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Everything posted by KateZena

  1. @Muniko When did you get your stomach muscles cut? If they are still painful or uncomfortable, your muscles may have healed improperly. One of the things doctors worried about when I had hip surgery as a child was that happening or excessive scar tissue build up, which was why getting me mobile, but in a safe and orderly way was important. If it's limiting your mobility, you may want to go back to your doctor (kudos if you can get back in with that surgeon because he/she will know what they are looking at) and have it looked at. You may just need a referral to a physiotherapist or perhaps need therapeutic (deep pressure) massage or myofascial release therapy to put your muscles and fascia out of their funk.
  2. I had to laugh at this because this is one of the things I continue to struggle with even though I stretch every day, get a deep tissue massage every other week, do yoga and am an equestrian. Exercises 1-3 (especially #1. Lots of #1) in the link @Anahata linked is exactly what my massage therapist makes me do, especially after riding lessons. Along with Cobbler's Pose, Pigeon Pose, and planks (esp. planks on an exercise ball) as basics. I have an exercise ball that allows me to sit and type so I actually sit at my computer, on an exercise ball, and type too just to strengthen my core and back. The difficulty with working with something like the hamstrings is you cannot just work on your hamstrings as your hamstrings go into your lower back. In order to release them, you have to work on strengthening your core (ugh), lengthening and strengthening the quads in front, groin muscles, hip flexors....basically, you need to strengthen and lengthen the core/lower back and your upper thighs/hips. The systems support each other. I'm finally able to touch the ground with my fingertips - almost two years later. It takes a lot of time to get to working everything out in a multi-system way. Keep plucking along and you get there in time...without fancy machines. Just yourself and maybe an exercise ball if you're feeling courageous.
  3. I can see the pros and cons of both. I've never done yoga with mirrors (aside from my smallish wall mirror and my bathroom mirror), but when I did ballet mirrors were critical for me. I learned corrections best when the teacher showed me in the mirror how I wasn't straight and she would slowly show me how to fix it. In some yoga environments where yoga classes are smaller and go slower, the mirrors would be helpful in this aspect to help you fully align and sink into a pose. In many ways, yoga and dancing intersect considering alignment and breath movement is key and watching yourself can really help. In faster moving yoga classes or more packed classes, I could see the distraction element because you'd be too busy trying to find yourself. Or it can be distracting because it's ruining your ability to get into your flow and just "dance," as I like thinking @YogaByCandace's flows are. Little dances.
  4. @HGB Always willing to reveal the little secrets.
  5. @HGB I'm going to reveal a little secret to you that I wish existed when I was a dancer but I now exploit thoroughly as an equestrian: Discount Dancer Supply. They do ship international but I can't remember how pricing for shipping is calculated. I'm just going to link you to the men's section so you can choose your own. There are men's dance pants, bike-like shorts, dance shorts, dance tops, leg warmers (leg warmers....OMG, LEG WARMERS. I need a pair of those. Legs are forever cold)...I'll just let you explore. Don't blame me for throwing you down the rabbit hole. http://www.discountdance.com/dancewear/mens-and-unisex/page1
  6. @HGB A hip warmer? Like the kind dancers use? Or are you looking more for a wrap to go around one leg to put an ice/heating pack in?
  7. After her stroke, my grams was put on an inversion table once a day as part of her therapy to help with her balance and helping her with walking. While inversion therapy does lengthen the ligaments, it won't make them stronger like a forward fold does (lengthening and strengthening.) However, I would advise having him talk to a physical or occupational therapist, both of whom work with inversion tables pretty much daily. They would have the most information on how to get the most use out of an inversion table as they use them daily with clients.
  8. I'm a little taller than @yogafire (5'2.5") with a very leggy, twiggy body type. I do yoga to complement my horseback riding. Horseback riding and yoga overlap so much it's hard for me to say which gives me what individually. However, riding gives me an outlet for my competitive nature and my love of animals; yoga gives me an outlet to just be with myself. Finding your best exercise takes time, but yoga is great for every body. Some of us just find pure joy in yoga; others (like me) need a faster, more heart-pumping (and, er, more dangerous) thrill.
  9. @YogiKris I'm not a therapist; I'm a straight up volunteer, but I was a client too (I outgrew the NFP side; I work with a coach who is friends with the owner and uses the same horses.) When I volunteer, I'm often in the back brushing the horses and tacking/untacking the horses (i.e. putting on and taking off their gear) but I'm in the arena too. A personal experience: in August, the horse I was used to riding and had a lot of confidence riding - a 15.3 hand (a hand is 4") quarter horse named Scooby Doo - was taken away from me and I was put on this extremely tall (17 hands) draft horse named Vince for the Special Olympics. I became extremely nervous/scared as I had never ridden anything taller than me. Confidence went down the drain. I had been working with this coach for just a few weeks and now I'm given this new horse that is HUGE and a totally different temperament. I broke down once during a lesson because I missed my relationship with Scooby and I was so frustrated with my teacher. You can't see it now because we work really well (coach, horse and me), but we had a rough patch. Horseback riding and yoga have a lot in common; all of your emotions show in your practice. Something new requires a lot of guts and an innate trust in your teacher. Sometimes, gaining trust and intuition takes time! As you learn and teach, you'll know when to step in and when to not. That just takes experience, just like learning to trust your horse to get you over obstacles with ease takes practice.
  10. Hi @KristiSmithYoga (we met in Skokie, didn't we? I had no idea you lived so close...ANYWAY), My dad, my mom and I (the three members in my house) tend to have "arguments" over food when I first got lupus. It became apparent really quickly I couldn't eat the same way I used to (this was before yoga) because I would have huge flares. So, when I finally had money for food, we divided food. I buy all of my "uber beyond expensive" food with my money and they buy theirs with their money. Ironically, they found out when they ate cleaner meat that their arthritis and migraines weren't as bad, but because it's so expensive I still buy it. I approach my life with the attitude of, "Let's make today the best day possible." People diagnosed with Autism weren't given a good prognosis in the 90s which was when I was diagnosed; my parents were told to put me in a sanitarium because I was that hopeless a case. So, when people approach me with that kind of downtrodden, hopeless, "nothing is right with the world" attitude, I take a deep breath and say, "Ma'am/Sir, I could have your attitude, but I'd get nothing done. I would be in my bed, with my pills, contemplating very bad thoughts. Instead, I think about the good things. I woke up and my dog was snoring in my ear, curled around like a donut which I think is beyond cute. I remembered it was Wednesday, horse lesson day! I didn't fall of my horse! That's what gets me through the day." @YogiRishi Yes about the tattoos! I don't mind if you think they are awesome (because I think they are awesome), but those critical stares and comments. Uuuuuuugh.
  11. That's why I think I struggle with the idea of a class. I'm still so new that I don't feel like I'll be able to follow. I did an aerobics class once; I couldn't keep up because I hadn't danced in so long my body had forgotten many of the moves and it gave me so much anxiety. No one ever said, "Don't be afraid to fix the aerobics to fit your aerobic level." I think it's great when a teacher says at the beginning, "If you feel uncomfortable, don't be afraid to do something that suits you." It could be because I am so literal and sometimes so attached to "rules" that I need someone to say, "do something that suits you." It's silly but it's freeing when people say that. Even when I'm in the arena riding, I still have to remind myself, "Okay, I can trot but I don't have to go around the arena the whole time. I can make big circles around the corners, figure eights, serpentines, reverse the rail, go over the poles, make a giant circle around half the arena! I don't just have to go around the arena. Use my space!"
  12. I'm not a teacher, but I volunteer at a NFP where we use horses for therapy. In my experience, when the clients say "no," it is often because they are scared. They are scared, anxious or their system has gotten too much information or something along those lines. It makes sense; ponies and horses are animals with brains. They can be scary. Not everyone is very gung-ho and says, "OKAY, LET'S TRY THIS!" like, well, me. I may not always yell it out, I may be a little timid about trying it out, but gosh darn it, there is no, "I can't" in my vocabulary. For the "Nope, can't do this" people we always encourage trying. We bring out the most bombproof, sweetest pony in the barn (Chance) and start with just having them get into the arena. Now, can you get near Chance? Touch him? Pet him? Basically, if you find people struggling, slow it down and encourage trying, but don't go so out of your way everyone suffers. Then your practice suffers.
  13. It depends on you! I, personally, practice 15-30 minutes a day every day. On Wednesdays I do an hour because that's the day I do horseback riding and really need to work on calming my muscles. Some days I just don't feel like yoga though or I'm in too much pain, so I give myself a rest day. Not everyone can do heated yoga due to health issues or it's just too uncomfortable. Some people just are too uncomfortable to do a formal class. It depends on who you are. I'm working up to going to a class. I suffer from horrible crowd anxiety due to autism, so I haven't felt comfortable with the idea of a class yet. Think of it like weight training. If you're really in pain, you give yourself a rest day or you do really light weights. You also switch up your weights and routines a lot. Yoga is like that. Bored? Try a new pose!
  14. @scottcraft If you got Namaslay, the one pose I was talking about (seated wide-leg forward fold) that is on 267. It does have a modified version. I sometimes don't know the names of things as some things I do for flexibility still come from my days as a ballerina where often I don't know if it intersects with yoga. The ankle and toe flexibility and strengthening exercises I do are not found in yoga, from what I know, but are essential to ballet and some ankle exercises are found in horseback riding. Often, I find that when groin muscles hurt most, it's the outer thighs that need stretching, not my groin muscles. Since I quit ballet all those years ago, I haven't been the greatest at keeping my legs all that flexible and strong, especially my feet and ankles (ballet foot exercises...ahhhhhhhhh.) Getting into yoga has helped me remember a lot of the exercises I did in ballet and now I mix and match.
  15. I don't own a business, but I've been trying to literally build back my life since my grams' died 2 years ago. A few things I've learned: -Good time management is built upon a good schedule. It's hard when you are on the go, but I've found even writing down on a physical calendar my appointments, what I need to do and everything else all in one place makes my day that much easier. From a business perspective, if you are a thriving business and also a mom, you may want to get a planner where you have a month-at-a-glance then every day is a page. Make your home obligations one color and your business obligations another. (I'm very color oriented. You could also use different symbols.) -I am naturally at getting tasks done, but I know some people aren't, so I'll give you an example. When I volunteer at my NFP, the first thing I do (after hanging up my coat and putting my bag away) is think to myself, "Does the barn look approachable?" because an approachable barn is the barn everyone wants to be at. I know there is always someone in the back feeding the horses, so my thought is always to the actual barn. My barn is usually a huge mess because sand gets tracked everywhere so the first thing I do is sweep the viewing area and the entrance to the barn. Then I go back and make sure the grooming buckets are neat and tidy. There is nothing worse than having to go hunt for a hoof pick at the end of the day. After that, I'm usually roped into helping tack up a horse or pony, but I always do those two things first. Find out what the two or three things that absolutely must be done first and do those things first every single day. Also find two or three things that you will always do at the end of the day. Routines make your life simpler. -At the end of the day, I feel really drained and sometimes I feel like I've done nothing useful or I just feel down. That's why I have what I call the "unjournal." I make myself write everything that I did and you have no idea what you all did until you write it down! If you feel really crappy, dare yourself to find five positive things you saw today. "Vince nickered at me when I went to clean out his water. Saw a bird in the barn. Zena pounced at me when I walked through the door. Zena fell asleep on me while watching TV..." anything!
  16. I have a huge issue with my inner thighs and that's not so good because, well, there's a reason why they say equestrians have "thighs of steel;" we stay on our horses with them and send very subtle clues with our thighs. After my horse lesson, I often cool down with a series of poses that really cool down my legs and back (or I will just hurt.) Along with the frog, I also do cobbler's pose (that one burns), and then I do a basic head-to-knee forward bends on each side and then a variation, where I push my leg I'm stretching out to the side. The variation is more intense, but it was something I was taught in ballet and have always incorporated when I've "stretched." I also push both legs as far as I can to both sides and just lean forwards to get a stretch there and for someone who feels like an old lady sometimes, that one can plain ol' hurt (so I skip it.) I will say, I often combine this with favorites or things I'm working on like the pigeon (I love my seated pigeons. Ahhhhh, pigeons. I hate the bird, but that pose is one of my favorites), seated forward bend, tree, child's pose, intense shoulder pose that Candace showed (because it just feels so. darn. good), supine twists, downward facing dog, upward facing dog, plank (grrr), ragdoll, corpse (a pose I just can't sink into easily) and a quad exercise my massage therapist has me do because I have notoriously tight quads. Mix groin (aka those inner thigh) muscles with poses you love. I've noticed groin poses bring out your inner crazy.
  17. @scottcraft WOOOOOOOOOOOOO! *dances* I need a congratulatory dancing emoticon. You know, a disco one going, "Yea, yea, you got it."
  18. I get mine Friday when I meet her in Skokie. I decided I wanted to buy it in person. I can't wait to look at it.
  19. How's your macro tracking going, @scottcraft?
  20. @HGB Pssst, I don't have one either. HA HA HA. I go to a barn to ride. A NFP barn, but a barn. I actually hurt today because I had lessons three days this week and Special Olympics yesterday. I'm exhausted! HA HA.
  21. @HGB Well, if you are looking for some serious hip flexor work....there's always horseback riding. LOL Never a day after I ride I don't feel my hips, thighs and calves ache the next day.
  22. Everybody has a side that they aren't as flexible and strong with. It tends to be your less dominant side. If you can get them mostly even, hey, great! Yours look to be pretty even and I wouldn't worry about it. But, if it really does bother you (and I know what that is like), you can always follow Candace's 20 minute gentle stretch for tight legs or a leg flexibility one (she has one for splits that is really good.) But seriously, I don't see a difference. It's very very little.
  23. From the book description on Amazon: amazon link
  24. @scottcraft Aw, don't feel bad! Please? I'm lighter than most people. I'm like a stick to most logs out there...I'm a Chihuahua to most....okay, that's not helping. The point is, we are all different body types. Like I've said to my mom and other people who've learned my weight (as I tend to be dead honest about it), just because two people are the same height and sex doesn't mean they were meant to be the same weight. That's the problem with BMI and I really had to overcome that. I have an incredibly light but compact frame. 5 pounds on me looks like 10 on another. So when you see before and after photos from when I was at my lowest and now it's night and day. 95 looks much different on me than, say, on someone who is meant to be 110. That's skeletal for them; you see "I need about 2 more pounds" on me. So, you have a different frame than me. One that can handle a little more weight. NOT meant to be under triples and that always makes me a little envious because I'd like to be able to know what's it's like to keep my butt in the seat on the roller coaster the whole time. But, we all want the same thing: to be the best us. And I'm pretty proud of you for losing those 16 pounds. Mind sharing them. HA HA.
  25. I'm very skeptical about the macros tracking considering I have the disordered eating. I would like to gain about 4 or 5 more pounds putting me at 100 even, but tracking macros could be my undoing so it's been a huge debate for me. I've gone back and forth on it for a good month or two. It's been swirling around in my head, but I can't decide whether to commit or not. >.>