Hildegard

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  1. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by mimisouth in Shoulder issues in Cow Face and Reverse Namaste   
    I Feel your pain Larry and I know yoga is a personal journey but just occasionally I also feel frustration that others achieve the same goals as me before I do.... 
  2. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by yogafire in Hypermobility   
    In terms of elbow alignment, someone shared this video with me before - it's the best demonstration I've seen. Who knew Kino was hypermobile, too?
     
  3. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Anahata in Ashtanga Mantra   
    Ashtanga yoga has a bad reputation for being too physically demanding and an injurious practice. People often come to their first class and never return. People do get serious injuries. This doesn’t sit well with me, I think something is really wrong here. I suppose there is always reasons why people lose the path, people and teachers. But others seem to receive a great benefit from it. So, I thought it would be a good idea to translate the ‘instruction manual’ , the opening mantra. As far as I know the opening mantra is seldom chanted at the beginning of class. The direct English (or other language) translation is even more rare and not easy to understand. And a meaningful English translation is nearly impossible to find. I don’t know that my translation below is exactly correct, that can always be argued. But it is correct for me.
    The first and most important Yama is Ahimsa, non-harming. When ‘yoga’ causes harm or teachings do not have pure intention I become very suspicious. And it turns out that I was correct. Anyone can practice Ashtanga with great benefit, there is a practice for everyone.  The mantra tells us this. I have to thank Melanie Cooper http://melaniecooper.co.uk/ for the various information she has made available. I am not sure if it is on her website.
    These instructions, the mantra, can be used for any practice. I post it here so others may get some benefit from it.
    The first line is Sanskrit to the literal English words, I didn’t do that translation. The second line in purple is the meaning as I understand it.
     
    Line 1: 
    Vande Gurunam Caranaravinde—I bow to the lotus feet of the gurus
    My practice teaches me what I need to know. (Pranama)
     
    Line 2:
    Sandarsita Svatma Sukhava Bodhe—the awakening happiness of one’s own Self revealed.
    Clear a place inside me where I see things as they are.
     
    Line 3:
    Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane—‘Beyond better, acting like the jungle physician.’
    My practice will cure me physically and mentally.
     
    Line 4:
    Samsara Halahala Mohasantyai—pacifying delusion, the poison of Samsara
    My practice is a mirror helping me to realize my true self.
     
    Line 5:
    Abahu Purusakaram—taking the form of a man to the shoulders, (and a divine serpent).
    I offer my practice to the truth. (The truth is pure or wholesome intention or the joy of practicing with this intention)
     
    Line 6: 
    Sankhacakrasi Dharinam—holding a conch a discus and a sword.
    I am prepared to listen to what my practice is trying to tell me.  (conch)
    Fully present, no concern for time.  (discuss)
    Cut through the confusion of my mind to find clarity and peace. (sword)
     
    Line 7:
    Sahasra Sirasam Svetam—one thousand heads white.
    There are many different paths but only one destination.
     
    Line 8:
    Pranamami Patanjalim—I salute/bow to Patanjali.
    I surrender to the practice the gift of yoga knowledge.
     
    Edit February 22, 2016: Completed line 5
  4. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by mimisouth in For those who practice at home   
    That's a really helpful schedule. Thanks for sharing 
  5. scottcraft 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.
  6. MrBalloonHands liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Best Yoga to Lose Weight   
    I'm with Robbie here. Cutting out entire food groups seems too extreme for my taste and not all that sustainable in the long term. I love food, and the wider range of things I eat, the happier I am. A time eventually comes when you truly look forward to your pasta (or quinoa) with sautéed Brussel sprouts.
    Also, I'd take my focus away from losing X amount of weight. I don't weight myself. Instead, I focus on making sure my clothing fits right (I still have clothes I used to wear some fifteen years ago when I know for a fact I was thinner), on how my body feels, how much exercise I'm able to do before getting too tired to move*, how much stronger I'm becoming. Maybe working with a doctor to have an idea as to what your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc. are like will give you an idea as to how healthy you are at this moment and what goals you want to reach as far as your health and overall well being.
    Vinyasa, ashtanga and power yoga have all helped me lose weight, but hatha and yin yoga have also helped me stay on healthy levels. I see a lot more muscle definition on my legs than before I started a daily, consistent yoga practice and it's not a super demanding program either. I try to alternate days with a strong, physical practice with days that are more about subtle details. That way I don't get overwhelmed or bored.
    _____________________
    * Not really because I have severe anaemia and I get tired way more easily than I'd like, but you get the idea.
  7. scottcraft 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.
  8. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by YogaByCandace in The Yoga Class ‘Queen’ Bit of a rant!   
    I hear what you're saying and I think it's normal (although probably not idea) to feel a bit insecure or like people are out to get me - today I went to a master class w Jason Crandall and so many people were floating up to handstand and back down in their sun salutations. I can't do that or even come close to that, and I also felt a fever coming on, sore throat, and had forgotten my yoga mat so was using a beach towel (not recommended) and just started to feel down about myself. The older woman in front of me kept looking around and popping up into these inversions when we were meant to be resting... and I noticed my mind start to wander into the whole 'What does she think she is she doing?!' sort of thing before realizing that what she did or didn't do wasn't my concern, and how someone else makes me feel is really, for the most part, up to me. The book The Four Agreements was really helpful in dealing with these sorts of issues that spring up and if you're interested, I would suggest checking it out. Essentially it says that what other people say or do is really just a reflection of their own experience and has nothing to do with you and therefore we shouldn't take anything personally.
     
    I thought it was interesting because there were a lot of yoga teachers in the room and one of them asked Jason what he says for students that won't stay in savasana and just up and leave. The lady was like, "I know they leave because they don't like to be still or they feel they don't need it but they DO need it!" And he said something that was so profound: I am the parent of one person, my daughter. What anyone else has going on in their life is really none of my business and I refuse to take it personally. If a student asks my opinion about savasana, I will certainly tell them I think they should try to stay if they can...but otherwise, I just let it go, and I don't assume to know why they are leaving savasana. Because really, who knows - maybe they have a kid to pick up, maybe they need to administer medicine to a dying parent - like we really just do not know what other people have going on, so it's best to just let it go."
     
    In the same sense, I would just try to do the same for any 'special' yoga students who are less than welcoming towards you. I know it's hard - it was certainly hard for me to flick off the switch to my brain today in that class - but it's not worth it to me to feel so down by swimming in those thoughts, you know? 
  9. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Jasmine in The Yoga Class ‘Queen’ Bit of a rant!   
    I sometimes wonder whether the people who storm in, throw their mats down loudly and start stretching violently are moreso there as part of a 'sport' as such? Like just another exercise class maybe. 
    My favourite teacher at the local studio is so inflexible and oh wow is she clumsy but I really love her classes. And there is one student in some classes where he floats forward and back in sun salutations I have to pretend to need a drink so I can watch him, it's amazing. The rest of us are utterly hopeless but I kind of like it because we just keep to ourselves, I can't imagine receiving unwanted advice or dirty looks, awful!
  10. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by YogaByCandace in Yoga Everyday?   
    Agree that it's a personal decision but also want to talk quickly about the idea of yoga not just being strict asana. A good savasana is a still yoga. A little meditation is still yoga. Pranayama in the morning (or any time, really), is still yoga. So I say, find a balance in your physical practice. Cultivate a practice that incorporates yin and yang yoga and of course the pranayama and meditation as well.
  11. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by LarryD517 in Yoga Everyday?   
    The other aspect is that yoga has (seemingly) a few thousand poses and variations, so you can rest one part of the body and work on the other. For example, one day you can work on standing poses (warrior and lunges) firing up your thigh muscles. The next day you can give the thigh muscle a vacation and do seated hip openers (cobblers, fire log, lotus, etc.) The next day you can do seated twists, etc. 
    This way you can practice as long as you want, as frequently as you want, without overtaxing one muscle or joint area.
     
  12. KristiSmithYoga liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in pressing into wheel pose   
    Wheel pose is a fun asana, but it can be quite challenging. The more I worked on bridge pose and on opening my shoulders, the easier it got. Maybe I'd try to do mini push ups with your head on the mat, lifting your head a centimeter or two at the time rather than aim for the full pose all at once. I'd also try to make sure you're distributing the weight on the palm of hands evenly - that might make the action of pushing and lifting up easier.
    Good luck!
  13. afriske liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Yoga Everyday?   
    As Larry and afriske have said, the best thing is to do what feels right for your body. There's no need to do yoga every day - it won't make you a better or more accomplished yogi/yogini.  It's far more important to learn to listen to your body and try to figure out what's best for you.
    When I first started doing I'd practice twice a week, then three times a week, then every day but weekends, every day but Sundays. For the past few years doing yoga every day is what feels right for me, but it's been a process to learn what is right for me. I try to keep my practice balanced by mixing more gentle or slower flows with more intense, power videos, focusing on different body parts, but rather than stick rigidly to a schedule I pay attention to what both my body and mind need. Don't be afraid to stop doing a video if it doesn't feel right and switch to one with a different style.
    Part of the reason why I like to do yoga every day is because of the mental health benefits I get from my practice; I wouldn't want to do without the feeling of calm and grounding I get from doing yoga unless it's unavoidable (i.e.: illness).
    I should also point out that yoga is my main form of exercise, my only workout, so that informs my desire to practice every day.
  14. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by afriske in Yoga Everyday?   
    I agree with Larry. It's really a personal decision, and to be honest, mine varies by week. Sometimes my body is like, okay today needs to be gentle or today I need to stretch and do nothing else, so I do restorative/yin yoga. That way I stretch all the muscles I worked so hard, and can jump right back in to a vigorous practice the next day. 
    Some days, I need to lay off completely. Like if it's a particularly bad day for my body or if I'm sick or what-have you. I try my best to listen to the needs of my body and what it's telling me, not to say that it's always successful but...
    The best thing you can do is do what's best for you. Since you're new to yoga, I wouldn't tell you to practice an intense rigorous routine 7 days a week, but start off slower and pay attention if you're feeling pain or exhaustion the next day. See if you can gradually increase the number of days you practice. You may decide that a few days a week is best for you, or you may decide that seven days a week is where it's at. Right now, take it day by day.
    I think part of the reason people/gurus/teachers say to practice each day, is that it helps you maintain your committment to practice. I definitely noticed that with my practice. Now, I almost have to make a conscious decision not to do it one day, instead of making the conscious decision to do it. It's something to work up to and if you feel ready for it, go for it, but also don't feel obligated. Do what's best for you! 
    If you're interested in maintaining a committment to practice, try one of Candace's month-long yoga challenges on her blog. She has built in restorative and rest days in the schedule and she gives you what to do each day. They're awesome, and they spark great community on instagram!
    Lesley Fightmaster's Yoga Fix 90 helped me commit. It was 90 straight days of yoga (beginners welcome) with intense flows, gentle/restorative flows, and meditation. While you practiced every day (although I definitely missed days), she gave time for rest and relaxation. If you're interested in that, just look her up on youtube. It's all free and it really was amazing in helping me commit to practicing.
  15. robert liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in 'hanging' ankle gets sore in lotus   
    As someone who somewhat accidentally discovered I was capable of doing lotus, I'd second Larry and Anahata's advice of going slowly and not forcing the pose. The potential for injury and discomfort is just too great. I've found it's something of an ego pose for me: more about the feeling of 'look what I can do' rather than how right it feels unless I'm very careful. I've had to step back and convince myself to slowly build the strength and flexibility for the full pose  rather than give in to the impulse of placing my legs into the position and hold it for longer than feels right. Sometimes a single breath is all my body wants to do and I have to accept that's it for the day.
    I prefer to do half lotus on each leg at first, and then see what my body is like, if full lotus is an option at that given day/moment or not rather than jump in. Half lotus allows me to build more balance and strength on both sides of my hips, which in turn helps not to put too much weight on one leg, thus potentially causing the discomfort Robert mentions.
    I'm not quite up to getting into the pose without using my hands, as Anahata suggests, but it's something else to work on.
  16. robert liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in 'hanging' ankle gets sore in lotus   
    As someone who somewhat accidentally discovered I was capable of doing lotus, I'd second Larry and Anahata's advice of going slowly and not forcing the pose. The potential for injury and discomfort is just too great. I've found it's something of an ego pose for me: more about the feeling of 'look what I can do' rather than how right it feels unless I'm very careful. I've had to step back and convince myself to slowly build the strength and flexibility for the full pose  rather than give in to the impulse of placing my legs into the position and hold it for longer than feels right. Sometimes a single breath is all my body wants to do and I have to accept that's it for the day.
    I prefer to do half lotus on each leg at first, and then see what my body is like, if full lotus is an option at that given day/moment or not rather than jump in. Half lotus allows me to build more balance and strength on both sides of my hips, which in turn helps not to put too much weight on one leg, thus potentially causing the discomfort Robert mentions.
    I'm not quite up to getting into the pose without using my hands, as Anahata suggests, but it's something else to work on.
  17. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by robert in 'hanging' ankle gets sore in lotus   
    As I've mentioned before, in class I discovered that I can do lotus pose. Since that day I've been using it more, as it's a very stable seat for meditation. However if I hold it without putting some padding under the 'hanging' ankle - the one which crosses below, it becomes sore rather quickly, seemingly due to the above leg pressing on it.
    Using the padding is fine, but I've never seen anyone else needing it. Is this a normal thing/something you get used to, or is it an indication I'm doing something wrong?
  18. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by KristiSmithYoga in Female teacher flirting with (married) male student   
    In my teacher training, we had a lengthy discussion about this during our ethics section. We were essentially instructed to do what we needed to do to not bring this sort of energy into the studio. It greatly compromises the important teacher-student relationship, detracts from the yoga experience (despite how flattering it may be), and is grounds for all sorts of trouble. From my standpoint, your teacher appears to be in gross violation of the ethics of our profession, especially as many view yoga as a sort of healing/spiritual profession - there is a power play going on to some degree, even if it's subtle. My own teacher even limits his social contact outside of the studio so as to retain the professional teacher-student relationship.
    From a teacher's standpoint, I would do some energy clearing work before I allowed myself to adjust a student I felt an attraction to. I don't think it's a big deal to recognize that some students are physically very attractive - it's finding myself attracted to them that is the potential problem. I can adjust a hot guy, but if I am thinking that I want to hop into the sack with him, HANDS OFF!!! [Note that this hasn't happened]
    That being said, if I experienced this from your vantage point, I'm not sure how I would handle it. If it felt good, it would make it all the tougher! But regardless, it needs to be addressed in some way. Ditto Larry's advice. Also, it wouldn't be out of line if you felt more comfortable mentioning your discomfort to the studio owner. Or, you could choose to attend a different class. Good luck!
  19. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Robbie in Female teacher flirting with (married) male student   
    Hi Yogaguy - Where did you say this class was?? (Just a little joke in case that was lost in print!)
    I have no advice for you as this hasn't ever happened to me. I have noticed though, in a regular class I go to, that the recently single and attractive female teacher has a couple of male "groupies" in the class. They are like little puppy dogs around her, always being the first to try and strike up a conversation with her after class and always trying to outdo each other with how advanced their arm balances are. It is mostly inoffensive and slightly amusing stuff, but it has began to grate on my nerves lately because when I have a question for the teacher about my own practise, or something covered in the class, I know I will have to wait until the groupies are done with their awkward flirting before I can converse with her.
    To her credit she doesn't reciprocate the flirting and is very professional. I think I would pack up and move to another class if I sensed the place was becoming a pick up joint. Your friend has the right idea Candace - It is best to not to let it happen at all because it can send ripples of discomfort throughout the community.
  20. YogaByCandace liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Yoga During Menstruation   
    I've been using a similar product to the one krisiedewberry mentions. Without going deep into TMI territory, I have to say it works far better than tampons and/or pads.
    As for why it's controversial, I think it helps to keep in mind the culture in which yoga was first developed. None of my doctors have ever mentioned I shouldn't do yoga while on my period, but they're not particularly well informed regarding yoga, either.  Some people choose to follow traditional yogic teaching regarding energy and so on when it comes to menstruation, some of us choose to follow our own intuition when it comes to the subject.
  21. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by brenskip55 in Processing My Yoga vs Social Media Yoga   
    I have to admit that I love doing the daily yoga challenges because somedays I need that extra motivation to get on my mat. I also like to think that maybe sharing my practice with the world will help to inspire someone to begin their own yoga journey. However, I completely respect the side that prefers not to participate in that because it is indeed a deeply personal practice. Or at least it should be. Most of us who have been practicing for years know that it's not about attaining one pose. In fact, while my instagram feel has some flashy arm balances in it, if you ever show up to my class, you can be sure I won't put you in one of those poses. It's so so so important to start slow and learn each pose from the ground up. I am always shocked when I walk into an "all levels" class and find that they are already teaching arm balances. Yikes! The same goes for social media - it's not about getting into the most advanced pose you can - it's about learning more about your body through yoga, and some days, for all levels of practicioner - that means slowing down and doing a seated asana practice only.
    I find social media to be a source of inspiration for me, however I also recognize that you can't just show up on your mat and hop into koundinyasana safely. It takes years of practice. That's the part that I think is missing. It's really all about the journey afterall!
  22. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by YogaByCandace in Processing My Yoga vs Social Media Yoga   
    I love the conversation this has started, and thank you, SJP, for sharing your thoughts, and thank you, everyone, for chiming in with their own thoughts. I've loved reading this thread.
    I have definitely been there, SJP, and sometimes still find myself there. I think that's been the hardest part, for me, about making something I love my job. At some point, it really does become work. I sometimes feel like if I need to post because it's part of my job. And a lot of times I feel like a fraud because I am struggling with whatever I'm struggling with and yet sharing my personal practice as if it hasn't taken years and lots of falls and whatever else (although I do try to acknowledge that during breakthroughs). When I'm in the mood, I do enjoy sharing my struggles and progressions on social media because I get to connect with people and feel less alone in my struggle. I get to hear from others who are in the same boat or who have been there before, and that makes me feel really connected to the people in my social network. 
    I love to watch certain people's personal practice. I get inspired by super creative flows and I don't know, sometimes you can just tell what the motivation is behind a post. There are some people who just have the most lovely practice - and I don't mean just the asana, but the whole outlook and way they approach the practice. I really am drawn to that. And other accounts feel like it's solely about publicity (which I understand on one hand, especially if it's for work), but I'm not moved by it or inspired by it so I usually unfollow. When I share my own personal practice, I like to share two types of things: 1) a really cool flow that I think might inspire others who have hit a plateau in their practice or teaching, or 2) something I am struggling with or just learning. I appreciate those types of shares from others, which is why I share those types of things on social media along with other stuff from the blog and my personal life. But I have to be in the mood for it, and sometimes I'm just not. Especially lately - there have been a few nasty comments and I just found the whole thing draining, so I've taken a little break from sharing my personal flows.
    I have never been a fan of "challenges" on social media because I do feel like they're mostly about the end result and feel they often focus too much on one specific pose rather than the practice as a whole, so when people began requesting "challenges" I called them 'projects' and wrote them up as 'programs' (although Greg has called them 'challenges' here on the forum which I keep bugging him to change haha). Somehow in my head the name made a difference. Since so many people are visual, I had the focus be on how one specific pose changes over the course of a month with consistent practice and invited people to share their journey on instagram or forum if they liked. This served two purposes: 1) it was kind of a nod to the 'challenges' people had asked for and 2) it helped promote the yoga practice, and I'm not going to lie, the blog and video content I've created. But truth be told, it's just one of those things where 'challenges' doesn't sit right with me, 'programs' or 'projects' feels better to me, and ultimately, if it gets people to the mat, then I feel like I've done something good. But yeah, I completely understand not wanting to share, and feeling turned off by the emphasis on sharing on social media. Sometimes it just feels too saturated. 
    When I get to that point, I just take a step back, turn the phone off, and focus on my breath and strive for balance. Thanks again for sparking this convo.
  23. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by KristiSmithYoga in Processing My Yoga vs Social Media Yoga   
    This ^^^. I have to keep my personal practice separate from anything I record for this very reason.
  24. SJP42 liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Processing My Yoga vs Social Media Yoga   
    While I appreciate that social media can be a huge positive influence in many people's practice, it just doesn't work for me. I'm super self-conscious and avoid having my picture taken even under the best of circumstances. I tried sharing a few images during one of Candace's earlier challenges and while it helped (I wasn't where I thought I was with a certain pose), I can get the benefits from having an external perspective on my practice without sharing it with the rest of the world. It doesn't help that I love photography and thus would end up stressing out over the quality of the photo, the untidy background and so on.
    I sometimes get tempted to make a video of certain poses every now and then, but I can't find a decent angle to capture myself doing the pose and I'm not going to break out the tripod just to see if that would help, nor do I want to ask other people in the room to take my picture. I don't want to feel like I'm performing yoga rather than just doing yoga, if that makes any sense.
    I'm with Robbie and Robert here. As Robbie suggests, what pictures I take of myself live on my tablet and tablet alone. And like Robbie, I'm best friends with the floor: lots of kissy times between me and the floor
     
    At the end of the day, we have to do what's most helpful to us.
  25. SJP42 liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Processing My Yoga vs Social Media Yoga   
    While I appreciate that social media can be a huge positive influence in many people's practice, it just doesn't work for me. I'm super self-conscious and avoid having my picture taken even under the best of circumstances. I tried sharing a few images during one of Candace's earlier challenges and while it helped (I wasn't where I thought I was with a certain pose), I can get the benefits from having an external perspective on my practice without sharing it with the rest of the world. It doesn't help that I love photography and thus would end up stressing out over the quality of the photo, the untidy background and so on.
    I sometimes get tempted to make a video of certain poses every now and then, but I can't find a decent angle to capture myself doing the pose and I'm not going to break out the tripod just to see if that would help, nor do I want to ask other people in the room to take my picture. I don't want to feel like I'm performing yoga rather than just doing yoga, if that makes any sense.
    I'm with Robbie and Robert here. As Robbie suggests, what pictures I take of myself live on my tablet and tablet alone. And like Robbie, I'm best friends with the floor: lots of kissy times between me and the floor
     
    At the end of the day, we have to do what's most helpful to us.