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  #41  
Old 03-22-2013
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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My Yoga teacher doesn't teach shoulderstand because she thinks it is too dangerous. I think that is great.

My wife had a grandma who was practicing Yoga (40-50 years ago this was kind of rare) and my wife did shoulder and head stands before tests in school. She said she always had a very clear and calm mind and had very good results.

I saw Luisa's hyper-extending elbows in the spearing position in her videos and thought it was due to hyper-flexibility. Good to hear that there are people who deal with themselves in an intelligent way.

Here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachLuisaFonseca View Post
... Add to that the nature of humans of always trying to do more than they're prepared to do. ...
I am not so sure. I believe that this is not natural to humans, but the effect of the mindset of modern, western people. Since we lack any true spirituality we always look outside, see ourselves and others only from the outside and compare ourselves from that viewpoint. From there we always judge and compete. So this is not natural at all, but I agree that it is a big problem.

To illustrate that.
In Germany some pharmacologists did a questionaire in a Marathon event with ca. 4000 participants, almost all amateurs, and asked them whether they take painkillers before the race, without indication and symptoms, just to get better through the race. More than 60 percent said they did. The next race they confronted them with the findings of their study (there are also US studies with the same result) that said that the positive effect of taking drugs before the race against possible pain etc is close to Zero, but the negative effect is severe to dramatic. Then they questioned them again. The rate of people who took pain killers had not decreased.

So what can the best teacher do against this stubborn and unreasonable ambition in people?
I also find the superficiality in dealing with this quite disturbing, although not really surprising. Even journalists these days seem to be satisfied with the most superficial level. Instead of really looking at the causes the blame is simply put on Yoga.


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Originally Posted by caronis View Post
......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 do believe that we all have our daemons and fight with them more or less successfully. But in the case of Steve Jobs I have a different opinion, and I am aware that my opinion here is not very popular. I regard a life that is based on proving that you are special as a tragical misconception. It means not recognizing the daemon and having lost the fight before it started. The spirit is great, but the aim is an illusion. What a waste.

Last edited by haschu33 : 03-22-2013 at 04:40 AM.
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  #42  
Old 03-22-2013
caronis caronis is offline
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Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post

I do believe that we all have our daemons and fight with them more or less successfully. But in the case of Steve Jobs I have a different opinion, and I am aware that my opinion here is not very popular.
I won't veer off into a debate on Steve Jobs, but I am wondering your opinion as well as anyone else's, on Diana Nyad's goal on the Cuba to Florida swim....I read the article that Terry had referenced....If you don't want to comment, that's fine as well,..... however, Diana's best friend feels she should hang in the towel on this one, and maybe any criticism is the fuel she needs to flame the fire......It's interesting to me what other people have to say about this because this forum is filled with marathon swimmers who swim several hours at a time.
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  #43  
Old 03-23-2013
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Since you asked for it, caronis…
I read that article and my first impression is that of someone being extremely extreme - no surprise. Also a sense of self-aggression comes to my mind. Why being so cruel to oneself, aren't there easier ways to be happy?
On the other hand there is a sense of exceptional endurance, exceptional determination, and an exceptional mindset in an exceptional person.

I get the impression with Diana Nyad – and the same with Steve Jobs – that the fact that they obviously undertake great perseverance and endurance to 'prove' something is born out of a psychological deficiency. In these both cases out of a feeling of being unworthy, having no or not much self-esteem. And although the point seems to be to prove something to others and the world, in reality it means trying to prove something to oneself. These kind of concepts about oneself have a strong tendency to resist reality. It can very well happen that Diana Nyad succeeds in her swim and the entire world is deeply impressed, and only she and her feeling of being unworthy remain unchanged. I deeply hope that this will not be the case.

I have admiration for both, Diana Nyad and Steve Jobs. Both have (had) great mental capabilities, a great spirit and in some ways amazing results. But both to my opinion have wasted their great gifts on pursuing goals which do or did not bring them the results they hoped for - independently of what the rest of the world might think of it. All that out of misunderstanding themselves and their own minds. There is something like an ultimate, unshakable happiness, but that cannot be acquired like this. That's why I said what a waste, and that is true for both of them.

I sometimes wonder if among those who show extreme and outstanding worldly success you can find anyone who is mentally and emotionally sound.

Which brings me to Terry ;-)
I don't know Terry personally, as I don't know Diana Nyads and didn't know Steve Jobs personally, so I can base my observations on publically available information only, which can be quite misleading.
Anyway, from all what I have seen/read about Terry he is a mentally quite sound person with some amazing characteristics. He has a great sense of observation, is able to analyze things to their ground, can stand his viewpoint against the mainstream, runs almost unwittingly into spiritual experiences and is easily able to identify them, and has a great determination. And he has an open mind, which probably is a basis for some of these characteristics.
But I don't understand why he stops with those spiritual experiences without pursuing this further one. If I use an image then this seems to me like someone who is standing in the shallow end of a newly discovered ultimately beautiful pool with his legs in the most amazing water and refuses to swim through it because he doesn't want to lose the nice feeling of standing in the shallow end. Thereby ignoring that swimming through it doesn't make the nice experience go away but instead only adds more of amazing experiences to it.
Great picture, right?

That always puzzled me, and at times I tried to provoke him in some posts a little bit but it never worked. As if he is refusing to give up the that self image of a swimmer, at no cost. But there is no human being in this world who is limited to be a swimmer.
Anyway, just provoking a bit again ;-)

So that's my opinion about Diana Nyad et al.
But I cannot see anything wrong or 'suspicious' in 'normal' Marathon swimmers. I think it is a great sport. I personally don't have too much desire for it and I have some other priorities anyway.

Just be aware of extremes, friends.


Hang on in there…

Last edited by haschu33 : 03-24-2013 at 04:36 AM.
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  #44  
Old 03-23-2013
CoachLuisaFonseca CoachLuisaFonseca is offline
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My yoga practice changed my swimming mindset - I used to be more anxious, more attached, like there was something further in swimming that I always had to find out. Now I don't feel the same need to control. I don't need a huge breaktrough everytime I go to for a swim. And that actually made my swimming experiences more intense - intense in the sense that I can much more clearly observe, understand, express what I'm feeling. I accept and cherish my love for swimming, while before I almost felt guilty.

There was a moment where I actually confused that diminishing of the anxiety with a diminishing of the intensity of my love for it.

I think yoga opens you physically, mentally, emotionally, and suddenly your little world gets bigger, you feel passionate about other things, you realize that you have other interests, and I think that that can be a bit scary, because it challenges your sense of self identity. So at least for me it was a bit strange for a while. And then I realized that having passion for other things doesn't decrease the intensity of a particular passion, in this case swimming, it actually potentiates it. It's like now I feel that swimming makes perfect sense in the whole that is my life. And I've never been happier while swimming as I am now.

Last edited by CoachLuisaFonseca : 03-23-2013 at 05:57 PM.
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  #45  
Old 03-24-2013
caronis caronis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
I sometimes wonder if among those who show extreme and outstanding worldly success you can find anyone who is mentally and emotionally sound.
This is a good point because I do believe that it is often true that the greatest geniuses and artists in our midst do have a couple of screws loose!.....I can give many examples....Michael Jackson, Donald Trump, countless Hollywood Celebrities, Politicians, etc....

But there are other highly successful people, like Warren Buffett, or say Steve Wozniak, that weren't so desperate in their struggle to be successful....

I don't try to judge them too harshly, rather I try to learn from them. The good, bad, and ugly of it all....

There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs with Lottery Winners....Apparently many of them, (possibly most) do not end up living happily ever after. I never researched this to know how true it is, but I've read articles that say that many have to declare bankruptcy, end up with shattered relationships, etc.

I think the key is that if a person wins a lottery, they need to educate themselves about the pitfalls and problems that have occurred to others. To learn from them so that they can best avoid the same mistakes themselves.
But I would never tell anyone that they shouldn't play the Lottery because it will ruin their lives.

I think that in a similar vein, I wouldn't condemn someone else for being ambitious, but I would believe it's important that a person's motives are well understood.....That way success (however you define that word) will give them greater happiness. There are often examples of people who struggled their entire lives to become rich, and when they do succeed at that, they don't understand why they're not happy.

When I was reading that article about Diana Nyad, what struck me most is that the article seemed to indicate that she wanted to petition the Cuban Government to not allow anyone else to attempt this swim except for her.....whoaaa.....I don't even know what to think about that.....I think what Diana wants most of all is Fame and she believes Fame will change her life.....She might be right, you know......But maybe she put herself in almost a No-Win situation. If she doesn't do it, she lives with a gnawing sense of regret, and if she does do it, maybe her life won't change as much as she wanted.....

I don't even want to take a position on this because in one way, I think she should engage in some soul-searching, therapy, etc. to define her true motives, but in another way....I think of the Nike Slogan that says, "Just Do It!".

Maybe self-analysis is a way for more power due to greater understanding.....but maybe also it's a sneaky way of allowing procrastination to sneakily settle in.

I noticed in the article that she's researching bodysuits that deal better with the Jellyfish stings. If that's the only thing that prevents her from completing that swim, then godspeed to her. I hope she completes the swim if she does it again. If she does it, the yeasayers will give her kudos for her persistence and never give up attitude......If she kills herself in the process, the naysayers will have their say. They will criticize the notion that anyone, particularly a senior citizen, should even attempt such an extreme endeavor. Either way, the Fame will be hers.

I don't tend to swim much outside of the pool and in the ocean. That's something I've thought about, but it's for a different thread.
I will say this, though, that what separates the marathon swimmers in this group to Diana is that when they swim a long distance, they tend to get out of the water feeling great. Not collapsing and needing an ambulance to take them to the hospital.

Anyway, no criticisms to Diana. I think it is very inspirational that someone in their 60's even have made it as far as they did in that swim.
I guess in the same way, I reserve my criticisms on Steve Jobs....I'm pleased by the way his technological vision has inspired my life.
If both these people are (or were) inherently happy, then I will still thank them for the inspiration and making my life happier.
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  #46  
Old 03-24-2013
caronis caronis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
Which brings me to Terry ;-)

But I don't understand why he stops with those spiritual experiences without pursuing this further one.
That always puzzled me, and at times I tried to provoke him in some posts a little bit but it never worked. As if he is refusing to give up the that self image of a swimmer, at no cost. But there is no human being in this world who is limited to be a swimmer.
I think that Terry has spoken favorably of Taoism and I think he appreciates the way swimming can almost be like a form of Vinyasa Yoga. However, I think that if Terry were to get too heavy-handed in his spiritual leanings, then the guys at SwimSmooth would definitely have something to crow about. They could say, "Hey, we're here to teach you about swimming in order to compete in a triathlon or to save your life........these TI guys are trying to teach you swimming as a religion!"
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  #47  
Old 03-24-2013
CoachLuisaFonseca CoachLuisaFonseca is offline
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Not idolizing someone is not the same that criticizing them, of course.

I am not a naysayer to Diana Nyad, but I don't look at her as someone who has something I aspire to. It does seem like she is doing all this to fulfill some unsatisfied emotional needs, and that's not something I would ever criticize, but I aspire to deal with whatever obstacles I may have and live more intelligently. I may admire her determination and strength, but I do think they are not redirected to the things that maybe could help her live a better, happier life. Of course it's just my perception of her. But if she makes it or not, I wouldn't consider her a role model just because of that "sucess".

Well, about Terry and yoga, I think that Terry deciding to go deeper in his practice of yoga wouldn't mean that he would change his approach to swimming. Swimming is swimming, yoga is yoga - while I think TI is indeed a swimming method that requires and stimulates a practice that trains and educates your mind in a similar way to the mental practice of yoga, it doesn't mean that Total Immersion swimming is a "type" of yoga. Terry going deeper in his yoga practice would probably give him more clarity in all aspects of his life, including his swimming and swim-coaching life. But I don't think he would start his swimming practices with an invocation to Patanjali...
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  #48  
Old 03-24-2013
caronis caronis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachLuisaFonseca View Post
And then I realized that having passion for other things doesn't decrease the intensity of a particular passion, in this case swimming, it actually potentiates it. It's like now I feel that swimming makes perfect sense in the whole that is my life. And I've never been happier while swimming as I am now.
I started this thread on Yoga because I wanted to integrate Yoga into my workouts. Not in a superficial way, but in a way that makes much sense to me. Primarily the physical aspect, but the spiritual aspect is also an interest.
The problem I have is that for me Yoga lacks clarity in it's aims and focus. What is it? A physical practice for strength and flexibility, A spiritual philosophy, an extreme sport (including lying on a bed of nails, etc.), or Hinduism at it's core....... but I appreciate that it has resonated for you as well as it has. I'm a big believer in the notion that the "Proof is in the Pudding". If it works, Do it!

I was doing Yoga, just like Terry, with marking a to do list on my calendar, but after a few weeks I stopped. Maybe I got too ambitious because I wasn't just stretching 10 minutes a day, I was stretching up to an hour a day on my own.
What bothered me was that I had to question the value of doing a stretch 6 days a week for 3 minutes versus just doing it half as much....am I getting more flexible by putting in more time, or is doing less actually more?? ....Then I ended up questioning even more the value of doing something like the splits, or touching my nose to my knee....

I used the example of using a "kick board" and what I meant by this is that I wondered if I was doing something that I thought was benefiting me, but that in actuality was not.....and even worse, maybe something that is actually damaging.
The difference is actually more profound that that....If you swim with a kick board, at worse you waste your time and possibly misconstrue the role of kicking in your stroke.....In Yoga, you can hurt yourself badly! At least according to that article in the New York Times.

I'm reading a book about Bikram who started the Hot Yoga craze....I wouldn't know what you would think of him and maybe you consider most forms of Yoga to not be true Yoga, but that only adds to what I say is a lack of clarity.
If you were to ask Bikram (actually you don't need to ask, he'll just shout it out)........He says that his style of Yoga is the only true Yoga in America and all others are False Yoga!......

I just want to make a quick point about a recent controversy in San Diego, California. In a public school, they are teaching Yoga to 1st graders. There is the threat of a lawsuit because some parents feel that Yoga is a form of religion that will indoctrinate their children into Eastern Religion.....after our discussion in this forum, I have to grudgingly agree with them.....There seems to be a great difficulty separating the religious and spiritual aspect from Yoga.

I am still interested in my examination of Yoga. I'm reading a couple of books about Bikram right now.....but what I've done is come back to Swimming as my base. There are other physical activities that mean much to me, and eventually I will be deemphasizing swimming to make room for other pursuits.
I'm not a triathlete, nor a marathon swimmer, nor was even a competitive swimmer. So I can relate to what you were saying how your swimming needs to be in the proper context for you own life. Just like Diana Nyad or anyone else should put swimming in the context for their life that works well for them.
I've also actually had to rethink my goals for swimming. They're going to be different than a triathlete, etc. I will talk about that probably in a different thread sometime in the future.

Swimming for me is best summed up by the legendary Jack LaLanne. If anyone doesn't know who he is, you should look him up. He really is a Pioneer in the fitness industry. He was a Mr. America winner and opened up the very first gyms, created machines that are in gyms all over the world, spearheaded the juicing craze, etc.....and by the way, though he was ahead of his time, in his time he was considered a Health Nut!

Anyway.....he was asked if he could only do one exercise what would it be?.....Without hesitation he said, "Swimming!" ...Jack was primarily a weightlifter, but nearly everyday, he'd spend one hour in the weight room, but then he spent one hour a day in the swimming pool.....and not necessarily swimming. He was doing water-based exercises.

This is what brings me to it and back to it. Sometimes I have a lack of time, focus, etc. and swimming seems like the best all-around fitness activity I can do..If I'm not in the pool for a while, sometimes my back doesn't feel so great.....When I go in the pool for a swim, it's like I had a really, really good chiropractic adjustment.

What I have been doing in my swimming lately and feel good about it is that I am choosing a couple of shoulder stretches before and during the breaks in my first few laps. I'm not worrying about hamstring stretching or other poses....mainly because there is a tendency to hop into a lane and soon as their is an opening, rather than to sit outside of it and stretch for 10 minutes.....what I'm tapping into lately that feels right is that I am focusing at times on the stretch of my torso....In particular, that push off the wall where your hand are clasped overhead and your spine undulates to make you go faster.

It's funny to me that this isn't typically taught, yet every competitive swimmer does this because you go faster than when you are stroking??? Isn't this true? Or did I hear this wrong......that they had to put in a rule that limits the length that a swimmer does underwater because you go faster with the right movement......Doesn't this go against the spirit of the "Freestyle" stroke??? Freestyle should mean anything is allowable that makes you swim fast. Why shouldn't you be able to swim most of the length underwater if it's a "freestyle" stroke.....If it's not allowed, then they should go back to calling it a "Forward Crawl", not a "Freestyle" Stroke.

Anyway, my main point is that I am making sure that I spend time doing this movement on my stomach, but also on my back for several yards before I begin my backstroke.....I think it's a worthwhile movement to emphasize because it's the fastest you'll go in the pool, it teaches you how to work with the water, and .........I think it is an AWESOME Yoga type of movement......If Yoga emphasizes the suppleness of the spine and the associated chakras, then this movement should be King in the Yoga world, more so then then the upside down Headstand which can potentially cause a stroke!
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  #49  
Old 03-24-2013
CoachLuisaFonseca CoachLuisaFonseca is offline
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I love Jack Lalanne :)

It's not yoga that lacks clarity in its aim and focus, it's the market that does...
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  #50  
Old 03-25-2013
caronis caronis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachLuisaFonseca View Post
I love Jack Lalanne :)
I figured you would :) ....I mention him because maybe not everyone knows him. Anybody who doesn't should check this link out...
http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01/24/ja...angest-stunts/

I am, thankfully, beginning to integrate stretching into my fitness routine....at the beginning of my swim, during the first few laps or so, I'm pausing at the end of the lane, and stretching primarily shoulders and upper body for 30-60 seconds. There's maybe just a few exercises I have that I can repeat every time I swim. Definitely the upward stretching position which is also a position I hold while I"m swimming underwater dolphin. There's just two static shoulder stretches I do.......I'm not going to be too ambitious with trying to hit any particular level of flexibility in these shoulder poses.....I will measure my flexibility, but I've had rotator cuff issues in the past, and I'm not sure if I am stretching or overstretching at times.......also, before doing butterfly, I place both my arms back towards the pool lip and stretch my chest......Most of these stretches don't have easy ways of measuring progress, or even if there should be progress...
also....when I finish my swim, I am bending backwards in the water for a short while. 30 seconds or so.....allowing the water to support me in creating a nice arch....
What I am really appreciating is that all of this plus the swimming really loosens up the spine as well as the shoulders.....I won't worry about my legs so I can focus on the other more relevant areas for swimming.

The important thing for me is to make this 5-8 minute stretching routine for swimming a habit....then later I can work on implementing stretches to benefit other areas....like hamstrings, balance, strength, etc...while structuring those stretches around other physical activities, like weightlifting, etc.
..I may do an abbreviated Sun Salutation....but it would have to consist of very few poses.

The spiritual is an interest down the road....I'm still doing reading about Yoga....not the ancient texts, yet......but for me, I'm focused on the physical culture aspect.....
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