YogaByCandace

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131 posts in this topic

What is your thought on potentially harmful poses?

How about a blog post..."poses beginners should avoid"?

 

I'd be really interested in something like that as well. I was following along with a yoga video on Amazon a while ago with "For Absolute Beginners" in the title and at one point the instructor flowed right into upward-facing dog without any instruction or preparation and without offering any alternatives. I'm glad I already knew that pose was a no-no--I can barely get off the ground in cobra before my lower back starts tightening up--because I could've really hurt myself trying that.

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Where's the line between a healthy and dangerous pose?

The first time I tried Hero's Pose ...

Virasana.jpg

 

...my knees didn't like it.

I imagine that one might hurt themselves trying this pose

Since then, I've been trying this pose using a block for support.

 

What is your thought on potentially harmful poses?

How about a blog post..."poses beginners should avoid"?

Confession: I can't stand this pose!  :21: It's just so uncomfortable to me. I feel like it's called Hero's Pose because if you can sit in it for more than half a second you're a total hero for that! :3:

 

Great suggestion for a post on what beginners should avoid! Stay tuned within the next month or so for that!

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I have been doing yoga for a while now and shortly after discovering you I discovered the forearm headstand, I can successfully do it without any wall support. I am trying to figure out what other poses would be considered intermediate level? I'm trying to make some goals and it helps knowing what I am working towards and what's realistic at my level. I can do crow and forearm headstand but what other poses, like side crow, that is challenging could I be working on? Thank you!

Try finding the list of poses for the Ashtanga Primary series. Absolutely Ashtanga has a good one. The primary series is the beginner series but it is quite challenging. Next would be the Ashtanga Intermediate series. The poses and series are put together very carefully and suppose to be followed in order.

 

And try and find a list that includes the various transitions in and out of the poses. Some are really fun. I see Candace did a video for 8 angle pose (Astavakrasana). In Ashtanga, from downward dog jump into Astavakrasana and then pick up jump back. Or lower down from tripod headstand and work the legs into the pose. Jumping in and out of crow.

 

These 2 series will give you a list of 140 poses or more, then the 4 advanced series after that. You don't have to follow the Ashtanga practice but the different series helps to put poses into categories.

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 Hi Stephanie, I have read through your other posts as well. If you have been doing yoga for a month (how often?) can lift your foot and have it placed under your torso you are doing really well. Yoga and pilates are both good but not the same. After you have been practicing yoga 5 days a week for a few months or a year and aren't seeing any progress then there might be something that you want to look into. If your practice is one class a week and you enjoy it that is fantastic. Once a week is generally maintaining. That is a very good thing, the old saying 'use it or lose it'. The you also mentioned 3 years but that didn't sound like 3 years of yoga practice. Maybe you are practicing nearly everyday for a month but it needs more time than one month.

 

There is a way to get your foot forward with the help of a prop. In downward dog place two foam blocks under your hands then try stepping forward. Strong extension out of the shoulders. That should make the step much easier. Once we get the feeling of actually doing it and get the idea in our head that we can do that often helps getting there much easier. The blocks would be very awkward to use in a regular practice but try it on your own just to get the feel for it. Always work in a comfortable range and progress will happen. Overdoing it is always a bad idea.

Hey just saw this, I have been practising yoga at least 4 times a week, usually its 5 though. And yes, definitley not the same, I do POP pilates from youtube so it's a very fast paced type of workout. And thank you so much for that advice! I wil deffinetly be trying that :)

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Try finding the list of poses for the Ashtanga Primary series. Absolutely Ashtanga has a good one. The primary series is the beginner series but it is quite challenging. Next would be the Ashtanga Intermediate series. The poses and series are put together very carefully and suppose to be followed in order.

 

And try and find a list that includes the various transitions in and out of the poses. Some are really fun. I see Candace did a video for 8 angle pose (Astavakrasana). In Ashtanga, from downward dog jump into Astavakrasana and then pick up jump back. Or lower down from tripod headstand and work the legs into the pose. Jumping in and out of crow.

 

These 2 series will give you a list of 140 poses or more, then the 4 advanced series after that. You don't have to follow the Ashtanga practice but the different series helps to put poses into categories.

That was an interesting read, if a sobering and somewhat discouraging one. I thought I was doing well with my yoga practice, but I'm nowhere near that skill level, even though I've doing yoga for years. I've even done the ashtanga primary series a few times and I don't remember it being that intimidating (though I'm pretty sure they skipped handstand, for example).

I must confess I'm super lazy when it comes to transitions. Basic jump back to plank from forward fold seems to be it for me. Everything else seems to call for a great deal more upper body strength than I possess at the moment.

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If you could go over foot positioning from upward dog to downaWard during sun salutations. Is there a way to do a very brief video with a close up of the feet?

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Where's the line between a healthy and dangerous pose?

The first time I tried Hero's Pose ...

Virasana.jpg

 

...my knees didn't like it.

I imagine that one might hurt themselves trying this pose

Since then, I've been trying this pose using a block for support.

 

What is your thought on potentially harmful poses?

How about a blog post..."poses beginners should avoid"?

Hi Larry,

Poses are not harmful in themselves. They are actually very beneficial. All poses must be practiced with the proper strength, alignment and appropriate range for the individual. Everyone must take the time to learn the pose correctly and learn the correct place for themselves in that particular pose. In the picture above the man is sitting on a block. He could sit on 2 or 3 blocks and add soft padding under his knees and ankles. He could also try a different variation of this pose, Supta Vajrasana. That is similar to hero pose but reclined with the back on the floor, add a deep backbend and have the legs in lotus. This would be an extremely deep version of this pose. Everyone finds a version that gives themselves a good benefit. It's the person's practice that is important not the pose.

 

If someone had a knee injury they may avoid a particular pose but find a different pose that still works the knee without interfering with the injury.

 

We always attempt to use the full range of motion of all our joints. If we don't do that the joints will deteriorate and that will result in serious problems with the joints over time. If we have neglected to do this for many years we have to slowly work our way to back to our full range of motion to make our joints healthy again.

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Hi Candace,

 

I have bad knees from flat feet and years of abuse.  They tend to hurt when I sit for a long time studying and get so painful when I'm hiking or running in the mountains with the constant up and down of the terrain.  I was hoping you had some good poses for knee pain or to help strengthen the muscles that support it.

 

Thanks!

 

Rachel

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Hi Candace, I am after some advice for how to safely "fall out" of inversions. I've started to practice forearm balances, and I can hold it away from the wall but I still feel like I need the wall behind me because I don't know how to protect myself if I do fall backwards!

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Hi Candace,

 

I have bad knees from flat feet and years of abuse.  They tend to hurt when I sit for a long time studying and get so painful when I'm hiking or running in the mountains with the constant up and down of the terrain.  I was hoping you had some good poses for knee pain or to help strengthen the muscles that support it.

Give this video for flat feet a try. Everything is connected. Strengthening the muscles in the feet will help strengthen the way we stand and the muscles in the legs as well.

 

Hi Candace, I am after some advice for how to safely "fall out" of inversions. I've started to practice forearm balances, and I can hold it away from the wall but I still feel like I need the wall behind me because I don't know how to protect myself if I do fall backwards!

As a kid, I was enrolled in gymnastics for a bit, so backbends have been my thing forever. I always make sure I'm really warmed up in the upper back and shoulder/armpit area before doing forearm stand without a wall so that when (notice I said "when" and not "if"  :3: ) I will just be able to flip out without a problem. You could also tuck your head and roll out like a summersault, or come out in a cartwheel if space allows. It's really just a matter of playing around, finding something you're comfortable doing and making that your go-to fall out move. 

 

Dumb question. Deleted.  :31:  

Awww come on! No such thing as a dumb question! :0:

 

If you could go over foot positioning from upward dog to downaWard during sun salutations. Is there a way to do a very brief video with a close up of the feet?

For sure! I'll do a separate post on this with good pics and video. Look for this in about 2-3 wks. Thanks for the suggestion :smileys-flowers-719593:

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Awww come on! No such thing as a dumb question! :0:

 

 

I saw the question before it was deleted and it wasn't a dumb question at all. It was a really important question and it did have everything to do with yoga. I wanted to hear what others thought as well. Maybe the question will come back, maybe start a new topic for it.

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Hi Candace! I was pretty sure I had a decent shoulder flexibility, but when I tried to make necessary rotation and movement to come into king dancer pose my shoulder was completely blocked! :23:

What poses and stretches do you suggest to focus on to increase shoulders flexibility and opening that are needed to come in Natarajasana?

 

Thanks!

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I saw the question before it was deleted and it wasn't a dumb question at all. It was a really important question and it did have everything to do with yoga. I wanted to hear what others thought as well. Maybe the question will come back, maybe start a new topic for it.

 

Well, this is embarrassing. But if you think there are other people feeling this way and it's not just my depression-brain screwing with me, then here goes again:

 

If I can read advice like, "Everyone finds a version [of a pose] that gives themselves a good benefit. It's the person's practice that is important not the pose," (from Anahata above) and recognize the truth and wisdom in it, then why do I still feel like a loser sometimes for taking modifications or skipping certain poses altogether? It's not that I expect to be able to do what a professional yoga instructor does, but sometimes when I compare how I practice to how other people practice I feel like a fraud for calling what I do (on the increasingly rare occasion I actually do it) 'yoga.' Because, comparatively, it often seems like I'm not really doing anything.

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It is sometimes very hard not to compare yourself to other people but yoga is a very personal journey and no two journeys are the same.. Everyone will take modifications to suit their mental and physical needs. It's identifying your needs and choosing the most appropriate yoga for you. for me day at my desk = power yoga, very stressful day = relaxing/chill out..

Also everyone will have a pose that hate or want to skip because at this moment in time in your practice it is just to difficult. Why not revisit it in a few months time..

A quote from another yoga teacher " don't worry if you think your not doing a certain pose that your not doing yoga. If you can breath and move you're doing yoga"

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Well, this is embarrassing. But if you think there are other people feeling this way and it's not just my depression-brain screwing with me, then here goes again:

If I can read advice like, "Everyone finds a version [of a pose] that gives themselves a good benefit. It's the person's practice that is important not the pose," (from Anahata above) and recognize the truth and wisdom in it, then why do I still feel like a loser sometimes for taking modifications or skipping certain poses altogether? It's not that I expect to be able to do what a professional yoga instructor does, but sometimes when I compare how I practice to how other people practice I feel like a fraud for calling what I do (on the increasingly rare occasion I actually do it) 'yoga.' Because, comparatively, it often seems like I'm not really doing anything.

I can definitely relate to that sort of mentality. As pointed out, it's the depression talking, or making some thoughts louder than usual. When those thoughts come to me (and when they do they lead to fun posts like the one I made earlier regarding my frustration with my own practice vs ashtanga) I try to let them go. I'll take a deep breath, let it go, try again and if it doesn't come to me I tell myself that maybe that particular pose wasn't in my cards for the day.

Actually, I received some very valuable advice in this very forum as to what to do in those days when your practice just doesn't come together. I stopped trying. I allowed myself to let it go and opted for a yin yoga practice instead. Maybe it wasn't as physically demanding as I would have liked it to be, but it gave me peace and allowed me to let go of a bad mood that would have only worsened had I forced myself to keep going.

In my opinion, you're not "doing nothing". You're learning where your limits - physical and metal - are at the moment and are learning to work with them. As others have said, yoga is a personal journey. Do I look at what other people can do and think maybe I should be at their level, especially considering I've been doing yoga for some ten years? Absolutely, but then I remember what I can do at the moment, how my body has grown stronger and more flexible, how much calmer my mind is. Maybe it doesn't look like much to others, but I know where I was when I started and that's all that really matters to me.

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If you could go over foot positioning from upward dog to downaWard during sun salutations. Is there a way to do a very brief video with a close up of the feet?

I have a similar question about foot positioning when transitioning from chaturanga to upward dog to downward dog. I can do all 3 poses on their own, but can never seem to "roll over my toes" or transition in between the poses. Are there any tricks to doing that?

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Hi Candace!

 

I have a hamstring question. I'm a former cheerleader and when I cheered, I was a flyer (or the little one that got thrown around a lot/was on top of the pyramids). All that to say that I used to be very flexible. I always flew on my right leg, and used my left leg for tricks (heel stretches and the like) so the leg leg has always been my more flexible leg. Lately, however, I can feel the tightness in my left left way more than I feel it in my right. I feel it the most in the prasarita padottanasana part of the ashtanga series and I'm mildly concerned, as it's so tight that it get painful/I can only feel the stretch in the left leg, never the right during this part of my practice. Could it be that I've overstretched it at some point? I can't get it to lengthen back out/ become more flexible for the life of me and, quite honestly, I'm a little scared to try. Do you have any suggestions on loosening it back up?

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Hi Candace, 

 

I saw that you like to go to the gym for other exercise. I also really enjoy lifting weights at the gym, however, I feel like every time I go to the gym I make my muscles really tight and put myself back in gaining flexibility in yoga. I have much more to be gained in flexibility than strength, but do you have any advice for ways to adjust my gym or yoga workout to counter-act the extra tightness I feel after the gym? 

 

Thanks!

 

Brooke 

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Hi Candace!

 

I have a hamstring question. I'm a former cheerleader and when I cheered, I was a flyer (or the little one that got thrown around a lot/was on top of the pyramids). All that to say that I used to be very flexible. I always flew on my right leg, and used my left leg for tricks (heel stretches and the like) so the leg leg has always been my more flexible leg. Lately, however, I can feel the tightness in my left left way more than I feel it in my right. I feel it the most in the prasarita padottanasana part of the ashtanga series and I'm mildly concerned, as it's so tight that it get painful/I can only feel the stretch in the left leg, never the right during this part of my practice. Could it be that I've overstretched it at some point? I can't get it to lengthen back out/ become more flexible for the life of me and, quite honestly, I'm a little scared to try. Do you have any suggestions on loosening it back up?

I think, if your whole life you've favored the more flexible leg, that it'll just take a while to get the other leg to that same point of flexibility. I'd recommend just being gentle with yourself, and stretching with lots of yin or slow hatha yoga. Don't over-do it. Try to avoid expecting a 'final destination' for that leg. Rather, be in the moment, breathe through the tension, go slowly and work mindfully. I know that's probably not the most concrete of answers, but I do hope it helps.

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Hi Candace, 

 

I saw that you like to go to the gym for other exercise. I also really enjoy lifting weights at the gym, however, I feel like every time I go to the gym I make my muscles really tight and put myself back in gaining flexibility in yoga. I have much more to be gained in flexibility than strength, but do you have any advice for ways to adjust my gym or yoga workout to counter-act the extra tightness I feel after the gym? 

 

Thanks!

 

Brooke 

Hey there! I have definitely experienced exactly what you're describing and the things that help me most are to start and end the lifting with a few minutes of slow hatha yoga just to stretch. Sometimes it'll be 10 minutes and I'll feel warmed up and ready to go and sometimes it'll be 30 or even 60 minutes. I really try to listen to what my body needs. I also find that when I am more hydrated, my muscle recovery time is better. And when I'm really stiff, I do epsom bath salt soaks and take a couple days off from the gym :)

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Well, this is embarrassing. But if you think there are other people feeling this way and it's not just my depression-brain screwing with me, then here goes again:

 

If I can read advice like, "Everyone finds a version [of a pose] that gives themselves a good benefit. It's the person's practice that is important not the pose," (from Anahata above) and recognize the truth and wisdom in it, then why do I still feel like a loser sometimes for taking modifications or skipping certain poses altogether? It's not that I expect to be able to do what a professional yoga instructor does, but sometimes when I compare how I practice to how other people practice I feel like a fraud for calling what I do (on the increasingly rare occasion I actually do it) 'yoga.' Because, comparatively, it often seems like I'm not really doing anything.

Sorry, everyone, I totally should've done multi-quote  - promise I will do it next time. #badforumparticipant  :43:

 

Please don't feel embarrassed for asking an honest question. It sounds like your expectations of yourself are getting in the way. It happens to all of us I think (someone please tell me I'm not alone, haha). Listen. It's easy to be influenced by what we see around us, whether in class or on social media. There are yoga instructors who can do the craziest arm balances that I know I can't even safely attempt to do at this point in my practice. Has that gotten me down before? Absolutely. Have I questioned what business I have running a yoga blog if I fall half the time out of x pose and can't do a "perfect" y pose? Yes. Have I felt like a total fraud because I eat meat and drink bone broth like nobody's business? You better believe it. But you know what that is? 

 

Expectation.

 

Sometimes I'll get down about it, consider shutting the whole thing down, but then this little voice will pop up inside of me and yell, "Show me the rule book where it says yoga teachers have to be able to do all poses or remember every single sanskrit name, or be vegan, or never get angry! Show me the rule book where it says yoga teachers must never wear make up or get excited about a new pair or yoga pants or enjoy practicing to rock and roll once in a while!" 

 

There is no rule book. 

 

The real yoga, in my opinion, is the breath linked with the movement. Who freaking cares if I can't do x or y? Who cares if I need to modify this or that? Nobody. As long as I'm breathing and letting go, I'm doing yoga.

 

So each time I step on the mat, I try to let go of expectations for myself, for the teacher, for the class. I also envision a light switch in my head that connects to my thoughts, and I flick it off (do I sound nuts yet :sweatingbullets: ) and try to do the entire practice thoughtless. And when a thought comes (they always do), I just let it float from one side of my head to the other like a cloud, and watch it go by without giving it any energy. 

 

Try that, maybe. And read this. Hugs. :13:

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