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  #31  
Old 03-20-2013
terry terry is offline
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Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
I don't know whether Luisa is a Yoga teacher, if yes and I was living in Spain I would choose her as my teacher. As I do with Terry and Doc Sue for swimming.
Luisa teaches both Yoga and TI. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to learn from her whenever and wherever our paths cross.
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  #32  
Old 03-20-2013
Janos Janos is offline
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New York Times recently ran an article about yoga, titled 'how yoga can wreck your body'. It is intriguing how it divides opinion. Some doctors actively recommend it, while others say it creates flaccid ligaments which damage the integrity of joints. An opinion I agree with. Far better to have active flexibility for the sport you intend to do.

Janos
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  #33  
Old 03-21-2013
caronis caronis is offline
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Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
Thanks, caronis, there are some good points in your reply, especially regarding my posts.

I came to the conclusion that I better refrain from certain comments. There is no real point in just stirring up peoples minds. When Terry declares the use of kickboards as nonsense, then anybody can question that and will get good reasons and an alternative way to go. Unlike that I cannot offer any alternative route, I am simply not in the position to advise anybody in terms of spirituality.
Also I have absolutely no desire to gain any reputation like that.
I'll give you a specific example of something you said in the past that had me a bit "unnerved" (so to speak) because it had me questioning a core reality.

You were questioning the value and purpose of constantly striving for better and better times.

However, I realize that these higher (30,000 ft. level) perspectives can be valuable even if a person is hard pressed for quality answers.

I'll give you a couple of examples....The first is a story about goals told by Stephen Covey in his landmark book entitled "First Things First".

He told a tale of a client who I'm not sure is even real, but that's irrelevant anyway....The man was a successful businessman who had as his yearly goal to make one million dollars. He never scrutinized and deeply questioned the "Why" of his goal. He set it and went to it.....In that year he got so focused and absorbed in his goal that he allowed nothing to detract from it. However, as he pursued this ambition, he neglected time spent on his family. He never had in mind that deeper "Why" of making one million dollars in that year....The "Why" was to benefit his family....Well, in that year's time, his kids had issues in school, personal life, and ended up getting heavily involved in drugs....Had he realized and kept in mind this higher minded perspective of why it was so important to reach this arbitrary figure, he would have cut back his time on the million dollar mark as a goal, and spent more time dealing with family issues. That's because the True Goal, was to make Life Better for his Family....He needed to step back and gain perspective, but instead relentlessly focused on this arbitrary goal.....sometimes goals can be deceptive in that though they can be powerful driving forces, without seeing them in the proper context, we can end up off the mark....This man made his million dollar goal for the year, but the price he paid, ended up costing him quite a bit.

And to bring this back to the swimming world....Here is another example that IS a Real Life Example.....Diana Nyad in her quest to swim from Cuba to Florida. I don't know much about her, but I imagine people in this forum must know her on some level....She's attempted this swim twice (or is it more?) and went very far, but had to abort the attempt. She had to deal with asthma, jellyfish, etc.....I imagine it would be valuable for her to have in mind the strong "Why" of doing this and if it's worth continuing and trying again....Or even again, and again.....I don't know what floats her boat (so to speak). I'm not one who can judge the value of it, but that powerful "Why" might get her to do it again and possibly succeed at it......or end the quest and rest on her laurels......I imagine one day, maybe well, well into the future someone will actually do this. and I can imagine them tipping their hat to her and acknowledging her efforts.....Maybe even a 10 year old girl who witnessed her effort.....Or maybe long into the future, in which case, the respect to Diana should be greater because it may take over 100 years before someone actually does this.....Maybe if she was to try this one last time, maybe she should swim from Florida to Cuba :-) .....Maybe getting the part she has never completed in her swim done first, the rest of the way might be much easier psychologically. It's an interesting thought because it is kind of counter-intuitive because politically we think of Cubans fleeing to Florida, not the other way around....

Anyway, these higher-minded perspectives can be valuable, even if it's an exercise that doesn't give us the sharpest answers....Sort of like how businesses create Mission Statements that are a bit unclear.

One last example is that also maybe we don't need to have such an well-thought out answer.....maybe we can just do as a T-Shirt I saw that said....."Shut up And Dance!"...............One of the most famous quotes is by Sir Edmund Hillary. He as asked, "Why are you attempting to climb Mt Everest".....His answer....."Because it is There!"......sometimes maybe even that type of simplicity is all that we need.
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  #34  
Old 03-21-2013
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Good examples, caronis, it unfortunately leaves me undecided whether it is good to do these kind of remarks or not ;-)

Here's another one:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos View Post
New York Times recently ran an article about yoga, titled 'how yoga can wreck your body'. It is intriguing how it divides opinion. Some doctors actively recommend it, while others say it creates flaccid ligaments which damage the integrity of joints. An opinion I agree with. Far better to have active flexibility for the sport you intend to do.

Janos
Was there any specific analysis with it? Like, what is the injury rate of traditional Yoga versus garbled Yoga, which gets called 'improved' Yoga but shouldn't be called Yoga at all?
And secondly how important is the influence of the qualities of the teacher? Since we tend to be very competitive we like to look at our neighbor in the Yoga class and try to be beat them in flexibility. That is - as Luisa described so eloquently - not the point of Yoga. A good teacher should point out that Yoga has to be done according to the limits of one's own body.

May be in all the wisdom the original developers of the Yoga method were simply unable to foresee a time where people are extremely intelligent but too stupid to apply their intelligence in a beneficial way.

So, if you put your focus on Yoga itself, you could state that Yoga produces too many injuries. If you put your focus on the application you could say that this only shows that we are too stupid to apply Yoga correctly. Which means in a way that is beneficial.
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  #35  
Old 03-21-2013
terry terry is offline
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The yoga injuries were of two types
1) Serious joint injuries from excessive effort in flexibility-oriented poses. Usually men trying to compete with women in the class, or trying to match the (usually female) instructor.
2) Strokes and other brain trauma from crushing a critical artery in the neck while doing shoulder stand and plow.
I've not done either since reading that.

This article Diana Nyad Takes on Demons of the Sea examines the 'why' of her repeated attempts to swim Cuba to Key West.
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  #36  
Old 03-21-2013
caronis caronis is offline
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Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
Good examples, caronis, it unfortunately leaves me undecided whether it is good to do these kind of remarks or not ;-)
Well, regardless, it did cause me lately to rethink my goals for swimming, not just for yoga.....I think that's a good thing because, after being out of the pool for a few weeks, I need to alter things to get re-inspired.
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  #37  
Old 03-21-2013
caronis caronis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos View Post
New York Times recently ran an article about yoga, titled 'how yoga can wreck your body'. It is intriguing how it divides opinion. Some doctors actively recommend it, while others say it creates flaccid ligaments which damage the integrity of joints. An opinion I agree with. Far better to have active flexibility for the sport you intend to do.

Janos
I read this article a month ago and this is why I feel particularly passionate as of the moment regarding fundamental issues in yoga......this was an article that had the yoga community in an uproar and it does seem that it's the type of information the yoga community would never choose to reveal even if proven true.....
I'm reading a couple of books about Bikram right now....He's probably the Yogi who is most at the center of this piece. He was the one who created the hot style of yoga...His practitioners are the ones who tend to win the yoga competitions......and there is a push by Bikram and some others in the Yoga Community to get Yoga into the Olympic Games!!!!!
This not only seems sort of antithetical to the spirit of yoga, it seems dangerous....not everyone was designed to contort their back backwards into a pretzel shape.

If I come across interesting discoveries in these two books, I'll post them....The two books are good contrasts....One is by Bikram and it outlines his program, personality, and philosophy....The other is by Benjamin Lorr and talks about the egos, politics, controversy's, etc.
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  #38  
Old 03-21-2013
caronis caronis is offline
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This article Diana Nyad Takes on Demons of the Sea examines the 'why' of her repeated attempts to swim Cuba to Key West.
This was a good article and confirmed some suspicions I had about her. I think she's battling demons of one type or another, but who's really to judge?.......I think the success of Steve Jobs had to do with the battling of his demons. He would have disagreed and cringed at the notion, but it's been felt that his issues regarding being adopted gave him the drive to prove he was special and that his parents were wrong for giving him up......

I don't even know which is the better approach.....to try to dig in deep and determine your true motivation,.......or just to dig in deep and get moving!
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  #39  
Old 03-21-2013
Janos Janos is offline
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Yoga has so many advocates and people vehemently extol its benefits, but there is weighty medical evidence that says muscles provide force for movement but must also provide joint stability too. It is a certain fact that overstretched muscles and ligaments are not strong enough to maintain joint integrity, which leaves you prone to injury and pain. I often see footballers and runners grabbing a foot and tugging it behind them, to stretch their quads. In doing so they hyper extend their knee ligaments in a movement that bears no relation to the actions they are about to undergo, and which leaves the joint unstable. Is there any relation to this and the legions of runners and footballers who complain of knee pain in later life?
There are so many 'sacred cows' in the sporting world that do not stand up to scrutiny. Freestyle technique, heel pads on running shoes, static stretching etc. The sports shoe business would have you believe that extra padding on your running shoes is going to make you a better runner, and they sell in their millions. Yoga is a big business too, I wonder whether there may be vested interests by its advocates? is that too provocative Hachu? :-)

Regards to all

Janos
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  #40  
Old 03-21-2013
CoachLuisaFonseca CoachLuisaFonseca is offline
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About the the types of injuries:

There has to be a balance between flexibility and resistance. Practicing aiming only for flexibility is bad for the joints, and also, very often people with too much flexibility and no resistance, have a less intelligent practice and it's more difficult for them do develop awareness.

For decades, Iyengar has been teaching Shoulderstand with the shoulders lifted on a support, and adjusting even more for people with any neck problems. Many non Iyengar teachers adopted the idea, but many haven't. Also, many many many students try Shouldersand (or headstand) long before they are prepared to do it. That is because many teachers teach arbitrarily, without any systematized teaching progression. Add to that the nature of humans of always trying to do more than they're prepared to do. I very often have studendts asking me "when will I start doing more advanced poses?"

Progressing in yoga is not just about doing more advanced poses, but about expanding the awareness in them, and cultivating a certain attitude of the mind. Otherwise, only gymnasts or extremely flexible people, or people who could practice 10 hours a day hidden in a mountain without any distraction would be able to progress!

Making your body fit a pose is something that requires physical action, intelligence of action, and an attitude of total involvement of the mind and senses in the process. The physical actions and the "design" of the pose are something to aim for, not only for physical health and balance -but because the way you position your body has a direct impact on the mind. Each pose has a different impact on the mind. So to assume the physical pose is needed. But assuming just the pose is not enough. What makes a practice spiritual is the total involvement of the mind and the intelligence in it.

In the Iyengar method, this attitude of total implication of the mind is developed through the simultaneous and constant observation of all the movements and technical details that compose the pose or the breathing exercise, while at the same time keeping the brain and its organs of expression (fundamentally eyes and ears) completely passive, and the control of the breathing. The intensity of this involvement of the mind is what makes the practice "spiritual" and a path to inner transformation.

Other methods have different approaches, but all the "serious" ones have in common this attitude of total implication of the mind. Of course yoga is not only poses and breathing exercises - Yoga is composed of eight limbs, yama (ethical standards), nyama (self discipline habits) asana (poses), pranayama (breathing exercises), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses) dharana (concentration) dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (union with the divine, state of bliss). Iyengar systematized it so that in the practice of asana and pranayama the eight limbs are inherent in it. But that is why is is a method of yoga, not a "type" of yoga. Yoga is yoga.

So practicing asanas (with the right attitude) is a form of spiritual practice, and one that has a great advantage - you have your body as a support for it. Fixing your mind in an exterior object, or siiting down "meditating", trying to observe and control your toughts, etc, are practices that, in my opinion, are much more unlikely for you to succeed, and where you're much prone to be a victim of suggestion.

And about this devotion to the teacher... the teacher is just the medium. I trust my teacher about guiding me in my yoga practice, but I don't expect him to tell me how to live my life.

Janus, as an example I have to adjust my muscular actions everyday so that I can align my legs and arms and correct my hyperextended knees and elbows. I work my muscles to align my bones. That is what creates resistance in the right places and helps me avoid future injuries due to those hyperextensions. And I'm not really that flexible, not even close.

Of course yoga is a business - and most of the benefits associated with it are kind of distorted for commercial purposes...
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