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A New Year of Dedicated Home Yoga Practice: 2014 - Page 3

post #41 of 88
Thread Starter 

This has been my fun challenge recently:

 

http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/469

 

Chaturanga dandasana is usually part of the sun salutation, but I've never been content moving *through* it.  I've always felt like it was sloppy and that entire part of the sequence needed examining.  However, in the midst of a class I could never have time to explore it.  Of course, I always forgot to ask the instructor beforehand, remembering only as I flopped my way through another round.

 

At home recently, I've been holding this pose.  I can't believe how sudden and heavy my breathing becomes.  It is not a pose I can hold for any length, but getting better (nothing close to the "10-30 seconds" this page suggests).  I can make 3 breaths before I have to go to the floor--not 3 relaxed and slow breaths, mind you.  I've noticed since doing a home practice and focusing more on core poses than anything that my biggest problem with this pose and that part of the sequence was my floppy core.  

 

I always thought I was strong (gardener and grunt, aikido, sword play, etc.) but yoga taught me otherwise, and I never realized how week my middle was until I started focusing on strengthening it.  I like to think "there is more than one reason to call it the 'core'".  It is, indeed, central to yoga practice.  I feel that all asanas radiate out from this area, depend upon this area.  That feeling could be because it is my current focus, and in the universe, all points are central, aren't they?

 

Check out the pose index on the same page.  Fun.

post #42 of 88
I am just about to start "dating" yoga. LoL! I haven't really started yet, just researching. But I would love to begin this year. I've been interested for years, but never really started.
post #43 of 88

SweetSilver, I'm very impressed that you're even able to do chaturanga dandasana at all! My arms just give way underneath me if I try to come down from the plank pose into that pose.

 

But one thing I did just start doing over the weekend was adding the plank pose to my sun salutations sequence. I learned about it while reading up on how to do chaturanga dandasana, after reading your post. I also came across instructions about breathing during sun salutations -- inhaling on head-up poses, exhaling on head-down ones (which I actually had been doing -- only I'd been taking a lot of breaths during each pose. I think that's why it was so easy for me.

 

Now I've been doing just one inhale or exhale on each pose, and it's very, very challenging. I even had a bit of a headache on Sunday.

 

Right at the moment, I'm still just very tired and am also still eating a lot. I really need to get centered and get my eating back in balance, so I don't start gaining all my weight back.

post #44 of 88
Hi Im slightly new to yoga I downloaded an app on my phone but havent got a consistent practice going just yet I have a couple youtube channels im subscribed to but again have yet to try them I like what a previous poster s aid about just going with what your body wants to do rather than following a video or book.

My questions are what mats do you use or would recommend? and how do you go about adding new poses to your practice do you do them seperately after your sun salutations or try to put them into a routine straight away?
post #45 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
 

 

Now I've been doing just one inhale or exhale on each pose, and it's very, very challenging. I even had a bit of a headache on Sunday.

 

Right at the moment, I'm still just very tired and am also still eating a lot. I really need to get centered and get my eating back in balance, so I don't start gaining all my weight back.

I often take more than one breath each pose.  I just find that my body requires it.  Another nice thing about home practice.  I do sometimes move one breath as I change, but I am specifically building up heat, and I can't maintain it for very long.  In those cases, I take some extra breaths in mountain pose before starting another round.

 

I am also tired, eating a lot, gaining weight.  I'm 10 pounds up, and I think that's part of why I'm tired.

 

On the flip side, I did 5 days of yoga in a row!  Two of 3 of those days was less than a minute, though, and none was longer than 10, but I'm counting it.  I got on the mat, or did a slidey-routine without one (see below) every day, and I'm proud of that.  This morning, I don't know what inspired it, but I closed my eyes and did my short routine in socks on the wood floor, imagining the points that radiated outward, upward and down in each pose and as I moved.  Interesting, to say the least.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yammas View Post

My questions are what mats do you use or would recommend? and how do you go about adding new poses to your practice do you do them seperately after your sun salutations or try to put them into a routine straight away?

I use whatever.  The natural rubber ones are great if your hands get sweaty and slip, which mine do when I'm in a class but not so much at home.  Also, the tightly woven cotton mats available at some studios are great to throw over the top as well.  Otherwise, I'll pull out any mat which works well enough.  I also do some without a mat, on our woven cotton throw rugs, or even straight on the wood floor in my socks.  Great for core work!  Slide from forearm plank with hands clasped to dolphin and back and wow!  I'll do that for short yoga sessions when I'm feeling lazy and still in my socks.  You have to do a narrow down-dog to keep from sliding.  A fun way to shake things up a bit.

 

I tend to explore a new pose on its own, or try a new sequence that is laid out for me, for at least a week until I can internalize it.  Then I'll go back to my usual routines and fit it in.

 

You ladies are inspiring me to keep up the good work, however infinitesimal it is.

post #46 of 88

I usually do my yoga on a carpeted floor, so I've never bought a mat.

 

By the way, I've decided not to be so strict regarding the breathing during sun salutations, and I felt much better while and after doing them today. No headache.

post #47 of 88

Hi! Can I join in? I'm really hoping to get back on the yoga wagon. I haven't done yoga in years after spending many years practicing at home, going to classes, etc. My life is currently super stressful, depressing, and I am fatigued on most days. I SAHM with my 2 yo while my son is at school. I'm lacking adequate space for yoga. I do have some DVDs - I have Rodney Yee's Family Yoga, Rodney Yee's Yoga For Beginners, and one of my belly dance DVDs has some yoga practice on it (important for my form of belly dance). Does anyone have recommendations for a quickie yoga series - maybe something on YouTube?

post #48 of 88

Well, I got some encouraging news this morning. I'd had a fatty deposit under one eye, which was kind of embarrassing because it looked like a glob of gunk -- but I looked in the mirror this morning and saw that it had completely disappeared!

 

I'm only 30 lbs. away from my goal weight, after losing over 90 lbs. since November of 2012, and all of a sudden I'm losing steam. I'm slipping back into old binging habits. But I can't give up now! It's so much fun running up the stairs now and not even feeling out of breath -- and going up and down the stairs without any knee pain.

 

Yet I've been depressed by how old I feel like I look now. I've always been the sort to maybe slap on some makeup for a special occasion or just for fun -- I think I wore a little eyeshadow  for my wedding -- but to feel really, really comfortable with a clean, no makeup face and hair that I've just washed and let dry. I felt good about how I looked in the mirror.

 

Now, at 49, I feel like I see an old lady's face looking back at me. Gotta go -- more later!

post #49 of 88
MrsMike - I subscribed to kino yoga and tara stiles on youtube but if you search for beginner yoga and you can find plenty more. I also love briohny and dice she has some videos on yogis annonymous but their more advanced (handstands, splits etc)

Mammal_mama - I just wanted to say congrats on your weight loss do you have anything planned for reaching your goal?
post #50 of 88

Quote:

Originally Posted by featherednest View Post

 Even in yoga I push, I criticize myself, compare myself... and then I remember. This is why I do yoga. To see this, to release it, to soften into the quiet space, the calm, pure kernel of me that exists when I peel the rest away.

I also love this!

 

What I have come to realize since I first found this post: I originally posted a long list of what I wanted to do as a home practice. It involved daily morning and night practice as well as a more extended practice four times a week, not to mention a try at walking meditation. But I ended up falling into a more organic, and less ambitious, routine. Life flows organically (is that redundant?), so I flow with it and find my mat when I can. I think the important thing for me is trying to do a little every day. Goals are good, but simplifying is even better for me. I am more apt to be consistent if I think more generally: "I will do yoga today." Rather than if I am very specific about it: "I will do yoga for ten minutes in the morning, 20 minutes in the afternoon, and 10 minutes at night."

 

I have fallen a bit away from my yoga. I went out of town for a few days. Then, upon returning, dd came down with the flu and I am definitely fighting it too. I was going to skip yoga again today, but after checking back in here, I'm gonna go to my mat. No pushing, just breathing, listening, feeling, being. Thanks!

post #51 of 88
What a lovely idea for a thread. I have done yoga on and off for more than 10 years. I have a lovely class once a week, but I've realized for some time now what I need to move forward is a daily practice. I work full time with 2 young kids, so squeezing that in is going to be tough, but this is a great thread to try to give me some extra inspiration/push to work on that problem. smile.gif

And maybe I'll start now by putting down the iPad and squeezing in some triconasana (my favourite) right now. smile.gif
post #52 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yammas View Post

Mammal_mama - I just wanted to say congrats on your weight loss do you have anything planned for reaching your goal?

I finally got a chance to post some more!

 

I think my main plan is really paying attention to my attitudes, thoughts, and feelings, and getting to the root of why I still sometime turn to food for comfort or fun. I'm realizing that one important step is learning to find the beauty in my 49-year-old face and body, and over the last couple of days, I have actually started feeling a lot better about how I look. I think the disappearance of the fatty deposit helped me see how I've still got lots of ability to improve in the beauty department -- it's not just all "downhill from here."

 

Another important step is learning to be still and find my identity, security, sense of belonging, and fun in the love, life, beauty, and excitement that continually courses through the entire universe. The last couple of mornings, I've woken up feeling very energetic, like I was already connected before even "doing" any yoga. This makes me realize that yoga isn't just something we "do" -- it's a continual state of being that we just need to maintain -- or stay aligned with.

post #53 of 88

Hello Yoga Mommas! 

 

It is so incredible to see so many new people on here these days!  Hooray!  This thread is really happenin’ all of a sudden! :joy Welcome hugs to BlueInTheEyes, Crazytownmama, Shakti77, RebeloveMa, mammal_mama, Featherednest, BlackAngelPlayah, MrsMike, Yammas, and prosciencemum!   And an extra special welcome to my bosom friend, the wonderful ms. mamacats! :flowersforyou(I like using that term; it always brings me back to my girlhood and makes me think of Anne of Green Gables and her “bosom friend” the lovely Diana.)  Mamacatsbaby, you always make every discussion livelier, more interesting, and more intimate.  I am delighted to see you here!   I hope all of you new folks stick around to share this home practice journey with the teensy-tiny group of us who joined up last year.  How fun to have a full room!   Which reminds me, Actiasluna, are you still out there?  Would love to hear if you have reclaimed your yoga groove.

 

{Disclaimer: I started writing this post about ten days ago before taking a week off from all internet access during vacation, so sorry if some of my responses are a little out of date…}

 

BlueInTheEyes-  I also have a MH diagnosis (bi-polar Type II) and have been off psychiatric meds since a couple of months into my pregnancy with DS (about 4 years).   I have found that both exercise and meditation have been tremendously helpful.  I want more children and am reluctant to begin medication again until after they have arrived and are weaned, (which seems like it just may take another decade :eyesroll ,)  so instead I am super vigilant about diet, sleep, and general self-care.  After my miscarriage last spring I was really afraid that I might slip into something too dark and scary to crawl out of but I had really just begun a pretty regular practice of yoga and meditation which I now credit with keeping me sane(-ish) during those first few months of desperate disappointment.  (Well, that and the wonderful support I received over at the Hope, Healing, and Conceiving MDC board :blowkiss).  Practicing mindfulness, detachment, compassion, are all super helpful when dealing with a mood disorder; I imagine yoga and the related philosophies must be similarly helpful for OCD.  Hang in there mama!  It only gets better right?

 

Crazytownmama-  I think 10 mins/day is the ideal way to start a new practice.  You could get a book or a video- the daily moon salutation I do now I got from a book, and there are some good 10 min practices out there (I still like & recommend Murial Heminway’s 10 min Energizer, and Rodney Yee’s 10 min De-stressor  ) or I imagine that you could just look up some Sun or Moon Salutation sequences on the web and do as many as fit into your 10 minute window.  Alternately, perhaps you could just roll out your mat and spend a little time getting reacquainted.  Maybe just see what poses your body remembers, let this month be a time of re-discovery without expectation, just feel your way thru for a few minutes every day?  Whatever you decide, best wishes for your journey!

post #54 of 88

Shakti77-  I did Prenatal Yoga with Shiva Rhea when I was pregnant with DS.  I liked it okay but she did some chair work that I always found a bit cumbersome.  On the other hand, that woman is a Kegel Queen!  :thumb I like Jennifer Wolfe’s Prenatal offering a little better, although it is definitely more vigorous, but she includes 15 min, 30 min, 45 min, and 75 minute practices.  Thanks for the link, Gurmukh is awesome.  I also have a video of hers that got increased play towards the end of the third trimester.  Do you have her book, Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful?  It is one of my favorites for pregnancy. 

 

Featherednest- Yay, two pregnant ladies!  I like the direction this thread is taking :wink. Yoga training, how exciting!  It’s one of my secret dreams to teach yoga someday, seems like a long road between here and there right now.  Please tell us more.  What type of yoga are you learning?  How long is the course?  I am very curious. 

(BTW  “Featherednest” is a beautiful name.) 

 

RebeloveMa- I’ve had limited exposure but I’ve loved all the Qi Gong exercises I’ve been introduced to.  I take a delicious Tai Chi class at the town hall and we sometimes warm up with that arm swinging you mentioned, “the washing machine”. 

Your plan sounds like the kind I make, I love it, your pre-bed routine sounds especially nice.  To me, it also sounds ambitious.  What kind of timeline are you working with?  Are these the goals for this year or this month?  How attached are you to these specific goals?  Will you keep track of them?  How?  How near is near enough?  And then-- how supportive is your partner?  Does your child’s temperament support these goals? What other chores, errands, general demands on your time might interfere with these new times you have set aside?  Don’t get me wrong, I love your plan, the specificity really appeals to me, and it sounds blissfully delicious.  It is totally my kind of plan.  I’m really curious about what happens next.  (Sorry, I wrote all this to you before getting to read your latest post… I really like your new organic go-with-the-flow just-do-some everyday vibe :D)

 

post #55 of 88

Mamacatsbaby- Yeah, perfectionism is a prison.  I know, I been in and out of the joint my whole life.  :duck But seriously, we can’t actually fail right?  Please tell me I am not still being graded. 

I am with you on just trying to fit in a little here and there.  I am crazy for forward bends and twists, the wide-legged forward bend with shoulder twist is a regular favorite any time I have a little minute alone.  Tree pose gets a lot of play when waiting around. 

I love that your boys are little yogis! :love DS is usually hanging around when I do my practice but he is still much more interested in climbing on me than doing the poses himself.   There is a little here and there, but not much.  I have mostly given up any sitting practice because too much stillness invites trouble.    

 

mammal_mama-  I loved your (original) post!  Thank you for joining this group!  I am at a point of some struggle with my motherhood journey and I get almost giddy with gratitude any time I come across another momma who has a more than three year gap between babies or had one at a more *mature* age.  It is really annoying to me that so many people assume that since my DS is 3 and there isn't another on the way yet, or since I am over the magic age of 35, that I must be done having children.  I am not. 

Thanks for the links; I look forward to checking them out in the next week or two.  Gurmuhk’s prenatal video is the only Kundalini yoga I’ve ever tried but I’d be interested in learning more about it. 

Yay for Yogaville!  I used to live very near there.  And practicing with a friend is a real treat.

Congrats on all your weight loss.  90lbs!  That is truly incredible!  :bgbounceOur society does make aging rather difficult on women, but I think the signs of age on a face can be remarkably beautiful.  I live in an aging community so most of the women I spend time with are older (late 50’s to mid 80’s) and there is truly a wealth of beauty in their faces.  My sister-in-law is the same age as me (36) and she is already talking about doing Botox.  I am so thankful that I live in a community where women are not expected to make such efforts.  Nobody around here wears much make-up, hardly anyone dyes their hair, the snow and mud mean that heels are out of the question.  In my early 20’s I lived in Miami and even at that age I found the expectations for women there oppressive.  Hooray for the sweet shelter of rural New England. 

post #56 of 88

prosciencemum-  Mmmm, I love triconasana too.  :yum When I first started doing yoga (15 yrs ago) it was one of the more challenging poses for me.  The ease with which I can slip into it now is always a welcome reminder of how far I’ve come.  I don’t do nearly enough standing sequences these days, and if I do it’s usually just the warriors.  Thanks for reminding me of this great pose.   

 

SweetSilver-  Hooray for five days in a row! :twothumbs Eeek to doing yoga on the wood floor in socks; that sounds treacherous to me!  Thanks for all the recommendations, especially for the kiddie videos, I will definitely make one my next purchase.  DS is almost always with me and sometimes tries out a pose or two but loses interest quickly, maybe seeing other children will increase his staying power.  I actually did get Yoga Burn and watched it the other day while doing the dishes but I have yet to carve out the time to do it.  It looks great though.  I kinda think of you as my yoga librarian with all your magazine/video knowledge.     

 

MrsMike, BlackAngelPlayah, Yammas-  Getting started is the hardest part.  How are you doing?  What’s working?  What’s not? 

 

Jaxy-  What’s up?  How’s it going?

 

post #57 of 88

AFMy Practice-  Things are really good and regular.  In the 27 days since Christmas I have only missed 3, one was a massive shoveling day and the other two were 14hour travel days.  :) It has gotten pretty automatic for me most mornings and even more so in the evenings.  It feels stranger to skip then to do it these days so now it feels like it may be time to step things up.  I have started taking a Yoga/Pilates fusion class at the Y on Saturdays and I really like it.   I haven’t been to a class in over 4 years, so it feels a little weird and kinda distracting to have so many other people around but it has encouraged me to try some new things in my home practice and push myself a little more.  At home I usually go pretty slow and almost never sweat, the class has me realizing that I miss that.  So I am hoping to start fitting in at least one long practice each week.  We went on vacation last week and stayed with my in-laws in Florida. :dizzy  In the past I’ve had trouble maintaining a daily practice just before my menses but since we were down there and I was in desperate need of alone time and stress relief I managed to continue to practice every day.  Still, there are parts of my practice that have gotten less regular even as practicing in general has gotten more regular, namely my sitting meditation.  Originally I was doing about 5 minutes after I finished with the asanas but lately I’ve been skipping it.  Adding that back in at least once a day will be my second goal for this month.   And lastly, my super slow trip through my Fully Fertile book (12- Week Plan) has me at week 5 and the offering for this week is a mood elevating practice featuring Ardha Chandrasana, Uttanasana, Virabhadrasana I, Salabasana, Setu Bandhasana, Ustrasana, Simhasana, Matsyasana, and Jiru Sirasana.  I’m gonna try and cut back on the Moon Salutes and spend more time in my morning practice on these things.  It should be a real challenge since backbends and heart openers and basically anything that asks me to look up make me a little uncomfortable.  But it is right on time because last year at this time I was pregnant and so hopeful and happy, and I am really dreading the coming anniversary of my miscarriage (March).  My acupuncturist has encouraged me to cultivate an attitude of joyful expectation rather than getting caught up in a cycle of hope and despair.  But I am still struggling with feelings of fear (what if I don’t get pregnant again? What if I do but I have another miscarriage?), yup I definitely need more meditation in my life.   :meditate

post #58 of 88
Thread Starter 

A lot of pregnant moms on here.  I wanted to guide those who are new to yoga or prenatal yoga to read some ideas, modifications, guidelines and cautions that you might get automatically from a yoga instructor who is aware of your pregnancy.  Since you are your own yoga instructor, I am playing cautious here and offering up a link or two that addresses those issues.

 

For all levels:  http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/879

 

For experienced students:  http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/767

 

The advice is that if you are new to yoga, stick with prenatal yoga.  If you are an experienced student, please reread the modifications and cautions for your practice.

 

I think the primary safety concern is with twists.  Sources advise to keep the belly area facing the same direction as your pelvis, twisting ever so slightly from the bra strap-area of your torso.

 

Practice safely, and :namaste.

post #59 of 88

I am really digging the intimacy of this group and wanted to thank everyone for sharing their stories, struggles, and fears.:happyt

 

@ MsBe - Thank you for the warm response and for sharing your story. I also would like to have another baby, and though I have not had a miscarriage, I will be past the "age" by the time I try to conceive , so I worry about it. I am sending you warm fuzzy power as you pursue your journey in motherhood.

 

And this brings me to this: I want to dedicate my yoga practice for the next week to fear, not in honor of it, but in recognition of it. I don't consider myself an overly fearful person, but it enacts hostile take-overs of my being once in a while! And while I am not usually seized by fear, I find the low-grade version that lurks behind many of my thoughts to be even more disruptive than all out terror. Fear is the reason every time I think, "I'm getting too old to have another kid" or "I probably won't be able to do ___________ (fill-in-th-blank), so I should not take the risk." It is the shadow to my confidence and aspirations. But this week I will notice. I want to feel it before my mind runs in dark circles (it usually starts in my stomach). And I want to breath light into it, cast out the shadow.

 

I think the most scary thing about fear to me is that it is often accompanied by loneliness. It always seems to creep up on my when I am quiet and tired, like when I am laying in my bed at night waiting for sleep. Fear feeds off of loneliness. But I am really not alone, and remembering that, like when I read this forum, makes me feel brave. So I will meet my fears face to face on my mat! ON GUARD! fencing.gif 

post #60 of 88

RebeloveMa-  Love what you said about fear.  Love that you are dedicating your practice to the recognition of it and its power over our lives this week.  I agree that the "low-grade" version that we often even fail to take notice of is the most bothersome kind.  You got me thinking about a book I read ages ago by Rollo May, Love and Will.  Anybody know it?  One of the things that has really stayed with me all these years after reading it was that he proposed that all of our actions arise from one of these two motivations: love or fear.  When we look around us, or even more importantly, look at our own lives, with this dichotomy in mind, it can be dismaying to see how many of our choices are driven by fear.  Holding close to and acting from a place of love is difficult, and sometimes, for me at least, downright frightening in itself.   bigeyes.gif  I like that you made that connection with loneliness, I had not really given that much thought before.  I love being alone, so I connect the point you made about loneliness more with the feeling of "only."  Only I am feeling this struggle, only I am in pain, only I face these obstacles.  But that isn't ever really true, is it?  I believe we are all in this together; we are dependent on one another, and interconnected in ways we cannot even fathom.   Please do share any thoughts/ feelings/ insights that arise for you this week around fear.  I'd love to hear more.

 

In My Practice- I am still working on gratitude but I think I am getting somewhere with it.  :D  I really am feeling more conscious of the great things that I have going on in my life and less anxiety about what I don't have yet (another child).  But I'm coming up to ovulation (with the new moon) and the first half of my cycle is always the more optimistic time for me.  During the second half I always feel like perhaps I should begin preparing myself for disappointment.  This time around I am really going to work on bringing that attitude of "joyful expectation" into my practice (and my life).  Not that it has to happen right now, but that it will happen in the right time.  Since I wrote last I have only managed one 5 minute session of sitting meditation, but it's something right?

 

SweetSilver-  I did Yoga Burn with Rodney the other night.  Really liked it.  Thanks again for the recommendation.  :)   

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