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12-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rox_yr_sox View Post
I seriously don't know how I'll ever feel comfortable in headstand. My teacher is like 'just relax and breath', and I'm thinking, "hello, almost all my body weight is going through my head, how can I chill out in this pose?!".
As I understand it, your weight is NOT supposed to rest on your head. This would be unpleasant as well as stressful/dangerous for your cervical spine. I did gymastics when I was a kid, and could do a headstand already (but always found it unpleasant like you), but I had to learn it from the beginning in yoga because it is very different in my opinion. Resting the head in a kind of triangle formed by the underarms, I took very little steps, always checking if I could lift my head up, leaving most of the weight on the arms and shoulders, if not, I wouldn't yet lift the legs and feet for a full headstand. I hope this made sense Just be careful the vertrebrae (?) in the cervical spine are very delicate so they shouldn't take all the body weight alone

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12-06-2011
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^ I suppose the headstand your talking about is this one: Sirsasana

I always do this asana on top of a folded blanket so that my head doesn't hurt so much!


©yogacards

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12-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papa_levante View Post
^ Thank you!

I know that a lot of yoga studios are donation; most classes are "free" but they prefer you drop a dollar or 5. Is this generally true for most yoga classes?
I have not found this to be true. I do iyengar yoga and all the classes cost money at the studio, except for one free class a week, which they use to attract newbies, in the hope that they'll sign up for paying classes. But iyengar uses props which the studio provides, so this costs money as well. I guess it depends on the type of teachers you want to be teaching you. Maybe, people might give free classes if they have other proper employment most the time. Whereas, if you go to a paying class, the teachers are just generally full-time yoga teachers, so you'd think there would be a greater level of expertise and skill.

In regards to the headstand, I just recently swicthed to using the folded blanket instead of a thin headstand mat on top of the wooden floor. It is certainly more comfortable. Also, I have a high degree of shoulder and arm strength to 'prop' my body up with. I'm starting to think I could just have an unusually 'floppy' neck/spinal cord or something like that!

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12-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eu-pt View Post
^ I suppose the headstand your talking about is this one: Sirsasana
My headstand always looks like the pictures in the second row. The one in the second row looks like what you do in gymnastics where your arms are only there to give you better balance. Probably the latter one is the 'proper' position but I think the other one is the safer option (and more comfortable in my experience)

Prices of yoga classes vary in my area, but in general it is not free although there is some kind of ashram where they give yoga classes, but the satsang and a few other events like concerts are free.

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12-06-2011
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^ Actually they're both 'proper' headstands, just different variations which provide different results (i.e. use different muscles, stimulate different areas); one is not more correct than the other.

The middle row position is also more comfortable and stable in my opinion and better lends itself to longer periods in headstand.

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12-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rox_yr_sox View Post
^ Actually they're both 'proper' headstands, just different variations which provide different results (i.e. use different muscles, stimulate different areas); one is not more correct than the other.

The middle row position is also more comfortable and stable in my opinion and better lends itself to longer periods in headstand.
Ah, that makes sense. The pictures just made me think they were showing the progress towards the one 'proper' headstand (from the first to the last picture)

And I just realized how I still tend to think it is not the 'proper' position when I'm chosing the safer or easier alternatives given in class although my yoga teacher always stressed how it's more about understanding the principle of a position than making it look exactly like the model she gives or a picture in a book. Although I wish my face would not look as flabby as it always does in headstand

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Last edited by northernsky; 12-06-2011 at 02:37 PM. Reason: not!
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12-06-2011
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rox_yr_sox, I also practice B K S Iyengar yoga.

northernsky, from my personal experience I can tell you that I started doing the Sirsana with elbows down and arms forming a triangle, for several years that was what felt right for me. Very recently I began to feel more confident and probably with more strength on my dorsal and, very important, on my abdominal muscles and started doing it as the figure on the last row.
I soooo know what you mean about your face!!! I wish it was only my face that would look flabby in this asana!!!! But in that chapter IMO there is nothing worst then the shoulder stand - Sarvangasana.

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12-06-2011
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I do bikram yoga. I love it a lot, it helps me in so many different levels. I only have time to do it once a week, though

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14-06-2011
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From the pictures, the first 2 rows look to be the same technique and the latter is more like a 'tripod'.

The first row is going up into the headstand by using your core and keeping your legs together.

I see most people begin to learn a headstand by doing the tripod version and either kicking up one leg at a time, putting their shins on their upper arms from that position & then going up, or by keeping your legs in a wide "V" (more balanced) and then bringing them together up top.

I think the weight distribution is more 80/20 (shoulders/head). Eventually you should/might/want to be able to lift your head up completely from the ground-by using your arms to push your whole body UP vs. tilting your head/chin forward. Then some fellow yogis (who seem to possess inherent upper body strength b/c they're guys! ) can transition into a handstand from a headstand and back.

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10-10-2011
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How is everyone doing?

I'm not making progress, concerning "higher, stronger, faster", which is doing me good because I started concentrating more on "getting into" the poses I already know. It's weird, sometimes it feels like I'm doing trikonasana for the first time (one of the easiest asanas for me)

I told a collegue I came straight from yoga one day, and she said, oh that's why you're glowing...! Bless her

She told me she wanted to try it, too

I have difficulties telling peope WHY I do yoga. It's just what I feel like doing. But people expect me to tell them how it does me good, but it's not that exactly.

What do you answer, if people ask you?

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10-10-2011
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1st Some words of wisdom learned from my past yogis and yoginis:
Don't be concerned at all with progress of 'higher, stronger, faster'. That benchmark varies wildly between people, between classes, between studios...Also you'll learn 2 things: 1) there is NO ultimate expression of a pose-you can always improve it 2) It's not a linear progression-there are days when you'll feel like it's your first Trikonasana. 10 years from now, you'll STILL have those days. Yoga is humbling. It's not a competition either with others or yourself!! <-huge thing for me to learn.

"It's hard to explain." Just say that. You don't need to convince anyone or prove anything to anyone. It just is.
Some people do it purely for physical benefits, others for mental or spiritual, or all of the above. Yoga is SO many things.
"It's just something that is working for me on all levels and I get great enjoyment from it." If they ask more..maybe I'll tell them about the mental clarity side or if it's someone looking to get more healthy or "clean" in their diet, I'll explain how it just seems to have naturally helped me with that. Or maybe it's someone that has lower back issues and as someone with degenerative disc disease myself, I'll explain that for me, this helped.
I will say this though, total trial 'n error process FOR EVERYONE. There are many styles to yoga and you might jive with one more than another. I will tell people to try different yoga classes at an actual yoga place vs. a gym. Not that there aren't some stellar teachers @ gyms out there, but 95% of the time, you'll get a better class and better experience at an actual studio.
HTH!!!

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11-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northernsky View Post
How is everyone doing?

I'm not making progress, concerning "higher, stronger, faster", which is doing me good because I started concentrating more on "getting into" the poses I already know. It's weird, sometimes it feels like I'm doing trikonasana for the first time (one of the easiest asanas for me)

I told a collegue I came straight from yoga one day, and she said, oh that's why you're glowing...! Bless her

She told me she wanted to try it, too

I have difficulties telling peope WHY I do yoga. It's just what I feel like doing. But people expect me to tell them how it does me good, but it's not that exactly.

What do you answer, if people ask you?
Hi northernsky,

I'm fine and still practising yoga after a short summer break.

Yoga wasn't like a decision I made, it just kind of happened. I'll explain...

Since I can remember, I have always had some kind of physical activity either it was gymnastic, jogging, swimming on coached classes or hydro-gymnastics. But for this or that reason I had to stop doing it i.e. knee injure or bad sinusitis due to the chloride concentration in the covered pools.

Anyway, not doing anything wasn't an option for me and yoga came up as a natural solution.

When I started practising yoga I suffered from neck and lower back pains. They didn't went way immediately but the truth is that they went away slowly but surely.

Also have to say that when I started practising yoga, I thought it was going to be a lot of breathing and some very soft exercises/positions, sooooo, when I began practising some of the most unsuspected asanas and found myself sweating and willing to through myself on the floor, almost asking for the teacher to put me out of my misery as you can imagine it came as a total surprise it could be so demanding.

Another big surprise was realising that to me the most difficult asana was the shavasana, the one where we lay down and do nothing.
I used to freak out, I wasn't prepared to do nothing, and used to get very agitated. Now, after persevering a lot, it became to be a very relaxing asana and I learnt it's ok not to do anything, learnt it's ok to relax body and mind both at the same time.

This is what I tend to enthusiastically explain to whoever asks me about yoga.

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02-11-2011
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Could someone post a video (from You Tube or something) or suggest a good dvd workout/book about yoga? I've started doing P90X yoga but it's a bit too long to do it everyday (90 mins).

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03-11-2011
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I just signed up for yoga classes. They were kinda expensive I think (5 classes/$50 dollars) but I'm going to start going once a week. An instructor came to one of my gym classes and taught us some poses. I really enjoyed it. I also felt more relaxed afterward.

Anyone else a teenager and starting yoga?

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05-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tayloryepp View Post
Anyone else a teenager and starting yoga?
No, but I wish I started when I was a teenager :-) How where your lessons?

eu-pt: so true about Shavasana sometimes being the most difficult position

I still have difficulties with the warrior poses, which is making me nervous as they are taught almost from the beginning. They are the poses I'm really not able to feel like you 'feel' a pose when you are really getting into it

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