also, he is selling a book.

It is certainly a valid point that one should practice with care and non-violence toward self.

Not sure what else I think about this, though. Discuss?

Neti pots!

Jan. 9th, 2012 11:28 am
rydra_wong: a yoga practitioner does a jump through, the motion turning into a blur (yoga -- jump through)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Since it's the time of year (for those of us in the northern hemisphere) when everyone has colds and flu and clogged sinuses, let's talk about neti pots.

Who's got one, who's using one, who recently improvised one out of a squeezy travel-size shampoo bottle and feels much better for it? *g*

Advice, tips, experiences?

I can walk!

Jan. 3rd, 2012 11:17 am
threeringedmoon: (Default)
[personal profile] threeringedmoon
I've suffered from a combination of achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitus in my left foot for five years or so.  I've had physical therapy for it twice, but because the effects of PT don't last very long after I stop I was reluctant to go back for another try.  This past year it has been about a four on a scale on 1-7 where 7 is as bad as it has ever been.

In November, I started yoga in a small class setting with an instructor I really like.  I think she is pretty good, though I don't have any basis for comparison, except physical therapists.  She is very good about helping me work around my physical defects, which includes a bad shoulder. 

This morning I had to stop and pick up a few groceries on my way home.  I was expecting a phone call, so I was feeling a bit rushed.  I realized I was walking like I did six or seven years ago, briskly, and with no limp.  I felt like I was walking the way I did when it was normal for me to take a three mile walk several times a week.  Considering there were times a year ago I was considering using one of the motorized carts provided for the disabled when I had to shop it feels miraculous.

Yoga is the only change I've made in the past two months to account for the improvement.  I am so pleased. 

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