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Everything posted by KateZena

  1. I currently do horseback riding (English Equitation mostly. I'm learning a little bit of dressage and starting to get into jumping), yoga, YouTube Krav Maga workouts, and walking my dog. When I do my horseback riding lessons at the NFP, I tack up and down and ride my horse. If you aren't familiar with tacking horses, it requires a lot of strength and endurance, especially if you have to groom them first, which I have to do with Kadena (the horse I ride) as she often isn't used in lessons before I come. The procedure often goes as thus: using a hoof pick to clean out debris in the hooves (you must get the horse to give you their feet first. You must hold the hoof in one hand, clean it with the pick in the other), with horses with large white areas such as Kadena - you need to use charcoal to lift any noticeable stains then use a curry brush to dig out dead fur, sand, dust, hay, etc. A hard brush then sweeps this debris away. This is followed by a soft brush to smooth the hair. A comb or hair brush is used to detangle the mane and tail (my favorite part.) That entails grooming. To tack, I put on a basic saddle blanket and even it, then a fleece saddle pad followed by the saddle, which weighs about 30 pounds (it's heavy.) The girth is strapped onto one side, I walk over to the other and strap it to the saddle on the other side, then tighten accordingly. Since Kadena wears a nose strap, I take off her harness, affix her bridle that way, then adjust my stirrup leathers, then I put her harness on her bridle hook and take her out to the arena to ride. It takes about 30 minutes. Good strength training. I also stretch out her legs before I ride her so she doesn't injure herself and stretch them after once I've got her tack off.
  2. Well, you said it yourself, you wouldn't want other people's religion [or political views or what not] pushed onto you, so don't push yoga onto them unless they ask about it. Everyone has their own way to cope with drama and stressful situations - some cope better than others. You do yoga. GREAT! Some tend to break down and cry, then pull themselves back together after a good cry. This is also healthy (though it doesn't look that way, it is healthy!) Some of us need to go furiously write and some of us have to go hoof it out on the sidewalk. Others need to talk to somebody. Some, like me, need to combine to really solve something fully. Some of us even need to scream at the top of our lungs in a locked closed room by ourselves and just get it all out. [Totally therapist approved, especially screaming into a pillow.] Unless they are truly endangering themselves by not eating properly (or eating excessively), drinking to the point of passing out, cutting or self-harming, harming you or others, or doing drugs [in which case, you need to tell the RA if you are at a dorm or a supervisor], it's not really your place to say, "Why not try yoga?" Go forth, get some noise-cancelling headphones if you need to, and keep conquering college.
  3. Auras are a little different for everyone! "Migraine with aura" simply means you have a cluster of symptoms that are known to happen before each migraine (I see a neurologist who specializes in migraines.) I have something called "migraine without aura" which means I often have migraines with little to no symptoms beforehand, although I can have them sometimes. When I do have aura, my neck typically hurts so bad that I feel like it can't support my head. I also tend to have numbness in one arm or hand. The first thing I do is take my migraine medication, then put an ice pack on my occipitals, over my eyes and a heating pad on my feet. That normally knocks those aura ones out fast.
  4. Don't we all have bad technique with squats? It's the little kids who can do them great (have you ever just watched them do them? It's like they can 500 of them and not be tired or in pain?) and then as we grow up we somehow lose the ability. I swear kids are made for squatting; us adults aren't. >.< No, no, I'll save my energy and do "horse squats." Less frustration compared to watching my nearly 3-year-old nephew mimic me and do it better.
  5. This is where I really want to tell you to just go on a horse and learn to post while trotting because doing a posting trot is basically squats, on a horse, at a moderate pace. The only difference is that while riding you don't feel like you are working hard on flexibility, mobility and strength along the entire leg. This is why I can post for 30 minutes (which is easily over 100 squats) but I can't do 100 squats on the ground because the ground puts a lot of stress on the joints and I have cranky knees. However, you may want to check if you are doing your hips and ankles a favor by seeing if you have all of your limbs moving at their best. When I do squatting at home (because yes, I do work on it at home), I make sure to have my feet in the right position because having your feet not in the right place will limit the knees (and knees being cranky means hips will hurt and that's just not fun, right?) This is a great article that explains what you may be doing wrong on your ground ("normal") squats. If you are still finding yourself tight, hip openers! http://reembody.me/read-this-before-you-do-another-squat-then-do-several-after/
  6. We all have different breathing patterns, but if you feel you aren't maximizing your breathing or your breathing is causing you to be breathless or fatigued, I would see an allergist just to rule out you don't have asthma or allergies that could be hindering your ability to breathe to the best of your ability. I started singing at age 4 in a choir, so I learned how to breathe by using my diaphragm (which is also used in yoga), not my shoulders. Because of this, I don't hitch or stop in the middle of sentences like many people do. I just naturally breathe in and out of my diaphragm now. A helpful technique is shown in this video. You breathe in through the nose for so many counts, hold for so many, than exhale. You let out the rest in a big whoosh of air before repeating. This is called breath control and is the foundation for any form of singing. If you can't control your breathing, you can't sing effectively. This also has helped me in yoga (I can't ever follow Candace when she counts because she has a different counting scheme.) and when I am riding horses as I inevitably forget to breathe. There are many other forms of developing breath control through breathing drills, singing drills, even those things called tongue twisters. My most hated tongue twister is "Unique New York." I STILL have issues trying to say it three times without screwing up and not breathing.
  7. I do want to stress that in any sport, there is risk of injury. No sport is risk-free. I've injured myself in yoga a few times, more than I have horseback riding. It's why I'm particularly careful when I do yoga as I'm easily prone to bruises and injury (I know, everyone finds this funny. I do a particularly high-risk sport, but get more injuries doing yoga than horseback riding.) On the same wavelength as @Anahata, if you love horses, you can look into a equestrian yoga retreat or lessons if you'd like.
  8. Youtube. Often I have an idea, like I want something more elegant - so ballet - so I'll look for more ballet-based workouts. Pilates? Pilates. Youtube has really become a hub where if you want to try something, you can, and you can look like an idiot in your own house. LOL. I do a lot of cardio-based HIIT pilates from BeFit because I don't get bored easily. It keeps me on my toes. BeFit has a little of everything: ballroom inspired workouts, hip hop inspired, pilates/yoga HIIT, krav maga defense inspired workout (I want to try that one now that I've seen it!), crossfit inspired...basically, you will find something to satisfy you.
  9. @mffirelog I have to say, I totally know how you feel because this bugged me. I had terribly tight, my knees-are-two-feet-off-the-floor in cobbler's pose tight hips. Now, I have a bit of a faster path compared to you - I also do horseback riding for therapy, which is a sport known for opening and relaxing the hips and the entire leg system and slowly strengthening. It's generally a good sport for strengthening and lengthening of the body. It doesn't mean that sport alone helps me. I still get told I need to practice more to get more strength and flexibility. This is where yoga and my other supports come in. I don't do just hip openers. If you must understand anything, understand this - your body is a system and all of those systems connect together. Just focusing on your hips won't fix your hips. Tight hips are normally the result of tight hamstrings, a weak core, a weak lower back and weak feet. How does this all happen? You 1. sit too much and improperly, 2. walk improperly, 3. exercise inefficiently. One of the things I've had to relearn is sitting and standing the proper, textbook definition - not the society definition. That was the first thing my massage therapist did when I stood up and came out dressed. She forced me into standing straight. I relearned sitting straight from horseback riding (you really learn how inefficient you are when you learn how poorly you sit, much less walk.) I relearned walking naturally from all the riding I did; my boots are reinforced at the heel, and I am a natural toe-heel walker. Take a video of how you walk. If you walk a bit pigeon-toed like I can, switch your shoes around, so your right is wearing your left and vice versa around the house. It corrects that. Patience is going to be your virtue here. Switch it up. If you find lack of strength in your arms, do strength with light weights one day and not yoga. The strength training works in conjunction to the yoga. Do maybe an all legs yoga video at home the next (which are by far my favorite.) Core the next. You'll find more improvement working on the whole system rather than just a part of the system. It's taken me two years, but I can finally touch the top of my feet when I do a simple fold, my knees hover just a few inches above the ground in cobbler's pose and mere centimeters apart in fire log. I'm still a good few inches above the ground in half pigeon, but I'm working on it. You cannot be the hare here, but the tortoise.
  10. This is one of my issues with my disordered eating that I work on. One of the things my therapist and I have developed, especially as she does yoga as well, is to switch my pose to something more body friendly and one of strength (say, one of the Warrior poses or Tree) and then bring myself back to my intention, saying it out loud. It can be just under my breath, whispering it or saying it with intention as I practice at home. It breaks the cycle of thought and brings me back to why I am doing what I am doing - to be at peace with my body. I have the tendency to fixate, so by physically taking myself out, I break the fixation. Hopefully that helps a little.
  11. This where I'm a little weak because I've gotten a little lazy on the yoga (I got in a bad place and my yoga suffered a bit.) When I did yoga everyday though, I often picked what I felt like doing though. Some people do best with scheduling certain things for certain days, but I often get cranky and start hating my exercise when I do that. If my body feels like it wants legs, I do legs. Flexibility, it's a flexibility day. Core? CORE! Need a hatha day; well, I do a hatha day. I feel like everyone is a little different in this aspect. If you need a regimen, do a regimen. If you are more the, "This will be the balm for my soul" person, be that person.
  12. This answer is very individualized. For some former addicts, yoga is a great answer. For others, it's too passive or isolating. Now, I want to get one thing clear, substance abuse or dependence is a mental illness of sorts. It is listed in the DSM, so that means you will never fully "remove" it. Rather, it's a journey of sobriety or, in my case, a journey of seeing food as something not to take my emotions out on (thus, an enemy), but as nourishment and a friend. What I can suggest is look at things you are passionate about and find something that gets you out and about with that in mind. Something that provides positive experiences with positive people. For me, I started out doing therapeutic horse lessons because I needed the help putting myself together; I had lost my grandmother and my favorite great-aunt and it tore me apart. It was part of a larger whole that caused me to develop disordered eating, which I still am trying to harness (I had a recent setback), but the horses became a refuge for me. I was surrounded by animals larger than me who provided endless comfort and by positive people who weren't afraid to teach me when I started to ask how to put the horse I used away, how to brush him, etc. That's how I moved slowly to volunteering. I found very patient, very positive people with patient animals. If you aren't in some form of therapy, I also suggest that. Having someone to talk to that won't judge you will help you too. They can help you further and help you identify passions. I wouldn't have thought of volunteering at my NFP if my psychologist hadn't suggested it. I do yoga, but it's not my main form of distraction. I journal, crochet, paint (or attempt to), ride horses, go on walks with my dog if it's nice, take photos...I really like distraction that allows me to also find artistry. That's where my passions lie, in artistry. Find yours.
  13. I get overwhelmed easily due to autism, so this is one of those reasons I haven't stepped into a gym to try yoga because one of my coping mechanisms when I'm overwhelmed is I put in ear plugs. There's no not seeing them as they are bright orange as they are wax ear plugs for children (and they don't come in clear!) I'm very picky with music volume as it has to be low or I just get overwhelmed. I prefer silence because I have to concentrate due to how clumsy I am. I have to think or I fall. That's one of the blessings of practice at home I think. I pick what I want. I don't have perfect silence as usually my dog, Zena, is snoring on my bed (I recently got a Sleep Number and I think she likes it more than I do) but it's sound I can deal with. If I fall, I can laugh at myself, right?
  14. @yogancupcake38 Are you also getting psychiatric help? At this point, you may need to look at some psychiatric help. I know not everyone wants to go to medicine, but you've been struggling for quite a while and may have a chemical imbalance, which can't be fixed with exercise or therapy alone. You might feel a tiny bit better, but the depression still runs your life. Everyone is different, but short-term medication can help get your body out of the depression mood. There are people with chronic depression that need the medication for life, but the first step is just talking to a psychiatrist (not a psychologist) about your all of this (just make sure you find a reputable one.)
  15. @yogancupcake38 I have a feeling just doing yoga isn't going to help you. I would suggest seeking psychology or even seeing a psychiatrist. I say this as someone who suffers from on and off depression and I have extreme social anxiety from autism. If you've had it that long, you really should see someone.There's no shame in it, as much as society likes to put shame on it. Yoga will certainly help you center yourself and calm yourself, but it's not a cure-all, especially for depression. Hip openers can be intense, and you need to be willing to accept those emotions that come out. That's the give and take of hip openers. Because you block off emotions, you will only dig a deeper hole for yourself doing hip openers.
  16. If you plan on making roller derby a regular activity, you should seriously consider getting custom made wrist guards and see if you can get them extended past the wrist with comfortable palm support. Or, really research the guards available. As far as I know, you don't have to use roller derby wrist guards in roller derby. I have heard people using those used in boxing or karate, which extend past the wrist and are more flexible in the palm. I would suggest seeing a physical therapist because they would know best for your situation. The wrist is a very delicate, yet important set of bones. I was given ice therapy and an insane set of exercises to strengthen and lengthen them (and those exercises hurt like a you-know-what.) You may be given something else. You don't want to do exercises like mine if you may have something different.
  17. I had to laugh and grimace @LarryD517's comment because I can see why you think that. Men and women do live different lives. I think if that were the case, having any doctor - whether our OB/GYN or an emergency doc - looking down there for an exam wouldn't be nearly as troubling for us women. For so many, it brings so. much. anxiety. We can really love our gynecologists and still get so anxious when our gynecologist needs to examine those parts. I think so much of it is culture. We barraged with messages that being a girl is shameful; having periods is shameful. So, yoga exercises dealing with the hips and groin really bring out those feelings of shame and anxiety for women. I had a very unique upbringing where I had one part of my family that made all of that womanly stuff a bit under the rug and the other side made it very positive and it was literally a celebration. It was spliced. So, when I got that womanly stuff, I had no idea what I should be - shamed? Happy? This twisted mentality toward those things shows in my hip movements in yoga. I'll be content and happy in certain hip openers like the pigeon, but I'll be extremely distressed in something like doing the log pose. I become very uncomfortable, anxious....that shame comes out. It's something I need to help with my horseback lessons, but I try to keep it short and lighthearted and then do something I love, like pigeon or even something even happier to me - swan arms (totally a ballet thing, but they make me smile.) And I've definitely dealt with what @Robbie deals with when I'm done with yoga, an intense massage or horseback riding - extremely calm then I'll snap at the first person who talks to me or if my dog trips me. Snap once and I'm back to normal.
  18. This is actually an interesting thread because, man, did I fight to get my first tattoo. I grew up not really wanting tattoos. Catholics don't get tattoos. It's against our religion, so to speak. I always thought many were beautiful, as tattoos are often an art of their own, but I never longed for one...until my grandmother died. Then I thought about one, a small one behind my right ear emblazoned with the word "strength." I fought for it for three days and I won and so there it is, behind my right ear in black ink, the word "Strength" - a simple reminder to find strength in myself and others and an homage to someone who had more strength than even I knew. I have two more. I have four horseshoes on my left forearm and a dog dressed up at Batgirl on my right forearm. They are tributes to two other traumas in my life. Tattoos for me are a way of presenting trauma as healing art. My grams used to be called the "stubborn old goat" which I've since inherited (being even more stubborn), so I'd like to find a way to pay homage to that. For tattoos with cultural significance like "om," I would do some research like this blogger suggests: https://thelostyak.com/2012/04/21/how-not-to-tattoo-a-tibetan-mantra/
  19. I sit at my desk at home a lot and have really bad hips and I use an exercise ball that's a tiny bit lower than my desk (it's slightly annoying. I should get a bigger one) when my hips or low back really get gnarly. I keep the exercise ball tucked under my desk so I switch between a chair and exercise ball. Also, don't be afraid (if you wear pants at work) to sit cross-legged or fire-log on your chair. I do it all of the time! I'm very pro-exercise ball. I love mine. I bounce on mine and type at the same time. Or roll my hips out. Work on my seat for horseback riding. I also use it to roll out my back....I really love my ball.
  20. I would talk to your doctor, but I would assume the answer is no. Because Kunjal Kriya involves vomiting it can, in fact, make your GERD worse (we're a family that suffers from GERD and acid reflux here.) Did you tell the person doing your endoscopy you do this? One of the things people don't realize is that no matter how you vomit, you actually vomit stomach acid no matter what, even if you think it's just water. Stomach acid is the most corrosive acid of the body.
  21. @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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. @HGB Always willing to reveal the little secrets.
  25. @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