Hildegard

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  1. brenskip55 liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Moving between levels: Beginner to Intermediate   
    As @brenskip55 said, most styles of yoga don't have a defined list of which poses you must master before moving to the next level. For better or worse, it's a very nebulous zone and what one person might consider an advanced pose another can think of as intermediate. It can be very frustrating to be in that in-between zone, but at the same time it allows you to find your own pace and discover what you feel comfortable doing. It can be quite exhilarating to realise what you're capable of when you try a new class at a new level.
    Having said that, when you try an intermediate class I'd advice watching the entire video beforehand, especially if it's from an instructor you're not familiar with. I remember this online class marked as intermediate that included handstands during sun salutations and something of a supported headstand with one's legs in lotus position O_o, which I'm not ready for at all. 
  2. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by brenskip55 in Moving between levels: Beginner to Intermediate   
    If you are practicing Ashtanga, then yes, there are prescribed levels. However most schools of yoga thought are not so distinctive in the level assignment. Really, the best indicator is you! One thing to keep in mind is that there really is no mastery in yoga - we're all forever-students. So it's up to you to decide when you're ready to try more advanced postures. You are free to practice any poses in any level you like - just be very mindful of the body as you advance. Never get so caught up in achieving the next great posture, that you sacrifice safety or comfort. For example, if you can't hold downward dog for 5-10 breaths comfortably, I wouldn't attempt handstand. Just take it easy and focus on that fun feeling of exploration in the journey.
  3. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Migraines   
    I also suffer from migraines, and I have to say that seeing a neurologist had made quite a difference. A referral to a specialist might help.

    I've never been prescribed codeine painkillers for my migraines. Painkillers with caffeine are quite commonly used with migraines, though I have to avoid them because caffeine deeply disagrees with me. I've found that certain specific painkillers for migraines my neurologist prescribed (triptans) can be quite effective without having to take them on a daily basis and are gentle on your stomach. I personally avoid iboprufen for that same reason.

    There are no dietary triggers in my case - the same might apply to you. Stress, not getting enough sleep can trigger a migraine, as can the weather (very sunny days, sun glare). Hormones might be related to your migraine or not - the only way to know is to keep track of your migraines, writing down time, date and anything you were doing around the time you first felt the symptoms.

    As for alternatives to painkillers, it depends. I tried with apucunture, but it made no difference. Lavender oil applied to my temples, on the other hand, helps me relax and hold off some of the milder migraines. Yoga can help, in that you learn to breathe properly and release tension in your neck and shoulders as well as keeping your stress levels low. I haven't found any specific yoga poses that make my migraines disappear instantly (no such thing as a miracle), but a gentle practice - or a regular one at a slower pace - helps a great deal.

    Good luck.
  4. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in headstand   
    I far prefer working on supported headstand. Tripod headstand is something I'll work on once I feel safer/more confident while on supported headstand. Either way, you won't know what works best for you until you try.
    Candace's instructions on how to get into supported headstand really work for me. I find that trying to do the pose with my knees to my chest really engages my core, which in turn helps me feel more stable (and makes me work harder).
  5. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Anahata in Struggling in YTT   
    “All the air in.... and all the air out” It sounds so simple but maybe the most important thing.
    “Never allow the posture to damage the breath”
    I’m with Hildegard, the same.
    The worst is guided Savasana! I remember one time after class a student asked the teacher a question. The teacher responded by saying weren’t you listening to what I was saying during Savasana? I thought to myself jokingly; How could we possibly been listening to anything anyone was saying! You told us to go into Savasana!
    But others like things done a little differently so have to give a little of both. Good luck with your training
  6. brenskip55 liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Struggling in YTT   
    For what it's worth, as a yoga student I have to say I appreciate the silent moments during class and I never think they're awkward. It's important for me to know how long we'll be in a certain pose (otherwise my brain starts going into overdrive trying to guess when we'll have to move), but if I'm told we'll stay in a pose for five breaths or that the instructor will let us know when we'll move it's all good. Moments of silence during class allow me to focus on my breath once again and find my center, calm down if I'm feeling a touch upset and just be in the moment.
    There's so much noise during out everyday lives that I truly appreciate the quietness you can find in so many yoga classes.
    Good luck with your teacher training!
  7. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by YogaByCandace in Struggling in YTT   
    One of the most popular comments I get on my YouTube channel is praise for NOT talking so much. If you have a class around a particular theme, or you're feeling very passionate about an off the mat lesson that you're applying on the mat (or vice versa), then by all means, sing that lesson loud and proud.... but otherwise, let people soak up the silence. It's probably the one time in their day that they have some quiet. It might be uncomfortable for you and maybe even them, but find a little pocket of comfort in the discomfort. The other thing I used to do when I was feeling this way (believe me, we all feel this way!) is say, "We'll be here for about ten breaths." That lets them know they're going to be in silence for a while, and is a good self reminder to breathe and relax. 
     
    Other things that have helped me - going to more classes and seeing what other teachers cue. Sometimes things they say are so beautiful and are something I can integrate into my teaching style. Other things, not so much. And then I also realize that as a student, I am not as critical of the teacher as when I am the teacher and am criticizing myself! It's a good way to take the pressure off yourself. 
     
    Another thing I'd do when driving to teach the class would be to actually say certain things out loud in the car. Practicing the welcome, practicing the transition cues I know I often mess up - saying all those things aloud was really helpful. Stick with it - above all, practice is the best way to improve.
  8. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by AnandaYoga in Struggling in YTT   
    So, I'm in week 4 of my 12 week teacher training.  My first class is on April 18!!!! I am so nervous, and I feel so unprepared.  I expected my teaching voice to come naturally, I consider myself an advanced yoga practitioner and I thought that would translate to being a great teacher...but boy does it not.  Students do not care if I can do scorpion, handstand, or grasshopper. They only want me to lead them through an hour of yoga.   This is probably such a duh thing for most people, but I truly didn't think I would have such a hard time finding my teaching voice.  Definitely a very humbling experience and an ego check.  I'm really struggling with what to say during the silent parts, like when they are resting in down dog for 5 breaths.  It just goes silent and is so awkward, my mind goes blank and I can't remember ANY cues.  I would so appreciate any advice that anyone has to offer, I'm really losing sleep over this. :/
  9. robert liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in wanting to start yoga at home   
    I'd never heard of the hedgehog and fox fable, but it's certainly an interesting one.
    I'd always hesitated to mention other online yoga instructors here - I couldn't help but feel I was being rude -, but while we're at it I have to admit I'm a huge fan of http://www.doyogawithme.com. Tons and tons of videos, short and long classes for all levels, a number of different instructors on different styles. It helps me keep my practice well-rounded, as well as introduce me to, well, different ways of doing things. Sometimes the cues we get for doing a pose just won't work with our bodies, but someone else might have the key.
    I think it's best to try a number of things and see what works best for us at a given moment in time. I know I've tried classes with online instructors that were a complete disaster, only for me to try them again years later and end up loving them.
  10. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by robert in wanting to start yoga at home   
    I'm aware of the concept because veritasium did a youtube vidieo on it, I haven't read the essay ether. Also you've answered your own question
    Hildegard There are many veriables involved in weather or not someone will get value out of something at a given time, and as you say peoples needs/tastes etc do change over time. No single entity can cater for the needs/tastes of everyone, that's why collaboration is so powerful.
     
     
  11. robert liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in wanting to start yoga at home   
    I'd never heard of the hedgehog and fox fable, but it's certainly an interesting one.
    I'd always hesitated to mention other online yoga instructors here - I couldn't help but feel I was being rude -, but while we're at it I have to admit I'm a huge fan of http://www.doyogawithme.com. Tons and tons of videos, short and long classes for all levels, a number of different instructors on different styles. It helps me keep my practice well-rounded, as well as introduce me to, well, different ways of doing things. Sometimes the cues we get for doing a pose just won't work with our bodies, but someone else might have the key.
    I think it's best to try a number of things and see what works best for us at a given moment in time. I know I've tried classes with online instructors that were a complete disaster, only for me to try them again years later and end up loving them.
  12. robert liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in wanting to start yoga at home   
    I'd never heard of the hedgehog and fox fable, but it's certainly an interesting one.
    I'd always hesitated to mention other online yoga instructors here - I couldn't help but feel I was being rude -, but while we're at it I have to admit I'm a huge fan of http://www.doyogawithme.com. Tons and tons of videos, short and long classes for all levels, a number of different instructors on different styles. It helps me keep my practice well-rounded, as well as introduce me to, well, different ways of doing things. Sometimes the cues we get for doing a pose just won't work with our bodies, but someone else might have the key.
    I think it's best to try a number of things and see what works best for us at a given moment in time. I know I've tried classes with online instructors that were a complete disaster, only for me to try them again years later and end up loving them.
  13. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by yogafire in wanting to start yoga at home   
    What is the one important thing that a hedgehog knows?  I never read this essay before, thanks for sharing!
    Interestingly, as I learned from different teachers and seemingly received conflicting cues, I got a bit exasperated. I probably was looking for the hedgehog approach - just teach me so I get it right!  Now I realize the different methods focused on a different part of the body (elongating or engaging a muscle), so it didn't mean necessarily one was more right than the other.  Our bodies change too, so, just keep an open mind and see which styles or cues work best for you.
  14. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by robert in wanting to start yoga at home   
    Agree, different teachers have there own strong points, and explain things in different ways. There is a lot to be gained from drawing from multiple sauces.
    Sometimes there is a tendency to consider one sauce/thing etc as best. This really doesn’t work as reality is not a liner scale, where higher skilled individuals can do everything plus more. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hedgehog_and_the_Fox
  15. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by yogafire in Ideas to help people feel more comfortable in class   
    Things I've heard teachers say that remind me to not feel self-conscious:
    Yoga is an individual practice. Do what feels good for you today - it doesn't have to be the same as yesterday or tomorrow.  (when referencing the choice to uplevel or invert). [Such and such] arm balance or uplevel is completely optional. This practice is for you, yourself. Focus inwardly with your breath. If a more advanced practitioner is feeling uncomfortable, that's on him or her unless someone is saying things explicitly to that person in response. I can still benefit from a beginner's class and listen to all the reminders and cues for my own alignment.  On the other spectrum, I think appropriate uplevels are ok to do on their own (not that distracting). But if the person starts doing their own practice that is completely different from the rest of the class, it's distracting and feels disrespectful to me. For example, I went to a yoga fundraising event, and one of the teachers up front went into headstand on his own when we were just doing lunges. I'm pretty sure he did not feel uncomfortable - so that's what I meant it's on him or her to not feel uncomfortable.
  16. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Anahata in Who Owns Yoga? Video   
    Al Jazeera Correspondent - Who Owns Yoga? 50 minuteYoutube video
    I found this documentary very interesting if anyone wishes to watch. There are some very knowledgeable people interviewed in the video.
  17. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by msinkblot in Yoga art requests?   
    Here is kapotasana. A pose that I have a complex relationship with, haha. Moving on to king dancer.

  18. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by YogaByCandace in Chair, Chair and Chair pose   
    They don't call it awkward pose for nothin'! Haha, I think it's just one of those poses that will change depending on the instructor you ask. In teacher training (Ashtanga), I was taught to tell people to tuck the tailbone and avoid swaying the back. In fact, one of the adjustments I was taught to do was to put one arm parallel to the ground at the top of their ribs, and the other arm parallel to the ground at their low back - not actually pushing them in, but just a gentle touch to bring them out of the sway back. As for arms, I think it's mostly up to the student. I've seen teachers give prayer pose as an option because it's easier than having to hold your arms up overhead, so it's a great option for beginners. Arms by the ears will encourage a sway back, so I always teach the arms slightly in front, like in line with the chin. In Bikram yoga, you'll see the progression from that girl in black in the top left with the arms parallel to the floor, and they'll go onto the balls of their feet and then sit low and bounce on their knees. So yeah, it's all utkatasana, just depends on your preference, I suppose.  
  19. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Anahata in Elbow burn in forearm stand   
    I have found almost no information available on the prerequisites. Except it seems to be correct. I had to type out the information below from my book 'Ashtanga Yoga The Intermediate Series: Mythology, Anatomy, and Practice By Gregor Maehle' It's all I have. And like I said it really seems to be correct. So many things in yoga that are not well known. 
    "Students need to be proficient in Kapotasana before starting arm balances. If the humeri (upper arm bone) cannot be flexed enough to grab one’s feet while arching back on the knees, arm balances will only stiffen the shoulders.
    When balancing on one’s arms, the spine and abdomen need to be firm and steady enough to hold the weight of the legs and pelvis without dropping into a backbend; this could injure the shoulder joints. Proficiency in Dvipada Shirshasana indicates that this firmness has been achieved."
  20. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by msinkblot in Elbow burn in forearm stand   
    Interesting point @Hildegard I also found Pincha Mayurasana easier than Dwi Pada and Kapotasana- both came to me *after* forearm. I find Forearm is more a matter of shoulder stability / rotation / strength. Kapotasana is still a difficult one for me I don't do often because that part of my body is just opening up. I actually find Scorpion forearm balance easier than Kapotasana. I feel Dwi Pada also requires a LOT of flexibility + strength. I tried it yesterday for the first time since a long time (I don't usually go there... because I'm not feeling adventurous unless I have a ton of heat) after feeling comfortable in my Pincha (can maintain it for some time without feeling tired) and it is actually much easier now. I think each body is different with each of our own strengths and weaknesses and often, using  your gut feeling about which parts of your body are stronger or more open is a better gage. You know your body best in the end.
  21. msinkblot liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Elbow burn in forearm stand   
     
    I often wonder how the process of deciding which poses are prerequisites to which poses came to be. Sometimes the process feels very obvious - one pose will help you build strength and flexibility which the other pose calls for, but sometimes I don't see the connection at all. Then again, I feel that each person's anatomy, as well as our unique backgrounds and personalities, will also dictate the path to whichever asana we want to incorporate to  practice.
    In this particular case, I can see how kapotasana would help, but dwi pada shirshasana ... if I was told I must be able to do that pose before even trying to do pincha mayurasana I'd be tempted to quit yoga altogether, or at the very least I'd rule out pincha mayurasana for a long, long time. To me, a prerequisite pose shouldn't look more unattainable than the end goal pose.
  22. msinkblot liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Elbow burn in forearm stand   
     
    I often wonder how the process of deciding which poses are prerequisites to which poses came to be. Sometimes the process feels very obvious - one pose will help you build strength and flexibility which the other pose calls for, but sometimes I don't see the connection at all. Then again, I feel that each person's anatomy, as well as our unique backgrounds and personalities, will also dictate the path to whichever asana we want to incorporate to  practice.
    In this particular case, I can see how kapotasana would help, but dwi pada shirshasana ... if I was told I must be able to do that pose before even trying to do pincha mayurasana I'd be tempted to quit yoga altogether, or at the very least I'd rule out pincha mayurasana for a long, long time. To me, a prerequisite pose shouldn't look more unattainable than the end goal pose.
  23. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Anahata in Headache after headstand?   
    I know this is Candace’s section but I may be able to add some helpful information. As part of our nervous system we have blood pressure sensors above the heart, the neck area. When we are standing upright this is high in the body. So the blood pressure in the upper body is relatively lower than down by our feet. Gravity pulls the blood down and increases pressure at the bottom. When we go upside down our overall blood pressure doesn’t change but shifts to our head. The blood pressure sensors and the brain have been tricked into understanding that our blood pressure had a sudden rise. Then a sudden drop when we come out of the pose. Called the baroreflex. When our overall blood pressure hasn’t changed at all. Then any of the common reactions; headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath.
    Mild symptoms aren’t serious in a healthy person, it is completely natural. If they become more then it may be something to seek medical help.
    The way to deal with this:
    Don’t go upside down.
    Reduce the intensity of the inversions, easier poses.
    Reduce the time spent in inversions.
    Come out your inversion in very slow stages.
    Takes Child’s pose for as long as necessary after. 
    Keep practicing at a gentler level and over time, weeks, months, years, the condition will become less.
     
     
  24. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Anahata in Emotional release during yoga class   
    I think I may get them from backbends. But I don’t recognized what happens as emotions. When I come out of a deep backbend something happens. It seems like dizziness except without being dizzy. I am likely not explaining this well but a very strong sensation happens, it’s not pain either. I pause my practice for an extra breath or two, it passes and I continue on. If this happens on my last backbend of a series I take a counter pose and the sensation immediately leaves as well.
    Are counter poses an option for others in this situation? 
    Backbends are very challenging for me so that may have something to do with it. It sounds like everyone has something different going on with these types of things. Everyone may have to find how to deal with this themselves, or not deal with it at all.
    I remember an old saying ‘If you have never laughed or cried in yoga class what are you waiting for?’ The person who said this wasn’t trying to be hurtful. It was the exact opposite. It was meant to give reassurance if these things happen it is Ok.
  25. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Robbie in Emotional release during yoga class   
    This idea of emotional release is yet another fascinating aspect of yoga. I have heard teachers and students talk about it before, but during my practise I have only ever really experienced the emotion of frustration for not being stronger or more flexible - I'm not sure that qualifies as the same!
    That being said, I went through a period of noticing a release of anger after yoga classes. These would be very enjoyable and relaxing yoga classes that would leave me very blissful, but then on the car journey home, the first person to cut me up or pull out on me would send me into a sudden rage frenzy! It would come out of nowhere and completely take me by surprise - effing and jeffing at little old ladies crossing the road in front of me! At first I though it was anger because they were ruining my hard earned peacefulness, but it was such a disproportionate and intense reaction that I began to think there must be more to it.
    After doing some research into it and reading articles similar to the one referenced above, my conclusion was that it was indeed the same phenomenon, just with a delayed onset. By being so peaceful and relaxed during yoga, I was allowing tension, stress and trauma held in the body and mind to be released. It appears that it doesn't want to leave without putting up a fight.
    I could go into more depth about the self analysing psycho-babble theories that I now believe, but now when it happens I react differently. I recognise it and understand it better. I still let it happen because I think the release is important, but by being more aware of why it is happening I am better able to cope with it. Then when I get home, I take it out on a punch bag dressed as an old lady