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. 
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
[personal profile] vass
[crossposted from my journal]

From the iPhone app YogaRelax, narrating the Paschimottanasana pose: "Lean forward and grasp your feet with both hands or ankles."

At least this time it made me laugh, instead of just confusing me as to where all my limbs are actually supposed to be. So, can anyone recommend a good yoga app? Or should I just use YouTube?
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Camel)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
This Christmas was yoga-light, but I did get myself two new DVDs.

1. Janet Stone: Ananda Vinyasa. Loved it. If you are trying to decide how to invest some Amazon gift card money and you like vinyasa/power type yoga, I cannot recommend this DVD highly enough. 75 minutes unlike any 75 minutes I have done with a DVD instructor before. Very fresh and flowing. The grace and fluidity of Shiva Rea at her best, with the fire-in-the-belly focus of Sadie Nardini, and the soothing calm of Rodney Yee. There are postures here I will not be doing anytime soon, but for me they did not disrupt the flow - I just stopped at the stage of the posture I could do and waited for her to get back to me. There is an awesome wrist stretch and even more awesome - passive shoulder stretches! I wish I had more time for yoga in my schedule, because I would love to do a [personal profile] just_ann_now-style 30 day run with this DVD, but at 75 minutes, it will probably only fit on my weekends. I cannot wait til I can invest in a couple of more from Ms. Stone.


2. Shiva Rea: More Daily Energy. I got this because the first Daily Energy DVD is so useful to me. I fall back to it even though it does not thrill me because it has solid short practices I can do then move on with my day, even though none of them are really my favorite. More Daily Enegy might turn out to be different. I really enjoyed the three-segment practice I put together. Looking forward to exploring everything it has to offer and maybe finding something to love.
kaethe: (Default)
[personal profile] kaethe
I'm about 22 weeks pregnant and have recently had a flair-up of plantar fasciitis (hope I spelled that right). Walking for exercise isn't happening right now, so I'm hoping to use yoga to help build my core strength and otherwise prepare for labor.

Does anyone have any suggestions for yoga videos (online or DVD, either way) that are good for pregnancy/labor preparation? I've looked at Amazon, but there are so many it's hard to know which ones are worth the money.

As for my experience level, I'd say long-term beginner. I've done yoga off and on for about two years, but stuck to beginner-level DVDs.

Thanks in advance for your help!
julad: (Default)
[personal profile] julad
This relates a bit to the question below from [personal profile] alexseanchai.

My local studio is offering a special course soon, where you do a fairly intensive run of yoga for a month. It's not an "advanced" course, it's open to every ability, but it involves about five classes a week plus some seminars and such. There's a variety of classes and some are definitely more challenging than what I'm used to.

When I first saw it, I thought it was something I'd love to do in future, but not now. I currently do one class a week and that's it (I rarely practice at home), so jumping to five classes a week, including more intensive classes, didn't seem like the right thing for me.

But now I'm reconsidering. I think the course might be a good opportunity to kick start me to better and more consistent practice, which is something that I want and haven't been able to do on my own yet. I usually respond well to the structure of a course, and I always get a lot further when I do a course than I do by self direction. The studio does a great job of mixing their classes for all ability levels, so I do trust that I could get something from the more challenging classes and not feel pressured to overdo it. But I'm definitely not sure if making such a big jump in practice in a short time will be a good idea.

My question is, does anybody have experience with doing a sudden increase in frequency and intensity of yoga? What happened for you?
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
I am...back to square one with yoga. Again. New Year's resolution: fix this. I'm looking for an achievable-soonish goal, an achievable-mediumish goal, and an achievable-longish goal. Thoughts?

Thanks!
foxfirefey: A wee rat holds a paw to its mouth. Oh, the shock! (thoughtful)
[personal profile] foxfirefey
So, if you're the kind of person that benefits from the structure of a class but have trouble getting to a studio or it's too expensive for you to go very often, there's a site that does classes-for-download in audio and video. They're currently having a holiday sale until tomorrow and you can buy access to any of their on-site classes (as opposed by ones made by content partners) for one year for $50. There's a lot of stuff you can preview before making your decision--lots of shorter classes for free to download. And after you download any classes, you get to keep them.
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Namaste Two)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
I was doing a little Kundalini this morning.

And there I was, lying on my belly (read flat on my face) "resting" between something and something, a couple of sets of Frog-whatsits behind me, just finished the standing-up-and-sitting-down thing (which KILLS) and my blood is pounding, and I'm trying to get in as much breath as possible before they make me do breath of fire again and all my muscles are shaking and the instructor says, "Feel rivers of light flowing through your veins."

Or there's the other time, when I'm working on some seated hip openers, and I'm trying to acheive getting my knee behind my shoulder and my hamstrings are making me respect them, and Ms. Rea advises, "Drink your breath."

"Inner smile." "Enjoy the asymetry."

And you know, one part of my brain is laughing hysterically at these concepts, but another part of my brain gets it. I do feel the rivers of light, and understand the nourishment of breath, and relax into the inner smile.

My yoga experience today.

Showing up

Nov. 16th, 2011 06:22 am
muck_a_luck: (Outer Banks)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
Gah. I had a ghastly morning. I am trying to get back to exercising every day, mostly yoga, and after two days of hard work that left my arms asking the rest of my body, "What the HELL are you people doing?!", I was going to cut loose with trance dance today. And I had medicre sleep last night, and just a bad morning all over and I was going to go back to bed. I had my feet bare, and literally decided to put my socks back on, then not to, then to go back to bed, then not to, probably in half a dozen iterations before I took a deep breath and thought, "It has to be done." And I made the right decision. I don't think a 40 minute nap could have given me the feeling of calm and relaxation I have now.

So today, I showed up for myself and made it all the way to the mat and ended up in Savasana.

How was your yoga day?
panda: drawing of a panda sitting in a tea cup which has fallen over on its side (yoga: how I roll)
[personal profile] panda
When I don't do yoga for a while, I forget how absolutely amazing it feels. Even if I just did mountain pose/forward fold for a while, my day would be so much better. I did 20 min of a restorative practice from a DVD, and mm.

Question: does anyone else have a problem with being dizzy and slightly ill when they get up from savasana? I get up veeeerry slowly, first rolling over to my side and then pushing myself up super slow, but I still feel like I've just got off a tilt-a-whirl or something. I do have chronic migraines, so I sometimes have problems with inversions, but the past couple times I've done savasana, it's just been ... belugh. The actual pose itself was restorative and lovely, but when I get up, I feel like I've been run over by a train, which kind of negates all that restorative loveliness. Any thoughts/suggestions?
rydra_wong: a yoga practitioner does a jump through, the motion turning into a blur (yoga -- jump through)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
HANDSTAND. I CAN HAZ.

A few minutes ago, I kicked up into handstand about 20cm away from the wall, and instead of landing my feet on the wall, somehow I stopped at vertical. And stayed there. Only for a second or two, but long enough to be amazed.

Oddly, it seems easier to go straight into it than to kick up into a handstand against the wall and then get off the wall.

There's also something shifting in my understanding of the alignment; practicing the other day, I had a sudden sense of it as standing on my hands, just like standing on my feet in tadasana, rather than as a balance or inversion. If that makes any sense at all, which I'm not sure it does. But that's what it felt like today when I held it.
panda: drawing of a panda sitting in a tea cup which has fallen over on its side (yoga: touch the sky)
[personal profile] panda
I fell off the daily practice wagon. In fact, I haven't done any yoga in about a month. But this morning I did the 17 min Rodney Yee's Yoga for Beginners rejuvenating practice, and it was exactly what I needed.

How about you all? Managed to fit any yoga in lately?
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Namaste Two)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
After a couple of weeks devoted to meeting writing deadlines, I am trying to get back to the mat every day.

Yesterday, I SO did not want to do it, but I put one task in front of the other. Dress for yoga. Move furniture for yoga. Sweep floor for yoga. Pick yoga DVD. Then I STILL almost didn't do it. Played video game. FINALLY, did the sun salutations from Maral Hadidi's Vinyasa Flow Yoga. I was glad I did.

Today, it was not such a battle, and I did a longer, more strenuous practice: a 47 minute set from Sadie Nardini's Total Body Yoga Sculpt.

I need to review both of these DVDs. They are both great, though Maral Hadidi's DVD is probably for the intermediate practitioner (as is actually stated in the DVD's full title). And I was again reminded how FANTASTIC Ms. Nardini is for coaching core. Her instruction is full of reminders of what to do and how to do it to engage core and support and respect the spine.

How have you been doing these last couple of days?
viklikesfic: Icon of a person doing a yoga stretch in silhouette in front of a sunrise (yoga)
[personal profile] viklikesfic
Well this is somewhat of a misnomer, since I'm not going to jump right into daily, but I did want to participate! As I said earlier, I had a wrist injury but I think it's finally healed. I'm starting very slowly--I did one gentle hatha practice last weekend and this morning I did Yoga for Strength from YogaDownload, which is my favorite for when I'm afraid of my own motivation (it goes by very quickly so it's good for building confidence).

Unsurprisingly, I'm very tight, so I'm trying to be gentle with myself. I only move forward a few inches in forward bends, and I'm keeping my feet very close together in warrior poses. I noticed that my calves and feet were especially tight in warrior poses, which are some of my favorite poses, so I hope that remedies itself quickly. One of my biggest challenges for sticking with yoga is that my hands slip in down dog and I get very frustrated. I read the recent post about this but I'm nervous about shelling out money when it might not work. I've tried putting my hands on blocks and on a guest towel that's pretty thin, and neither of these really work. The towel will work at first but then I'll start sliding steadily along. So annoying!

I'm going to shoot for every three days for the next couple of weeks, and then drop to every two.
sashajwolf: photo of me sitting on the grass with hands extended (park)
[personal profile] sashajwolf
Sivananda is the style of yoga taught by the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers and Ashrams, which were founded by Swami Vishnudevananda, who was sent to teach yoga in the West in 1957 by his guru, Swami Sivananda Saraswati, and named the centers after him.

Sivananda is a form of hatha yoga. Teachers tend to pride themselves on staying close to the original teachings of both Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda as well as to their Hindu context. Asana practice is set firmly in its spiritual context; students are not pressured to adopt any spiritual practices themselves, but students who are interested in yogic spirituality will probably be more drawn to Sivananda than those who are not. Yoga is presented as a holistic lifestyle and as a set of techniques which can be used in conjunction with any form of religious practice in a student's personal life, but for classes and communal gatherings, Hindu symbolism is used by default. Students who are not comfortable with attending (even passively) ceremonies of other religions may therefore find that this is not the style of yoga for them.

Classes use a consistent basic sequence of twelve asanas, each one typically held for six to twelve breaths, with a short savasana after each asana or cycle of asanas to allow the muscles to recover and the breathing to return to normal. Sivananda can therefore be a useful style of yoga for students with disabilities, injuries or chronic illnesses. Weight loss talk, tight-fitting clothing and competitiveness in asanas tend to be discouraged, which may make it a good fit for those with body image issues.Read more... )
openscarf: (yoga)
[personal profile] openscarf
In the last day or so, I've gone very deeply into my practices. I've done a lot of extra shoulder and back stretching and twists and it feels as if my ribcage and heart area have so much space around them now. Such a good thing, The resulting feeling always makes me imagine wings sprouting on my back.
panda: drawing of a panda sitting in a tea cup which has fallen over on its side (yoga: bend this way)
[personal profile] panda
I cleared out a bunch of stuff in my room so I finally have space to unroll my mat once more! I'm quite happy. This morning I did 15 min of work on my neck and shoulders. I'm carrying so much tension there right now, I really need to loosen it up a lot.
beachlass: Sherlock quote "I'm in shock, I have a blanket" (I'm in shock)
[personal profile] beachlass
Today is the day that rebooting my daily practice paid off for me. Disastrous start to my morning; including an alarm clock fuck up that meant we woke up when the kids were supposed to be ON THE BUS for their field trip; and then discovered the misery that is the delicious relaunch.

So.

I did 90 minutes of a beginner's class from Elsie's yoga podcast. Lots of simple poses, mostly held for a long time - a good sort of challenge for me. My take-away learning is her instruction from tree pose: "You can't will yourself into balance. You can only move into balance"

So whenever I feel the anxiety creeping today (I used delicious for work, not just fandom); or am stuck in my overly long day; and feel myself tottering off balance, I am going to try to breathe, and let myself fall back into balance.

And all the will in the world wouldn't have forced me into an hour and a half of practice on a stressful day if I hadn't been moving into daily practice already.

blessed be

[personal profile] indywind
This past weekend spouse and I were quasi-camping (SCA event at a scout camp with shanty bunkhouses) and I took the opportunity to enjoy my favorite start for a weekend morning away from home, especially in the country where nature is close at hand.

I set my cellphone to wake me up at a quarter til dawn and went to sleep in my workout clothes Friday night. Saturday morning I got up and took an easy 2-mile jog along the rural highway outside the campground,  soaking my sneakers with dew and watching the predawn glow slowly overtake the constellations while songbirds tuned up for their first morning songs. Then warmed up from the run, I stopped at the camp dining hall's porch and did a half hour of vinyasa flow, starting with sun salutations as the sun came up over the meadow, then warriors, triangles, side angles, half moon, natarajasana, garudasana, parsvottanasana ...  standing poses so I wouldn't end up covered in the floor dirt.  The porch opens southeast with a view over a little stream, a grassy meadow, silver-glittering spring-fed swimming hole, and a bank of sweetgum and oak trees due east that burst with green light when the sun rose behind them. By the time others were beginning to wake up, I felt steeped in all that peace and beauty (or maybe it was sweat? :-) , as if my run and my practice had made me permeable to the natural world, then sealed it in to carry with me through the day.

Favorite way to start a weekend.
rydra_wong: A woman (yoga teacher Jess Glenny) lies on the floor in a reclining twist. (yoga -- twist)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian has a short but fascinating article from Tim Rushby-Smith (who has paraplegia) on taking a yoga workshop with Matthew Sanford, who does too.

By the end of the 90-minute class I am sitting unsupported on the floor with my arms above my head and my legs outstretched. This is extremely difficult when paralysed from the waist down. I have no fixed "base" as I cannot gain stability from my buttocks or thighs, but somehow I am spreading myself out to my heels as much as the tips of my fingers. Instead of trying to balance on nothing, I feel like I am grounded on something firm and tangible.

For anyone who's interested, I wrote a review of Sanford's memoir, Waking, a while back.

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