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Posts posted by PeterD1993

  1. Right on I can relate.  Drinking in college is practically unavoidable. I just found this trend called 'beer yoga'...  I find it hilarious and if I didn't get sober I would definitely be willing to participate.  However, I also find it somewhat dissapointing and even a bit frightening actually.  For example, imagine someone chugging a beer while in eagle pose and then balancing the empty bottle on his or her head..  I mean, I don't know.  What do you guys think of the 'beer yoga' trend?  

  2. But doesn't drinking more water simply solve that problem?  I wonder about the necessity of temperature as well.  Raising the temperature of the room will surely make heavy sweating more likely to occur and possibly dehydration or fainting.  Where as, a heavily packed class that is unheated may produce a similar effect although not nearly as severe.  And in a small class one may need generate a lot of internal heat through pranayama and more vigorous flows to even break a sweat.  It is intriguing to look at anothers point of view on such a paradigm in yoga.

  3. Per haps the western mind set seems to view progression in yoga from begginer to intermediate to advanced.  If so, then yes you might associate this progression with the type of asana you can perform.  When I first started yoga, I considered arm balances to be advanced poses.  However, now I would consider crow to be a beginning level arm balance and grasshopper to be an advanced one.  However, having this mentality of viewing the asanas you can perform as defining what level you may not be completely relevant when anatomy is taken into consideration.  The head teacher at my yoga studio put it this way: beginners rest in child's pose, after that you rest in down dog, and then finally you rest in handstand.  However, just because you can rest in handstand does not mean that you should not rest in child's pose.  This mentality can also be applied to when you begin and end your practice in meditation: beginners sit in a comfortable seat such as sukhasana, intermediates would perhaps sit in virasana, and then padmasana is the supreme pose.  However, you may come to class and feel that you have to sit in sukhasana, but by the end of the practice you may be able to sit in padmasana comfortably.  

        Perhaps a better way to view progression is from the beginning stage(arambha avastha) to the vessel stage(ghata avastha) to increase stage(parichaya avastha) and then to the consummation stage(nispattia avastha).  In the beginning stage one is first becoming familiar with ones body and asanas.  In the vessel stage one explores how qualities of the mind are affected by changes in the body, refining the vessel that contains the body through awareness of breathe, sound, sensations, etc.  In the increase stage we find more integtegration between the body and mind and explore the embodiment of conciousness.  Finally in the consummation stage we enter a state of bliss where the distinction of body and conciousness dissipates as we begin to experience life as a sort of moving meditation with the body, breath, and mind being fully integrated in order to become one with our soul!

  4. That is bizzarre.  Yoga helped stabilize my weight because I had high cholesterol.  Yoga is supposed to make your muscles more dense and keep your body from holding on to fat tissues.  You might want to look into refining your practice to fit you better.  Are you engaging bandhas correctly, specifically uddiyana? What is your pranayama like?  Maybe there are certain asanas that you should do more or less of?

  5. Sitting/concentration meditation is crucial man.  It is completely natural to have negative reactions to it.  Therefore, the key is to train and require the mind to have positive reactions to it.  Padmasana is considered by to be the supreme sitting position.  As for practicing yoga everyday, if that's what you really want to do I don't want to get in the way.  But, many yogis traditionally practiced asana 6 times a week ideally and typically rested during full/new moons in addition.  The fifth Yama is aparigraha and I'll end my two cents.  But it's all up to you to make your own decisions and experience your soul path. 

  6. The only poses, that I can think of, where I need to be mindful of my pelvis are locust and bow.  Otherwise, I can't think of any other asana that would require a teacher to worry about inflicting discomfort to that region.  Of course, a teacher should avoid toching that particular area when providing adjustments because that would be inappropriate, quite obviously, and could also directly cause discomfort.  

  7. Wow thank you.  I had no idea that sweat may be considered, by some, to be a vital fluid, per se.  I wonder how prevalent this is?  I figured that it was common knowledge that sweat does release toxins from the body?  If not then is it unhealthy to use a sauna or steam room?

  8.      One paradigm that I am curious about is sweating.  What is your view on this matter?  I find that sweating in practice has benefits and drawbacks.  This might be stating obvious information to some, but sweating is great for your health because it serves as an outlet for our bodies to detoxify.  However, the detoxification process can produce noxious body odors.  In addition, a sweaty mat can become rather slippery; this can escalate from irritating to dangerous for yourself and neighbors as well.  

         Perhaps sweating is a fundamental paradigm in yoga that can not be dismissed.  Sweating may quite possibly be the most tangible process of purification that the human body, mind, and soul can experience.  Per haps that is why the hot yoga studios are becoming so abundant, in California at least.  I used to practice at a CorePower Yoga studio and my sweating was so outrageous that I would often have to momentarily exit the class to drink some water and cool down.  Also, my mat and towels would become so drenched that they would need to be washed immediately after practice.

         But the thing about hot yoga studios is that sweating is expected so showers, at CorePower at least, are readily available.  However, showers are not equipped at many studios, at least in the community that I reside in currently.  In addition, cleanliness is considered basic class etiquette: students are encouraged to wash their body or freshen up before coming to class and strong body odors can make it difficult for other students to focus on their practice.  Having practiced, in a hot studio for so long I was not aware that this etiquette existed.  Also practicing at a studio that lacks the privilege of having accessible showers on deck doesn't help because that means that I have to drive home all smelly.  So therefore, what is the point of taking a shower before class if I'm going to have to raise my water bill again when I get home? 

         However, I have only been practicing for a little over eighteen months.  So now that I am becoming a more seasoned yogi I have foundany practices to lack sweatiness.  Per haps, the amount of sweat produced is related to the amount of steadiness and ease in the practice.  This can go in both directions because one may need a lot of steadiness and ease to evade oversweating in a packed class or to generate sufficient internal heat to let go and break a sweat when a class is not very vigorous or is nearly a no-show.  Nonetheless, I have found sweating to trigger samadhi or frustration for myself or others.  And although it may feel good to make it through a class sweat, is a class even worth the money if you don't sweat?  

        However, I am curious as to how other yogis view and experience sweating in yoga.  How about in regards to other people sweating? Taking into consideration that men sweat more than women, but more women practice yoga in the United States than men.  What is your honest opinion?  Have you ever been offended by another students  sweating and body odor?  How did that experience make you feel?  Are there any other paradigms in yoga that you would like to discuss?

  9. I live with housemates who smoke, drink, and are very messy.   I have found it difficult to establish boundaries with them but that has reinforced the notion that I am powerless over other people.  It can be challenging to deal with a messy house because it should be treated as a sacred space via shaucha.  I should step up to the plate and clean up after them, in theory, but that undermines the equity of each housemate.  Therefore, I am not willing to belittle my ego by cleaning up after my housemates, although my inaction is impeding into my practice off the mat.  I also try not to impose my values upon them, out of respect for differing paradigms.  But I will hastily  make sure that they clean up after themselves immediately if they use any of my belongings or leave stuff on my furniture. Yet if I see unwashed dishes or food laying on their furniture I will not touch it or say anything about it because I do not deem it part of my responsibility despite the fact that we live in the same microenvironment.  For the first month of living with them I would get very bitter about messes but now I try to be more compassionate and understanding.

    On the other hand, I used to accompany my housemates while they drank alcoholic beverages and smoked(marijuana/tobacco).  I would be compassionate and nonjudgmental about their substance abuse habits because I used to partake in that lifestyle throughout high school and college.  However, it has recently come to fruition that I do not want to be around that sort of behavior(especially smoking because carbon monoxide restricts oxygen uptake).  Thus, I will sometimes isolate myself in my room to avoid their energy.  This is more so out of discernment for my well being then on judgement For their behavior.  They are not yogi so it is my duty to acknowledge their perspective compassionately.  I do not force yoga philosophy down their throats or tell them how to behave unless they encroach upon my personal boundaries.  I am not trying to say that my outlook is right or wrong, and that you should act accordingly to my current paradigm.  I am just merely sharing about how I personally deal with my non-yogi housemates.  This is for the intention of expressing the microcosm of where I am in my yoga practice. 


  10. There is a scale for which yoga classes can be rated: informed, effective, efficient, beautiful, and integrated.  One time I went to a 90 minute Power Vinyasa class for which there was a substitute teacher present.  I ended up being the only student to show up so I was like boo yah I'm getting a private lesson.  However the teacher appeared to be young, probably only a few years older than myself, and seemed to expect a bigger class turn out.  I expected to get sweaty so I took my shirt off, but as the class progressed it appeared that the teacher was not  informed that she was subbing for a Power Vinyasa class.  Thus, the most challenging pose was ardha kapotasana and I did not come close to breaking a sweat. Therefore the class was not effective for me.  Also the teacher seemed to feel uncomfortable and tried to make awkward conversation about tendons in the arches of the foot and her face was bright red.  Although this was unacceptable I remained polite and willing to continue.  The icing on the cake was that she made me sit through a 15 minute savasana with an audio of a loud gong ringing repeatedly.  The ringing of the gong became so unbearable that I had to sit up.  I should have complained.

  11. Usually I just go for a long childs pose.  Other times I lay down on my stomach.  Recently, I have decided that the best way to wait for class to begin is to meditate.  I think it's silly to see people already busting out headstands, arm balances, and even down dogs before the class begins.   

  12. The best way to learn the sequence is to take classes so that you can become familiar with the poses.  Working with a teacher is very important for beginners because they can monitor your alignment and offer adjustments to ensure that you are doing the poses effectively.  Try out some heated yoga classes first because the heat will help your muscles relax which improves flexibility.  Also heated yoga will cause you to sweat a lot which will detoxify your organs.  There are different options of heated yoga that include bikram, heated vinyasa, and even heated vinyasa with weights.  You might also want to check out restorative and yin yoga classes.  Yin yoga will help you activate deep tissues.  You should start practicing at least 3 times per week, and this may be an ideal number of days to practice with a weight training regime.  Other wise the maximum number of days you should practice yoga, specifically more vigorous methods, in a week should be 6 because it is very important to have a day dedicated to letting your body rest and expand.  

  13. I started practicing yoga while in rehab to correct my posture and as a supplemental excercise to weightlifting and cardio.  My practice followed me out of rehab and became my primary method of excercise.  As my practice continues to blossom it is becoming less of a physical activity and more of a philosophical/spiritual inquiry.  I attribute my sobriety (19 months and counting) to my yoga practice.  Perhaps I was destined to live the Yogi's life. Namaste!