I often wonder if people are afraid of yoga.hard yoga pose

I mean in the media you always see these super toned, super fit, super flexible people doing these seemingly out-of-this-world super poses and you think  Um, yeah… Like I could ever do THAT in a million years. 

Then there’s the stigma and sort of unspoken judgements that are put on people who do yoga. Especially if a MAN does yoga.  I mean women who do yoga are “just hippies try to get in touch with mother earth or some crap” but if a man does yoga they “must be girly men trying to get in touch with their feminine side.”    And no manly-man wants to be thought of as girly.

Our ancestors {read parents and grandparents  who grew up in the 30’s – 50’s}  have created such a fast paced,  overly single-minded and judgmental “buck up buttercup” “nose to the grindstone” society that it’s seriously affecting our health as individuals and as a nation.

yoga is good for youFact is;  yoga is good for you.  It’s good for your body,  it’s good for your health, it’s good for your mind, and it’s good for your spirit.

So, If you’re like me… you might have done a tiny bit of research or heard from your doctor that yoga is good for fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and chronic pain sufferers.  So, you decide to go to a class.   As I mentioned in my post, Fear the ultimate captor, I went to my first ever yoga class at a gym near by.   It was a disaster.  However, I figured out a better way to practice yoga.

Okay see, here are the problems with going to a  yoga class (even if it says gentle – as mine did)  as a chronic pain / fatigue sufferer.

  •  The instructor has been doing this forever  and is bound to be way more flexible than you.  And doesn’t realize or care that you can’t do that yet.
  •   The people in the class (unless it’s a very new class) have been going longer than you so they can do it  better than you as well.
  •   Because it’s in a group environment our natural instinct to at least keep up if not compete, kicks in.  So we push ourselves to go as fast and do exactly what others are doing even though our bodies are screaming at us to slow down or just stop completely.
  •   We can’t or don’t focus on how our body feels, whether our body is in the wrong position, how deeply we’re breathing  because we are trying to just go through the motions and keep up with the instructor / other classmates.

So, don’t do yoga in a class until I’ve practiced by myself for a while, got it.   There are a lot of great videos out there like the one I use — Hatha & Flow Yoga for Beginners.  Practicing yoga at home is wonderful because it is very important to go slow, listen to your body’s limits, and stop if it’s become too much at that time.   As my doctor told me  recently when I told him I love to swim, “I want you to do half a lap and get out. Do that for a week. Then do a full lap and get out.   Do that for a week. Then do a lap and a half, and so on.”

The point is the the point isbest way to stick with an exercise, is to do less than you think you are able so that you are motivated to keep going and build up .  If you just jump right in at the level you think you are able to do… it will be very hard on your body and mind and you will have less motivation to continue.

However, If you do not start in the correct position, or align yourself correctly  – because most videos just jump into telling you to do a pose, instead of taking time to explain what a pose means and how to do it correctly – you could injure yourself.  Which brings us back to where we started…

I have done more research on the web and here’s what I found.

Here is a link  about guys doing and sticking with yoga. It is so important for everyone.

Here is a very important link that talks about the crucial aspects of foot placement.  Foot placement is the foundation of yoga and is very important to get right for the rest of your body to fall into alignment.

Here is a great explanatory link on what exactly mountain pose is. It isn’t just standing there stiffly.

And another helpful link on the correct positioning of downward facing dog.  Another important pose, that is important for back pain and tight hip relief.

Last but not least, this link  is just perfect for beginners, start-overers, or just plain yoga dummies.  Which is what I consider myself to be.  If you’ve kept up with my last few posts… I’ve been stressed.  And because I’ve been stressed, I treated my body horribly. I haven’t done yoga for about … *head hung in shame mumbling to my chest* 4 months. And let me tell you, boy do I notice.  My flare-ups have gone haywire!   What the heck am I DOING?!  So I am a start-overer.  I am using this link because I am indeed a dummy.

the ark vs the titanic