Yoga

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    Jan 15, 2007 3:57 PM GMT
    So...Saturday I gave yoga a try. It was my first class ever and I basically walked in without any knowledge. I expected it to be rough but it was more so. I guess I thought it would be similar to pilates but not as difficult as far as strength. Well I was wrong for this class anyway. It was an hour and a half but I think I learned a bit. I definitely felt relaxed and loose afterwards if not a bit sweaty.

    The only negative is that I think I over did it a bit on my left wrist. It's a bit sore and very slightly swollen which surprised me because I felt no pain during the class. Still, I plan to continue on but just take it easier on my wrist.
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    Jan 18, 2007 3:26 PM GMT
    Ok so I took my first non-power yoga class last night. Just a regular class for mixed levels it said. I have to say, it was a very comfortable and relaxing class. I felt almost like I'd had a nap at the end of it.

    It was particularly interesting because the instructor had us focusing on body awareness which I confess is probably not something I'm strong in.
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    Jan 19, 2007 10:44 PM GMT
    I practise yoga 2 years now! I think it's great! Once I was too tired an i cursed my self for going to the lesson. But when we relaxed at the of the lesson i felt like sleeping, and when i woke up, I had so much energy!!! It was unbelievable!
  • treader

    Posts: 238

    Jan 24, 2007 9:32 PM GMT

    Hang in there RedKoste. Your wrist can get a little over extended during yoga (especially after doing the wheel for me). I started yoga this Fall. I actually strained a tendon in a half marathon last Spring which sent me to physical therapy. (By the way, this injury killed my chances of going to the Gay Games/OutGames.) The therapist strongly recommended yoga for all serious runners. After recovering and doing my best time in a half marathon in Oct, I immediately signed up for yoga class (which turned out to be more of a heated power yoga class). I didn't know what to expect but I was happily surprised that many of the physical therapist's exercises that they had me do in the Spring were incorporated into the fundamental yoga postions. I love this class! I can't explain it but I feel fantastic afterwards. I really lost some flexibility by pounding the pavement day after day.

    The only problem with this yoga class is that, well, I'm one of the few guys. It's mostly women. (The story of my life.) But then I heard about a men's nude yoga class at a New Year Eve party and thought 'I gotta go to this'. Yeap, this class is in the buff with a room fill of guys (mostly if not all gay from what I can tell). This class is non-heated and focuses more on stretching.

    I wished that I could put both of the classes together - power nude men yoga but for now I'm trying to balance both them each week.

    A friend was pushing me to do a full marathon early this year but I think that I'm going to focus on yoga for the first half of this year and look into a Fall marathon.

    Anyway, yoga rocks if you ask me.

    -Paul

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    Jan 24, 2007 9:56 PM GMT
    Thanks, Paul. I intend to stick with it. I agree with you totally in the way it makes you feel so good. As I understand it, increased flexibility can also help prevent injury. So, it's almost like a therapy for me.

    As far as my wrist goes, it's the oddest thing. I may end up going to the doctor because I still have some pain. I'm guessing I strained something like a tendon although I never felt any pain during the first class which I think was definitely a power class. I'm going to stick with it though and just take things a bit slower. I guess I'm luckier in that there is a smattering of men in the classes I've been to. In fact the last one was about half men.

    What I'm trying to imagine is nude yoga though. I'm fairly certain I don't want to be naked in most of the poses they've had us do. Oh yeah, I'm certain of it. Although I admit I'm curious. Hehe... Still, I'd imagine yoga will be a great help to your running. Keep us posted on how the running and yoga (nude and clothed) goes.
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    Jan 25, 2007 1:09 AM GMT
    I'm also a member of the nude yoga group Paul is talking about. It runs on 3 different nights and I don't recognize Paul, so he must be on a different night. Anyway - you'd be surprised how non-sexual it is. If you're really pushing yourself to do the position correctly, you don't have the time to focus on someone elses body or wonder how yours looks. I do some of the yoga stretches at the end of my workouts and notice the cloths getting in the way a little bit. The class combines both gentle stretching and some of the power yoga stuff (warrior poses). I'm definately more flexible now than when I started.
    Rob
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    Jan 25, 2007 3:17 PM GMT
    Heh well I don't know if we've got a nude yoga class in here in Dallas but for now I'll just stick to what's offered at my gym. Just doing group classes is getting me out of my comfort zone enough for the moment. One hang up at a time hehe...

    So much to learn and so little time in my day!
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    Feb 05, 2007 12:42 AM GMT
    I walked into my first yoga class back in December of 2005. I had no idea what I was doing and it showed...for days afterwards. Luckily there was a yoga studio in town that taught a beginners course. It showed the basic asanas (the postures done in yoga) and gave back ground information on yoga as a tool for fitness, focus, meditation, and concentration. I would recommend to anyone thinking of starting yoga to take a beginner's class first. It's much more rewarding when you know why you are doing the asanas rather than just doing them.

    Question: I'm really trying hard to balance weight training, triathlon training, yoga, and Tai Chi in a weekly workout schedule. Yeah, I know it's allot. The priority would have to be given in the following order: 1-yoga, 2-Tai chi, 3-Triathlon, 4-weight lifting. Anyone have any tips on the best way to balance this out? I have about an hour in the morning, 30 minutes at lunchtime, and all the time in the world after work. I do have set yoga classes on Tuesdays & Thursdays...all the rest are at my own schedule. Any ideas?
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Feb 14, 2007 9:33 PM GMT
    Hey, guys, if you're new to yoga, I'd encourage you to try a handful of Iyengar classes, if you can find them in your area. Admittedly I'm biased because my practice is almost entirely Iyengar yoga, but its whole thing is body awareness and super-precise alignment; it's a normal-temperature room, and you hold poses for minutes at a time with props and whatnot. A lot of people get a lot out of flow styles, heated-room stuff, power yoga, and I'll admit you're not going to look ripped purely through an Iyengar practice, but it's a great way to learn how not to hurt yourself in the other classes, which won't focus quite as heavily on the alignment since they're more concerned with other stuff.

    As for overdoing it on the wrists in stuff like wheel, arm balances, handstand, etc., that's all about strengthening the wrists and forearms so you can put the weight across your fingers, not smash it down into the heel of the hand. One of my teachers told me how she learned to do that: her teacher put a ball bearing under each of her hands, right in the center of the heel of the hand, when she did handstands. Pretty brutal... but apparently effective!
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Feb 14, 2007 9:37 PM GMT
    Tofu, I totally have the same dilemma, I'm trying to keep up my yoga practice, but build my climbing skill back up and train for a big bike ride in April at the same time. If you're doing Bikram or Ashtanga or some other power yoga style, it can be tough, but if you're doing more of an Iyengar, Hatha, or other less muscularly-intense practice, you might be able to double up with another activity.

    One of my teachers teaches a yoga class at one of Austin's rock climbing gyms on Tuesday nights, and since it's an Iyengar class designed for climbers, we basically spend an hour and a half building postural muscles, balance, and flexibility. It's basically the perfect warm-up for a couple hours of bouldering. Kills two birds with one stone! :)
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    Feb 15, 2007 1:22 PM GMT
    Any guys out there in london who attend a gay yoga group as I'm looking to find a London based group to join...thx
  • redjim

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    Feb 16, 2007 1:45 AM GMT
    anyone interested doing yoga with me by cam, contact me. i am at the intermediate level and also enjoy partner yoga.
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    Feb 24, 2007 12:15 AM GMT
    Nude yoga! I had the opertunity to go to a nude yoga class in LA and a weekend in Pittsburgh. Loved them both!

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    Apr 11, 2007 4:00 AM GMT
    Keep wit hit RedKoste,

    Try MANY yoga Classes and see what you like. Its good to do a gentle yoga class, if you already work out quite a bit. Someday, try a Bikram class if you can find one. They use heaters in the room, most of the time, not to hot, but it really helps to warm up the muscles and allows you to stretch deeply. You will sweat in this class. You'll feel like a washcloth that's been wrung out, but its the toxins that've been wrung out.
    Namaste,
    StuMan
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    Apr 17, 2007 6:08 PM GMT
    Yeah you know, my gym is going the way of offering Les Mills classes. Which is fine but they are kind of hybrids of several disciplines. I think I'm just going to shop around for some studios. I've seen a few nearby. I'm sure I could benefit from a dedicated class for a beginner.
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    May 13, 2007 10:22 PM GMT
    I'm not sure what you mean by Power Yoga?? there are many types of yoga, and I am guessing you are referring to ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. I find these to be the best classes as Hatha Yoga actually puts to much stress on various body part by trying to hold poses and slowly rock them into deeper poses. Additionally any good Vinyasa teacher is concerned with alignment, not just the Iyengars.
  • 11city

    Posts: 45

    May 13, 2007 11:36 PM GMT
    after the opening scene in "shortbus", i have decided yoga might be worth a shot. anyone have any beginner recommendations for the los angeles area?
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    May 13, 2007 11:47 PM GMT
    Let me just say that I am one of the tightest people ever. I absolutely hate to stretch when I work out but I love doing any routine that includes just stretching, such as yoga or pilates. This is a problem a lot of people face and I think these classes are great for getting guys to stretch as important as it is to do.
  • trebor965

    Posts: 200

    May 14, 2007 2:11 AM GMT
    i love that there is such a big yoga following here! i have been loving it and practicing for two years now. i started out by buying a book on some basic moves. the book also covered base areas such as history and style, methods, cautions, etc. i tried a couple of moves and found that my form needed help. so i took a class once a week, and bought a dvd, for the other days. well the dvd was limiting in level, so i suggest finding a beginner - advance dvd with different time sessions etc. that way you can push your body as far as it is willing that day. the classes were all women and the leader was a guy. i had a crush on the yogi and the chix were competition. so i now stay focused at my house with a youtube video playlist, sage, and the heat on. evolve it so it works for you, but also realize the roots, and function of constant practice and you will become a very level headed fit fiend to yoga.

    wish you the best!
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    May 14, 2007 4:48 AM GMT
    I also find that going to classes with male instructors tend to be better because they will sometimes put an emhasis on strength asanas (Inversions, etc..) as ooposed to women instructors who tend to be more about flexibility asanas
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    May 14, 2007 5:52 AM GMT
    DVDs are great, too. Rodney Yee is an excellent instructor and has many variable levels available. Andrey Lappa is also incredible. There is something to be said for going to a class though. Part of goingto a class is Tuning Into your body, feeling through it, and Really listening to the Guidance. Its a Way of letting go of Doing so much and practicing Non-doing, more Flowing with the instructions. Slow classes are absolutely just as valid and unique as Ashtanga and Bikram and various Hot Yoga styles. When you do so much cardio and intense weights, you might want to try Chilling Out a bit and experience the Deep Relaxing side of yoga. Yoga is also great for Healthy Libido and good Blood flow. I use several Vids and DVDs, but I still prefer a class when I'm where they are offered. Enjoy!
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    May 19, 2007 12:01 AM GMT
    Bikram Yoga is as close as I get to church. It is an integral part of my life... so worth it !


    peace,

    x
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    May 19, 2007 12:31 AM GMT
    Chungo: "Power Yoga" is technically the name of Baron Baptiste's particular style.

    I finally took an Ashtanga class the other day, the primary series with an incredibly experienced female instructor who could do all the vinyasa, and it was pretty awesome, I have to admit. That said, I still would super-strongly recommend that anyone doing a yoga practice also attend regular Iyengar classes to have an opportunity to learn form and alignment. In Ashtanga, you only hold most poses for a breath, so you just don't have time to receive instruction in alignment and safety, and it's very easy to hurt yourself in yoga, like, you could put all the weight in the heels of your hand in downward dog instead of the lengths of the fingers and knuckles and over time you'd develop nerve compression injuries in the wrists. Or not keep the chest open in Chaturanga and blow out your shoulders. Etc.

    I think paired together, Ashtanga and Iyengar would make for a really beautiful practice. I'm trying to move my schedule around so I can incorporate at least a class of each every week.
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    May 23, 2007 5:57 AM GMT
    I'm jumping in on this conversation incredibly late, but when I was actively engaged in my practice 3/4 times a week I saw amazing results.

    My running was at its peak, breathing during a 20+ mile saturday run was spot on, my flexibiity, stride and form were good-

    At the time I was a steadfast vegetarian as well, the combination was amazing for my overall/everyday frame of mind.

    Some things in my life have changed (not necesarilly bad) and I have not really been able to strike that balance that allows me to practice regularly- but I am anxiously looking forward to that time again.

    As of late my body (running inclusive) has told me it is time to return to a regular sessions. That and to go back to being a less passively lazy 'vegetarian'
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    May 23, 2007 11:46 PM GMT
    atxclimber, thanks for the recommendation! i've been doing yoga for a year and a half now and it has been such a benefit, strength-wise and flexibility-wise. i'll look into lyengar, it sounds like a great complement to hatha yoga