Hi there everyone,
Well I'm new to the community. I'm mainly a weights/core and walk/run person but I really want to get into Yoga for the benefit of being more 'in touch' with my body, but really quite frankly have no idea where to begin. I'm the type of person who sort of makes things up as they go along, what feels good and feels right is what I stick with- I also love a good challenge.
I find learning yoga by DVD quite boring, so I threw out the 'beginners to yoga' DVD I had. I thought this would be a great place to join to get the gist of learning and experimenting. I'm also in the process of getting into community classes, which as far as I know in a short time will be doing some Yoga classes.
So I'll pipe up now with opinions and then and probably frequently ask for help.
I think ideally I could really do to try and concentrate on lower body flexibility. When I lay on my back with my legs straight in the air, I always bend outwards at the knees. This really frustrates me when I try to do things such as Hip Lifts and Toe-Touch crunches.
Any advice you can give me on how to start?
Talk to you soon!
I have a question I was wondering if perhaps someone could answer. I have attended various yoga classes at different studios, mainly hot yoga, but my question is whether it is okay to practice one specific posture instead of doing a whole sequence of asanas, like Bikram Yoga. I recently purchased the book Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar and in its appendix it prescribes various postures for specific illnesses and pains. Should one attempt to do one individual posture to treat a certain pain, or is it best to warm-up with a sequence of preceding asanas?
This is always a tricky one for me, partly because my hips are changeable in how open they're willing to be on any given day. If I've worked my hips just enough but not too much, my body is pretty malleable and lets me get fairly deep into the pose. If I either haven't opened my hips enough or if I've already reached their limit for the day, I have to think "back off" before I even get too deep in the pose.
I think it's also one of the poses that's most dependent on my mental or emotional state. I've heard from a few instructors that we store stress and tension in our hips, and sometimes, how stressed or tense I'm feeling does make a big difference in what this pose feels like for me. Even if I'm not stressed at that moment, if I have been worried about something recently, it's necessary for me to "back off" in pigeon to avoid either hurting myself physically or dealing with some unpleasant emotional responses.
I don't know about anyone else, but I took several significant breaks from yoga over the holidays. I did bring my mat and a couple DVDs traveling with me, so I didn't abandon it completely. But the practices I did do were definitely about minimizing backsliding rather than improving or even maintaining.
As such, the forward folds I've tried over the past couple of days have been eye-opening in their difficulty for me. It was humbling.
I am a big fan of keeping my knees bent in uttanasana, especially if I'm staying there for more than a breath or so. While my hamstrings usually stay pretty open and forgiving if I practice regularly, a little bend in my knees makes it easier for me to actually hinge from my hips and fold forward with a long back.
And, of course, in my current state, it's going to be a little while before my hamstrings even want to straighten at all. :P
I wasn't going to post this initially because child's pose isn't one I think about very often and really isn't one I prefer to use, even as far as restorative or resting poses go. But I do know that a lot of people like it, and I liked the variety of modifications this video showed:
I did really like how the video described balasana as being a pose of "non-doing," because I think that does describe the benefits the pose has for me. Sometimes, when I need a more physical rest, down dog or hero's pose is more appropriate for me. But when I just need to stop, mentally -- and this usually involves ceasing to over-analyze the challenging-for-me pose I've just been doing -- child's pose is the only asana that really does that for me.