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Being mindful and open to yoga blocks

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I followed the suggested schedule today in the 30 day Mindful challenge.  At first, I thought it was too troublesome to piecemeal the different components, but I kept a tab open to the page that showed the warm up poses and diligently paused between the two videos and followed the course.

Today's main video was Candace's tone-up sequence with blocks.  I only have foam blocks and at first thought I would not get any benefit from the class.  But, I used the opportunity to try it out, and noticed that using blocks between the hands in my high lunge focuses me to not hyperextend my elbows when reaching upward.  I also made sure not to overextend my shoulder out from my socket when doing some of the tone up exercises that extends the arm in front of the shoulder.  Without the weight of the block to distract me, I realized I could better focus on my form.  I've definitely held blocks between my thighs or shins to engage my core, and holding between my arms helped engage my upper body.  I get the cues and adjustments to "wrap my shoulders", and that is so difficult for me to spread my shoulder blades apart on demand, but, imagining that I am squeezing a block between my hands might help.

Does anyone else like using blocks to engage? Is it appropriate to apply the same method to my arms?


Lastly, a funny story that happened today.  While doing the meditation part today, Candace cued to feel the navel expand on the inhale and contract on the exhale. I realized then I was doing ujjayi breath and not relaxing because my belly remained engaged during both inhale and exhale.  I am a natural mouth breather, but when I get cued to breathe deeply, I always refer to ujjayi breath. During meditation, I almost laughed because I remembered that I also was doing ujjayi breath without realizing this morning, when I had my physical check up with my primary care doctor.  A few months ago, I saw my doctor in the same yoga class. I said hi to her after class and let her know I was her patient, but have only seen her twice.  I was wondering today when an appropriate time would be to ask if she's still going to yoga classes as small talk.  When she was listening to my chest and back and asked me to breathe deeply, I kept doing it through my nose, like ujjayi breath. Then she said, "ok, now through your mouth". ha!  I was about to admit I was doing "yoga breathing", but then I chickened out because the next part was the pap smear. I realized then it was not really the best time to try to bond with my doctor over yoga!

Have you guys encountered other people in your yoga classes outside of normal class? Would you have still said hi if it were your doctor during your annual / intimate exam?



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I bought a pair of blocks and a strap last night. I think they will really help with some of the poses that my poor flexibility causes problems with. 

My doctor knows I'm doing yoga and she's very excited for me. I would talk to her about it during a visit, but maybe not during the moment of certain embarrassing exams. 

yogafire and YogaByCandace like this

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I wouldn’t be inclined to interact with your doctor on too much of a personal level, and certainly don't force it. It may well have been that they where in the class to relax (doctors are typically very busy), or as an experiment/research.

Also the unconscious use of ujjayi breathing may or may not be a good idea. Always breathing with the glottis restricted would restrict your airflow, increasing the loading on the respiratory system. I do not know what impact that could have long-term, although I doubt that the lungs where 'designed'(evolved) with that intent.

YogaByCandace and yogafire like this

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Yay, Scott, for buying the props to use at home!

Thanks for the heads up and honest feedback, Robert. It was unconscious only when I get prompted to breathe "deeply", so hopefully I can better catch myself in the future.

Good point to not force it. I asked my friend who is also a doctor whether she would be weirded out if her patients said hi to her outside of the hospital, and she said, "No, that's good!"  But, to push it beyond just saying hi, that's a different story!

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