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.
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?
kelachrome: An odd-eyed cat. (this is how it works)
[personal profile] kelachrome
I am one of those perpetually anxious people who has problems with muscle tension.
When I first started experimenting with yoga, I found myself puzzled because everything I did felt like it was stretching my front or back ribs. Standing forward bends stretched my ribs and not my legs. Down dog stretched my ribs and not my legs. After a little while, my upper torso started to loosen up, and I could go far enough in my poses to stretch what was supposed to stretch. And every time I see my doctor, we're decreasing my asthma meds.
After a week or so of being "too busy" for yoga, I'm discovering that my suspicions were right and the yoga was helping - a lot. Probably more than my meds were. (Back to daily practice we go!) 
I don't think I've ever seen anyone mention something similar, so I thought I'd throw that out there for people who might stop by - and to ask if anyone else here has had a similar experience.
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Namaste Two)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
I have a friend who suffers from fibromyalgia. I suggested Gomukhasana adn Double Pigeon for releasing hip tension, and Yoga Journal suggested Cobra and Bridge for upper back - I suggested she could try Sphinx first if she wanted to ease into it.

Does anybody here have suggested poses that are especially good? It seems to me this topic may have come up before, but a quick look through tagged posts didn't lead me to it.

(Hmmm. As a mod, I suppose I could go back and check to be sure everything is tagged, eh? *facepalm*)

Anyway, help?
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Om)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
If you are like me, a woman of a certain age with two vaginal child births behind you, then you know that you are supposed to be paying attention to the condition of your pelvic floor – that is, you are supposed to be doing your Kegel exercises every day so you can sneeze and laugh without "spending a penny," as it were.

How I do Kegels )

I have never found the process particularly pleasant or relaxing, and I know one person who finds Kegels actually make her anxious and stressed.

Recently, Yoga Journal had a Daily Insight titled :Mula What? It was a tiny blub about what Mula Bandha is and how to find it. Specifically, this comment got me thinking:

    To help his students find Mula Bandha, Richard Freeman, an Ashtanga Yoga teacher, offers this hint: "If you exhale very fully and smoothly, you'll notice that the end of exhalation creates a natural toning in the pelvic floor muscles that allows you to get the last of the breath out. This is the point where Mula Bandha is set. It's really complex but really simple."


After reading about how to find mula bandha by a deep, cleansing exhale, I have changed how I approach Kegel exercises.

Review Langkawi Yoga's explanation of mula bandha, located at this link.

They state, "The contraction of mula bandha on the deepest physical level is similar to the Kegel exercises used to correct urinary incontinence and strengthen the vaginal walls after childbirth."

I have been experimenting with the following breathing technique as my new approach to Kegels.

Deep breath in – duration is a count of three.

Deep, cleansing exhale – count of approximately seven.

Feel mula bandha engage. Hold that engagement while breathing normally for a count of 10. This "breathing normally" for me is somewhat shallow in order to hold the lock. I don't know if that is normal, or if I just need to practice more so I can really breathe normally.

Release the lock with a very deep, belly inhale – again about a count of three.

Repeat the cycle with a deep cleansing exhale to engage the lock again.

I find this breathing cycle to be extremely relaxing and pleasurable. My Kegel exercises have gone from being a chore I did not to embarrass myself, to something I enjoy and look forward to. They would be meditative, I think, if I weren't doing them in traffic.

I totally made this up. Has anyone ever done anything similar or gotten any similar instruction? Can you add any thoughts to how this might be done better?

Shoulders

Jul. 1st, 2010 08:33 am
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Warrior II)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
My mom has developed terrible arthritis in her shoulders, as well as debilitating limited mobility in one hip. Being the born-again yogini that I am, I picked up Yoga for Arthritis, by Loren Fishman, MD and Ellen Saltonstall, at the library.

This book has some really interesting stuff in it, even if you aren't so concerned about arthritis, and are more just interested in how the body works. I don't really have a review of the book, but in particular, I am fascinated by and wanted to share the explanation of how the shoulders work and how they can deteriorate.

Extended excerpt )
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Because someone mentioned sacroiliac issues a while back, I thought I'd link some resources that I've found helpful. I discovered the hard way that it's easy for the SI joint to unlock and move about more than it should, so learning to stabilize it has been an important aspect of my practice lately.

These two little videos were almost miraculously helpful:

Lillah Schwartz: Stabilize the Sacrum with Yoga -- Part I
Stabilize the Sacrum with Yoga -- Part 2

Yoga Journal: Practice Tips for the Sacroiliac Joints -- this is oriented towards teachers, but I found the "Move it with care" section especially useful.

And the one thing that turns out to be critical for protecting my SI joint and my lower back in general: engaging uddiyana bandha.
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Because I'm guessing I'm not the only person in the comm who's dealing with some form of crazy, I thought we might talk about it a bit.

How does yoga affect your mental health issues? For example, do you find that yoga is helpful in coping with anxiety or depression? Is it helpful at some times but not others? Or is it more something that happens alongside whatever issues you may be dealing with?

Conversely, how do your mental health issues affect your yoga? How do you manage to keep a consistent practice when you have a Bad Brain Day? Or do you have to accept that sometimes, practice just ain't happening today?

For me, it's been hard to acknowledge that yoga is not going to change my depression directly, even though it's been a lifeline for me through it. And when I'm feeling terrible anyway, beating myself up for not practicing doesn't help.
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Reverse Namaste)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
I was Googling "free stuff yoga" (my friend with the chocolate and coffee website cocoajava.com always puts free stuff into her newsletters and I was thinking, hey, that would be cool for our community) and I found this at Yoga To Go:

Yoga Solutions for Specific Problems.

Looked intriguing. Thought I'd share.

They actually have a Free Stuff page here.
viklikesfic: avatar me w/ trans flag, spiky hair, gender unclear, fun punky glasses & sarcastic expression to go w/purple ironic halo (Default)
[personal profile] viklikesfic
Okay, once again I'm on this community with questions about yoga and health. This is becoming a theme!

I was reading some articles on Yoga Journal about yoga and health problems and there was just so much contradictory advice that my head started spinning. Do spinal twists to stimulate organs, don't do spinal twists because you'll screw up your SI joint. Do forward bends to increase hamstring flexibility, don't do forward bends because you'll mess up your lower back. Etc etc ad infinitum. Obviously the best option would be to a yoga studio where a teacher could see my alignment and provide advice, but that's not a financial option. (I know there are cheaper classes, but I mean I'm literally not eating fresh produce or cheese because of my financial situation. It's out of the question.)

So! I ended up kind of freaking out and having a week off of yoga, which started as a couple of days and then I was having trouble getting into it mentally, depressed, etc. I could only do about 10 minutes before my mind gave up. The good news is that I got back to it for two days so far, but the bad news is that I'm stiff as a board. My back is very stiff and inflexible, warrior poses feel like they're hurting more than helping, etc. It seems like I'm less flexible than I was before I ever did yoga, though I know that can't be the case. Does anyone else have this issue? It's discouraging that six months of practice is just gone because of a week of doing zero to ten minutes a day.

Also, I keep having this really weird feeling when I do Yoga Download's Morning Flow #1. The problem seems to be linked to the lying down poses like cobra, boat, and whatever the one is where you're on your stomach and lacing hands behind to lift your chest. The feeling is a headache combined with dizziness, but it's extremely unsettling, almost makes me feel like I'm going to be sick to my stomach. Anyone else have this problem?
muck_a_luck: Exercise without the bellydance part (Yoga Animated)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
So, I was home talking to my Mom about her arthritis and bursitis. And she said, oh, and at the doctor someone told me that the worst thing you can do for your back is touch your toes.

I went out looking for anything that might support that idea, and I found this person, Jolie Bookspan, who attacks yoga and pilates as being bad for the back because of every single forward bending exercise, including seated forward bends, but especially toe touching.

See this article here: http://www.drbookspan.com/BackPainArticle.html

My first thought was that doing uttanasana correctly is back- and abdominal- strenghtening, and if done correctly should be good for you over the long term, helping to bring space into the vertabra and length into the spine. But is that in fact the case?

My second thought was, hmmmm, if correct, is this, in fact, universal advice for people with healthy backs, or mainly advice to people who already have back problems, since you know, by personal and anecdotal experience, I don't know a lot of yoga and pilates practitioners walking around with bad backs, and it seems counter-intuitive that sun salutatinos would have developed as they did over many, many years, for all I know centuries, if people hurt themselves doing them.

Thoughts? Responses from the yoga community?
viklikesfic: avatar me w/ trans flag, spiky hair, gender unclear, fun punky glasses & sarcastic expression to go w/purple ironic halo (Default)
[personal profile] viklikesfic
Hello! I'm Vikki, and I'm new around here. I've been practicing yoga at home since November, using the yogadownload.com audio courses. It's a mixed bag, but I have some specific questions for you all about a couple of obstacles I'm facing:

1) I get migraines from time to time, and I can tell when one might be coming. When that happens, I start doing a number of things to prevent it: drink lots of water, avoid bright lights, etc. Last week, I felt one coming on and I've been trying to avoid it for about six days. Part of that has been not doing yoga, because I'm very nervous about putting my head below my heart over and over with the blood flow and the dizziness that can cause. Does anyone else get migraines? Have you found your yoga practice to help or hurt?

2) I also have an issue with poor circulation. Very poor. My hands and feet are always cold and constantly getting "pins and needles." When I do yoga, that tends to happen because I'll be in one position for a while, and something will start to tingle. If anyone has similar issues, have you found that any positions can stimulate the circulation or something? It would be nice if I could do something before my normal practice to get the blood to flow and prevent those issues.

Knee Injury

Oct. 1st, 2009 02:19 pm
bree_likethecheese: This piece is traditional graphite, charcoal, I belive. Anyone interested in commissioning the artist, please ask! (Default)
[personal profile] bree_likethecheese
I recently injured my knee in a sparring accident at my Kung Fu dojo. Specifically, I have a Type I/II tear in my MCL (the tendon connecting the femur to the shin bone on the inside of the knee).

I am taking the first week completely off of strenuous exercise, including my hoola hooping, Pilates, Kung Fu and Maui Tai; afterward, I don't want to become SEDENTARY while I recoup. I have done yoga in the past, and continue to practice it periodically. I feel it's a good solution to keep myself from getting stiff and stagnant in the interim.

Could anyone suggest some poses that wouldn't be too hard on the knee, and would perhaps VERY gently stretch out the tendon? I would appreciate any advice!

Cheers!

~Bree
mlyn: (Default)
[personal profile] mlyn
Posted here by [personal profile] green_grrl's request. :)

I'm not a yoga practitioner, but I'm thinking about it. Money for classes is my main concern for not doing it right now, so I've been putting it off.

Yesterday I read this article about the benefits of yoga in mood stabilization and pain management. It's published by Harvard Health Publications. They're talking about actual medical studies with controlled experiments that show yoga does appear to make a difference. I thought this was especially interesting because it mentions fibromyalgia, and I know a couple people on my reading list might be interested to read that.

Read the article here.

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