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robert

safe to use strap assist in fire log?

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Is it safe to use a strap to help bring down the above leg in firelog, by wrapping it around both legs and gradually tightening?

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While I can't advise on the safety issue you seek, I started this pose a few months ago and can now rest my ankle down on my knee. I practiced by putting pillows or blankets in between knee and ankle to provide support. Over time gravity eased the top leg gradually down and helped loosen up the hip.

YMMV

Edited by LarryD517
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Yikes, I don't know, Robert. I was taught not to ever force anything - particularly the knee - to go anywhere. That being said, I have had some master teachers show some crazy assists like in cobbler's pose, I was taught to press down right outside the hip crease which felt like AGONY for my knees and in my opinion, did not feel safe. When I think about the assists I know with regards the hip opening poses, the assist is generally on or around the hips. I wouldn't recommend actively manipulating the knee, but that's just my opinion. Instead, I would just sit in firelog for however long was comfortable ("comfortable" being, you know, not excruciating, haha), and then switch legs. Along with that, I would keep up a solid yin practice with focus on hip opening poses. Over time with consistent practice, the knee should come down on its own as the hips open up.

afriske and robert like this

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..., I would keep up a solid yin practice ...

For us newbies (and advanced newbies), can you describe yin (in under three sentences). Thanks!

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I like to think of Yin as a contrast to Restorative. Both types of yoga are characterized by long holds of poses (5-15 minutes each). In Restorative the goal is to minimize intensity, giving the muscles and tissues of the body a break from the normal use - not so much about a stretch, and about a relaxation. Yin, however is much more intense - the long holds are intended to allow you to move into the connective tissues of the body, using props to slowly find a deeper and deeper stretch.

Not quite under 3 sentences but you get the gist :)

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I like to think of Yin as a contrast to Restorative. Both types of yoga are characterized by long holds of poses (5-15 minutes each). In Restorative the goal is to minimize intensity, giving the muscles and tissues of the body a break from the normal use - not so much about a stretch, and about a relaxation. Yin, however is much more intense - the long holds are intended to allow you to move into the connective tissues of the body, using props to slowly find a deeper and deeper stretch.

Not quite under 3 sentences but you get the gist :)

Thanks....good answer!

I guess the closest I come is when they keep us in pigeon for (what seems like) an eternity. 

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Yikes, I don't know, Robert. I was taught not to ever force anything - particularly the knee - to go anywhere. That being said, I have had some master teachers show some crazy assists like in cobbler's pose, I was taught to press down right outside the hip crease which felt like AGONY for my knees and in my opinion, did not feel safe. When I think about the assists I know with regards the hip opening poses, the assist is generally on or around the hips. I wouldn't recommend actively manipulating the knee, but that's just my opinion. Instead, I would just sit in firelog for however long was comfortable ("comfortable" being, you know, not excruciating, haha), and then switch legs. Along with that, I would keep up a solid yin practice with focus on hip opening poses. Over time with consistent practice, the knee should come down on its own as the hips open up.

Thanks, I guess I just need to be more patient with it. My knee will go down while folding forward and will stay down after coming out again, but always starts pretty high up.

My own practice, especially in the evening, tends to lean towards Yin style. It's long holds with support to allow you to relax more. Although for some reason the one who popularised it renamed all the poses, which I find somewhat annoying given that most of them are already asana.

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... Both types of yoga are characterized by long holds of poses (5-15 minutes each)...

When doing either are their specific poses or can any pose be held? Well, I know I can do anything I want, but what I mean is...is a Yin Practice a routine?

Edited by LarryD517

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Thanks, @brenskip, for jumping in with an answer!! So appreciate that! 

Larry, I'm not sure I totally understand your question. Yin is a style of yoga, and you could do a whole yin class for 2+ hours, or you could do a power class and end with a few yin poses, holding them for 5+ minutes each. Does that help to answer the question? Yin should be super, super passive - like you wouldn't hold warrior 2 for 5+ minutes and call it anything other than torture haha. Yin is deep, passive stretching. Hope that helps, let us know!

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Thanks, @yogagoddess! What I wanted to know is...if I decide to sit in firelog for a few minutes, then pigeon for a few minutes, then seated fold for a few minutes...is that Yin?

Is Yin basically picking poses you want to work on and hold them for a long time. Vinyasa and/or Ashtanga seem to have a flow, a pattern. Does Yin have one...or is it just...find a pose and hold it? 

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Is Yin basically picking poses you want to work on and hold them for a long time. Vinyasa and/or Ashtanga seem to have a flow, a pattern. Does Yin have one...or is it just...find a pose and hold it?

Larry,

I think I know what you are getting at. And, yes, in Yin there are certain types of poses - as Candace said they are poses that could be done in a passive manner - meaning you're using gravity to and props, rather than muscle to hold the pose. There are also different names for the poses in true Yin, since the objective of the pose is different than in a regular yang yoga practice. As far as sequencing of poses, there is no set sequence, the order of poses would vary depending on what you are trying to accomplish with your practice. So yes, if you were to hold firelog then pigeon pose for 5 minutes, that could be considered Yin, IF  you are using props in order to move into those postures passively.

Check out this site for some more info: http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_yinyoga_asanas.php The link will take you straight to a list of asanas (or poses), and as you click on them you will see that some look familiar from your regular yang style yoga practice, but in Yin they have different names. You can cruise around that website to get all sorts of information on Yin yoga. Have fun!

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Larry,

I think I know what you are getting at. .... You can cruise around that website to get all sorts of information on Yin yoga. Have fun!

Good answer...thanks!

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Robert, It is really good that you were suspicious, questioned this and asked before proceeding.
I have to ask;  Did you see a picture or video of this? I would kind of like to see (and I kind of don’t want to see it either.) It is really scary if someone is trying to teach this. This is ripping the knee joint apart, surgery or lifelong injuries.
It is important to learn the the most basic poses really well. They are the building blocks for everything else that comes next. The most basic version of Fire Log pose is Sukhasana- Easy pose. Sukhasana may not seem very complicated. But a full teaching in a book will be 5-10 pages long. In a class maybe that is 10 minutes of teaching and repeat many times. I learned from books mostly. The pose isn’t as simple as it appears. It is very important to take the time to learn the most basic poses thoroughly.
 
Start with Dandasana – Staff Pose
 
Then Sukhasana
 
Then Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle Pose
Never force the pose. Instead, practice a modified version until your flexibility increases”
There is a saying, never force the knee to do something the hip is not able.
 
Agnistambhasana - Fire Log Pose
 
All the links offer variations and other poses perhaps in a different order than I have given. Take the most basic versions and work from there. If anyone wishes to add to this or suggest alternatives it will be good to have more information.

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Nobody recommended it, it was just something I thought of as a possibility. Thanks for the advice, I completely accept the complexity that arises from looking at something apparently simple in detail.

Staff pose is still impossible to do properly due to hamstrings, easy pose is fine and I can almost get my knees to the floor in bound angle without pushing it. Fire log my knee starts quite high but goes down after a few mins, one side is much tighter than the other.

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