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  1. Memphisyoga liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in For those who practice at home   
    At first I tried to alternate more active days with days of a more restorative practice, but it felt too vague, like I wasn't getting the most out of my practice. Then I found this site and followed Candace's yoga programs for a while and it worked beautifully.
    However, for the past few months I've come up with a schedule to help me plan my practice, so I don't have to think too hard about which video to follow. Mondays are heart opening days, Tuesdays are ashtanga/power yoga days, Wednesdays are about deep backbending. Thursdays are about shoulders and forearm balance preparation while Fridays are hip opening days. Saturdays are for focusing on foot balances and Sundays are my wildcard day.
    Of course, flexibility is allowed and it all comes down to how I feel when I step on the mat, but it feels nice to have this structure for fall back into.
  2. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by yogafire in Yoga as a smaller person   
    I'm 5'2" with a small frame, so I look bony in some areas. I do notice my lack of upper body strength when trying to do arm balances in my practice (still can't hold crow). But it's ok, it's good to have challenges. I enjoy doing binds, which is a body type advantage.
    I think bodyweight exercises are good for building strength for small sizes.  At this stage push ups are very effective. I still do modified push ups on my knees, so don't feel like you have to do everything full blown like in videos. You can do them more slowly (harder actually) to make sure your form is good. You can also try filming yourself to check your form after the fact, too.  Candace had some HIIT workout videos that might give you some ideas (burpees are fun, but make sure to check out modified versions to start off with in which you just jump to plank).
    Edit: strength can be unseen to the naked eye, so it may not look like you are getting toned, but yoga on its own will keep building up your core strength and balance.  So I am not visually making as much progress in my arm balances as I mentioned, but my studio teachers have commented on how much stronger my forearm stand and handstands are now, which I am doing against the wall with more control than before.  It's all relative and can be hard to see externally - enjoy the journey!
  3. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by akkie58 in Yoga as a smaller person   
    Hello all,
    Let me start off by saying that I don't have many friends or personal resources who understand a lot about yoga, or else I would've had a very in-depth and focused conversation rather than this. I am also newer to the yoga practice, I have tried it multiple times, but never fully committed to a structured schedule or routine. And, since this is the best resource I have found so far, I figured I would share my thoughts here in this forum.
    I am a small person both in stature (about 5'1) and in overall build. Many times I have been told that I look "fragile" (even though I don't feel it) and there have been multiple occasions where people have hugged me rather delicately as if they were going to break me. I am still a strong person despite this, and I know that even though I am small, and consequently don't necessarily need to lose weight, I still want to be toned and fit. 
    I burn most of my calories through running, and I have considered many other methods of exercise and getting fit, but I have problems with many of them. I have considered weight lifting, however, I do not really have the money to pay for a good lifting trainer (I have to save money to pay off college debt and other "wonderful" college expenses), and I don't want to lift without a trainer at the risk of injuring myself because of uncertainty in the practice. Furthermore, I don't particularly enjoy doing fast-paced exercise training videos with quick movements, as I easily get distracted and/or bored and lose focus on what I'm doing. I am also competitive and enjoy team sports, and as a result, I played college soccer for one year. However, I didn't get much out of it (due to the fact that I am a goalkeeper and coaches apparently don't pay much attention to 5'1 goalkeepers). I am planning to continue playing soccer for adult leagues and intramural organizations in my area, however, this is still too loose of a structure for the type of fitness I am looking for. 
    The main point I'm getting at is that I haven't found an exercise routine that really fits with my lifestyle and how I want to feel from a physical standpoint. I am a small person, and I truly take pride in this, but like many other people, I want to stay fit and toned. I want to become stronger, and most importantly, I want to adapt to my small body size and use my size to my advantage to become a more fit and healthy individual -- to the best of my abilities. 
    I feel like yoga is the best way for me to do accomplish my above goals, however, I would love to hear any of your opinions as well. I want to incorporate this practice into my daily life, but I do not necessarily know how, or where to begin if I choose to do so. 
    If anybody has similar experiences or ideas, feel free to share as well; I am open to hearing anything, I just would love a little input from an actual yoga community.
  4. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Anahata in Doing yoga with a foot injury   
    If you don't have much medical help it is difficult, you can look on the internet. But have to be careful with that, it has to be a reliable source and only stating facts. You can see this one from the Mayo Clinic. They wrote the same as we wrote here. But it is good to look there for reassurance. It is important for the doctor to actually see a person. And also give medical treatment to the person as an individual.
    A broken toe is not too bad. Just have to give it time to heal. With most fractures any movement that causes pain is bad. It is a sign that the fracture is under stress. And you wrote you were careful about that so you are doing good. 
  5. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Anahata in Doing yoga with a foot injury   
    That's difficult when we have something happen and can't do what we are used to. With a fracture if it is stressed it won't heal. It is most important to not disrupt the healing process. The next part is to try and make healing conditions as favorable as possible. That is promoting blood flow to the area, gentle exercises that do not stress the fracture. What ever you are allowed to do from your medical instructions. Inversions are really good for foot injuries, maybe legs up the wall. At some point they should give you instructions to start using the toe more but not at full use yet. When it is time the partial use will improve healing as well. Follow your medical instructions.
    Understand what is the best to heal the injury as quickly as possible and make that intention your yoga for now.
  6. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Jhocy in What Are The Poses You Like The Least?   
    Any pose that does not allow me to go anywhere near that pose.  Did that make sense?  Maybe not, let me explain.
    I am a size 18 (UK) with a 42 inch waist, big birthing hips, thighs that can start a forest fire and I weigh 88 kilograms.  I can do downward dog and chaturanga and chair pose and tree pose, even warriors without much problem, but once you try to get me to hold child's pose for 5 breaths or do a head-to-knee forward bend or stand in eagle pose and I just break down.
    My big belly and thighs and bingo arms just won't let me reach and twist and fold and bend properly.  My arms don't twist correctly in eagle pose so I stand there looking really lame with one arm above the other and nothing else.  My bum sits up in the air in child's pose so I try to do a modified version with my legs wider apart but I feel that I am not getting the full benefit of the pose because I am somehow cheating.
    I loathe sitting forward bends because I cannot tuck my belly fat somewhere else to do the pose properly.  I always feel like a fraud when everyone else around me are turning into human pretzels!
  7. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by KateZena in Inner thigh flexibility   
    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.
  8. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by YogaByCandace in New! Should I take a class?   
    I loved reading your background! What I noticed again and again throughout your post, though, is that it sounds like you're so hard on yourself. Stop that, my friend! Yeah, your progress was slow, but who cares?! You birthed a HUMAN! That's a superpower right there! You're unreal, and I know your old CF fam would agree. So, moving forward, no more of that "I can't" stuff  ...although, I totally hear you about irrational anxiety. I get inexplicable anxiety whenever I have to drop into a CF box. I can snatch, clean, DL, do dubs, boxjumps but no matter what I always go into the box with my heart racing, anxiety through the roof and near tears. I DON'T KNOW WHY! I can do nearly all the movements (hello muscle ups, I'm coming for you one day!), but it doesn't matter - I fa-reak out for no reason. No reason! Never once has anyone at a box done anything to make me feel like I don't belong, yet I'm my own worst enemy with this anxiety...and then by the time the wod comes around, I can barely get through it because the anxiety has pretty much gassed me! Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I get the whole irrational anxiety thing. 100%. 
    Here's what you'll get if you go to a real, live class with an awesome instructor: 
    you'll have someone right there to help you with alignment issues. think about this advantage in terms of CF. If you had a home gym and were to do a wod, that'd be fine, but how much better would it be to have a coach right there to make sure your oly lifts are on point?  over time (unless the studio is the bomb dot com), you'll find a sense of community much like you had at CF. the mindfulness aspect of it is unbeatable, and when you're a newbie, I think it's easier to tap into the mindfulness aspect when you're with a group rather than on your own (but that's just me) If I were you, I would identify some goals with what you want to accomplish with yoga. If you're looking to build strength, take a power yoga class. Power yoga is often a little bit slower than a vinyasa class and you'll hold poses to build up a bit of a burn before moving on. If you're looking to build flexibility, I would suggest a yin class. Yin is very, very slow (you might do 6 poses in one hour) and has you using props to support yourself. There is very little effort involved. It is extremely relaxing, excellent for anxiety and fantastic for developing flexibility. 
    Another thing you might want to do is learn the basics (although to be honest, it sounds like you probably already know the basics) but do a few yoga videos online. You're totally right - my classes are a bit more advanced than Adriane's (love her, though!), so you could do a few power yoga, no-mat yoga, vinyasa yoga (just google 'yogabycandace no-mat yoga' or 'yogabycandace vinyasa' and a bunch of options will come up or you can download our free app (just search yogabycandace - no spaces - in the app store) and all our videos are up there. If you were to do a bunch of my power or vinyasa videos, I would say that you would be well prepared to take an in-person, faster paced class anywhere and not have to worry about not knowing what you're doing.
    Bottom line: get rid of the idea that you suck right now. You don't. You're freaking awesome, and you have nothing to prove when you walk into that yoga class. Walk in with your head held high and your mind and heart open - you can't lose. (And let us know how it goes if you end up going!)
  9. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by KateZena in What can I do when a student doesn't want to do the class   
    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.
  10. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by KateZena in Sin or not   
    That's an interesting question. It depends on your beliefs. The better question is, "Should Christians practice yoga?" And that question is deeply personal and that is a conversation you should have with yourself. As a Catholic, I've had the conversation and basically said, "It's more a conversation with God." I don't use Hatha beads when I meditate if I meditate out of the shower; I use a rosary instead. 
    However, if you are curious and wish to have more to think upon, here are two articles answering "Should Christians practice yoga?":
    The Catholic Answers Magazine says "Up to a point": http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/the-trouble-with-yoga
    CARM (Christians Apologetics & Research Ministry) says "No": https://carm.org/should-christians-practice-yoga
  11. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by LarryD517 in Candace's Namaslay highlighted at Yoga Journal   
    Read more at Yoga Journal
  12. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in lacking upper body strength   
    you've no idea how much your comment cheered me up. Glad to hear you found my experience useful :)
  13. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by yogafire in lacking upper body strength   
    Hildegard, I want to practice with you!  
    It's been hard to appreciate those "milliseconds" - feeling that lightness, no matter how brief, is amazing on its own.  Now I can appreciate it as progress without achieving the full pose yet. 
  14. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in lacking upper body strength   
    It's not an uncommon situation at all. I've found that focusing more in my core rather than my arms has helped me with my arm balances. Making sure my body is stable means that my arms don't have to do extra work in that kind of asanas. It also means that when I fall it'll happen in a controlled way, which is good for my body and my ego. I've also found it helpful to make sure my alignment is always right. My chaturangas were a disaster until I realised that the placement of my hands and the orientation of my elbows was all wrong. Now the pose comes naturally to me.
    What has also worked for me is to incorporate more advanced arm balances into my practice, even though I'm aware the full expression of the pose is not going to happen in the near future. For example, I like to do my very limited version of astavakrasana toward the end of my practice a few times a week. I can lift my legs and sort of hold the pose for a millisecond before I hit the mat. I also like to do a few mini push ups when I'm in wheel pose.
    I don't like to insist too much with a pose that's not working for me at any given moment. I've found that when I get too obsessed with an asana my brain will block, which in turn will block my body. It's best to try a variety of poses.
  15. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by yogafire in lacking upper body strength   
    Don't worry, you're not alone!  I am actually quite pleased how strong our legs have gotten from yoga, too. I think classes do focus on legs a lot to stretch out our hip flexors because most of us sit and work all day. I used to have some knee issues when I walked, but building up my quad strength in those deep lunges have helped.  
    Anyway, I've been practicing for 5 years and still can't do bakasana let alone any "more advanced arm balances". But, I did find myself closest to holding it when we practiced "turbo dogs" instead of downward dog each time we did a vinyasa.  It forces you to squeeze your elbows together like holding a beach ball between your forearms. That engages the serratus anterior muscles (armpit muscles), which create a more stable "shelf" for arm balances.  
    And I completely relate - if there are a lot of vinyasas in a class, I do modified chaturangas and low cobra since my chest gets tired, to prevent my wrists getting worn out, and so I don't get tired and lose my form. I think the nice thing about yoga is getting to know your body better, and each day is different.
    For inversions, I found myself able to do headstand after building more core strength, but, I am working on forearm stand to build those same armpit muscles.  Working on dolphin has been helping me, after I get over the agony of holding it for more than a minute.  I like to clasp my hands together in dolphin since my wrists are weak. Do you already do downward dog or forearm against the wall?  When you form the proper right angle, it actually requires more strength building to hold it against the wall than it is to balance against the wall.
    Oh, and you might find other forum members' inputs helpful on arm balances in these other threads. Anahata and AnaTeresa provided some pretty good links on core strength:
    Watching Candace's 30 min strength and flexibility video helped Jasmine with her arm balances!
  16. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Anahata in Fun poses that aren't impossible   
    Larry, Do you know Garbha Pindasana? The one where everyone rolls around in a circle. This video has the modification to get started.
  17. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by YogaByCandace in Fun poses that aren't impossible   
    I think 8 angle pose is another one that is easier than it looks: 
  18. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by KateZena in ADD and yoga   
    @Hildegard I love bullet journaling. Mine is a bullet + scrapbook kind of a deal. I put ticket stubs, pretty flowers I've dried, interesting bits of articles (or I just end up stapling the whole article in the case of my NFP getting into the New York Times!) and other neat diddies in mine. Mine is really the representation of my brain. Wandering, full of pretty things, yet somehow organized.
  19. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by KateZena in Yoga and eating disorders   
    @Hildegard Thank you. It's been hard but I keep on trucking. I'm still really anxious about going through my closet and trying things on to see if they still fit. I know there are definitely things that won't, some of those things may be things that I really love and won't be able to transform into something else that would fit me like a skirt (if it's a dress), but I know I'll have to face that. So stressful.
  20. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by kdemps in ADD and yoga   
    Thank you for posting this question! Your story seems so similar to mine--I was diagnosed with ADD a few months ago, and have noticed marked improvement with a low dosage (10 mg 2x/day) of medication. I haven't found anything that's really helped my practice other than that; however, I'm hoping that the coping mechanisms I'm (slowly) developing to help deal with my ADD in my "regular" life will help me to be more focused on the mat as well. If I do find anything helpful, I'll come back and share it.
    I did recently make a mala as a way to hopefully help me focus during meditation. It's been helpful, but not a total fix. 
    (As a side note, if you have an iPhone, the app "Productive" has been a godsend for me.)
  21. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by afriske in ADD and yoga   
    I'm not a psychologist (yet!) or a doctor, but perhaps some mindfulness meditations would help, because it helps you stay focused in the present moment. You could focus on observing something in your environment or observing your breath.
    I think also maybe some balancing practices might be useful because they help you stay grounded and centered in the moment. Maybe try Candace's blindfolded practice?
  22. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by KateZena in Yoga and eating disorders   
    I keep forgetting to update to put this, but I thought you guys would like to see a physical picture of how much I've changed over the past year and 3 months. This all from going to therapy (I was doing trauma therapy really for the first six months before stepping down gradually), yoga and the horse lessons. The first picture was me near my absolute lowest weight ever, the middle is about half way there, and the one on the right was taken on Friday. I don't go on a scale often (I try to limit it to once every two weeks so I don't obsess), but Friday is me back to my original weight from 2 years ago. You can see most of the change in my face and arms.

  23. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by KateZena in ADD and yoga   
    @Hildegard My story mimics a lot of people with Autism in the 80s/90s. I was originally diagnosed when I was 3.5 years old as "moderate Autism with mild to moderate mental retardation." My mom laughed in his face and stormed out. My regular doctor, at the time, threw the diagnosis out and gave me the diagnosis of ADD, thus prescribing Ritalin (which did nothing except make me a little more temperamental.) I was taken off Ritalin when I was eight and I was put on a strong mood stabilizer when I was 10 called Lithobid which made me either a robot or a monster. I was put on many SSRIs too, but it was being put off the Lithobid (which is actually toxic to your system) and staying on my NSRI (called Cymbalta) that made me (as my mom puts it) "human." I'm on a "mood stabilizer" now, but it's for my seizures/migraines. It doesn't really affect me as a person. I was rediagnosed with HF Autism when I was 22 from the Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health (now Amita Health.) The testing took eight grueling hours. So, ADD/HF Autism (Aspies) misinterpretation is something I'm pretty familiar with.
    Have you ever tried playing games to memorize things? My short term memory is a bunch of crap (you can't make me remember an appointment for crap, but I can remember a conversation word-for-word from a year ago), so I have had to make up games to help memorize for tests. I've done jumping rope and taken the beat to a way to memorize or given every vocab word a picture and memorized them via picture. I'm very pictorial (I'm an image-based autistic) so basing anything on images helps but for math I need to set it to music or beats as math is hard to set to an image. A jumping rope, a rhythm you set to your feet that you can silently repeat to yourself when you're sitting doing your test, a song you'd never forget, hoofbeats....easy ways I've found to memorize without forgetting anything! Some people find that making your brain sort of a internal RPG and making each subject a level that your love and the questions/answers treasure boxes/items have helped (that's too much for me.)
  24. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in ADD and yoga   
    I believe this reaction comes from two places. First, reading lists of symptoms makes me wonder how no one noticed my ADD when I was a child, which would have saved me from countless stress and frustration. Sadly, back at the time, there was very little awareness of ADD in general, and most of it was focused on ADHD and how it presents on boys. It makes me wish I could go back in time, wave the checklists to my teachers and doctors and get a proper diagnosis decades ago. Secondly, I tend to have a hard time relating to anything that involves children. I avoid books or movies that have children as their protagonists because I just can't connect, almost as if they're an alien species.  It's a very weird, very visceral reaction.
    My neurologist has hinted at a possible Aspergers diagnosis for a variety of reasons (eye contact doesn't come naturally to me at all), but we haven't focused on that. Now that you mention that it tends to be misdiagnosed as ADD, it makes sense. Maybe my brain kind of blurs the lines, but it's definitely something I should look into more thoroughly. There are certainly things in the article you linked that ring a bell (lots of bells, an entire bell tower's worth) for me.
    I hadn't thought of fidget toys, but maybe I should go back to doodling. I definitely need help to stay focused. When I was in school teachers would always notice me doodling on the edges of my notebooks and call me on it, asking me to stop, because they were under the impression I wasn't paying attention when I was. On hindsight, the doodling allowed me to stay focused while the teacher repeated a point I was already clear on or was busy answering someone's questions.
    I'd like to thank you for your very thorough and helpful answer. I really appreciate the effort that went into it
  25. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by LarryD517 in ADD and yoga   
    From my experience with a friend as well as a co-worker who suffers, I can tell within ten seconds whether they took or missed their dosage. It's like night and day.
    I actually helped diagnose my co-worker. Within a week of when I started working with her, I pulled her aside and asked her if she had ADD. She said she didn't know. I found a doctor for her. In a few weeks she showed remarkable improvement.
    I'm happy that you've discovered something that, most likely, has been with you for a very long time