Yoga Team

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Calling all Yogi Bees! Here's our thread to discuss all things yoga. Introduce yourself to your fellow yogi bees, tell us about your practice, ask questions, share inspiration and links to interesting yoga channels and "challenges". I'll try to tag folks I know have an interest in yoga as I see you popping into the new forums.

@DorothyMH
@Fremen
@Heniek
@CODawn
@Anek
@BetaCorvi

I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting or just don't know about. Please feel free to invite others in who you think would be interested.
 
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Laura Rainbow Dragon

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"Striving to be the change."
Hi Team!

I'm Laura Rainbow Dragon. I've been practising yoga since 1998 and teaching on and off since 2003. I don't currently teach public classes as I live in far too small a town (no studio here, not enough interest to support one, and not enough room where I live to teach classes at home), but I do have 3 years experience teaching public classes in a fitness club setting, 2+ years (and counting) teaching privately, plus several years leading online yoga groups. I have a few yoga videos posted to my YouTube channel, which you can find at https://www.youtube.com/c/LauraRainbowDragon (plus a bunch of nature videos). I will try to add more over the coming months (although I don't have a lot of space for filming either, these days).

I approach yoga as a holistic fitness practice with a focus on asana (postures), mindfulness meditation, and some pranayama (breathwork). I prefer flowing, athletic styles of asana practice with creative choreography but I do have some familiarity with other styles as well. My yoga dogma is that I promote only those aspects of the yoga practice which are backed up by science, and my expertise lies primarily in my understanding of anatomy in yoga postures, science-backed benefits of the poses, and how to adapt the poses for different bodies and abilities. But I am a certified yoga teacher and do have some familiarity with "yoga philosophy", so feel free to ask me questions about that too. (I can speak to what the philosophy is and where it came from, even if I don't necessarily agree with it.)
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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"Striving to be the change."
Whooo! I'm keen :) I try to do a little bit of yoga everyday.
Great work! You are ahead of me there. :)

I don't have a lot of floor space in my room, and I have a sick dog currently who likes to lie sprawled across all of the open space. I do have access to a larger room for a couple of hours, usually three days a week now. So I'm going to try to make use of that to get in some longer yoga practices.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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"Striving to be the change."
My first Yoga studio I went to was in 1973, Sivananada style and the twice a week class was 2 and 1/2 hours

Wow! When I first started practising, classes were 90 minutes long (this was at the Y in London). These days I think 60 minutes is more the norm.
How long are the classes at Shangrila?

The only time I have done 2.5 hour yoga classes was for teacher training workshops. Those included a lot of talking too, as yours did with the study of the Gita, etc. I once took a 2.5 hour workshop where the instructor spent the first 45 minutes (I'm not exaggerating--we timed it!) boasting about her yoga lineage.
 
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LizardFriend95

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"I’m so happy, cause today I found my friends. They’re in my head."
I think yoga is one of the first things I’ve tried when I started exercising, but I haven’t been consistent with it at all. Now that I’m trying to get back into exercise, I want to focus on my yoga practice first (and not just as a way to exercise).

I have read the Bhagavad Gita, but I haven’t studied it and I didn’t fully understand it (more accurately, I read it last year and don’t actually remember what I read).

One of my goals is to learn more about yoga, though, so I can be more mindful with it.
 

Nevetharine

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I guess where's I'd like to improve with yoga is doing longer flows again. I'm currently hanging around 10-35min sessions. I used to be able to have the stamina for a 90 minute Ashtanga class thrice a week.

Now, even 45min is too much. I did one a few days ago, the first half being vinyasa and the second half being yin. Didn't finish the yin portion, I just wanted to do savasana. 🤣

My favourite is Yoga with Kassandra.
 

Fremen

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Shaman from Italy
Posts: 3,400
"“Keep an eye on the staircases. They like to change.” Percy Weasley, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone."
For now all the Yoga I do is a little bit of sun salutation repetitions like stretching at the end of the workout but I would like to go back to practicing yoga regularly, I find it very soothing :)
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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"Striving to be the change."
It's challenging to do it that way though!

It is!

When I was teaching BodyFlow (yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi, choreographed to music) the sun salutations were always done 8 counts per movement. We were taught to cue one half breath (in or out) per movement. Which is easy to say. But it's not what you're actually doing when you're talking through the poses! A lot of instructors only taught. They didn't show up to be a student in other teachers' classes. And they would consequently lose sight of just how challenging it is to meter one's breath like that throughout what is a pretty vigorous flow.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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"Striving to be the change."
Isn't it strange how you can be fit enough do to a heavy HIIT class and do a full strength workout with weights... But then NOT be fit enough to complete a long yoga class?? That's how it goes for me.

Different training modalities make different demands on the body. Yoga involves a lot of isometric holds--often at or near the end of one's ROM, which makes them harder--versus weight-lifting where you're primarily doing isotonic contraction. HIIT challenges your cardiovascular system, but you're usually moving too quickly to think much about what you're doing. In yoga we slow things down--but it's all about finding awareness in what we're doing. (Which can become pretty intense in those long plank holds--or even worse: long chaturangas!) So the mental demands can be very different too.
 

Thuban-the-Blue

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Posts: 2
Hi!

I've begun a Travis Elliot 30 day program on Youtube (EMPOWERED) .
I've done 3 days so far and really enjoying it.
I'm also doing a minimum of 12 sun salutations every morning.

I would like to try and do moon salutations before bed but haven't tried one yet.

I've done yoga on and off for a few years but never managed to do more than a few days in a row.
This time i'm determined to complete 30 days and then hopefully set myself another 30 day challenge.

I'm going to use DAREBEE as supplementary exercises for my abs, upper and lower body.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
I got the chance this afternoon to use the big room for a full hour and a half! I did a 45 minute active practice, followed by shavasana and 30 minutes of Yin. The active practice included 35 minutes of standing poses with a strong focus on traditional Ashtanga alignment in each pose and 1 minute+ holds for everything. It kicked my butt! The five-minute Yin holds were pretty intense too! Shavasana was nice though.

:bored:
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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"Striving to be the change."
Doing both sides I thought would count as 1 but at the event it's 2, so 54 each side. After each round of 10 each side the teacher who paced everyone changed and did their version. When I did Sivananda in '73 both sides count as 1 and we always did 12.

I learned Sivananda-style as my first sun sal too, although we did 6 each side and counted that as 12.

In BodyFlow (back when I was teaching it--the program has a different choreographer now, so things may have changed) the exact form changed from program to program, but it was basically Sivananda although often with added twists. We did 2 reps per side.

When I did 108 in one day I did Ashtanga-style sun As, so no one-sidedness there. Just 108 reps all the same.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Yoga Download is running a 3 week yoga challenge, which starts tomorrow (October 16). They run these challenges periodically where for two or three weeks you get an option of three different classes to try, for free, each day of the challenge. (Some of these classes are actually free all the time. You can find them by selecting the FREE CLASSES option under Style on the class search page. Others are normally accessible via subscription only, but free during the course of the challenge to people who sign up for the challenge.) There is usually a good selection of class lengths, styles, and intensities during these challenges.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
I did day one of the Yoga Download challenge today! It is difficult for me to practise asana daily these days as Trudy has decided that what little floor space there is in my room is hers. When my mother goes out I can usually do some yoga in the living room (which is a much bigger room--Trudy is willing to share the floor with me in there!) Today my mother was scheduled to have a class at the seniors' centre which would mean: a.) I wouldn't need to work out with her today, and b.) I could use the living room for my own yoga practice. But my mother's class got cancelled. So I had to do a workout with her (these normally involve very little yoga as my mother's mobility issues are just too great) and I was stuck with my mother using the living room literally all day. I tried to convince her to at least leave the house to go and get groceries. But she decided she did not want to do that. She said she would work on a jigsaw puzzle while I did my yoga practice. I decided to give that a go.

To her credit, I only had to ask my mother not to talk at me once during the 45-minute class. But between my father having the volume cranked up on his computer (he was in his room at the far end of the house, but he has the computer read everything to him these days as he cannot see well enough to read, and he has the volume cranked high all the time because he is going deaf too), and Trudy lying right beside me, snoring through her bloody sinuses, and Shelby fretting because after I finish my workout with my mother I'm meant to service her, not do another workout!, and my mother puttering about in the kitchen making drinks and talking to my father, it was still difficult to hear much of what the instructor was saying. But I give myself credit for getting through the class and actually finding some zen and not being too irritated about not having the peace and quiet I would prefer for my yoga practices.

Anyone else experience obstacles to finding the space and the quiet for practising yoga at home? How do you work around/through the challenges?
 

Nevetharine

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I did day one of the Yoga Download challenge today! It is difficult for me to practise asana daily these days as Trudy has decided that what little floor space there is in my room is hers. When my mother goes out I can usually do some yoga in the living room (which is a much bigger room--Trudy is willing to share the floor with me in there!) Today my mother was scheduled to have a class at the seniors' centre which would mean: a.) I wouldn't need to work out with her today, and b.) I could use the living room for my own yoga practice. But my mother's class got cancelled. So I had to do a workout with her (these normally involve very little yoga as my mother's mobility issues are just too great) and I was stuck with my mother using the living room literally all day. I tried to convince her to at least leave the house to go and get groceries. But she decided she did not want to do that. She said she would work on a jigsaw puzzle while I did my yoga practice. I decided to give that a go.

To her credit, I only had to ask my mother not to talk at me once during the 45-minute class. But between my father having the volume cranked up on his computer (he was in his room at the far end of the house, but he has the computer read everything to him these days as he cannot see well enough to read, and he has the volume cranked high all the time because he is going deaf too), and Trudy lying right beside me, snoring through her bloody sinuses, and Shelby fretting because after I finish my workout with my mother I'm meant to service her, not do another workout!, and my mother puttering about in the kitchen making drinks and talking to my father, it was still difficult to hear much of what the instructor was saying. But I give myself credit for getting through the class and actually finding some zen and not being too irritated about not having the peace and quiet I would prefer for my yoga practices.

Anyone else experience obstacles to finding the space and the quiet for practising yoga at home? How do you work around/through the challenges?
My hubby allows me my silence so I go work out in my room. I can't say the same for Peanut (my parrot). He puts up a fuss whenever I'm not around him.

I am his human slave. I must be within the King's sights at all times. Just ends up with me going to the other room anyway. Maybe just putting on earphones.

I'm having trouble doing my yoga practice these days!! I feel like I can't combine a strength training practice and a yoga practice on the same day for some reason.

I also feel like doing 3 days of full Body strength thrice a week, and yoga on the other days.

I just don't know how to split the yoga as well. (I know yoga works the whole body, but I have a ton that focus more on specific muscle groups)

Just not sure how the split should be. Or how to get myself to stick to my own program. Lol!

Edit to add - I feel like it's easier to stick to a routine when I do one kind of exercise at a time. Which is why I'm not sticking to anything right now.

Do you guys think it's possible to maintain muscle mass just with yoga alone? (Power yoga, that is)
 
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Laura Rainbow Dragon

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"Striving to be the change."
Do you guys think it's possible to maintain muscle mass just with yoga alone? (Power yoga, that is)

This depends on the level of strength you are trying to maintain, and also on your flexibility. Yoga is great for a lot of things but isn't necessarily the best option for everything. Some examples:

1. Cardio. A vigorous power yoga session is absolutely a cardio workout. It will give you more cardio strengthening than simply going for a walk or a jog. But not as much as a skilled cyclist or runner is getting from cycling or running at speed.

2. Lower Body Strength. Power yoga is bodyweight strength training. For a body well-adapted to the yoga poses, the benefits can be very similar. For a body not so well-adapted to yoga, they're not so much so. For example: I used to teach a class called BodyFlow (in Canada and the US, elsewhere it's called BodyBalance). A BodyFlow/BodyBalance class includes 5-6 minutes of "standing strength" poses--basically warriors, lunges, and chair pose. For me, this is a good lower body strength workout. But a friend of mine who came to my classes a couple of times did not feel she got any lower body strength training benefit out of the class. What was the difference? My friend was (and still is) a cyclist. But as well as being a yogi, I was (and still am) a runner. We were both decently good at our respective sports back in that day and I would say had similar lower body strength profiles. But I had a lot more flexibility. In my lunges and warriors I & II, the thigh of my bent leg is parallel to the ground. My friend could not get anywhere near that low. Warriors with a horizontal thigh are a lot harder than warriors where one's thigh is say 45 degrees to the ground. Ditto for a deep chair pose versus one with knees barely bent. So my friend had to pump iron to get the same lower body strength training benefit as I could get from doing yoga alone.

3. Upper Body Strength. If you're doing power yoga, you're most likely doing a lot of planks and chaturangas. So you're working your upper body. If your only strength training is yoga, I would suggest at least some of the time pushing from chaturanga straight up into plank. You're not getting the maximum benefit from the concentric phase of that exercise if you always push up through up dog. Down dogs, dolphins, forearm balances, and handstands help to train strength with the arms in an overhead position. Add in some turbo dogs and transitions between down dog and dolphin for dynamic strength training with arms overhead. We don't do any pulling in yoga, however; so that's something to consider as an add-on exercise if you're doing primarily yoga for your strength-training.

4. Core Strength. Power yoga is generally pretty awesome for core strengthening, but there is a lot of variance depending on how one practises. This is an area where enhanced flexibility can make a lot of the exercises easier, so it's important not to lean into that too much if you want maximum strength training benefits. For example: we often think of up dog as a more "advanced" pose than cobra. But practising a hands-free cobra is going to give you a lot more back-strengthening work than up dog. (For that matter, using your arms to get into a higher cobra will give you more arm-strengthening work than up dog. Anytime you're bearing your weight on vertically stacked bones your skeleton is doing a lot to decrease the workload on your muscles.)
 

Nevetharine

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This depends on the level of strength you are trying to maintain, and also on your flexibility. Yoga is great for a lot of things but isn't necessarily the best option for everything. Some examples:
Ha! What an answer. It's never a one size fits all. I guess what I mean is maintaining the muscle mass I have currently.

I'm sure strength itself will get better as I practice more.

On the warrior note - I love pushing myself a bit in my yoga practice. This includes coming down so that my thigh is parallel to the ground in warrior.

At the same time, I can't hold a deep chair for long without the muscles around my knees (?) cramping up and forcing me out of it.

Chaturanga's themselves are still pretty challenging for me, because I haven't done push ups in quite a long while. And I really have to focus on keeping the grip in my fingers so I don't let ALL my weight go into my wrists.

I love doing Yoga with Kassandra's videos, and she has an upper body strength video that does have quite a bunch of dolphins.

She also has a core video that kicks my butt. In it, she does like a very slow bicycle crunch. Which. Is. Murder.

The only problem I have with core work is my lower back seems to give up before my abs do. But I think more baby cobras and bridges would help that out.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Completed day 2 of the challenge! Trudy allowed me to practise in my own room even. (This was helpful since my mother decided to skip both of her fitness classes today and also rescheduled an appointment. So she once again has not left the house all day.) Trudy did lie down right beside me throughout my practice however. It was mostly a straight up and down the mat flow. I only had to adjust my position a few times to avoid putting a foot or knee down on top of my dog, and I only put my hand down in a pool of blood once.

Trudy-October18.jpg
 

Nevetharine

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I'm sharing the yoga class I did today.

This is a video from a couple years ago, it was at the yoga studio I used to frequent when we still lived by the coast.

It is Ashtanga inspired, and be prepared, it will get you sweaty! You do need to have some knowledge of alignment and asana names to do this class. The video itself is also very low quality because my yoga teacher was kind of a technophobe...and not very good with technology at all. Or with filming herself. Or with managing her Youtube channel. So there are only 3 full length classes I believe.

This was during lockdown by the way (she only took in 2 yoga students at a time then). And I was also physically in this class, though out of the camera's eye.

I can't believe I used to do this kind of class multiple times a week. I made it through though! But the vinyasas really tamed down towards the end on my side. So I could actually get to the end! Lol. This is what I mean with doing a "power yoga" practice thrice a week.

This class is for you if:

You want to challenge your endurance and stamina

You have a good grasp of yoga asana and don't need much instruction to maintain good alignment

It's about the yoga for you, and you don't mind a low quality video.

 
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Nevetharine

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So question, I have 3 yoga teachers that I follow on YouTube.

One I knew in person.

All of them start their mornings with a fruity, veggie smoothie (more veggie than fruit in one case). It's inspired me to the point that I've started doing it. Or I aspire to doing it every morning.

The difference being that I add red lentils to mine for fibre and protein.

I'm just wondering why that is?

What is it about fruit?

Is that something they learn in teacher training?

One of them has expressed that she does it because it helps digestion and also makes her feel hydrated. Which I suppose I can understand, since we are dehydrated in the mornings. This same one actually has 2 smoothies a day. And cooked food for dinner.

Just wondering if there's a reason behind it :)

I also recall @Heniek going on a melon fast...
 

Nevetharine

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I've contemplated doing juices but my brain codes that as wasteful for some reason. I don't see the point of getting rid of all the fibre, but everyone's needs are different.

I might as well take the vitamins and minerals with the fibre in a smoothie.

I guess it's also just a really easy way to get in your 5-a-day or whatever.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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"Striving to be the change."
I've contemplated doing juices but my brain codes that as wasteful for some reason. I don't see the point of getting rid of all the fibre, but everyone's needs are different.

I might as well take the vitamins and minerals with the fibre in a smoothie.

I guess it's also just a really easy way to get in your 5-a-day or whatever.

The vast majority of people are absolutely better off to eat whole fruits and vegetables.

The nutritional effect of drinking juice is to get a whole load of sugar into your body very quickly and easily. This is desirable for people experiencing severe hypoglycemia (a.k.a. insulin shock), a life-threatening medical crisis which needs to be treated promptly. Juice may also be suitable for people who have difficulty ingesting sufficient solid foods to maintain their body's caloric needs (although a smoothie would be better unless there is a medical reason why the person should not ingest the fibre), and it may be desirable for other niche applications such as when you're in the middle of running a marathon and need an energy boost without asking your digestive tract to work too hard. But for most of us most of the time, juice is a convenience food that is not great for your teeth or your pancreas. Drinking it promotes weight gain and the craving of food with a high sugar content. Your instinct to stick with whole fruits and vegetables is a good one!

Unfortunately, yoga teachers often get caught up in promoting pseudo-scientific nonsense such as juice cleanses and worse. This is partly because earning a living wage as a yoga teacher is extremely difficult, so a lot of teachers turn to sidelines to help them stand out from the crowd. In the west at least, yoga is closely associated with "the wellness industry" in general, so yoga and nutrition counselling seem like a good fit to many. The truth is, however, that a scientifically grounded education in nutrition is not a part of yoga teacher training, and very few yoga teachers have it. (There are exceptions, of course. A good friend of mine is both a certified yoga instructor and a registered dietician. If she provided you with nutritional counselling, you could trust that it was sound. I know she would tell you you're better off to eat the whole fruit!)

It's important to note that "dietician" is a regulated profession. It is illegal to call oneself a dietician in most jurisdictions unless one is credentialed and has received specific training and completed an internship to earn those credentials. In most jurisdictions, "nutritionist" is not a regulated profession. A person who calls themself a nutritionist may in fact have completed a very high level of education in the area of nutrition science--or they may have no sound education in nutrition at all. There is no standard.
 

Nevetharine

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Unfortunately, yoga teachers often get caught up in promoting pseudo-scientific nonsense such as juice cleanses and worse.
See this is why Yoga with Kassandra is my favourite. She's just like "Yeah I eat leftovers for lunch and my favourite snack is Tostidos chips, oh and by the way I hate the term 'eat clean'" 🤣

She does eat healthy but she's very flexible about it all. She doesn't promote any kind of...diet-y... things on her channel and explicitly said that she will not, ever, make weight loss videos because she's more interested in promoting holistic health in every sense of the word.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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Bard from Canada
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"Striving to be the change."
I ended up taking several days off from the Yoga Download challenge. It was too cold to do yoga outside when I was sitting out with Trudy, and there wasn't any room to do it inside when I was inside with her. And then when there was room... the reminder of why I now have so much room made me too sad to use it.

I decided to get back in the saddle today, however, with this class: https://www.yogadownload.com/Utilities/GenericProductDisplay/tabid/110/prodid/12162/default.aspx
(Not sure if that class is normally behind the paywall or not, but it should be free this week at least.) This was a fun flow for me, with lots of leg work and not too many vinyasas.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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"Striving to be the change."
A few winters back at Shangrila Yoga after an indoor class wearing tank top and shorts looked out the window, the outside deck studio has the canvas roof cover taken off and there was 6 inches of snow. I couldn't resist going out there in bare feet for some standing poses and downward dog movement. Then did some Tai Chi Chuan, it felt amazing and I became very happy. My apartment building has a large green area in front, also in shorts and tank top went out for Tai Chi Chuan but did wear me Converse high tops.
I have done yoga in the snow too--but only standing poses, and definitely with shoes on.! And a coat. And long pants. Gloves too. I'm no polar bear!
 

Nevetharine

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I'm really struggling to figure out what my long-term workout strategy should be. You know, the one I need to keep up until I'm 90 - if I don't get hit in the head by a drunken pigeon and die of brain bleeding before that.

There's a couple of things I know I should do, strength training is one. But I just don't want to. I don't like doing it in the traditional sense so much, squats, lunges etc. anymore.

So okay, yoga it is. But now I'm wondering, should I confine the power routines to Thrice a week, for the whole body?

Or would it be better to find classes that target specific groups of the body and rather do 5 power yoga classes a week? But then, what areas specifically do I need to find videos for?

I know I'm overcomplicating this. And it often leads to not doing anything whatsoever. Or doing it for a day and then stopping because suddenly it's not good enough anymore and I need to do something that's "better". Which also ends up not being enough, and then we keep going around that cycle. Blah. Why???
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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"Striving to be the change."
I know I'm overcomplicating this.

Yup. You've said both your goal and your challenge is long-term adherence. So pick the schedule that's going to be easiest/most enjoyable for you to stick to.

When I was teaching BodyFlow I did the same 60-minute class (approximately: 5-minutes Tai Chi, 10-minutes Pilates, 35-minutes power yoga, 10-minutes meditation) every day, sometimes two or three times in the same day. I kept this up for 3 years, during which time I was also running competitively (competing in 10-12 middle distance--i.e.: 5K and 10K-- road races per year), and doing a considerable amount of hiking and biking as my sole means of transportation. This likely isn't the ideal training schedule for a competitive power lifter, but it worked great for me. If your goal is general health and happiness, and your body is conditioned to be able to handle working out every day, it is perfectly fine to do full-body bodyweight strength training every day.

Choose classes/instructors/styles of yoga that you enjoy, first and foremost. Do these classes as often as you want to. See how it goes. If you feel that parts of your body are being overworked and/or undertrained, adjust your schedule accordingly. It doesn't need to be complicated at all.
 

PetiteSheWolf

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Hello all. I am pondering getting back into more yoga next year. For background, I will still definitly go to the gym for a yoga class/week (good teacher, corrects us well), as well as a bodybuilding class (BodyPump), and probably a light aquagym.
I am thinking of adding yoga , about 20 minutes, more days in the week. I "know" on youtube channels Adrienne, Bird, Bad Yogi and Eckhart. Oh, I also like a lot DownDog yoga. I used to be at Yoga International too (the month-long July practice was from one of their programs) but they had such a price hike I ... hesitate to get back.
But ... how do you contruct a coherent practice from those different sources - that the different days complete each other ? Any other resource?

ETA : my main goals would be working on my balance, as well as keep knee well-protected and core strong. Hope it may help!
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

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"Striving to be the change."
Hello all. I am pondering getting back into more yoga next year. For background, I will still definitly go to the gym for a yoga class/week (good teacher, corrects us well), as well as a bodybuilding class (BodyPump), and probably a light aquagym.
I am thinking of adding yoga , about 20 minutes, more days in the week. I "know" on youtube channels Adrienne, Bird, Bad Yogi and Eckhart. Oh, I also like a lot DownDog yoga. I used to be at Yoga International too (the month-long July practice was from one of their programs) but they had such a price hike I ... hesitate to get back.
But ... how do you contruct a coherent practice from those different sources - that the different days complete each other ? Any other resource?

ETA : my main goals would be working on my balance, as well as keep knee well-protected and core strong. Hope it may help!

For balance training I like this routine. (It's also great core work and will strengthen your legs to protect your knees!) ;)

With YouTube videos you pretty much need to do the work yourself of hunting around for what's there to put together a suitable schedule, although some channels have useful playlists. In addition to the ones you've mentioned, I like Kino MacGregor. Kino is strong on technique and cueing and has a lot of content on YouTube. She does talk quickly, but I know you have lived in the States so I'm thinking could handle her. She has some YouTube playlists that might be useful for what you are looking for too, such as Quick Yoga Core and 20 Minute Yoga. I also like Patrick Beach and Carling Harps. (I prefer Carling's teaching style, and most of the videos on their YouTube channel feature Patrick, but they are both strong teachers.) It doesn't look like they've posted anything new to YouTube in a while, but they have some good content there, including a good selection of core-focussed classes with Patrick.

The sites behind paywalls are generally easier to navigate re: finding content geared to a specific focus due to their class search functions. I use Yoga Download these days. The advertised price for their full access pass is US$120 per year but they frequently run sales. (I pay only US$60 per year, and my subscription renews at that rate. I think I got that offer through signing up for one of their free challenges, which they run periodically.) I like YD for its wide variety of classes with solid content and also its class search functions, which make it easy to search for what I want on any given day. Under the "STYLE" filter you can select "FREE CLASSES" to check out some of their content and see if it's a good fit for you. If you find a class that you like you can use the "VIEW ALL CLASSES" link at the bottom of the right-hand column to view all classes they have by that instructor, so you can see if the instructor(s) you like have a lot of content on the site or only a few classes. The annual subscription also allows one to download classes for offline viewing, which is often helpful for me.
 

PetiteSheWolf

Well-known member
Alchemist from France
Posts: 1,560
Thank you very much @Laura Rainbow Dragon , your comments are very useful. Thanks for pointing at those additional people and their playlists (those are very practical, I use them for Adriene too). I'll go get a look at Yoga Dowload - unless I am missing some rebates for Yoga International.
Just for a little explanation, my intro / dive into yoga dates from my years in Buffalo NY, and they were teachers from Yoga International. A darling couple ran the place , he also taught meditation so having his own meditations with his voice on the site was a very big pull for me ;) ; and she taught yoga / oversighted ; we are still keeping in regular contact via facebook and snail mail. So Yoga International is a bit of emotional attachment, LOL.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
'Tis the season for new year's yoga challenges!

Yoga Download is offering a 23-day yoga challenge beginning on January 1: New Beginnings
The YD challenges offer a variety of classes taught by different instructors, with three different options to choose from each day. Typically there are options for different lengths of classes with at least one class suitable for new practitioners and one class for more advanced students.

Adriene Mishler (Yoga With Adriene) is offering a new 30-day program beginning January 1 too. In the YWA 30 Days of Yoga Series you get one new class each day, for 30 days, all taught by Adriene, and centred around a specific theme for the month. 2023's theme is "Center".

I'm sure there are lots more new year's offerings out there. What have you all seen?
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Omstars (Kino MacGregor's subscription-based yoga channel) is offering a free 30-day challenge for the new year, running from January 1-30. Classes are taught by Kino and other instructors on her channel. It looks like most will be pre-recorded classes, but the January 1 class is the full Ashtanga Yoga primary series, taught live by Kino (via a Zoom meeting). That class starts at 9AM Eastern Standard Time / 2PM UTC. Omstars is also offering a free live Meditation & Reflection class at 10AM EST / 3PM UTC on January 1 (but a full primary series would typically run longer than an hour, so I'm guessing it's not possible to do both).

Links:
Feel Good Flow Challenge
Full Ashtanga Primary Series Live Class
Sunday Ritual: Meditation & Reflection Live Class
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
I've decided to tackle the Omstars challenge this month. (Mostly because I have a subscription to YD, so I can do their challenge classes next month.)

The Omstars challenge includes 30 pre-recorded classes, plus yesterday they also offered access to a full Ashtanga Primary Series taught live by Kino. This was my first time doing the full primary series. I was intellectually familiar with what the series entailed previously, but it didn't really sink in for me just how many chaturangas are involved until I actually tried to do the thing! (I skipped a lot of them in the second half of the class.) It was an interesting experience, and definitely a good workout, but not something I'd ever be tempted to practice six days a week long term. (I like more variety in my yoga practice and also smoother, more creative flows.)

I did not do the Day 1 pre-recorded class yesterday, since the 90 minute full primary was enough for me for one day. So I'm a day behind already, and likely will fall another day behind on my birthday, when I'll do my "52 for 52" workout instead of the regularly scheduled stuff. This is fine. The pre-recorded classes are shorter (mostly ~ 30 minutes). So I can likely double up on some days.

I did the Day 1 pre-recorded class today. It was much more accessible for me than the Primary Series. (I could do all of the poses in today's class. Some of the Primary Series stuff I had to modify significantly.) The cueing was very counting-heavy (I'm not sure if this is an Ashtangi thing or just a Kino thing?) and Kino had extended difficulties with her mic twice which (oddly for a pre-recorded class) were not edited out. Still, it was a nice little workout that left me with enough in the tank to still do the other things I have on my schedule for today. (And I appreciated not being asked to jump back and through--or attempt to jump back and through, in my case--between every single flipping pose!)
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Welcome @daneferrari !

I agree with @H4WKWIND that it's a great idea to take some live classes with a qualified yoga teacher if you can find one in your area teaching classes for beginners. If this is not an option for you, however, there is a lot of great video instruction available these days, much of it free, and some of it specifically aimed at beginners.

One instructor who I think is very good at teaching to beginners is Adriene Mishler. She is quite chatty as yoga instructors go--which is great for beginners as she gives you a lot of information in her cueing. Adriene also has a strong focus on the mental awareness aspects of the yoga practice, which you may find helpful as you mention having difficulty concentrating on your exercises.

Here is a 20-minute "Yoga for Complete Beginners" video I found of Adriene's:


Give it a try. And if you like Adriene as a teacher, also check out her Foundations of Yoga and Yoga for Beginners series on YouTube. The Foundations series breaks down a specific yoga pose in each video. (I would recommend doing some of these before attending an in-person yoga class, in fact, as there just isn't time enough in a public class to break down yoga poses with as much detailed instruction as Adriene gives in the Foundations videos.) The Yoga for Beginners series is a collection of yoga flow classes of various lengths with instruction suitable for beginners.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Especially from my many years of Tai Chi Chuan training and practice I've see many with bad form and posture, I see this in the Yoga studio. A good teacher will come along and correct your form and posture, a good teacher moves around the class instructing, also give a demo to show if anyone is a little confused.
The fact that you're seeing "bad form and posture" even in yoga studios is evidence that attending in-person classes is no panacea. Not all teachers (or even all studios) provide hands-on adjustments these days. There are huge liability issues with doing so, and a lot of students, frankly, don't want to be touched. Certainly the teacher should be observing their students and at least providing verbal adjustments where necessary. But there flat out is not enough time in a public class to help everyone adequately. Especially in an "all-levels" class--which, for financial reasons, is what pretty much all public classes are these days. Also: an in-person class can be an overwhelming experience for someone who is brand new to the practice. There is a lot to learn, and students can certainly miss things in trying to take everything in.

I would posit that there are many reasons you are seeing in the yoga studio what you refer to as "bad form and posture":

1. There is no one "right way" to perform a yoga asana. Certainly there are standards. But these can vary from one yoga lineage to another and can also vary between yoga and other movement disciplines. Sometimes the student is simply doing the pose the way they learned it because that's what they know/are comfortable with. If they've conditioned their body to be able to do the pose that way, they're probably fine.

2. Every body is different, and the same pose looks different in different bodies. Some students have injuries or other mobility issues which prevent them from executing a pose as cued. Others may deliberately take a pose farther than we would normally cue as "safe" in a public class because they need that more extreme movement for some other discipline they practice and so are training their body to be able to handle that standard. Others still may simply be more comfortable in one variation over another. There are many modifications for pretty much every pose and many reasons for using one.

3. Sometimes people's poses are sloppy because they're tired. Sure in an ideal world we'd all be 100% present in every practice and push through our tiredness to execute every asana "perfectly". But we don't live in an ideal world. I've taught a lot of evening yoga classes in fitness clubs where my class was the last class of the day. Sometimes students came to my class precisely because they were tired and they needed a break from the stresses of their day to help them wind down before bed. If such a student is half-arsing their active postures because they're just using them to loosen up for the restorative work at the end of class, I'm not going to worry about it.

4. Sometimes the student has not yet learned the goal/intention of the pose, as you suggest. Maybe in this studio class the instructor will give a cue that clicks for them and they'll achieve understanding. Maybe the pose won't truly click for them until the next class they take, or the class after that, or the one after that. Maybe it will never click for them. It's all good. There are many benefits to a yoga practice beyond simply executing the asanas "perfectly". If, however, one has a goal to learn to perform yoga asanas to a specific standard, I will again argue that a good instructional video can in fact be more beneficial than a live, in-studio, yoga class--even one led by the very best of yoga teachers. A video can be paused, rewound, viewed again. With a video, every student can take exactly as much time as they need to learn every pose. And if they're not able to feel whether or not they're performing the pose as desired they can always video themselves and take a look at what they're doing.

Certainly in-person classes are great too! The energy of the room, the community with the other students, the opportunity to receive real-time feedback from a knowledgeable instructor, and the opportunity to ask them direct questions. All important benefits of the in-person class. But there are many reasons (geography, scheduling, finances, infection risk, fear) why in-person classes are not an option for everyone. Fear is a big one. Many people are intimidated by the prospect of walking into a yoga class for the first time. If someone wants to try public classes but is nervous about beginning, instructional videos are a great option for gaining some familiarity with yoga concepts and enabling them to feel prepared to venture into the yoga studio.
 
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