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Yoga questions

Posted by Ellen J. on 9/20/02 at 17:46 (095867)

Hi,
For those who know something about yoga I have a question or two:
I'm thinking of getting a book on yoga and using that to supplement the yoga classes at our local fitness center. I've never tried it before, but since I have a very stiff back and hip I'm thinking it would help my feet possibly. Anyway, do I HAVE to warm up before doing yoga? Also, some books were mentioned on an earlier thread and I now can't find the thread. One was called 'relax the body', I think. Are there any other books that anyone would suggest?
Also, I tried my own stretch by sitting on my bed and putting the soles of my feet together in order to see if that would be another way of stretching the hip area. Interestingly, my Plantar Fasciitis got stirred up a bit when I did that (temporarily).
I've been doing hip stretches according to Julie's instruction and they are good.
Thanks for any pointers out there.
Ellen J.

Re: ATTN. Julie!!!!!

Carmen H on 9/20/02 at 18:10 (095869)

Ellen JulieF. is the board yoga queen...;o)
She gets embarrassed by all the attention but she truly is soo knowledgable....and a good friend too. She's sure to answer you with much useful info!

Re: Yoga questions

Julie on 9/21/02 at 15:49 (095910)

Ellen

I hope you're enjoying your yoga class.

The first and foremost rule is: take care of yourself. You are in charge of your body and of your self, and if any instruction you are given in a class feels wrong for you, you should ignore it. If the teacher puts pressure on you to try something you don't feel is right, find another class.

Unfortunately, with yoga as popular as it is right now, there are some poorly qualified and unqualified teachers out there. And, amongst the different 'styles' of yoga, some are very strong, probably too strong for anyone with any physical ailment. There are schools of yoga that focus primarily on standing poses, which for someone with PF is probably not a very good idea.

There are hundreds of yoga books on the market. 'Stretch and Relax' by Maxine Tobias and Mary Stewart, two English yoga teachers, was mentioned a few days ago and is very good, but I don't know if it's still in print. My own 'Office Yoga', which is really a basic, simple, safe manual, is out of print now but still available on line: you could try Amazon, but as there are a couple of books of that title I'll tell you my full name, which is Julie Friedeberger. You really need to go to a bookstore that keeps a good stock, and look through. I love Donna Farhi's books: 'The Breathing Book' and 'Yoga: Body, Mind and Spirit, a Return to Wholeness'.

Yes, you do need to prepare your body (and mind) for any of the stronger postures. A balanced programme should always include simple movements to mobilise the joints and to flex and extend the spine, and a good teacher will always make sure of this, and will always present a balanced programme. If you are sure you have a good teacher, the best advice I can offer is to follow his/her instructions, and practise what you are taught in the class. If you practise at home, do always make sure that your joints, including your spine, are prepared for any strong work.

I hope this helps. Do please ask if I can be of any more help.

Re: ATTN. Julie!!!!!

Julie on 9/21/02 at 15:53 (095911)

Not embarrassed, my dear friend Carmen (except possibly at beng called a queen!), and always glad to help. Thanks for pointing out Ellen's post. I've been away all day, and have only just seen it.

Re: Thanks Julie (and Carmen)

Ellen J. on 9/21/02 at 19:10 (095920)

Hi and thanks!
I have not started the class yet and although I couldn't find the particular books you mentioned, I did find a fairly good one called 'Yoga for life'. I plan to start with the very simple positions and then see how my feet react. It's very odd that when I stretch or exercise other parts of the body, my feet react. Also, when I lean forward alot and make my back sore, my P.F. acts up also. All of this makes me think that yoga might help a bit.
Thanks for all you help with this and I look forwad to seeing what happens when I start the yoga.
Ellen J.

Re: Thanks Julie (and Carmen)

Julie on 9/22/02 at 01:55 (095935)

Ellen

Do be careful. I don't think that trying to learn yoga postures from books or videos is a good idea. You need an instructor to observe you and make sure you are executing them correctly. Don't believe anyone who tells you that 'you can't hurt yourself doing yoga'. You can.

Books are good for background information and developing understanding of why you're doing it - not for teaching yourself how to do it.

Re: Julie

Pete on 9/22/02 at 06:33 (095939)

Pilates or yoga for low back pain ?

I'm currently doing pilates via a fully qualified instructor who is pretty good

Re: Julie

Julie on 9/22/02 at 08:53 (095942)

It depends. If one is looking for remedial help with a specific problem, I think it's important to understand that although yoga can be employed therapeutically for many conditions, including low back pain, in most classes it isn't so employed, nor do many teachers have the necessary expertise to deal with serious back problems. I do a good deal of work on pelvic alignment and stability, which is the key to dealing with back pain, but not all teachers do, and in some classes you'd be more likely to make matters worse rather than better.

Pilates is more specific: it focuses on core stability and the strengthening of the muscle groups that support the lower back. So if your aim is specifically help with a low back problem, I think it would be safer to recommend Pilates (assuming an expert instructor) over a general yoga class.

Re: Thanks

Ellen J. on 9/22/02 at 10:40 (095946)

Thanks--
I'm planning to make appts with both a chiropractor/kenesiologist and another podiatrist on monday. I'm thinking of using the yoga primarily for gentle stretching of the entire body and then having professionals evaluate stance, gait, movement.
Thanks for the warning that yoga can cause problems if not used wisely and I'll be careful.
The pose where you sit cross-legged and then lean the body forward really felt great when I did that yesterday.
Ellen J.

Re: ATTN. Julie!!!!!

Carmen H on 9/20/02 at 18:10 (095869)

Ellen JulieF. is the board yoga queen...;o)
She gets embarrassed by all the attention but she truly is soo knowledgable....and a good friend too. She's sure to answer you with much useful info!

Re: Yoga questions

Julie on 9/21/02 at 15:49 (095910)

Ellen

I hope you're enjoying your yoga class.

The first and foremost rule is: take care of yourself. You are in charge of your body and of your self, and if any instruction you are given in a class feels wrong for you, you should ignore it. If the teacher puts pressure on you to try something you don't feel is right, find another class.

Unfortunately, with yoga as popular as it is right now, there are some poorly qualified and unqualified teachers out there. And, amongst the different 'styles' of yoga, some are very strong, probably too strong for anyone with any physical ailment. There are schools of yoga that focus primarily on standing poses, which for someone with PF is probably not a very good idea.

There are hundreds of yoga books on the market. 'Stretch and Relax' by Maxine Tobias and Mary Stewart, two English yoga teachers, was mentioned a few days ago and is very good, but I don't know if it's still in print. My own 'Office Yoga', which is really a basic, simple, safe manual, is out of print now but still available on line: you could try Amazon, but as there are a couple of books of that title I'll tell you my full name, which is Julie Friedeberger. You really need to go to a bookstore that keeps a good stock, and look through. I love Donna Farhi's books: 'The Breathing Book' and 'Yoga: Body, Mind and Spirit, a Return to Wholeness'.

Yes, you do need to prepare your body (and mind) for any of the stronger postures. A balanced programme should always include simple movements to mobilise the joints and to flex and extend the spine, and a good teacher will always make sure of this, and will always present a balanced programme. If you are sure you have a good teacher, the best advice I can offer is to follow his/her instructions, and practise what you are taught in the class. If you practise at home, do always make sure that your joints, including your spine, are prepared for any strong work.

I hope this helps. Do please ask if I can be of any more help.

Re: ATTN. Julie!!!!!

Julie on 9/21/02 at 15:53 (095911)

Not embarrassed, my dear friend Carmen (except possibly at beng called a queen!), and always glad to help. Thanks for pointing out Ellen's post. I've been away all day, and have only just seen it.

Re: Thanks Julie (and Carmen)

Ellen J. on 9/21/02 at 19:10 (095920)

Hi and thanks!
I have not started the class yet and although I couldn't find the particular books you mentioned, I did find a fairly good one called 'Yoga for life'. I plan to start with the very simple positions and then see how my feet react. It's very odd that when I stretch or exercise other parts of the body, my feet react. Also, when I lean forward alot and make my back sore, my P.F. acts up also. All of this makes me think that yoga might help a bit.
Thanks for all you help with this and I look forwad to seeing what happens when I start the yoga.
Ellen J.

Re: Thanks Julie (and Carmen)

Julie on 9/22/02 at 01:55 (095935)

Ellen

Do be careful. I don't think that trying to learn yoga postures from books or videos is a good idea. You need an instructor to observe you and make sure you are executing them correctly. Don't believe anyone who tells you that 'you can't hurt yourself doing yoga'. You can.

Books are good for background information and developing understanding of why you're doing it - not for teaching yourself how to do it.

Re: Julie

Pete on 9/22/02 at 06:33 (095939)

Pilates or yoga for low back pain ?

I'm currently doing pilates via a fully qualified instructor who is pretty good

Re: Julie

Julie on 9/22/02 at 08:53 (095942)

It depends. If one is looking for remedial help with a specific problem, I think it's important to understand that although yoga can be employed therapeutically for many conditions, including low back pain, in most classes it isn't so employed, nor do many teachers have the necessary expertise to deal with serious back problems. I do a good deal of work on pelvic alignment and stability, which is the key to dealing with back pain, but not all teachers do, and in some classes you'd be more likely to make matters worse rather than better.

Pilates is more specific: it focuses on core stability and the strengthening of the muscle groups that support the lower back. So if your aim is specifically help with a low back problem, I think it would be safer to recommend Pilates (assuming an expert instructor) over a general yoga class.

Re: Thanks

Ellen J. on 9/22/02 at 10:40 (095946)

Thanks--
I'm planning to make appts with both a chiropractor/kenesiologist and another podiatrist on monday. I'm thinking of using the yoga primarily for gentle stretching of the entire body and then having professionals evaluate stance, gait, movement.
Thanks for the warning that yoga can cause problems if not used wisely and I'll be careful.
The pose where you sit cross-legged and then lean the body forward really felt great when I did that yesterday.
Ellen J.