Category Archives: yoga

New Book for an Early Birthday Present

I don’t usually take the money to buy new books from the regular book store.  I have gotten three, I think, in the last year… One on RA, one on Epilepsy and the one that Larry bought me last night.

Yoga for Arthritis The Complete Guide…

Yeah… let’s face it, I’m hooked… I had to smile during the last class at her saying that “this pose” (can’t remember for the life of me now… but I have the audio of it so I should be able to figure it out… ) will get the synovial fluid moving.  I actually laughed at the comment… that is WHY I’m there… to try to get the synovial fluid moving… I got an early birthday present last night when he got me this book… I really like that

1. it tells me how to modify to meet the arthritis needs and what props I can use until (if ever) I can do them without the props… and most of the props are… a towel… the wall… a chair… nothing wild…

2. it tells me under what conditions NOT to do the poses

3. it tells me the purpose of the pose

4. it tells me how to avoid pitfalls (things like… remembering to breathe, open up your shoulders, start slowly… all kinds of things I would probably ignore if I weren’t deliberately reading them…

I absolutely love the chapter on the wrists and hands…

Ever since I fell roller blading (WEAR WRIST GUARDS for anyone who doesn’t know) and broke my arm (radius compound, ulna greenstick… pretty sure that is what started this mess… ten years ago) and my right wrist not working at all right… my wrists and hands have given me issues.  Sometimes better, sometimes worse… Rheumy told me that is why RA settled there so well… it likes boo-boo places like that…

ANYWAY… I love the book… I think I’m going to modify some of the poses and work up my own ideas on them… see where I can make them hurt less when I do them.

Sitting here now, enjoying the reading, the practice and the wonderful smelling breeze coming in through the windows…

Yoga for Stress relief (Mountain Pose)

Okay… I’ve decided to really start writing down some of the poses that I find helpful.

Yeah… it sounds like a big deal.  It is standing up… that’s about it…

Don’t do this pose if you have plantar fascitis.  Don’t do this pose if you have sever imbalance.  Modify the time you are in this pose if you are in pain, particularly in your ankles.  Modify this pose by standing with your back at the wall to help with the “I’m going to fall” feeling.

Respect the natural curve of the spine…

This pose helps keep you in focus… focusing your gaze at a spot on the wall in front of you helps… so does closing your eyes but closing your eyes makes balance harder… and places awareness on your feet being connected to the floor (very grounding).  Think about the way your breath feels entering and leaving your body.  DON’T think about work or stress or anything that will make you tense.

1. Stand straight with your feet together.  If you can’t do together and touching, spread them just a bit.  Hip width apart works great.  It gives you are more sturdy base.  Balance, the best you can, so your weight is distributed across the four corners of your feet (both feet… 8 corners)

Take a deep breath to center yourself and enliven your body.  Firm your abdominal muscles… pull your belly button in towards your spine.

2. Spread your toes out like a fan if you can.  If you can’t DON’T… there is no right way, no wrong way… just the way that you do it to be true to your practice and true to yourself.

3. Distribute your weight evenly across both feet… again… the four corners of each foot.

4. Lift the kneecaps by tightening the thighs.

5. Move your thighs back and tailbone in.

6. Straighten the arms, palms facing in.

7. Pull your shoulder blades back and lift the chest.

8. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed.

9. Look straight ahead.

Hold for 1 to 2 minutes.

Focus Points: Don’t just stand passively! Activate every part of your body, from your heels to your head.

To add to the pose, you can stretch your arms up over your head towards the sky…. reaching up but keep your gaze forward.

to add more to the pose, clasp your hands over your head if you can to stretch the shoulders more and deepen the pose.

DON’T add more if you can’t… this is to make you feel better, not worse!!!

Other Benefits: Strengthens and tones the whole body. Improves alignment. Creates balance.

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Simply Yoga: What I am Not

Yesterday I went on adventure.  Okay… it was a LITTLE adventure, but it was fun and it was something I had wanted to do for quite a while. I went to the library. Not the one I usually go to… … Continue reading

On Yoga

The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.
Robert Cushing

Today was yoga day.  The last two yoga days were great.  The first one was too fast but not bad.  The second one was dead on.  This morning when I got up, my ankles and wrists and knuckles hurt more than “normal”.  I took the new medicine (anti-inflamitory) and it is NOT what I was hoping for.  It did take a bit of the edge off… but not a whole lot… By the time yoga was over, I wanted to rip the instructor’s skinny little head off.  It wasn’t her fault, it was mine.  I was trying to keep up and my body just wasn’t cooperating.  My bad.

It was really hard on my woohoo… because I’m really liking yoga.

And I’m nothing if not a typical Type A… as soon as I liked Yoga, I went out and got a used Let’s Yoga for the DS, I downloaded a Yoga app for Squirrel’s ipod touch so I can learn (when he isn’t using it) the poses and what the poses help with… and a book from the half price book store…

What I’ve learned is…

Yoga is for everyone… even if you aren’t flexible.  That means it is great for RA… you can modify poses and you can do only what you can do.

There is no success or failure, no good… no bad… just be true to yourself… true to your practice.  You can only make yoga your own if you are being true to yourself.

Three things to remember…
Move Slowly
Breathe Deeply
Work at your own pace

If you do these three things, any movement can be yoga.  It is 99% breathing.

Remember, yoga is like just about anything else you do, it is difficult before it is easy.

Sit down in a chair, put your hands on your knees, breathe deeply… fill your chest… fill your your chest clear down to the bottom of your stomach.

Today, yoga practice kicked my butt.  I totally modified my poses and went into child’s pose several times when I just COULDN’T keep up with the class.

There is a girl in my class who has arthritis in her toes… not RA, which she said she is forever grateful for… no $*^t… but she says what she finds absolutely most important is to do things for herself.  Do things that she can do and make time for herself to be gentle with herself, to be good to herself, to do what she needs to do.

Hello… wow… okay, I can listen now!…

Yoga… Day 1

Well, yesterday was my first day of yoga.  Sixty min a day once a week is going to be the perfect amount to get me started.  I tried “taping” the class… but my nano won’t pick up enough to make it very useful.  I will try with my little voice recorder next time.  It seems to do better.

The class made me sore, but sore in a good way.  The teacher gave us a pretty thorough amount of information on poses… and after class people were kind of pulling together into a team to talk about how NOT a total beginner’s class it was and how fast she went and how they thought everyone did.

There were some people in class who were WAY good.  I followed along with the lady next to me.  Apparently that made me seem to be a better than average person.  interesting.

A couple people commented on how far I could take the poses since this is my first class.  I figure my Rheumy will kind of comment somewhere along the way.  She already made the comment that I should, based on where I am in my disease, hurt way more than I do and be less limber than I am but the stretching that I do in the morning after I work out (which I SO have to get back to…) is having its effect.  I’m glad it is. Maybe if it wasn’t… I would have gotten help sooner… but it is what it is.

Now… I need to get a listing of all of the poses that we did and start looking them up and getting a better idea how to do them RIGHT and how to move from one to the other.