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Everything posted by yogafire

  1. oh! that always resonates with me, too. Gives me hope and inspiration - so even if I have long breaks in between my yoga practice, I still observe those small shifts at the end of class and feel more motivated. I first went to classes at my neighborhood YMCA for about a year, thinking I could use more flexibility and better balance. It was a great community of folks, but, I started feeling like I wasn't making much progress and just going through the motions. Then I got into a car accident 5 years ago - it troubled me physically with whiplash (the headache kept me up for a couple days) and also mentally because it was my first accident, and I hit someone else even though I had the green light. I was going uphill on a very steep one way street, so it was a small intersection, and I couldn't brake in time. It was the first time as an adult I had to deal with something out of my control and was illogical - the other driver was screaming in my face, calling me drunk when I never drink, just because I was remaining silent and not reacting (probably due to shock and processing). It turned out the woman was uninsured, which is why she reacted that way (and lied about it), but it all turned out ok at the end because good car insurance covers uninsured drivers. After, I noticed yoga helped ease my whiplash and also helped slow down my frantic worried thoughts about the car accident. So I sought out a nearby yoga studio to try out more advanced classes. The first class freaked me out because I could hear everyone breathe the whole time! But then I asked the teacher about it and learned how to breathe, which helped me learn how to endure and not run away. And to let go and acknowledge that I can't control everything.
  2. That's smart to try to isolate changes to see which is more effective. However, you mentioned you also got synvisc shots. Any way to tell if that kicks in after a month if it's the shot or the acupuncture that's helping? I guess if both, good to start now instead of waiting another month in pain! And thanks for wishing me luck with the cortisone shot. It only hurts if direct pressure is on the top joint (like in hero's or child's pose), but it was still there after resting for 4 months, so I went ahead with it. So, it's a lot more temporary than knee pain!
  3. Interesting! That is actually convenient if the acupuncturist is also a TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) herbalist. But given your GAPS diet, Candace, it makes sense to skip to not mess with that. I would also want to make sure the raw herbal ingredients aren't made in China (Taiwan OK) since there are so many stories of filler non-food additives. Before bone broth was popular, we made chinese herbal soup with bones or bone scraps. But that is tastier than some herbal stews. I think the principles are similar to ayuverda, but balancing between yin and yang by having cooling or warming soups. I want to do acupuncture but all my pain is on my backside of my neck and back, and I get super ticklish and am afraid I will jump while they're putting in needles. I can do only strong pressured massages, or I get "chills" and jump. Does anyone else get ticklish but surived acupuncture just fine? And lastly, wow, Lorelei, I hope this helps you long-term. Pain can also have stress related roots, so that is lovely to hear how you feel mentally different, too! I just got my first cortisone shot on the top of my foot. I got a cortisone flare reaction, so the first 24 hours had so much intense throbbing that I had to almost crawl to get around. I can't believe you braved so many already!
  4. There have been multiple times that whatever issue I was working through in my life happened to be a theme or sutra my teacher talked about in class that day. When I think about it and get overwhelmed by feelings of gratitude, I do get tears in my eyes. Tears help release, go ahead and sob.
  5. Oh. You just gave me insight on why she chose that field. yeah, I just wanted to make sure my therapy suggestion wasn't interpreted as to see a psychiatrist.
  6. It sounds all really difficult. But I wanted to clarify that a therapist and a psychiatrist are not the same. The psychiatrist is mainly there to manage medications while the therapist will sit and talk through - many are not medical doctors. In the US they are LMFT (licensed marriage and family therapist), a social worker, or a doctorate in psychology or some other field. I also had a bad experience with my first psychiatrist and found a new one that likes hearing me talk about what else is going on in addition to my medications, just so she has the full picture. She herself says most of my issues should be resolved by therapy over time. Therapy really focuses on identifying what destructive thought patterns or beliefs are going on and working on how to change them. Therapy is open to everyone who wants it (usually any kind of stress) - they don't need to be diagnosed with anything at all. I only brought up psychiatrist just because my friend turned out to be most interested in that field, not because a psychiatrist actually helped her.
  7. I don't have firsthand experience, but my high school friend was suffering anorexia and OCD with exercise. She finally got professional help to let go of control, and now she is a psychiatrist and guest lectures at universities about eating disorders. Yoga can help (see end of this post), but I encourage seeking an individual therapist to help the recovery and maintain it. The timeline really depends on the person - for me, going to weekly sessions, it took me a year to fully understand what was bothering me (a secret I held for decades), another 6 months before I told my sister, and then another year before I was confident in myself to tell my husband. I know it's not the same as an ED, but as someone seeking help for mental health, I just wanted to throw out a possible timeline so no one expects immediate results. Anyway, this is such interesting timing. Speaking to your question, I just finished reading chapter 6 of Anna Forrest's Fierce Medicine. She talked about how yoga helped her bulimia, and she had to figure out what she was really hungry for and do that instead. See the attached excerpt - the dotted underlines are a popular highlight. So, yes, it is possible (like it was for you), but some people will need more outside influences to recover with therapy or other programs. Thanks for sharing your story - these things are not often talked about, and I am glad to hear that you are not afraid to bring it up with your friends.
  8. Funny, I just got this e-mail from a women's empowerment list I am on: Tantra for Women - Introductory Seminar It does have a lot of sexual energy references, so I don't know if that's related to the yoga you learned. And the above link redirects to "kundalini dance", so perhaps kundalini yoga might also be interesting to you?
  9. I think the title of this question threw me off. To me, a yoga session consists of sequences or sun salutations that naturally warm me up before it progresses into more difficult asanas. So by that definition, no, there is not a separate warm up before a yoga session, but the session itself should warm your muscles in the beginning to prevent yourself from straining any muscles while attempting a difficult asana. I would also warn against warming up too much to prevent overstretching. For instance, I used to run for 20 min before doing yoga, and, it felt great, and I was more flexible, but, I overstretched a muscle while being too enthusiastic. I didn't feel it at all at the time but the next day it felt bad.
  10. I just reread your post.. I didn't realize you were talking about yin yoga at first. I think since yin yoga holds each pose for 3-5 minutes, it's hard to have a video that is less than half an hour. If you want a more gentle sequence, look at the video suggestions Candace put up for the February restorative program, such as: 30 min restorative yin yoga (hope that isn't too long): 15 Minute Chill Out Restorative Yoga Video 15 minute gentle morning yoga If you want to address your husband's shoulder, maybe one addressing tight shoulders would make him feel relieved, such as this: 20 Minute Yoga for Olympic Lifters | Chest and Shoulder Mobility But if you want something that doesn't involve any downward dogs, then look into shorter restorative ones instead of yin. Good luck!
  11. My husband has running shorts 7" or longer that have built in underwear that he likes to use to run and workout in. After using them for the first time, he said, "Wow, these are life changing!" haha. I mentioned this story / recommendation in chat a few months ago to @scottcraft - I don't know if his life has changed yet, though? If it's cold outside, sometimes just wear shorts underneath some baggier long pants, and then it's easy to just pull them off and on without having to change. This may not help you at all though if you want to wear long pants during class.
  12. Usually the sequences are warm up the muscles to help you do another pose. And if it's a good instructor, the instructor will walk you through how to do a pose. I would say just try it out, and don't worry if you can't do it. Just try another time (without pushing yourself to the point of injury). If later you want to better understand a certain pose, you can always look up tips or watch pose breakdowns from videos, such as Candace's pose breakdown play list here:
  13. One of the best quotes I heard was, "intelligent people ask questions". No one needs to be an "expert" yogi, just an intelligent one. And you definitely are being an intelligent yogi!
  14. I can see why this feature exists. Some people forget they clicked the chat browser, and then never look back. Before I would try to join chat but only realize that person was idle and eventually timed out. A solution I have seen is to periodically just enter a period . to remain active (but idle), and if others are in chat, you don't disturb the flow of the conversation. I first noticed this in a support chat group. Someone starts talking about an issue he or she are having, and people keep hitting . every few minutes just to let the main speaker know that others are actively listening (to not get kicked out for being idle) but not wanting to interrupt. Just an idea, but unfortunately it still requires you to keep checking.
  15. That's an example of choosing to show off existing assets. Not hiding them and obscuring one's natural body. Anyway, you still bring up a good point - corsets were no better and were along the same concept as thigh gap pants. People still wear spanx to slim their bodies. Candace's main point is that this supposedly new style preys on insecurities and even brings up new ones that people probably never thought of as an issue.
  16. Gyms offer personal training sessions, so you can ask if any of the yoga instructors can offer a private for you after your work hours. Otherwise, Candace has a blog series on Wed. Workouts on how weight lifting gave her more strength for her yoga practice. In general, I think working on core will help both strength and balance. Anyway, it's a gradual process - keep up with the videos and don't feel like you aren't making progress - it isn't always visual.
  17. Injuries do suck. But, one good thing though is as you learn how to modify around injuries, you start to realize how more advanced you are in your practice in terms of self-awareness. That's the main thing consoling me. I usually tweak my wrists if I do too much, like handstand, but this sounds more severe if you felt something move though right before the pain happened. Was all the hand pressure on the outside edge of your right hand instead of being distributed? If it doesn't hurt in normal position, it might be better to just rest. You can ice if it starts to throb, but you might consider just letting inflammation occur (for the first two days) for your body to promote natural healing. I have no idea if it's a sprain or not, but a new theory for treating sprains is to actually allow some of the initial inflammation to happen without icing to allow all the extra blood flow to be there initially for healing. This has worked for my husband, who has gone through multiple sprains over the past few years, and he healed more quickly when he didn't ice right away. He did ice later after the first few days passed. In the meantime, why don't you modify with forearm balances instead if you still want to have your inversions? Or, take it easy, and just do legs up a wall as your inversion practice for awhile.
  18. Inversions are so energizing! I used to think warriors and lunges were really boring! They didn't seem to do anything for me, so I just "hung out" in them. Then one of my teachers kept reminding me to widen my stance in Warrior II, to the point where it was uncomfortable, but in a good way. I had to really engage my leg muscles and press into my feet to breathe through the burning, and I am able to get my pelvis lower to the ground with a widened stance while working out my leg muscles. And I have to remember, wiggle my toes so I'm not clenching them, press through the outsides of my feet. All these cues made me appreciate the subtleties of standing poses, so much that Warrior II is probably one of my favorites. Sometimes we do variations with our arms while in warrior II (eagle, cow face arms), so it makes me something to focus on while my legs are on fire!
  19. You know, I always thought of myself as noncompetitive in classes. But then I realized I'm doing just that if I go to a class with my friends. I don't care how I am when I'm in a class with people I don't know, but when it's with a friend, I want them to like yoga but also see how "good" I am. Isn't that twisted? But if there is no competition... it doesn't matter if I think I'm looking impressive or not!
  20. How did you first get to balance in handstand? I read other people's tips to make a split in the air and gradually move them together, so I was wondering if drawing that pose from that split open legs before being straight might articulate more feeling. What about triangle pose?
  21. Yes, yoga can change your posture that way, and as a result, increase height. But I wouldn't expect 2-3 inches unless starting with very slouched shoulders or neck.
  22. 2-3 inches is quite a lot. That probably happens if one is starting off with poor posture and slouching, and yoga can help with posture and teach you how to engage your core to stand up straight. It can also depend on how your spine is currently or if you have very tight muscles supporting your spine that is making your body contract. If the spine is compressed (e.g. it has lost some of its natural curve), then elongating the spine (sitting up straight and extending in yoga poses) can help. After my first 2 years of yoga, I noticed I was closer to 5'3" than 5'2" and thought I could update my driver's license. But this was only a difference of about 1/2 an inch, not 2-3 inches! Then I developed some chronic neck pain 2 years ago, and now I'm closer to 5'2" again. I found out recently through an x-ray that my neck has lost its natural curve (C-shape with the opening facing the back) and is more straight now. So, I have compression contributing to my height. And yes, yoga is helping with the pain relief, but there can be other issues going on that yoga cannot solve on its own. It can take months to years to notice a height difference.
  23. Nice! This is inspiring to upgrade my mala beads! If you find better sources, please share. I feel like a lot of these are open to interpretation. I found some corresponding to the chakras here: Now I know what you meant by your third eye too active. Maybe I need to wear some grounding ones to sleep, too, so I stop disturbing my husband!
  24. Since you're already in YTT, I assume you're already warmed up before going into backbends. I always heard backbends described as chest openers, so if your intercostal muscles are tighter than your back is flexible, I can see why you are getting these injuries. Anyway, I completely relate to the injury frustration. Perhaps these are overuse injuries because of YTT. Some things may take months to heal, not just a few days of practice. Infuriating. Also, I had to go get MRIs beyond my initial xrays to figure out what was wrong. Not my ribs, but, it was bursitis, fluid / inflammation between my joints at the top of my foot, so the doctor said that can take months to heal. The MRI is a pain, but, if you already are seeing the doctor for a lot of things, then maybe you are fully utilizing the benefits of your medical insurance.
  25. I personally bought a a cheap set of mala beads for meditation off etsy, but, it wasa from China. It served its purpose for me - I just wanted to feel the beads and didn't care about the material or that it was elastic bound instead of being handtied in between each bead. Other etsy sellers who make their own should be legitimate with better quality sources!