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Thread: Do you do yoga?

  1. #1
    Always curious. juniper's Avatar
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    Do you do yoga?

    I'm going to my first yoga class this week. I've thought about yoga for many years, read about it, bought various books and videos, but haven't ever really done it. Unless you count the day way back in high school some of gathered at dawn to do a Sun Salutation, as best as we could remember it.

    There's a yoga studio a couple of miles from my house. I'm in healing mode from a medical condition and want to work on flexibility and muscle strength. Enlightenment may follow along, and I would welcome that, but I want to focus on the physical at first.

    I'm a bit confused by all the different types of yoga. The only one I know I won't do is Bikram because I don't feel well in overheated rooms. I plan to start with a "gentle yoga" class.

    If you practice yoga, please tell me about it. How long have you done it? Have you experimented with different types?

  2. #2
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    Wish I could help, but my only yoga experience is Peggy Cappy's Yoga For The Rest Of Us, a beginner yoga DVD that uses a chair to help with balance - mostly stretches, some balance poses, a simple "salutation" routine, very basic stuff. It does make you more flexible and improves balance, from what I've experienced, and it seemed to help me. (I had some unexplained foot/lower-leg tinglies, which I still think was linked to a fall but the doctors basically shrugged at. They've almost entirely disappeared now. The tinglies, not the doctors. At least, so far as I know - haven't been in for a while, so maybe they disappeared too, in which case it's a double win.)
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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW
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    Juni I think it's a fabulous idea you are going to do some yoga! IMO it's the single best exercise system for the whole body ever devised, along with other holistic benefits.

    Do tell the teacher that you are just off chemo and recovering, so she or he is aware of your particulars. This is important because a good teacher will then watch out for you and to some extent tailor the commentary or even the class to adjust to your needs.

    I hope you really enjoy it. "Gentle" yoga can be just as poweful as any of the more high-powered iterations, too. Slow, long-held poses with lots of relaxation built into the class can strengthen a person to a surprising degree.

    Do tell us how it goes! after your first class. I'm excited for you.

    (I have done yoga off and on for many years. Right now off because don't wanna spend money on classes but have some moves I do myself that work wonders, so I am only somewhat "off" -- but don't have a regular or disciplined practice at all. Still, I find it splendid whatever amount I do!)

  4. #4
    Lost in mental space. Namatu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kylabelle View Post
    Juni I think it's a fabulous idea you are going to do some yoga! IMO it's the single best exercise system for the whole body ever devised, along with other holistic benefits.
    I completely agree.

    I've done yoga consistently for eighteen years and have tried different styles. If you're looking for some healing benefits after health problems and are new to yoga, beginning with a gentle style is a good way to start. And, as Kylabelle said, letting the instructor know about where you are currently before class begins will be useful to both you and the instructor.

    One of the things I like best about yoga - and have struggled with for years - is that every pose can be adapted for where you are today. You can push or not, as you need at any given time. On one of the videos I've regularly done through the years, the instructor says "be where you're at." Poor grammar aside , the intent behind the words suits yoga perfectly. Listen to what your body is telling you and seek to be in each pose where you're challenging yourself, but not too much. There is no "right" way to do yoga.

    For your first few classes, you'll be getting used to the poses and the way the instructor cues them. Allow yourself that time to adjust. If you find that the pace of the class really isn't for you, the instructor may be able to recommend another style or class that the studio offers. I've determined repeatedly that the style I prefer is astanga. The sequencing of poses and pacing just makes me feel better than a session in any other style, but I can't do it as often as I'd like, and some days my body simply wants something slower. Which all comes back to "be where you're at."

    Be kind to yourself, even as you challenge yourself. I hope you enjoy it!

  5. #5
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Congratulations on that first yoga class, juniper!

    I started doing yoga some years ago when I was going through a particularly stressful time in my life, and I still do it (although not regularly, and I use in-home recordings rather than attend class). I find it's still a big help when I'm feeling mentally or physically stressed. I like the fact that I can feel both energized and relaxed after a session.
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  6. #6
    "The Moving Finger writes..." M.S. Wiggins's Avatar
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    Do you do yoga?
    Never met him. Is he any good?

    But seriously, I've thought about doing yoga many times...that's as far as I got. I think I'm waiting for someone to tell me it's a must-do because my life will be forever for the better if only I'd give it a chance.
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  7. #7
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Retired kundalini yoga teacher here. I'll have practiced it for 33 years by the end of the month. The only other yoga I've done is plain vanilla hatha yoga.

    Kundalini Yoga is considered a high powered yoga, but there are gentle and easy forms of it. It's much less difficult physically than hatha is. No headstand for one thing.

    I've also been a deep breather since age 12 (I'll be 63 soon), and that's a big part of all or nearly all forms of yoga.

    I hear you about going for the physical healing, which I know you need, but don't eschew the meditation part. Yoga with meditation is more healing for most people than yoga without.

    Hope you enjoy it! Here's to your healing!

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
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  8. #8
    Your Pixie Queen Kerosene's Avatar
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    I've gotten pulled into yoga classes (which my Uni run) but I've found my normal workout better in all areas.

    IMO, you get the most out of these classes if you go with other people you know. You either have to be really dedicated and working one-on-one with a trainer (body-building and such), or go with folks you know into larger groups for yoga, kick-boxing, ect.. It's worth a try on your own to see how you like it.
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  9. #9
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    I've done hatha, yin, ashtanga, classes described as "restorative", and what is called "flow" where I live right now, and the 26 posture series that some jerk thinks he owns. Much as I dislike the jerk, I love doing yoga in a stupidly hot room with ridiculously high humidity. But I like my physical activities challenging.

    The instructor (and their music) makes a huge difference for me; their approach, attitude to their teaching, and the words they choose can impact the practice. So, if after the first class you're not sure it's for you, try another one with a different instructor.

    When I got back into yoga about 9 years ago after not doing it for 10 or so, it was my only time away from the rest of my horrible life. The tiny floor space that the mat takes up was mine. Mine. The only thing that mattered while I was on the mat was me, and sometimes that was the only time I felt like I mattered to myself. A few hours a week of what one instructor called "active meditation" kept me (barely) sane.

    But, I've moved to a new country, and where I live now, yoga's some kind of lifestyle thing like being a vegetarian and grocery shopping in active wear; and no one calls the postures by their names. I miss the ridiculous heat, the physical challenge, the Sanskrit words, and the classes that don't have pop music playing. I really need to find a better yoga place. The one I've been going to is just kinda meh.
    Last edited by jennontheisland; 03-08-2016 at 08:15 AM.
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  10. #10
    Mired in the miry mire. leifwright's Avatar
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    My wife is a yoga freak.

    I tried it like twice.

    Hurt my wrists.

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  11. #11
    Lost in mental space. Namatu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennontheisland View Post
    The instructor (and their music) makes a huge difference for me; their approach, attitude to their teaching, and the words they choose can impact the practice. So, if after the first class you're not sure it's for you, try another one with a different instructor.
    The instructor is so important! I'm as picky about the instructor as I am about the yoga style.

  12. #12
    figuring it all out bettybadA's Avatar
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    The type of yoga is not as important as your purpose for doing it. As long as you are comfortable and can connect to the "inner you", that is what really matters.

    I do yoga to clear out the writers block and sometimes to let go of a really sh!t day.

  13. #13
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    I don't know what style I'm involved with. What I know is that it provides a number of benefits for me. I am in better shape, I feel better, the instructor is a cute lady in her 30's and the eye candy is beyond belief. From my classes also comes another nice benefit, beta readers of all ages.
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  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin WritersUnblock's Avatar
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    Tried it but it felt way too uncomfortable. I prefer tai chi.

  15. #15
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Hey all! I have wanted to do yoga for a long time, but last summer I finally got into it. I got tired of being hunched over all the time (poor posture since forever), and at the age I'm getting to, it's only going to get harder to do something about it. I mostly use YouTube videos, but when I visit my wife in Michigan there's a club we go to. Being able to see other people doing it helps me figure out things I can't get right from the videos.

    The posture is coming along, but another benefit is a greater awareness of my body position. This especially helps when sitting at the desk, in the car or on an airplane. I tend not to slouch so much and I don't get as sore when sitting for a long time.
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  16. #16
    has no socks JulianneQJohnson's Avatar
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    I've done Yoga on and off for years, though I haven't done much since we moved 3 years ago. Gentle Yoga should be a great place to start. The hot room yoga doesn't agree with my asthma, so I avoid it. My one try at yoga since the move was very strange. It wasn't like traditional yoga at all; it was more like they tried to combine yoga with aerobic exercise. For example, we switched from plank to downward dog about 20 times in one minute. Not about stretching at all and not the class for me. If you run into something like that, I would avoid it and look for a more traditional class.

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW
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    My wife just left for yoga class. She's only been at it a few months, but she loves it. She seems a lot more centered these days.

  18. #18
    Ideas bounce around in my head Jason's Avatar
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    A more accurate statement would be: I attempt yoga

    In all seriousness, yes I actually just started myself. After several years of family suggesting I try it, just started last Monday. The studio I go to practices hatha yoga, but it's all for beginners. I stretched and worked muscles I've not used in years, and am so glad I started. It's very much a judgement free zone, and the instructor and other students are very welcoming. The whole mentality there is that yoga is something you are doing for and giving yourself.

    The studio highly encourages a mindset of peace and inner harmony, even though there's one position called a warrior pose (which reminded me of The Matrix. I'm hooked!
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  19. #19
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulianneQJohnson View Post
    I've done Yoga on and off for years, though I haven't done much since we moved 3 years ago. Gentle Yoga should be a great place to start. The hot room yoga doesn't agree with my asthma, so I avoid it. My one try at yoga since the move was very strange. It wasn't like traditional yoga at all; it was more like they tried to combine yoga with aerobic exercise. For example, we switched from plank to downward dog about 20 times in one minute. Not about stretching at all and not the class for me. If you run into something like that, I would avoid it and look for a more traditional class.
    The hot room yoga doesn't agree with me, either. Sweating so much distracts me gets me grumpy when it gets in my eyes. Not to mention the irony of being in harmony with all then burning two weeks worth of fossil fuels in an hour for . . . well, what exactly is the benefit of yoga at 95 F? The aerobic version you mention sounds (to my untrained ears) more like ballet barre, which I went to with my wife once. Some things were easy-peasy for me while other things kicked my butt.

    Jason: I love warrior pose now that I'm used to it, but the first few times I was really wobbly! Half pigeon is my latest favorite. It stretches things I didn't know needed stretching and it feels great.
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  20. #20
    Ideas bounce around in my head Jason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulianneQJohnson View Post
    ... The hot room yoga doesn't agree with my asthma, so I avoid it. My one try at yoga since the move was very strange. It wasn't like traditional yoga at all; it was more like they tried to combine yoga with aerobic exercise. For example, we switched from plank to downward dog about 20 times in one minute. Not about stretching at all and not the class for me. If you run into something like that, I would avoid it and look for a more traditional class.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris P View Post
    The hot room yoga doesn't agree with me, either....

    Jason: I love warrior pose now that I'm used to it, but the first few times I was really wobbly! Half pigeon is my latest favorite. It stretches things I didn't know needed stretching and it feels great.
    Re: Hot yoga - I can appreciate the benefit of it, because yoga (at least for me) seemed like it was stretching many muscles and getting me loose and limber (which kind of goes hand in hand with inner harmony. If you're not in harmony with your own body, you're likely very tense.

    So, since heat is a known method for aiding in loosening of muscles and easing muscle tension, I can see why they were combined. However, I agree that it's not particularly in keeping with the spirit of yoga. Maybe pilates would be a better venue for introducing a heat element as that (at least as far as I understand it) would be more in keeping with the workout element of it.

    At Chris: It felt great after the first 10 seconds or so - just took me a minute to stabilize, then I was one with my inner Morpheus! LOL
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  21. #21
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    The aerobic yoga Julianne describes sounds much like Kundalini Yoga. The exercise she describes isn't one I'd give to a beginner, but if it's a drop-in class...

    Kundalini Yoga does include some stretching, but that's not the point of it. The point is to open the chakras as quickly and safely as possible so a person can maximize his/her potential. It's therefore excellent for people taking yoga because they want to change their lives.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
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  22. #22
    has no socks JulianneQJohnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siri Kirpal View Post
    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    The aerobic yoga Julianne describes sounds much like Kundalini Yoga. The exercise she describes isn't one I'd give to a beginner, but if it's a drop-in class...

    Kundalini Yoga does include some stretching, but that's not the point of it. The point is to open the chakras as quickly and safely as possible so a person can maximize his/her potential. It's therefore excellent for people taking yoga because they want to change their lives.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    Makes sense, but I don't think it was Kundalini. It was run like an 80's aerobics class and there was no talk of chakras or anything else Yoga. I honestly think it was a new exercisey class trying to make folks burn calories through Yoga poses. Very strange and off putting to anyone who has taken any of the regular Yoga classes, but I imagine folks who like aerobics or step classes would love it.

  23. #23
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Ah, yes, that does happen. Usually, if it's Kundalini, the teacher or the center says so.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  24. #24
    Even the sphinx has eyes O_O Spooky's Avatar
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    Yep for me it ensures the soil within is shook around enough to see what needs digging in and shoot the limbplants out enough to realize you're able to prance around better than you suspected.

  25. #25
    Ideas bounce around in my head Jason's Avatar
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    I just learned a new pose this week that did something amazing for my hip rotator:

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