Bettina's Profile

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New York City, US


More About Me

My Occupation is
Accounting Administrator

My hobbies/interests are
Nutrition, movies, books ... and I am writing up a philosophy of life right now ...

One secret that helps me to stay healthy is
"Find a way" --Diana Nyad, after swimming from Cuba to Key West without fins or shark cages

My wellness goals are
Managing Type 2 Diabetes well, so far. Brought my A1Cs down from 8.3 now to 5.9, with low carbing and mostly aerobic exercise. In addition, I lost over 35 pounds, that I thought would be with me forever. Dietary goals include more organic produce and sparingly any meats.

I see myself achieving my wellness goals by
I need to increase my aerobic/cardio activity. Yoga alone will not help me achieve sounder sleep.

My inspirations are
I will always remember the three pilates teachers who spoke to me,

A little more about me
I innovated my own complete yoga-pilates fusion practice ...
I weighed 107 pounds more than I do now, when I had been 24 years old, and had been yo-yoing in weight since forever, and until the year 2002, after which I lost and kept off 50 pounds, on average; now it's over 80 pounds.
No weight loss surgery was ever exploited at any time in this adventure.
I still do yoga from on here, but I am more involved in dance and pilates on this site right now ...

Recent Posts

    • Andrea Roselli of Zenbombshell ... if you Ever Read This

      November 28, 2013 at 8:14pm

      Andrea Roselli of Zenbombshell ... if you Ever Read This

      Please continue with the line drawing time lapses of you doing My Yoga Online videos ... LOVE your music selection ..

      Maybe include more advanced beginner stuff for this lady's viewing pleasure ... and you doing other videos ... or pilates ...

      I mean, I author my own practices these days ... but they are so long ...

      You inspire speeeeeeed ... even if that's an illusion ...

      And, most importantly, you seem humble ...

      • @floating-drumbeat Watching the Andrea Roselli video, I decided NOT to purchase the download of the Janet Stone ... my practice is moving so far in the other direction ... easier on the knees, more hip-opening, enough backbending, but backbending is far from the star of the show (as it comes easy-peasy to me in comparison to a lot of other things ...) .... and whatever arm balances that are not contraindicated for my condition.

        But ...PSHAW!! It does have a lengthy duration ... I'd thrown in the sahanavavatu chant, and pretty much - the WORKS!

        9 months ago in New York City, US

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      • Coco, Jennifer and Janet video Downloads and MY OWN MP3 FILE

        October 14, 2013 at 8:14am

        Coco, Jennifer and Janet video Downloads and MY OWN MP3 FILE

        Home practice overwhelmingly rules.

        It started out being born of necessity. I can ill afford many live yoga classes, nor do any live teacher trainings, live workshops or live retreats … it had started out as a resentful, angry, unbalanced and inelegant highly-structured practice …

        I'd needed more, better influences on it by live classes … Even in my limited, low-value-customer way … I’ve gone to a tiny handful of studios (in the New York City metropolitan area – 6 is a VERY tiny mumber) for 5 of the six years I’ve been practicing yoga regularly … (save for a period of 18 months when I regrouped PSYCHOLOGICALLY -bank account isn’t everything, you know!- practicing only at home …) and will continue …

        However, I do not have my pick of studios. Only a tiny handful have generous expiry dates (by that I mean ONE CALENDAR YEAR or LONGER) on a discounted 10-class pack. I chose the one that just started offering such classes. So sue me if you think this studio shouldn't be a pilates studio ...well, it SURE IS...

        By successive approximations, I now have the yoga practice that works for me … all the time at home ...

        So, on to the dilemma ....

        I’d taken over 100 studio yoga classes(the first BIG, big batch of classes deeply discounted) over the five year period, by the way, and maybe 2 asana workshops and a kirtan workshop. The one thing I miss about the classes – ironically, the woo-woo (possibly to others) -sounding patter (except I’d mostly hated ANY talk during savasana). Yes, the spirituality is important to me. I'd recorded a timed voice-over for that. Semi-successfully the first time. Pretty successfully the second time. My sequence changes slightly each time, and semi-majorly over a very lengthy period of time. However, real-time, in vivo voice recording is a strain on me, and with continuous, banging upstairs neighbor noise canNOT be accomplished during a weekend!

        So, I'd bopped into a Radio Shack - I, who have never so much as owned an iPod need the handholding, not looking for cheapo bargains online; and -You know, I couldn't even stick to having a Smartphone ... I'm a latter Baby Boomer who's never had a bourgeois bohemian/academic/super high tech job so I've never needed mobile technology (nor had I ever been reimbursed by my employer one red cent for it!) ... but I'm using a dedicated little mp3 recorder NOW!

        Here in the more trendy areas, the spiritual patter does sell. And it isn't spiritual bypass by any means. Silence is golden, but only when it is. Done with or without music, NEVER underestimate the motivational power of right speech.

        It is no different - when taken in analogy in the more secular world of physical activity, let's say - than recording positive affirmations on a recording machine ... except here would be the pose cues (this is a flow practice, a structured practice that does not stop moving ...), a few alignment cues ... and philosophy wound in [perhaps later editions would have some chakra talk, but that is not what I am ready to do without further self-study... at NO cost but time...

        Rome was not built in a day.

        And neither is a self-practice.

        This is a MEMORY tool (as well as a ME-mory tool). So at the end of an 11 hour day (including commute) I WON'T HAVE TO THINK.

        Um, I am planning on downloading Coco Finaldi, Janet Stone and Jennifer Maagendans videos off (as an expired premium member--but if this post publishes, I'M STILL A MEMBER!) ... for inspiration to my mp3 creations (the spiritual parts/right speech/spiritual orientations)...not quitesomuch for the practices themselves ... my previous downloads were (subconsciously) for more or less the SAME reasons--BUT they were extremely mild practices--well within my skill level (and with no inversions); except for about a third of them, which have fast sequences and/or non-inversion-y arm balances I can't do ...

        Just that many download practices (from other sites such as and lose track of the power of a spiritually-driven class orientation ... and are just sequence-move callers, IMHO ....

        This of course, is pilates-(somewhat-)infused yoga plus pranayama (breath-retention exercises).

        Incidentally, while alignment-oriented AND infused with spirituality and affirmations (from the mp3 prompting) this mildest form of power yoga actually delivers on managing my cardiovascular issues, for a change ...

        This second file is 88 minutes long (the first mp3 was only 82 minutes) my own proprietary yoga practice.

        Of course, I'm not the Rodney Yee of vinyasa yoga (from the Gaiam Audio Yoga mat fame) ...

        I ain't trying to be .. I've got a LOT of philosophical chops compared to a Rodney Yee (I don't know how I fit in the spiritual speechifying while practicing--let's just say it has been EXTREMELY straining on me; and I had to drop the chanting the second time), I'm not so-so-SOOOO about alignment; and I'm certainly no professional yoga teacher ... I needed my audio for the right speech element (which I definitely still have) ... and judging by my other movement participation, including a live studio pilates class ... I'm cross-training A-okay even in that department ...

        Production values while still far from professional or perfect, are much tighter this time!

        I might just wear this mp3 file out, if I play it on this PC .. using Windows ...

        Gotta study this first, if I want to stick it on itunes and forego the light show for even better playback ...

        as in someone possibly stealing work from me ...

        Although, I tried it once so far; it kicked my butt because I'd been hungry from shopping some sales right in the neighborhood ... stores uncrowded ... most people at home or away or in the City (not very locally shopping) ... with today (Columbus Day) off ... a FIRST for my company, and probably having something to do w/ the United States government shutdown ...

        Used an ILLUME Oceano scented candle plus a battery-powered pillar candle (had been marked down at Pier 1) in Lavender scent (further away) ...

        Was greeted with a wonderful light show at the end of practice ... volume much higher than that of the playback on the file when it was just from the recording device ,,,

        And... neighbor noise continued throughout the practice .

        Nooo PROBLEM ... it reminded me of yoga at the gym ... a most pleasant memory at times ... but gym yoga had been a TOO-pleasant memory ...

        All THIS without a mean-ass yoga teacher riding my back!!

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          • Solstice Yoga in NYC's Times Square Blog

            June 21, 2013 at 8:58pm

            Well, I was in Times Square at the Solstice Celebration ... and took a class after work. I had to travel (well off the beaten path from where in New York City metropolitan area) nearby there to run an errand, anyway.

            It was great!
            And it made me appreciate taking the different approach.

            Okay ... :-)

            That was the public relations answer. Now here the balanced answer--the truth.

            If you know Times Square in New York City, during tourist/wedding/grad/dad/summer camp season, then you know what crowds are ... why would that go away just because someone organized (and they did a masterful job, if I may say so) a mega-class?

            Well, I'd never been in a large yoga class. Simply because I commute from outer borough to outer borough within New York City, and did not pick that kind of studio, to date. So this was a whole new world, opened up to me.

            Now, the class is also, informally, by donation ... and I did choose to donate a more-than-nominal amount ... not the Andrew Jackson face one, but not so much south of that ... They said give "what you'd normally pay for a yoga class" ... so I gave that ... in truth, what I'd paid for my last donation class (a few years ago) ...

            The mats were somewhat close together, but not the proverbial one inch between mats. However, this was also in a nether section of the square. When you are teaching 4,000 people, only a select few will get the stage view.

            I sat behind several women in well-cared-for Lululemon outfits. No joke There were no props.
            Knowing I'd need one, I'd improvised with a hardcover book. That thought had occurred to me within hours of arriving there. Did not get to use the strap I'd brought.

            There was an hour waiting (standing! It's a good thing there is over 30 pounds less of me than two years ago; and that my orthotics are new) to get in the gate. Once in, another 20 minutes of sitting cross legged (my sit bones on the book) waiting for announcements, etc. and the class to start.

            It was a great class.

            I could tell you more, but all I know is my fellow MYO members are going to tell everyone how much they liked the last video they did from on here ...

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              • "Home Yoga Practice is Underrated" I said to T'ai Chi Teacher

                May 30, 2013 at 7:32am

                Sam Weinstein commented on Breaking up with Your Yoga Teacher: The Yoga Teacher's Point of View. - elephant journal: Yoga, Sustainability, Politics, Spirituality.:

                in a comment, says:

                RE: Breaking up with your yoga teacher
                "At our Yoga school we have a long standing practice of an open door and no guilt. This enables the student that searches out other methods or schools to not be to embarrassed to come back if they find out the grass was not greener or to just check in for an occasional visit. In fact we have found a student may disappear for years even say 15 years and then come back and truly ready to commit to the yoga and the body.
                This keeps guilt and embarrassment from blocking there return and or to encourage them in the practice of yoga where ever they go. Yes you still get the student that tries to kill mommy or daddy by blaming the teacher for the departure and yes that can hurt. You can also not expect to never come into conflict with a student. That can be part of life. But being guilt free and an open door both ways truly helps
                Sam Weinstein Home of Yoga Mosman Park Western Australia "

                At-home cardio in the house--mostly Belly Dance Aerobics (at this writing), speaking in this blog. At this point, a former regular primarily at-home yoga practitioner.

                I have the muscle-type to prove it now. Lengthy arm muscles engendered of the lightest isotonic work. Legs very slender now, with lengthy quads.

                I did the most every day.

                But diabetes mellitus Type 2 (not the mildest case coming in), changed all the yoga practice, both in quantity and actual ability ... getting nearly uncontrollable muscle cramps and falling out of postures at home alone is a bit scary ... we are not talking hyper-advanced postures here.

                However, I have pride in what has gone before.

                While I'd been registering for my Indian dance class at a nearby studio that shall remain nameless--needless to say, this and all the other dance classes (sprinkling of belly dance, to be precise) is a poorly scheduled class for MOST people, not THIS Road Warrior, and so in bulk the price was a steal and a lot cheaper than the carriage-trade yoga class prices. I was listening to the business manager speak to a new yoga student (on a monthly unlimited Special intro pass, which comes in about just under 4 times the price of my one-hour dance class--actually a one-off Yelp deal (and even that is a Special ... but the dance class package, as alluded to earlier in the paragraph, is a real steal--and I jumped at it.)

                I waited until the student had left the studio.

                I said I didn't want to say anything, but I reminded this business manager, that she shouldn't have agreed with the new student that doing yoga at home was so bad, as the student told her she felt it was. HOME YOGA PRACTICE IS UNDERRATED.

                [Obviously, I'm not as hard-line as I used to be .. I used to sort of be looking for "converts" to home practice ...]

                Well, as it so happens, the substitute T'ai Chi teacher - arriving very early before his upcoming class to teach that day - overheard me talking about my opinions, and asked me why I felt it had not been necessary or even sufficient to be [in euphemism here] continuously and constantly "sharing my yoga practice" with others.

                I laid it on the line, and said that with my schedule and my finances, it was the only way for me to go. When the studio former owner had not appreciated that--and actually practically all accept The Yoga Teacher to the Future Yoga Rock Stars--tried to discourage that--this T'ai Chi teacher then continued as to why I didn't consider coming back to taking yoga at The Nameless ... different teachers, etc. It HAS been two years and nine months since I'd last been a customer--in blue pixel on blue- white background on their computer screen ...

                I said I did run into loads of flak about this, that they don't teach my preferred style of yoga, and that I had nothing to prove to anybody. "Do I have to prove that I could stand on my head?!" ... I exclaimed.

                [Of course, I would not literally try to stand on my head now in my ISCHEMICALLY diseased condition, but that is a point of rhetoric at this point.]

                So, he realized what I was getting at, and with the implicit and explicit sprituality of each of the two disciplines ... he agreed that yoga studios have to make money,

                and ... all-in-all it pays to be a softer line on this ..

                I told him he seems like a very good T'ai Chi teacher, and to teach a great class, like I know he would.

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                  • Yoga, Type 2 Diabetes and Me--A Warning for "Pre Diabetics"!

                    February 9, 2013 at 8:34am

                    At this writing, l am weighing 78 pounds less than in my youth. About 8 pounds over my goal weight, and a loss of 6 pounds since joining My Yoga.

                    So, now, what is the problem?

                    I think the yoga, and the pilates. Not cardio enough.

                    I think the diet, the SAD but calorie-controlled, flexitarian variety of same: Not South Beach-ish enough ...

                    [SAD stands for Standard American Diet ...]

                    I know my lifestyle of a lot of environmental noise and vibration pollution where I live and sleep helped engender this problem. The Diabetes range (not quite the lowest border--I tested in at 195 mg/dL, never going through a pre-diabetes phase) was a build-up over a few years. Not totally asymptomatic. But such mild, ignorable symptoms.

                    I did not go on the medication (Metformin) right away ... I wanted to try a little experiment.

                    So, for what it's worth, my symptoms (suddenly not mild anymore; remember, I had hesitated to take medication by then, but they seemed to be worsening by the day--me having a sore throat, hocking up loads of blood on the side that DID NOT GET tonsilitis ..)

                    This turned out to be NOT a mistake by a long shot.

                    I did my first yoga practice--an active, lengthy practice, as you may know if you read my blogs--in 3 weeks ... yesterday, a snow day ...

                    I caretake an elderly relative in addition to a lengthy commute to a full-time job, that does not pay enough for me to farm out household chores (sad, huh?) . And I have been a cholesterol patient for 17 years, though I never have spoken about THAT ... just because it had been stabilized ...]

                    About three weeks ago, within the space of 12 hours, without diabetes meds, I tried yoga as (in my apartment) ... just under an hour was all I could take before my left leg cramped up again and again [it had done that, to a lesser degree, in my pilates mat class, but not enough to disturb the energy of the class], even though I have been much more cross-trained in vinyasa yoga than my cardio of choice which is freeform ecstatic dance -- (yes, deeming 5 Rhythms not cardio enough ...) ...

                    Yes, without meds, I ascertained that yoga asana practice would not serve me insomuch as I have been feeling a lot better, most likely due to changes in type of exercise .. I have to be using the largest muscles of my body, in a rapid, repetitive fashion (a.k.a. aerobic or cardio activity). such that it actually causes me to break a sweat ... if I have less than an hour to do that in ... AND - BELIEVE ME, I DO!!

                    Seems that highly cardio but low impact dance is my yoga, now ... belly dance full of shimmies, ecstatic freeform dance full of skipping, etc. ...

                    {Don't worry; I'd started taking my medication now ... about 2 weeks ago}

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                      • Back to the Future Self Practice

                        January 5, 2013 at 8:32pm

                        Got my practice down to 68 minutes. Down from hovering around the 100 min mark all the time. My sequencing is better-

                        I will let the pieces fall where they may, as such. Since I meditate again, in order to help me sleep I have more leeway in how I practice vinyasa yoga these days.

                        A shorter practice both cross trains me better to the dvds and downloads I have and acts as possible incentive to do it more frequently.

                        • Ahh, my core is burning right now. I can only imagine what might ache once my injured finger gets totally better ...

                          2 years ago in New York City, US

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                        • January 4, 2013 at 7:00pm

                          I'd really needed to do my own yoga routine after work, but as it was at work yesterday, I'd banged my finger really bad and it bled and I still had to use the hand keying in for my job. Then, looking at (= viewing without sound) some of the videos on this site that are really in heavy rotation by other MYO members right now, I am seeing shades of having to put an earlier version of my practice into the mix. To keep it at about 70 minutes, tops--WITH the apex pose. Sacrificing leg strength development. I mean, camel pose gives me more than doing a lengthier-held funky version of Sun Salute B in terms of knee rehab ... Mainly trading off some calming effects for time constraints .. I did do yoga last night--my Jonathan Urla Yogilates 3 ... all except the last 8 or 10 minutes (that meant no dancer, no shoulderstand but a LOT of pilates) .. I modify that dvd down to the usual "All Levels" kind of level ... I know what I have to do... Incidentallly, it has been nearly a year since doing that dvd ... and I noticed increased flexibility, grace and balance (the strength was the same in my legs--and where the finger did not get in the way--in my arms; but I had been quite the washout when I'd first got that dvd, about 2-1/2 years ago ...)

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                            • A Practice fit for a Queen

                              December 30, 2012 at 8:24am

                              I did my self-sequence again, with the apex pose. I decided that apex poses featuring backbends or early-intermediate arm balances will be in the heaviest rotation. This is because I can approach them, do them, balance somewhat in them, prop intensively for them without compromising my balance ... all the things necessary for self-instruction sans spotter--video/audio or no video/audio.

                              I also do not own a bolster, meditation cushions, 3 minute eggs or any fancy apparati because my former body sculpting fitness tools take up too much room-- and I have no room. I will not use a wall to teach myself headstand. I don't have room for the head-through body benches.

                              The thing I MUST have is an apex pose. I feel so much better afterwards. Like a great euphoria (and a feeling of being wired for sound and video) that washes over me anywhere from 95 to about 120 minutes after practice is done. Now, I have to get the time down from over 80 minutes again ...

                              That may be impossible.

                              My neck hurt so much, nearly 20 hours after said last yoga practice. At T + 22, it does not hurt much. Maybe partially a spillover effect of the winter storm that resulted in my skipping pilates class, which may have helped me more. (I do have borderline hyperkyphosis.) So, no Hemalayaa Bollywood dance for me today. It will aggravate the neck. I probably could trace the fleeting neck pain back to the Sethu Bandasana-style transition into Urdhva Dhanurasana .... So, perhaps I will do my Bollywood Boogie routine from amazon Unbox, instead ...

                              Other than a couple issues, I am loving my yoga practice.

                              • Yes, I talk about the physical a lot. I find it refreshing to be talking about that BECAUSE I had been a meditation addict for about 7 years--no movement associated with the meditation. But the contemplative nature of my practice does not suffer, because I practice -- of course, down at my own level -- in a contemplative way ... really on the cusp of being parasympathetic and prana inducing ...

                                2 years ago in New York City, US

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                              • December 25, 2012 at 4:21pm

                                About to take on the Hemalayaa video from here. But modify it. Have reason to believe it made my knees sensitive to this trouble in the first place. About 90% stabilized right now (or so I told my pilates instructor Saturday--but that had been a dry day) ... I think I could do it. I did 80 minutes of my mostly-yoga practice earlier today. My shoulders are killing me from that practice. Hemalayaa Bollywood dance won't task my shoulders. Ten minute rule, is going to rule this time ... Nothing personal, Hema ... you actually float my boat pose ...!

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                                  • Apex Poses - More than One ?

                                    December 18, 2012 at 11:32am

                                    My home self-sequence is over 4 years in the making. I reserve the right to have a shared apex pose if full expression cannot be realized at this time in two poses after 5-1/2 years of regular yoga practice. Too bad I could not keep it down to 75 minutes. Unless I know the rest of the sequence absolutely cold (a rare occurrence; by that time, I'm bored enough to advance and/or tweak)--and I'm not needing to tweak and experiment trial-and-error style.

                                    That being said, yesterday evening's shared apex pose - a double-billing in flashing lights --was tripod headstand and pendant pose.

                                    The pendant pose I totally taught myself from books and videos--did not get taught that at my first studio ... they'd never been able to get me into kakasana either. Headstand (classical arms version) had been totally assisted - AND using a wall (against their policy, but there is a very long story on that ...); suffice to say, tripod headstand they were sane about with me ... and never expected much ... at all ...

                                    I actually do not have the requisite longer upper arm to forearm proportions needed to do justice to the classical arms version without hurting my neck (if that ever comes to fruition)--in fact, my forearms are blatantly a LOT longer than my upper arms.

                                    If I may say so myself, I do have the tools. I have not been to a live yoga class at a studio or elsewhere since October 9, 2011--and I may never return.

                                    It's not really personal.

                                    I'm not sure what I'm gonna do when my discounted class pack for mat pilates runs out LONG before its (generous) expiration date.

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                                      • Full Wheel which I thought I'd Never Be able to Do Ever Again

                                        December 16, 2012 at 5:52pm

                                        Not just because my knee pain has vanished for the most part, and my torn meniscus has stabilized.
                                        Not just because I grokked that my arms had to be in a different position on start for leverage than they had been earlier on (one's body is always, always changing)*
                                        Not just because of my new sequence with the one apex pose per session (and this time it lasted about 80 minutes--using my intuition, I forgot not to put in some extra standing balancing backbends--knowing that full wheel was the apex pose.
                                        And not just because I forgot .. a bunch of other things I usually do to prime myself for my practice ... like downing a cuppa or taking a green tea supplement ...

                                        So, maybe my heart center was feeling especially open.

                                        Anyway, I really have to rotate apex poses each session. So far, it is turning out that Kakasana is in heaviest rotation so far ... Now, tomorrow I will not have the time for a session on my mat that goes into overtime; so - although I'm not exactly friends with inversions, I did hold shoulderstand for the longest time ever, since doing yoga at the overheated, trendy studio back when there'd still been room for me in their Level 1 class (where I should have stayed even longer--after it was time for me to "move on")--my toes went a little numb, and the preprogrammed music ran out right after I was done with matsyasana - the shoulderstand counterpose - and just starting savasana. Of course, I needed my thick Mexican blanket. Because not only do I not like inversions, including shoulderstand (however, I love plow and viparita)--for the past year and a half of my practice, this queen of poses has been hurting my neck and shoulderblades when I didn't use the prop ...


                                        *Note that in Body by Bethenny, Bethenny countermands one of the guiding alignment principles set forth by Kristin McGee (re. foot position); and has no trouble executing full wheel pose ...
                                        On that dvd, all I do from it is the 40 minute yoga section and Core Fusion "taster" with Elizabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito

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                                          • Yoga for a Short-Torsoed "Curvy" Older Lady

                                            December 15, 2012 at 2:43pm

                                            A string of standing balancing backbend "beads" on a Parsvottanasana "chain"

                                            That is the secret of my self-sequenced practice. Rather than take my body through a vinyasa, I will strengthen my pecs and biceps with the push-ups themselves.

                                            Speaking as someone 58 years old and not small, overly bendy or thin.

                                            Although I do have a practice (though not from here) that I downloaded, that has a Camatkarasana "chain" at the height of its sequence programming. (It's not Flowmotion, but it's very similar--supposedly draws from Qi Gong ...) Well, I won't take too well to that practice, for obvious reasons--but I still can learn from it ... and I won't be doing it often since my lower back takes the brunt of it

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                                              • Who/What am I Practicing For?

                                                December 11, 2012 at 7:23am

                                                I was stuck indoors, waiting for maintenance people who never arrived to fix something in my apartment, just previewing (watching, not practicing along with) videos from on this site; somehow feeling inspired to come up with ideas for my self-sequence--which still contains the higher-order practice of pranayama--but now, a not-so-lengthy savasana. Also could not help but comment on an article from on here (my comment synopsized here):

                                                'Having eschewed live studio yoga classes well over one year ago (and counting), I never appreciated inconsistency in the intensity of the practice presented ... I am all for repetition..."

                                                Well, maybe not so much. I will not go so far as to say I am a weaker, older, less athletic version of the typical Ashtangi ... repetition kind of gets you bored real quick in your own self-sequenced practice; if you're anything like me, unless you are practicing yoga nearly every day--which I am NOT--you go not much of anywhere in your practice. The plateau (in yoga) lasts as far as the eye can see, punctuated only by fatigue or injuries already present in one's (householder/worker bee) life.

                                                The amount of pilates in my (this is a fusion) yoga practice is the least it has been in years.

                                                I have to feel centered in my practice. Even if the feeling is not so intense.

                                                So I took the concept of the apex pose, and turned it on its ear, for once.

                                                Apex pose, better definition than I've seen elsewhere:

                                                In a typical commercial power yoga class, there are actually about four or more apex poses each session--assuming a 90 minute class ... that is TOO much. As a(n) [level-deflated] advanced beginner, it is easy for me to consider padagusthasana, crow, wheel and headstand to each be apex poses. YES, (I am THAT old lady who brings it up to the teacher each time--ask me why I haven't been taking studio yoga classes in well over a year)--and I didn't even include eagle pose (which would be #5 because of what the class does with it) because I am controlling for the effect of having one torn meniscus—now in partial stabilization ...

                                                I intend to have only one apex pose, which varies each time and practiced up to three times -- but must be more than once. Some more favorite than others. [Inversions--SO not my favorites!] So sue me. My practice: still 73 minutes and I could set my stopwatch by it ...

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                                                  • 73 Minutes, Not a Second More

                                                    November 24, 2012 at 9:02pm

                                                    Well, it's been a little over 4 years since a studio (soon to have instructors headlining at Kripalu, but, which for my blogging purposes, shall remain Nameless) had turned my former self-sequenced yoga practice upside the head [no, NOT LITERALLY! I still am not big on inversions--even after all these years and the attempts by only 3 - of several - yoga teachers within that 4 year period, at three different studios each, to grab onto my body parts and hoist them from my one-legged dolphin with my head on the floor--where I'D BEEN PERFECTLY FINE (although there had been some deceptive (though not really to self) dynamism involved there] ...

                                                    Most of the time, the practice had been about an hour and a half or more each session, since then ... and I could not get the duration back down (unless I left a whole bunch of things out due to time-crunch or did SOMEONE ELSE's YOGA via VIDEO/AUDIO -- that ALWAYS worked ...) I was afraid I could not cross-train to the vigorous vinyasa studio ... if I don't cross train, my aging, not very athletic body is sore for 36 hours straight. In the '80s, duration never could trump intensity in home-cross-training with aerobics studio classes - taken a maximum of 2x a week. This time would be different.

                                                    Things got even more interesting after I switch to a throwback old-school (read: mild) yoga studio ... but I still had the workout-practice wherein I could not get the time down.

                                                    Things became super-interesting, even after all live studio classes ceased to exist in my life 14 months ago. My bank account liked it, since I'd had the money now for the occasional conscious dance workshop; and, of course, fairly frequent (but they don't have to be) mat pilates classes (because mat pilates is the only kind of discounted punchboard classes I could get that have a forgiving expiration date--thanks for nothing, NYC yoga-hyping hipsters!).

                                                    And I'd even gotten some dumb luck on my side. I'd won a membership to my yoga--this very site. I had 15 and a half months of online yoga (but I took mostly dance on here) to look forward to back in February ...

                                                    The time kept increasing.

                                                    Until one day ... about 2 weeks ago, I'd decided I'd had enough.

                                                    I am not exactly a beginner at yoga, even though I'd taken beginner-level (level-deflated "beginner" level such as what a highly wannabe trendy vinyasa studio might offer) for well over a year ... long after the time they wanted me to depart for tougher classes to make space for the Groupon-ers and deep-discounted newbie beginner students there ...

                                                    I needed to slightly concentrate the sequence/effects of the practice, so I did ... When I practice more frequently, my balance improves greatly, but not my flexibility any more ... Lopping off 35 minutes of a comprehensive yoga practice is no joke.

                                                    I had to ask myself the one important question: Who/what am I practicing for?

                                                    I have a life which involves caretaking an elderly relative, a lengthy commute to a full time job (one where I have to work among computers always breaking down), loving movies, loving to think and write ... and I know when yoga takes up too much of my time. Some people in my immediate age cohort have retired already; but I have to work, while I still have a job, or I can't eat.

                                                    Most importantly, I'd rather have something intense (not particularly vigorous---but active and intense) for a shorter period of time; it's over that much quicker, and I could get on with my life.

                                                    73 minutes. Not a second more.

                                                    • I thought I should mention one important thing about live yoga studio yoga in New York City right now: Disconnect is what sells well, unfortunately. So unlike class I took in the 1990's.

                                                      Just because I am paying for a yoga class, does not mean I came for the kick-butt "workout". I do that to myself at home for free, because I have infused my primarily-at-home yoga practice with loads of accessible corework ... In pilates, I am a little more Type-A than I am in my yoga ... even now--and that's saying quite a bit--I resisted doing what it took to get the time down [namely, safely getting rid of some restorative/recovery-intensity asana (I still need higher order practices in my session such as meditation and, especially, pranayama], even though my lengthy practices were killing my time management.

                                                      2 years ago in New York City, US

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                                                    • My "Arthritis" is actually Torn Meniscus on one knee ...

                                                      July 8, 2012 at 4:10pm

                                                      My pilates teacher thinks so. And over at the pilates studio, they have a background in physical therapy, not aerobics and fitness. So they've seen these things before. Unlike at a yoga studio - wherein I will not name names and where they conducted classes as if in a cult - they asked about injuries before conducting class. In fact, they had an intake form - preexisting conditions, as if they were running a physical therapy clinic. I did my second-ever social buying stint to get a class card for mat classes at that pilates studio at a real discount.

                                                      But, time and money permitting, I will be a customer. They are really concerned ...

                                                      Now I am on this site for pilates, but I do my own pilates as encapsulated in my yoga fusion routine ...
                                                      I can safely say that, what *I* do on my own, is not classical pilates; I conduct my torso in a more STOTT or other revisionist manner with a slight pelvic tilt ... and I incorporate more of an influence of killer calisthenics I picked up at an exercise studio in Miami Beach, back in the day ...

                                                      Let me say this: accidentally this studio seems to embody my "secret" of making pilates really effective --- inadequate air conditioning for the proper practice of that art. Southern exposure, greenhouse effect, and a 96 degree day in Greater New York ....

                                                      I cannot believe the apparatus they introduced us to (well, to ME, anyway) - the owner stated that the class is all one level--"Challenging" ... big foam roller the length of a tall torso, Thera-band and the Magic Circle ...

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                                                        • Dancing!

                                                          July 3, 2012 at 8:12am

                                                          I went to the Movie Store and picked up Hemalyaa's Bollywood Party Workout. Around $17.

                                                          Now, THAT, bar none, is now, officially the most cardio DVD I own. And cardio is necessary for me.

                                                          Unfortunately, my arthritic knee likes that one a little less than Bollywood Boogie (also by Hemalayaa) ...
                                                          So, this dance routine won't be in my rotation quite as much. But variety is abounding in this Party Workout.

                                                          So why does this DVD remind me so much of Judi Sheppard Missett's Jazzercise and Marine Jahan's Freedanse—from the lower-impact '80s stuff?

                                                          Maybe because it makes me feel younger ...

                                                          No, that can't be it ...

                                                          Some reviewer on Amazon says she does the Bollywood Party Workout with weighted gloves (not suggested by Hemalayaa, btw) because of all the arm movement.

                                                          I CAN'T, for my part. My arms and shoulders need a break on alternate days from my S.E.A. Change routine, which is heavily, heavily big on the pilates compound pushups. And long holds in dolphin poses. Some nascent arm balances in the mix.

                                                          I'm not what I once was in yoga. But who's comparing?

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                                                            • Resequenced Practice

                                                              June 16, 2012 at 5:20pm

                                                              This is not funny. I had trouble getting into pigeon pose on my right side. Searing, sharp pain on my right knee which has the problem. Cannot torque the knee at all without some kind of pain. The prophylactic use of the China Gel, not for self-mortification purposes in practice, but to possibly prevent arthritis pain before it flares up, wore off about an hour into my 90 minute practice.

                                                              I think I should have had my (rhythmic, melodic) music CD on in the background, to help my mind deal with the pain. But I was trying out more complex choreography with slower pace in my sequence (new).

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                                                              • couldn't you just take it easy on yourself while your knee heals Yoga should not be painful

                                                                about 2 years ago in Davenport, US

                                                              • I am new to having osteoarthritis. I am first learning to let go of my jumping-forwards. I have to not do any of them anymore.

                                                                This is an evolutionary process. Which extends from sequence I've created for myself (and for posterity), to the videos I switch off with from on here. I do read the disclaimer. My sequences are either at Moderate to Intermediate level, OR I MAKE THEM SO ....

                                                                about 2 years ago in New York City, US

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                                                              • Off-Label but More Therapeutic Uses of Yoga Strap ...

                                                                June 15, 2012 at 7:42am

                                                                Looks like I'm studying heavily with Hemalayaa now ... the last few days are a blur; but I did do David Magone's Flowing Practice for Weight Loss, which I modify down because my arthritic knee can't take the Ashtanga jump backs or a whole lot of jump forwards anymore ... I have been doing that video from on here the most ... Myyogaonline has become my David Magone's class online ...

                                                                Of course, throw in Hemalayaa's Bollywood Boogie workout (from Amazon Unbox; but I'd discovered Hemalayaa from on here ...) - and a lot of it ...

                                                                Now, anyone who keeps up with mass media yoga things knows that Hemalayaa is not a whole lot about yoga asana, she is mostly about Bollywood Dance (yay!) ...

                                                                One of my new, favorite 5 Rhythms teachers is teaching tomorrow, but between my knee and all my household chores, I don't think I can make class tomorrow ...

                                                                I wonder if Supta Padangusthasana is best done with a strap. Mat pilates is big on the use of straps for such things as that and forward bends. Doing yoga at home raises more questions than it answers.

                                                                With my newly worsened knee problem, it looks like I have to use straps more, in off-label but more therapeutic ways (such as to prevent hyperextension or hyperflexion) ...

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                                                                  • Sidestepping into JourneyDance? Want to do Rick Coe's practice for Depression tomorrow

                                                                    June 10, 2012 at 7:11am

                                                                    I now have a touch of arthritis in my right knee ... it is puffed up and painful.

                                                                    So, I will not be adding on to my personal self-sequenced practice. Hmm, that's a load off my mind. Stay where I am. In a vast, sensual S.E.A. of soft power vinyasa yoga, infused with more pilates than you could shake a stick at. Bonus: Never to be taking the "advanced" class from anyone offering it, either.

                                                                    But I will be 58 in a few months, anyway.

                                                                    It is exactly 5 years of regular yoga practice, mostly at home.

                                                                    Yesterday, I got acquainted with one of the many teachers of JourneyDance. A young woman with a lot of flair (she's also a psychotherapist) and who is a strong kirtan leader. At least as far as I was concerned. She gave me a few ideas on how to approach practice of Bhakti Yoga. But I can extend this to what I do at home:

                                                                    I think I will ask my knee how it is doing during certain points in my physical practice and write down the answers ...

                                                                    Aging yoginis never die, they just fade away to places like conscious dance ...

                                                                    I'm relegated to Hemalayaa's offering on Amazon Unbox, the Bollywood Boogie Workout. It's kinder on my knees than the Bollywood Dance that I was doing from on here ... and it reminds me SO much of my Patricia Moreno dvd "Cardio Burn Yoga" ... you just have to see it ... positive affirmations up the yin-yang

                                                                    Yesterday, I did half of Bollywood Boogie, and some warm-down stretches. The night before I had done 95 minutes of S.E.A. Change ... but the idea of checking-in after modifying my entry to pigeon pose had not crystallized itself yet ..

                                                                    .Hmmm ....

                                                                    Was running out of time ...

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                                                                      • June 5, 2012 at 6:56pm

                                                                        Did Qi Gong Yoga Fusion podcast, 70 minutes my only favorite teacher off the download site. I needed to blow off major steam after a very tough day at work and then family issues ... and etc.

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                                                                          • 95 Minutes S.E.A. Change

                                                                            June 2, 2012 at 10:15am

                                                                            I now call this style of yoga, a form of soft power vinyasa yoga ...
                                                                            My hips are so tight they have a lot in common with avid cyclists' hips ... They are limited in openness by the position of the bones in the joints in my hip sockets ... despite that, they are becoming more flexible ...

                                                                            And my personal yoga style is probably more influenced by Baptiste style than I care to admit [since my involvement with the first studio--SO not Baptiste-like: harsh, slow, rococo, too much variation from session to session--had been much too much timewise/moneywise ...viz. sunk costs, but there ya go ...]

                                                                            In 8 days I will have been practicing yoga regularly, for 5 years.

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                                                                              • Beginner's Mind

                                                                                June 1, 2012 at 8:46pm

                                                                                In Rick Coe's class. Definitely.

                                                                                I had been discouraged from even thinking of taking Capoeira (live studio, one of the closest to where I live)

                                                                                But I did the practice to the best of my ability. The first time I tried it, I was able to manage only half.
                                                                                This second time was much better. --at least I was doing the whole thing. It helped that my own practice, plus the dance (mostly Bollywood and 5 Rhythms) were done, in between.

                                                                                Had no time to log the particulars ... of everything; suffice to say I did Bollywood Boogie sessions on each of two days in a row. I better do that one more often. I get winded too easily without my cardio conditioning ... despite living at the crest of hills leading from wherever I need to go ...

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                                                                                  • Being still the A.M. when I started Practice ... still went well

                                                                                    May 28, 2012 at 10:34am

                                                                                    But, I think I can't write the sequence out today ...
                                                                                    Interesting how a certain riff is taking on a life of its own (mentioned several posts earlier) ...
                                                                                    Right knee acted up and needed block several times for the many pigeon variations in that riff ...

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                                                                                      • May 28, 2012 at 8:02am

                                                                                        Yoga Fan by Bene-fit Health (purchased at an Athleta brick-and-mortar store) is invaluable in its yoga anatomy and chakra information. The suggested sequencing info is unusable to me (too-long holds some of the time--need sometimes to stoke the agni more than the average). Former yoga teacher said that perhaps it is true that tamasic people need to stoke their agni ...

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                                                                                          • May 28, 2012 at 7:59am

                                                                                            Will try my sequence once more time, before I commit it to paper, which involves keying it in, re-indexing it for the tabbed report cover, and then saving and backup ...

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                                                                                              • Dancing with Hemalayaa ...

                                                                                                May 27, 2012 at 7:37pm

                                                                                                The love affair as a virtual dance student continues ...

                                                                                                This time, I found out that her Bollywood Boogie routine is on Amazon Unbox.
                                                                                                Not that I knew what I was doing to FINALLY get it to play right (it seems you can't preview the flick and then view it again immediately with the proprietary software that Amazon provided; and, of course my laptop PC, for a student and not for a movie producer) ....

                                                                                                i also question the viability/usability of its backup that i made.

                                                                                                The workout was remarkable. The most cardio workout video that I own. Back in the day ...when cardio had been king, I hardly did any videos. This is not to say I did not do cardio dancing - to 4/4, 32 count professional premixes with their driving beat (no syncopation or bridges - these were some serious aerobics instructor mixes) ... that I still have, but cannot do. They were practically all step aerobics; now I've bad feet and nothing to play those audio cassette tapes on - tape decks had been destroyed in multiple moves ...

                                                                                                Even so, I gotta hang on to my heart. Here's hoping for no chest pains when I go to sleep tonight ...

                                                                                                It had been tough to pace myself, I had so much fun, and everybody knows that Indian dancers are so endearing ...

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                                                                                                  • Not quite as Sore the Next Day as I Used to Frequently Be ....

                                                                                                    May 26, 2012 at 8:47pm

                                                                                                    92 minute self-sequenced practice, which will lead to my latest revision in my practice script.
                                                                                                    This practice had been the most mind-blowing of all. Despite scarcely doing inversions in it. Trust me, I know what I need and like. If I can feel really centered and nearly vertiginously mind-blown afterwards - and that feeling lasts ... and I can sleep soundly despite environmental obstacles to sound sleep ...

                                                                                                    Can't get that from drill sergeant intensity sequencing, nor from something too mild, such as in the last studio that I attended, the one that "made it all better" (I'll become calm, and even sleep well, but the calmness will be subtle, abiding and not a strong centeredness feeling of the kind written about (that young strong people probably get from extremely athletic practices ....)

                                                                                                    My trick is in using strong demi-inversions and, now, a feeling of increasingly complex intervals ... then lots of floorwork (including much of the corework left in) ... some viparita karani, etc,, not holding very long in shoulderstand (never do, anyway) and not stinting on savasana time (not like they do in studio classes ... da noive!)

                                                                                                    You can't purchase a sequence like that online ... unless I hired the sequencer personally to do it for me ...

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                                                                                                      • You can Catch More Flies with Honey ...

                                                                                                        May 24, 2012 at 7:22am

                                                                                                        I am grateful for the kind of yoga teachers they have on here. I did David's class again followed by a blitz, short 5 Rhythms session. Now, this is not to say that being flexitarian does not help (and trying to keep flesh-eating episodes fewer and sparing).

                                                                                                        Never feeling rushed or forced to do anything--certainly not by the teachers' tone.

                                                                                                        So, it's time that live yoga classes were Cruelty Free (especially in the prices they charge the average worker bee ...) ... but until that time, so long as my self-motivation holds out ... I have my yoga online ...

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                                                                                                          • May 20, 2012 at 3:43pm

                                                                                                            Another 105 minute yoga session earlier today. I think, this late in the day, my sequences get influenced, subconscously by this Cameron Gilley. Yet, I feell finally I am not cross-training for a led yoga class online or anywhere else. Decide I have a history worth rewriting. Despite living in Surface City.

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                                                                                                              • A Feel-Good Practice

                                                                                                                May 19, 2012 at 5:53pm

                                                                                                                Sometimes great luck comes in being logged off unknowingly (again) from My Yoga. My post went straight to alphabetheaven (first, being intercepted by social media--but rejected-for-posting there by me). But life goes me one better. I've got a much better post in this one. I'd since my first try at posting, gone shopping at Trader Joe's (I hadn't been to a Trader Joe's in years)--I/m now boycotting Whole Foods Market and needed the best-tasting (and even less costly) alternatives to what Whole Foods offers.

                                                                                                                So, it seems that my day has gone swimmingly--literally--me feeling at least as good as when I used to swim laps. So centered, mind-blown and worked-out ... and the feeling lasting about six or eight hours. Food temptation issues? Gone during that time. I can credit my yoga fusion practice. When I transitioned (actually mostly renamed) it, I took out some of the pilates moves and used and my Patricia Moreno dvd as springboards to creatively infusing my mild and soft vinyasa practice with necessary anahata chakra work. .... Oh, how my main influence for the yoga part of my practice, being a Dharma Mittra derivate did address heart opening, as well. But not with the alignment-orientation I might like.

                                                                                                                Alignment stays less, when you don't do yoga as frequently as you used to because you now dance... (unless it's ballet, I would suppose) ... so I have to be reminded by My Yoga, or yogadownload or whichever teacher does not neglect alignment ... contrary to popular belief, when the medium is online ... MOST of them do not neglect alignment ...

                                                                                                                So, now my dance class has to be the one in Greenwich Village ... get there next Sunday (?)

                                                                                                                Will I be grooving with a lot of tourists?

                                                                                                                Greenwich Village is a world-class part of town.
                                                                                                                The teacher has an international reputation.

                                                                                                                Tourists to NY are cool. Cooler if they dance.

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                                                                                                                  • Tried my New Sequence within 105 minutes Practice

                                                                                                                    May 19, 2012 at 9:41am

                                                                                                                    Some of it was overkill ... but at least I succeeded in blasting my heart center open. No teacher or downloaded sequence could have done what transpired for me this practice, some of the time.

                                                                                                                    It did nothing for my strength or balance. I will remove a little of it. I am but an experiment of one:


                                                                                                                    Plus I dance too much these days ... halfway not doing yoga where once I did ...

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                                                                                                                      • Hoping a Former Yoga Teacher of Mine, who'd Underestimated Me, does not See This

                                                                                                                        May 18, 2012 at 8:07am

                                                                                                                        In my practice script now appears:

                                                                                                                        Optional sequence for Hanumanasana or Koundinyasana:

                                                                                                                        (Hold 3 Breaths each):

                                                                                                                        Do left side, then right side

                                                                                                                        Utthan Pristhasana
                                                                                                                        {Repeat 2x more if in Sequence for Koundinyasana)
                                                                                                                        Hanumanasana (leave out, if in Sequence for Koundinyasana)
                                                                                                                        Utthita Utthan Pristhasana
                                                                                                                        Eka Pada Koundinyasana (try to hold whatever expression, for 2 breaths) & (leave out, if in Sequence for Hanumanasana)
                                                                                                                        Rajakapotasana Variation

                                                                                                                        Must be the influence of this site and the download site ...

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                                                                                                                          • Sequencing a Yoga Practice has its Own Edge ... which is beyond the Comfort Zone

                                                                                                                            May 17, 2012 at 7:25am

                                                                                                                            Okay, it's been a long while that I have been away from my own self-sequenced practice of yoga.

                                                                                                                            Came back to it last night for the first time in 3 weeks.

                                                                                                                            I think I suddenly, due to the influence of the half-dozen favorite online yoga teachers I have now, I again dropped my yoga self-practice upside the head for the first time since 2009. It's not as if I have a live yoga class I have to cross-train and prehabilitate for.

                                                                                                                            Nobody is teaching me yoga live. Thus, nobody in the near future will observe my yoga or care (this is not to say that it would not "show" its "results" in better ability with ecstatic dance, however) ....

                                                                                                                            In keeping with its nautical and millenarian theme for the first time since 2009 my recently-renamed practice I call S.E.A. Change .... actually has me slowly sailing past my edge ... raising the prana ... though, again, kinda not feeling centered afterwards ...

                                                                                                                            So, at my age, with less than 5 years regular yoga practice under my belt, why don't I (in the words of Dylan Thomas) just "go gentle into that good night"?

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                                                                                                                              • Wanted to be DONE with a Baptiste podcast (a long one) that got old ...

                                                                                                                                May 13, 2012 at 4:42pm

                                                                                                                                Only mistake was not doing the pilates/yoga fusion one (excellent audio podcast with a phenomenal teacher, not on this site) again first (but it had been more important for me to attend my satsang last night ... need a lot of BRAIN FOOD) ...

                                                                                                                                Doing this lengthy podcast, with its talky, popularized, updated take on the yoga sutras (don't they ALL act like that?), I was - in my head, anyway - anticipating the next line of the script.

                                                                                                                                I never had much of this kind of problem, with other exercise modalities way back, the movements got old looong before the script ever did ... I can see why freeform yoga is so popular because of this.

                                                                                                                                Freeform yoga is not aimed at the advanced practitioner. If someone is that advanced, they could make their own yoga practice and change it every single day ... or approach the repetitive ashtanga mysore with beginner's mind and go deeper (mentally and/or physically) ...

                                                                                                                                Was not going to say this, but i feel the same about ecstatic dance ... which is why I really liked the more freeform take on 5 Rhythms I'd gotten last weekend, and why I must change classes because of this ...

                                                                                                                                Anyway, I'm done ...

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                                                                                                                                  • Okay...I think I like 4 Teachers on Here for Heavy Rotation. My self-sequenced being the Heaviest ...

                                                                                                                                    May 12, 2012 at 6:31am

                                                                                                                                    That 4th, mystery teacher, whom I have not mentioned before is none other than Armand Sagredo ....
                                                                                                                                    It was love at first soundbite with him.

                                                                                                                                    With him I take yoga nidra class.

                                                                                                                                    Supposing I could mention him to people in my satsang ... since yoga nidra is mentioned a lot over there.

                                                                                                                                    The others are: David Magone, Cameron Gilley and Coco Finaldi. I've got my reasons, some of which are informed by a pilates practice that kicks major butt ... and just a sense of wonder at the universe, which is unselfconsciously embraced, but also that seems to emanate from possession of a genuine "old soul" ...

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                                                                                                                                      • drumbeat Wants to Learn

                                                                                                                                        May 9, 2012 at 6:56pm

                                                                                                                                        Well, I revisited Coco Finaldi GYY Part 1 tonight. I had been under the illusion that I would do some dancing afterward, but it got plenty late and my muscles are plenty sore right now from the practice.

                                                                                                                                        It actually included for me kakasana, and so much in the way of vasisthasana, one round of prep and one round of a side-arm balance variation that I do of the unfancy expression of it.

                                                                                                                                        I GET and like this practice now (though it had impressed me before and I committed to it with having the download (have no choice since I can't stream), it was a strain and I could not keep up and that bothered the floatingness of this drumbeat ...

                                                                                                                                        So, this new development is actually probably the result of:

                                                                                                                                        1. Hitting that 2-Hour, 5 Rhythms class over the weekend
                                                                                                                                        2. More frequent yoga the past week or so
                                                                                                                                        3. Pilates is beginning to re-enter my life again ...
                                                                                                                                        4. What do you know? Chained to my desk at work, it finally occurred to me to do triceps dips on my office chair ..., and leg lifts too ... maybe some day I might raise myself from the chair, straight legged like as if this were a low-slung Captain's Chair apparatus ...

                                                                                                                                        I left out ancillary benefits of the Qi Gong and other kinds of stuff ...

                                                                                                                                        The sky is the limit now ...

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                                                                                                                                          • My Yoga Practice helped with Knee and Hip Adductor Pain

                                                                                                                                            May 6, 2012 at 5:01pm

                                                                                                                                            I chose a yoga practice off of a download site that lasted about 70 minutes. Audio download.

                                                                                                                                            I modified parts of it down to my level, as I went along. It really stirred up prana, but this particular teacher does not teach the drill sergeant stuff as a switch-off job (unlike the other one who teaches Qi Gong-Yoga fusion)

                                                                                                                                            Seriously, I can't even do the Intermediate Arm Balance (as stated in my blog of a few weeks ago), yet; so there is no way I am going to do Parsva Bakasana, no matter how expertly she teaches it ...

                                                                                                                                            Unlike the other fusion flow audio, I actually was present for the entire class.

                                                                                                                                            Down the road I suppose I will dance better ... the arm balances probably help with balancing out the body, including adding to core strength - anywhere along the path ...

                                                                                                                                            What I really love about this teacher is, when instructing prasarita padottananasa, she is the only non-hatha style teacher who does NOT pretty much say ... if your head can touch the floor in this pose, go into a wide-legged headstand if you can ... (mine can't unless I am seriously out of alignment, taking up the width of the mat in this pose; and even then it only did it twice) ... she actually says: if your head can touch the floor in this pose, shorten your stance ... keep challenging yourself in your journey ...

                                                                                                                                            AHHH, but not by powering through ....

                                                                                                                                            Middle path rules!

                                                                                                                                            Back to the dance ... that class had especially been high energy ... I gave it 5 stars on the blogsite ...

                                                                                                                                            • I can't stay for an entire class download if the class is much too hard for me and not modifiable down by a few levels ... sometimes, I'm too much about the sequence ...

                                                                                                                                              about 2 years ago in New York City, US

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                                                                                                                                            • Procrastination Solutions: Last Night I Snuck in a Yoga Class by dvd ...

                                                                                                                                              May 5, 2012 at 6:39pm

                                                                                                                                              Normally, if I have a big day ahead of me, where I intend to arise at 5:59 a.m. to commute to an important movement class that starts in the early a.m. - the class being 5 Rhythms (Waves instruction) ... or any kind of class in the a.m. on a weekend day, I generally do not do yoga the evening before. I was also running out of spirulina blue-green algae supplement, which is my ace-in-the-hole ...

                                                                                                                                              But not LAST NIGHT

                                                                                                                                              I recently won membership from My Yoga Online. Two years ago I'd won a copy of the DVD, Yoga Burn by Rodney Yee. (I'd not used that one in a little over a year ...) From a Facebook drawing (ask me why I did not quit Facebook yet ...) No, I did not give Yee's Gaiam Yoga Club any business from my stroke of luck as a result of his stroke of goodwill, but I DID purchase a DVD by him called "Intermediate Yoga". If it makes him feel any better about this, it just sits on my shelf. Pincha, handstand and classical-arms headstand--don't and/or can't go there ... and the practice is not nearly as mash-up-able as Jonathan Urla's Advanced Yogilates ...

                                                                                                                                              Well, this story is not about reluctance to do my neck and/or shoulders in with Mt. Everest postures that my body is not ready for, after 5 years of regular yoga practice.

                                                                                                                                              It is totally about solutions to Procrastination. I had a proviso that I would quit the practice after 10 minutes. Closing in on what it felt like was T = 30 minutes, I said to myself, okay: ten-minute warning and I am outta here ... I remember the break-point at T = 40 .... but I stayed ... for the whole thing ...

                                                                                                                                              I fared so well, slept better than I could have predicted. Went to the class. While not having quite the poise and grace I may have liked, I had a lot of fluidity and my hips felt quite a bit looser (no mean feat for me) ... with all the yoga I did in the few days preceding. There is something to be said for doing full length yoga sessions several times a week ...

                                                                                                                                              What I once had been ... two short years ago ... honed, energetic ... was a chapter that needed to be closed ... I was nearly a year later found to be having trouble concentrating on my job at work ... I was getting a bout of mild depression, brought on by lettuce bingeing when combined with nearly inhumane living conditions in the pre-gentrification version of a tenement apartment.

                                                                                                                                              My co-worker had hardly noticed it, but my boss had nearly sent me on a permanent vacation ...

                                                                                                                                              So, if "SPRY at Age 58" were a game, I went into default for the greater good of my economic survival.

                                                                                                                                              That said, I had a blast at my 5 Rhythms class. There were a dozen "tribe members" (that is their jargon), along with a teaching substitute ... a truckload of energy in the room. Which always happens when there are young men taking the class.

                                                                                                                                              Unlike a typical yoga class in New York City, there was about a 50-50 gender mix.

                                                                                                                                              Unlike a typical yoga class, even though this is a conscious, mindful, spiritual practice; the 5 Rhythms teacher could let loose with the f-word or the s-word, in the service of instruction, and not use them gratuitously. I don't generally myself speak using those words; I certainly rarely get that angry or feel that aggressive so as to do so ...

                                                                                                                                              More on this later ...

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                                                                                                                                                • Last Night's Yoga-Plus Session had Been Cardio, Enervating, Fun and little Strain ...

                                                                                                                                                  May 3, 2012 at 8:25pm

                                                                                                                                                  Well, it comprised one dance session and nearly all of a yoga session ....Of course, the dance had to be highly stylized .. I get the freeform dance stuff on Saturday morning, G-d willing ...

                                                                                                                                                  Now, the dance was Hemalayaa's Bollywood Workout from on here ...
                                                                                                                                                  And the yoga was that OTHER surfer dude who also teaches power yoga (well, the yoga is more on the vinyasa side, though) ... Yes, he is not Eoin Finn. There is more than one bounteous boarder in the yoga limelight.

                                                                                                                                                  This one's name is Oliver Reinsch ... and he got into yoga through his interest in surfing and meeting a practitioner on the beach ... I own his dvd ... but I had not done it in two years.

                                                                                                                                                  I mostly have done my own S.E.A. Change practice system all that time ... lol ...

                                                                                                                                                  Anyway, in all this time I cross-trained, usually WITH added ambient heat; and this time, was able to approach the practice much more deeply ... particularly in twists, backbends and the demi-inversion known as downward facing dog.

                                                                                                                                                  Oliver had me sweating bullets ... I was mopping my face ... the sweat got in my eyes ...

                                                                                                                                                  Now, a day later, I don't have much D.O.M.S.

                                                                                                                                                  The practice system I invented for myself is harsher in its slower execution ... I don't sweat as much

                                                                                                                                                  Why am I cheating on David Magone with this surfer dude?

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                                                                                                                                                    • Focus Yoga and Bellydance Session

                                                                                                                                                      May 1, 2012 at 8:06pm

                                                                                                                                                      Did Flowing Practice for Weight Loss [David Magone], followed by about 3/4ths of the Belly Dance Express ...
                                                                                                                                                      Allowing for lack of good sleep last night, I fully maintain that the Yoga for the Young at Heart Basic #3 really did open up my heart center enough to do justice for the first class and to gracefully execute belly dance isolations.

                                                                                                                                                      I look forward to the first 5 Rhythms class in many months on Saturday through

                                                                                                                                                      I am a member of no gym and no yoga studio. The dance space attendance is only once in a while ... wondering if belly dance and Bollywood dance moves and techniques picked up this online way would translate to a live situation and teacher notices (have not seen the same students twice at this class)

                                                                                                                                                      There is actually research done: Virtual Transmission, Visceral Practice: Dance Central and the Cybershala; and I seriously study my online dance lessons from here ... I know for a fact that my self-sequenced yoga practice before I ever became such a class follower did translate into strength, speed/reflexes and agility in my 5 Rhythms practice ... missing had been poise and grace ...

                                                                                                                                                      Incidentally, I did renew the Yoga for the Young at Heart dvd at the library. That dvd is very nearly a keeper. Wish I could find it for less than $19.95 ...

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                                                                                                                                                        • Home Practice Sequence

                                                                                                                                                          April 29, 2012 at 7:43am

                                                                                                                                                          I think I would be better served doing a dance routine, and then another playing of the Susan Winter Ward dvd, which I have to bring back to the library tomorrow. Of all the heart opening practices I have tried (I am not sure Patricia Moreno's counts, it is not really yoga), hers seems to do the "best job" ... well, she is an Anusara-inspired teacher ...

                                                                                                                                                          S.E.A. Change is coming along. It will wind up being around 78 minutes again. The toughest decisions are accepting a shorter, slightly milder, not particularly parasympathetic-inducing practice .. admitting that practice to be my own. Still the same 4 yoga influences, with about 35% of it being pilates now... and usually done with added ambient heat ... which reminds me, I do that to Susan Winter Ward, too, and what's she gonna say about it?

                                                                                                                                                          Have to switch that heater on right 15 minutes from now...

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                                                                                                                                                            • Home Practice Sequence is Like Interval Training Now Part 2

                                                                                                                                                              April 26, 2012 at 9:19am

                                                                                                                                                              And, to get rid of a few "apex" poses, as well.

                                                                                                                                                              I didn't narrow it down nearly enough.

                                                                                                                                                              Some of what I did hurts my neck, makes it crackly (delayed onset effects) and probably would always.

                                                                                                                                                              My neck is not strong. And the threat of the costochondritis flaring up again ...

                                                                                                                                                              The upside to this is the practice can be a little shorter than it was ...

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                                                                                                                                                                • Home Practice Sequence is Like Interval Training Now

                                                                                                                                                                  April 25, 2012 at 7:16pm

                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I guess changing the title of my own practice system, subconsciously caused me to change the practice sequence. To allow for the concept of "apex" poses--as opposed to what they were before.

                                                                                                                                                                  For years, it had been:

                                                                                                                                                                  "well, throw in a kitchen sink full of challenge poses"
                                                                                                                                                                  "look, I need as many modified sun, moon, moonrise, sunset salutations ABC as I can. I NEED THE CARDIO..."
                                                                                                                                                                  "practice has to be a good half hour longer than a studio class (well, as we all know I had been in the WRONG studio most of the time I'd been developing S2BS ...)"

                                                                                                                                                                  So, because my knee hurt due to the humidity, de facto I was not going to power through a couple more sun salutations ... and I stuck some of them in AFTER hip openers on the floor (because I forgot them) ...

                                                                                                                                                                  Serendipitous, I must say ...

                                                                                                                                                                  More later ...

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                                                                                                                                                                    • April 24, 2012 at 6:42pm

                                                                                                                                                                      I did a mash up of two dance videos downloaded from here. Total was 43 minutes. Then I did 5 Rhythms for a little over a half hour ....

                                                                                                                                                                      • And yesterday's Susan Winter Ward video opened up space in my heart center and my hip joints felt loose ... for the bellydance part of the mash-up ... I know better than to write off that dvd prematurely, NOW ...
                                                                                                                                                                        too bad I took it out of the library ... and will soon have to return it ...

                                                                                                                                                                        about 2 years ago in New York City, US

                                                                                                                                                                      • [Belly Dance instruction generously provided by Leilainia]

                                                                                                                                                                        about 2 years ago in New York City, US

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                                                                                                                                                                      • April 23, 2012 at 5:37pm

                                                                                                                                                                        Doing Gillian Cofsky belly dance power (will be approx 35 minutes the way I do it) and then will do Susan Winter Ward's Yoga for the Young at Heart Basic #3, (Advanced Beginner to Early-Intermediate.) Hoping I pull this double-header off ...

                                                                                                                                                                        • Did do the double header, of course in the Yoga portion modifying for my right knee (old injury acting up in this humidity) and relative lack of hip flexibility ... even after all these years ...

                                                                                                                                                                          Something about that yoga DVD I do not like. The only reason I'm sweating with it is, I faced my space heater (did this with added ambient heat) ... the pace of it a little slow. Extremely slow flow. Otherwise a great DVD.

                                                                                                                                                                          Makes me glad I took the word "Soft" out of my signature practice sequence ....

                                                                                                                                                                          about 2 years ago in New York City, US

                                                                                                                                                                        • A subtle sense of calm washes over me in the afterglow, and not the deep, mind-blown centered-and-worked-outness that I am used to from the practice formerly known as S2BS (now S.E.A. Change) vinyasa yoga-pilates fusion ... but I feel bodily-heavy and soulfully-light ...

                                                                                                                                                                          about 2 years ago in New York City, US

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Softness, Unfortunately, Has Bad Connotations in Type of Yoga I Innovated

                                                                                                                                                                          April 22, 2012 at 8:20am

                                                                                                                                                                          I had to rename the yoga-pilates fusion practice I invented, from S2BS (Soft 2 Be Strong) to something else. My heirs will inherit it and be able to provide an "advanced" version, a "real" intermediate version--I can only write the practice I can do-which is on the cusp of intermediate (no level deflation HERE--"intermediate" presupposes that your feet begin to leave the ground and your heart center is sufficiently open, and you could almost do a backbend; in pilates, it presupposes a measure of hip flexibility I do not possess yet to even do some of my corework ...), and a "beginner" version ... "Restorative" is built in to the practice, enough that you do not need a lengthy savasana at the end and you will still feel centered ... I put a lengthy savasana in there in the prototype version, anyway ...

                                                                                                                                                                          I got the new name ... and I am working quickly to remove the mandala namaskar influences from it, which do not work with my body and this, my sequence ...

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                                                                                                                                                                            • The OM Yoga Studio is Closing

                                                                                                                                                                              April 21, 2012 at 10:10am

                                                                                                                                                                              A world class studio, that is nearly a New York City icon, the OM Yoga studio,is closing very soon due to unexpectedly losing its lease, and they plan to do world-wide itinerant teacher trainings/retreats and workshops; and will be taking it online. They, like the virtual PranaVayu studio on this site, are a fusion of Buddhism and vinyasa yoga. The practice is not identical to PranaVayu in that their opening sequences, at least, were of their own invention and not the classical asana that David Magone presents.

                                                                                                                                                                              The OM practice has been all about the use of props (as part of the practice) and less of a nod to vinyasa krama itself. And, while they are a living laboratory of current "trendy" practices embodied in their methods, I think there is something in the nature of fickle New Yorkers, and of course, the general zeitgeist (I have this illusion there is a branch of the studio out in New York's Hamptons--and maybe something planned for the European Union--but these conjectures are not verified; and if Cyndi Lee (the founder of OM) says she is going totally online, then that Hamptons outpost existed totally in my imagination.)

                                                                                                                                                                              Now, this is not to say one is better than the other. Cyndi Lee already has a mass media presence. Cyndi Lee already is home-practitioner-friendly. And nowhere is OM posited as a way for people practicing yoga to lose weight or get buff using only that technology.

                                                                                                                                                                              They have had a studio in integrity for 15 years, and now it is time for it to move on into its next phase.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • April 20, 2012 at 8:07pm

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yesterday, I did my own vinyasa-pilates fusion practice. Had muscle soreness, but earlier-onset than usually, and mostly in my abs. Today, felt it in the hip joints. Still I danced with Hemalayaa, modified at some of the hip work, and was able to keep up with her energetic pace, otherwise. I really want to do a yoga class tomorrow, along with some dance ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • April 19, 2012 at 7:18am

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yesterday, I had delayed onset muscle soreness in my right hamstring. It felt so strained I got scared at that pain. Good thing I am such a film buff I was watching old TV on DVD last night after work and no yoga asana practice.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • April 17, 2012 at 6:24pm

                                                                                                                                                                                          Did David Magone practice and added sarvangasana inversion w/ blanket, demi-inversion, strong hare pose, fish and child's pose. Total 68 minutes. Will dance 5 Rhythms for about 15 minutes to "Talking Sticks" It is very hot in here ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Guy doing Some Kind of Yoga While Waiting for Commuter Train

                                                                                                                                                                                              April 16, 2012 at 8:47am

                                                                                                                                                                                              I spend a long time commuting each day. For the first time ever, I saw a stocky, early-middle aged bespectacled guy dressed in a suit, and carrying a light briefcase, doing a little of what looked like yoga (but it was actually yoga-cardio fusion - takes one to know one) ... while waiting for the train.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Nothing fancy. Nothing sweaty. Nothing that would make the pages of a yoga magazine ....

                                                                                                                                                                                              I felt inspired all over again!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • April 14, 2012 at 12:20pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I did about 50 minutes of the 60 minute Yoga-Qi Gong fusion download this time ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • My taste in Yoga DVDs - Parallels drawn

                                                                                                                                                                                                      April 14, 2012 at 11:15am

                                                                                                                                                                                                      My experience on this site also seems to be paralleling yoga dvds I'd purchased two years ago, when my falling out of favor with a certain yoga studio actually crystallized. This had been when I decided to punctuate my actual self-sequenced yoga practice with dvds - mostly rented, occasionally purchased - here and there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'd had an inadequate computer system at that time, PLUS I'd been paying through the nose to Verizon for a custom, slower speed that that computer had been able to handle, so I was not going to do online (not even downloads) like now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's amazing how much like certain teachers on here, my taste in dvds had been two and three years ago. I have an appreciably narrow range which goes from advanced beginner through the earliest of intermediates, and the pace of the practice must be medium, and the intensity must be slightly above average. And many contemplative practices have to be thrown in.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Dancing Mojo seems Finally coming back ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          April 8, 2012 at 3:27pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, I intend to do my 5 Rhythms and then follow it with a yoga session ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          both self-sequenced, *

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dance teacher (almost forgot when was the last time I'd taken with her ... was already almost 2 months ..) recommended that for me the Zone Unknown,MP3 album would suit my temperament. And I'd downloaded it ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          * I still have to print up the revision, It's in my computer, just not printed out.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • April 7, 2012 at 10:21am

                                                                                                                                                                                                              A little Belly Dance Express and then some Coco Finaldi Grow Your Yoga Part 1 .... but with my heater going ....

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Yoga Fusion Stuff, PranaVayu and the Intermediate Arm Balance

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  April 6, 2012 at 8:14am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, between the lengthier Belly Dance class (thanks, Gillian) and that Qi Gong/Yoga fusion (of which I didn't do the whole download -- verrry dancey for something supposed to be yoga—and heart-opening), I went and tried the David Magone Flowing Practice for Weight Loss ... Weight loss is not my primary objective, though I do have to lose about 15 pounds as of this writing ... which had not been so before my job shift/sleep problem ... and I find that on one side (the one with the more lateral hip flexibility and the greater arm strength), I am getting close to being able to have my back foot off the floor in my Mt. Everest of a pose called Koundinyasana ... perhaps, if counterintuitively, that pose requires more in the heart-opening department than it does in the arm-strength department - and almost as much as is required in the hip opening department ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Camatkarasana (from the fusion yoga practice) does not have to be brought into full wheel after you've flipped over. You can get mondo benefits almost anywhere along the path .... I'm first finding this out now ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The shamatha meditation helps promote one-pointed focus ... because how you can do any one thing, is how you will do everything ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • My Uneven Progress in Opening the Anahata Chakra

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      April 4, 2012 at 7:02am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, accounting for the past few days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I actually did not do my self-sequenced practice system. I will print it out tonight. Honest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I put the Patricia Moreno dvd in my little dvd player and did that (Cardio Burn Yoga a.k.a. Yoga Dance Fusion) ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then I practiced my ecstatic dance some more the next day. [Not sure if I could make class this upcoming weekend ... which I occasionally go to ...]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then the day after that I entertained a new audio download (lousy transmission speed has me also going to a popular download site, where it isn't just streaming) in a certain fusion of Yoga and Qi Gong (not one inversion in that sequence and, believe me, I don't mind ... but plenty of backbends ... zowie! I need to open my heart center ... my anahata chakra ...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My original plan was to follow this one-hour class by 18 minutes belly dance lesson with Gillian Cofsky ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is considered a "soft" power yoga, but then again on preview (partial - my computer at work lost its sound capability and the boss does not want it fixed(!), so I'm behind the 8-ball here, this goes nearly double for video - I really am an auditory learner!) one tiny part of me thought I was JUST PLAIN NUTS!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, the definition of "insanity" is doing things the same way each time, but expecting a different result ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm insane enough .... There was a part of the practice that gets really fast and really strong, like rapid modern dance. I clipped that part out. Was about 15 minutes of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So - I wound up doing Gillian Cofsky Belly Dance Power instead (I usually make that one last 35 minutes) ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hoping to get back to Belly Dance Express when I have prefaced it with a MUCH more rational choice!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My take on rabbit holes such as that fusion of yoga and Qi Gong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, there will be rabbit holes you will wind up going down. But there is always a way to climb out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Home practice means the teacher never does the drill sergeant number on you. They should not be doing that, anyway. My body is mine. I was sweating bullets and dripping all over my mat, so it's not like I underdid ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • "Belly Dance Power/Power Yoga Workshop"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          March 31, 2012 at 2:24pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Of course, Gillian Cofsky's work. I added about 3 minutes of warm-down afterwards.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the power yoga in question (not from this site), will be my last playing of it. I hate to admit it, but the instructor's snarky (but not TOO topical and not dated) remarks have gotten old on just my fifth practicing to that podcast download.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And I am convinced I don't like power yoga. Surprised if I ever did. Gave it a few college tries (even including live), and did power yoga EVEN in a venue that wouldn't dare call what they taught "power yoga" (they DID teach power yoga--all I had to do was finally get curious and FINALLY rent a few DVDs off of Netflix and do them, and not only do my own home sequencing--but they were new at the yoga studio game and did not want to scare off the rest of us ...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nice touches, though:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I did not plan it this way, but the yoga teacher on tthe download intoned at my "Workshop", "There's not nearly enough shimmying in yoga" ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The part I did plan: now that the weather is humid enough, in the past few days, I was not afraid to light my scented candles for practice - for the first two times in MONTHS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          nothing like a rich, spiced or fruity candle scent to make practice fun and sensorious ...!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sringara Rasa: The dancer in me salutes the dancer in you ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Only the Off-the-Radar Practices Agree with Me

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              March 29, 2012 at 6:55pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have to say that yoga from online seems to be paralleling my experience with live yoga classes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have very little delayed-onset muscle soreness from last night's practice, which I'd done in its entirety. And I am no spring chicken. Not particularly active, but I do dance several times a week. I hadn't been a stranger to the gym as recently as three years ago. And I used to have the time for long (if kind of slow) walks a year ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And this time it was the idiosyncratic practice, Flow Practice for Energy Cultivation. The one with the sleeper effect. More sleeper effects than anything. By that I mean, literally--great effects on my sleep last night, AND an added bonus of making me mindful for hours and hours afterward, which was actually, much of today, in fact.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But, for the record, I have had Kundalini -inspired and mellow hatha live classes near where I live (this was AFTER I had left for forever, the studio at which I had been a guinea pig); but this class is not like Kundalini, not like vinyasa yoga, not that much like a hatha class—it's like nothing else I've ever known.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I, frankly, don't know what it's like. I've been told that my very own invented Soft 2 Be Strong is like vinyasa yoga (a soft vinyasa yoga), and - of course - the mat pilates it's fused with. And I get D.O.M.S. the next day. Mostly in the core and shoulders. I would codify my latest tweaks to it (not including the downscaled version), but I have just run out of printer ink and have to buy more over the weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I fervently hope that an environment where the type of yoga - although it is with me, as yet, an acquired taste - does not join other dying arts ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • March 28, 2012 at 5:36pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I see a video here that introduces the student to Yoga Nidra.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yoga Nidra = Yogic Sleep ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So, does yogic sleep lead to REAL sleep?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Will try tonite ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Guinea Pigs? A Letter to Studio Owner at my Former Studio - From my Archives

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      March 28, 2012 at 9:11am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dear S-

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think I would like to mentor students who preferably do other things, physically, for exercise. I don't, because I can't... not because I don't want to. I used to be able to go lap swimming, and don't have the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am not sure how some of the yoga classes work. Is it for a yoga teacher to make a guinea pig out of students if teacher trainees are taking the same class? Because there had been several in the class a few months ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am first telling you this now, because I just lost the desire to experience this again. The remedy is not to take a private session--not with having primarily a home practice (because I am neither fish nor fowl in the studio's eyes, they just don't know what to make of me). I would even desire to practice at a studio somewhere else, that does not do this in their All Level classes, except with those who want it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If it looks as if I am "struggling" with headstand or a kurmasana, that is the pose I am in. Don't silently sneak up on me like a policeman in the darkness without warning, and push me further. I have committed no crime. I don't care WHO is in the class or WHAT workshop the teacher is warming up to teach later on that afternoon. I don't want to be tortured in the name of being a guinea pig.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That is just BAD manners, at minimum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ironically, though, it is after just such a class with A that I decided to become a "Mentor", a gateway psychically had opened up. I just had not crystallized just WHOM I'd wanted to mentor, until I spoke to you yesterday.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • I left the studio shortly after I'd sent this letter, because they'd wanted me to get a new class pack on the spot, and I realized I did not have the money. Plus I did not like them, and had not for a long time and was just waiting for the class pack to finish. Bought a Jade mat from them instead and took it home for my primarily home practice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now, it's totally a home practice if we're talking about yoga.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        about 2 years ago in New York City, US

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bollywood meets Hollywood Mini-Workshop! Tonight -- in my "Home Studio"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        March 27, 2012 at 4:46pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Planning on having a hot date with Hemalayaa, and then on to the abbreviated version of my own, home-grown Soft 2 Be Strong vinyasa yoga-pilates. This makes for a mini-workshop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The beauty of this combo is that the moderate cardio comes first and then the prana-inducing abbreviated session (the full session always takes about 88 to 95 or more, minutes--and I hope it's not too much for that hour of the night because I have to get up early and go to work tomorrow ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I dedicate this practice to all in my acquaintance, who could not join me tonight on this journey ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • It turns out that the ENTIRE dance session plus practice, turned out to be moderate cardio. I felt elated after this "workshop" euphoric moreso than many recent practices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Could not go to sleep right away; but I did find that the quality of my sleep was GREAT!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          [I think I am in the challenge still ...]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          about 2 years ago in New York City, US

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • "Yoga Bootcamp Bellydance Workshop" -- Home Version

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          March 26, 2012 at 10:48am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, yesterday, longing for a little of that more full-bodied sound from my CD player, I practiced to Baron Baptiste's 75-minute flow from his Yoga Bootcamp Box. Had not done this practice in over 2 years. My interpretation of it felt quite a bit harder, this time; and much, much more fluid after years of regular practice in between uses... including a large handful of live Baptiste Power Vinyasa classes that I'd gone to. I actually was able to do tolasana twice with no blocks, towards the end ... but I was flagging at the very end ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So, to round out the "Workshop", I was planning to do Leilainia's belly dance lesson while sailing on a yoga-induced pranayama high ... After about 25 minutes' intermission, I started it ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, I did about 58 minutes of it ... there was no second wind to be had this time, physically speaking.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Emotionally speaking, though, I was soaring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This was yoga.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Soft 2 Be Strong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              March 21, 2012 at 8:55am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Last night, my own sequencing made my body feel strong, but while doing it I felt sooo heavy in salutations ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some days I feel light.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some days I feel so heavy (my lower body especially).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But a little over an hour after practice—my mind was a little blown—and light was streaming in from above and to the sides. And my breath slowed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The hardest-feeling practices do that to me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It was not my most challenging practice ever. But I sought the lightness (and light) in the heaviness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (Note: this is my self-sequenced Vinyasa-Pilates fusion practice. I practice not a pure yoga, but the kind of yoga for me.)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • March 20, 2012 at 10:03am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My streaming was fast enough last night for the 31 minute class, Power Belly Dance by Gillian Cofsky ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • March 18, 2012 at 4:55pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's true that David Magone is one of the more charismatic yoga instructors on here ... but, seriously, I feel like doing my own sequencing again, it includes a lot of pilates and I almost have it in the bag ... but I am tempted by the class, too ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cameron Gilley's Heart Opening Flow Yesterday Helped my Nouveau Sequencing Today

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          March 16, 2012 at 8:17pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, nouveau. Pssst! If you didn't already suspect it, yoga-pilates fusion is due for a major comeback. And I have my own practice of it. As for tonight's practice, I put stuff back in it, too. [Not the headstand which was any more fuller expression than hare pose, though. In fact, perversely, I will be counting the days I could avoid doing any such fuller expression of headstand ... the golden mean rules!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So, "muscle confusion" is not entirely a myth. And, if anything-- even if it is, a class so precise in its cuing (alignment-wise) does wonders for how I internally direct my own sequencing in my self-practice. Cameron Gilley's is one of those kinds of classes. As was (and it's been many months now) my last studio classes ever taken, to date. With the first, large batch of classes, the teacher had been in the center of the room doing his own class or just taking care of the advanced students in class, mostly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe other people go to class to learn new poses or to supply themselves with the discipline to go through with a lengthy practice session that isn't just a bunch of shazam or comfort asana ... But I go to a yoga class (and/or NOW, I actually take one online thanks to for the same reason somebody stereotypical would go take a workshop: they have an ongoing, comprehensive, lengthy and frequent home practice (OR they were Kula members of a currently-disgraced school of yoga) but, in both cases, they just need some new approaches ... could care less about "accomplishing", "advancing" or getting anywhere, for the most part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Marshall McLuhan had been right. Television - the mass medium it is -- he said "the medium is the message", and he characterized television as a "cool medium" ... the watcher of the television had a participatory life all their own. The medium did not rely on total engagement with the medium itself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Online transmission is not just a "cool medium" ... it is an "ice cold" medium.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So, a class video that a yoga teacher had been generous enough to publish to the web is so "ice cold" (in Marshall McLuhan terms) it demands the tapas (or heat) from the active practitioner ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Feelin 'hot, hot, hot ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Jonathan Urla--up-to-the-minute-news--says that muscle confusion IS a myth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You have to do the same movements again and again, to develop your body and mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            about 2 years ago in New York City, US

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • My own Vinyasa-Pilates Fusion ... Centered and Refreshed for that Hour of the Night

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            March 14, 2012 at 10:02am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So, I practiced my own sequence for over 90 minutes last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not one headstand "prep" (I did used to have both feet well off the floor, anyhow) ... for the first time in many months ... hare pose with tripod arms is on the menu, now ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't care what kind of yoga it actually is, that I do—it is the one that I will do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Held crow for 2 breaths ... (used to be able to hold it for longer than that) ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But my vrksasana is improving ... and I modify pigeon with the flexed foot and one hip atop my new blanket and my front leg—instead of nearly under my upper leg—a tad bit off the parallel now ... and prasarita padottanasana (if I want to scoach my upper body out, and not concentrate on my Pilates powerhouse) has my head again seeking closer to the floor ...RETROGRESSION NO MORE!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So I remember when I used to be a lap swimmer, and that had screwed with my flexibility. My wrists had been weak, and swimming butterfly stroke really had hurt them most every time; and I could not improve to save my life ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No, this had not been some mind-blowing practice. Not this time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But I think I have discovered the secret for getting centered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            P.S. I did figure out that I'd gotten my costochondritis injury a few months ago from attempting a further development of tripod headstand before I'd been ready for it (if ever), and NOT from compound push-ups. Those did not cause a flare-up, but I knew to modify with scorpion tail leg at its point of full extension ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • March 12, 2012 at 8:31am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The blanket didn't exactly work for my half-tripod-headstand when sandwiched between my Aurorae Synergy Mat-Towel with an additional towel on top. The right side of my neck complained 33 hours later (that is the side that has my far weaker arm). Which is a signal loud and clear—let's not do any more headstand for near future... I have a feeling about some practices on here which don't include headstand anyway; that is to say, I like them. My Mexican blanket is used for a few kinds of poses, and they seem to be in the hip opener and meditative categories ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Patching and Tweaking - well, she HAD been his teacher ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    March 10, 2012 at 8:17am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have decided to add influences from this video popularization of Shiva Rea's vinyasa style template:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Secrets of Sequencing - The Mandala

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    but adapted ( = slowed the hell DOWN ...) for a sequence that begins with utkatasana (and is a riff off of Sun Salute B) which is part of Soft 2 Be Strong, my own self-sequenced practice ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ms. Julie Peters is a genius yoga instructor, and to top it off ... Shiva Rea had been Jonathan Urla's (of Yogilates fame) yoga teacher trainer !

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • We can't be 29 Forever ... Discernment comes a Little Late in Life

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        March 10, 2012 at 7:24am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        From blogs written nearly a year after I left a certain studio ... (never to return)


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sthir Sukham Asanam, in my experience, means that if you can only raise your leg an inch instead of all the way to your forehead, then do only that. See what most people won’t tell you is that along with Sthir Sukham Asanam, Patanjali also said prayatna shaitalyam. Which means, and here’s the kicker, that there is no need to apply un-necessary effort in any of the Asanas. This may go against your instincts, but if you can raise your arm only ½ an inch then don’t apply the effort to raise it a full inch. It will happen itself at some point. But only if first you are comfortable with where you are at. Rest into the pose. Relax into it. Be comfortable in it. And bring your focus to your body and mind and BREATH again and again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It really represents the philosophy of focusing on the journey rather than the destination so beautifully. Focus and be comfortable with where you are at. Then you will see that the destination – of whatever it is you think you want to or should be achieving with your yoga practice – will happen without effort

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        IFF I ever go back to a yoga studio ... I would want my yoga teacher to tell me what he/she is not telling me ...



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        “When you hold a pose for long enough for it to feel a bit uncomfortable, you’re building muscle strength”, says a Yoga Journal blogger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        She adds “You’re also building strength of mind by showing yourself that you’re stronger than you think you are”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don’t even know where to begin in pointing out how wrong this is and on so many levels. It’s misleading, it’s dangerous and it’s against everything Patanjali says in YogaSutras. (for more on Patanjali read our blog on ‘sthir sukham asanam’). This kind of well meaning sincerity is dangerous in how misguided it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Holding a pose when you are uncomfortable is not going to build muscle strength or mental beliefs about your strength, it will make you stop going to Yoga class. You start dreading the class as it becomes yet another hurdle to climb in your daily grind. And that is not the point of Yoga.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        When you hold a pose to discomfort, who decides how much discomfort is good enough for your growth? The teacher? You? She doesn’t know what’s happening inside your body. Especially when she’s done a 6-month yoga teacher training course at the local studio down the street. You could be putting yourself way out than needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As soon as I suggest that you don’t push, notice how you go into red alert! “But how will I progress if I keep staying where it is comfortable?” What “progress” are you looking for? For that, you need to first go into your very definition of progress where yoga is concerned. You want external progress in your physical posture, that’s why you and your teacher is scared to let you be and just breathe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But try it once. Be in the pose where you are comfortable. And bring your mind again and again to your breath. You will see that going further in the physical pose will be one of the many by products of the many other benefits you will derive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You can tell that this Erin Bhaskar is not a popular yoga blogger.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No way. But she represents why there was a need for a bit of a backlash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My self-sequenced Soft 2 Be Strong (which will not be commercialized in this lifetime) has rarely failed to leave me relaxed, centered and yet worked-out at the same time ... with only an average-length savasana at the end!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can compare and contrast this to live studio classes I've taken, after which I ever felt centered only on a fluke!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • March 7, 2012 at 7:09pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Belly Dance video hiccoughed twice, and then stopped at time point around 24 minutes. I chose not to go low-tech (and totally NOT belly dance, since I am a rank newbie) and continue working out ... with 5 Rhythms ... the 15-minute rule prevailed ... I really have to get stuff cleaned up now (deadline) !

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Have to Fit the Practice in to My Life ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                March 7, 2012 at 4:59pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have a lot of cleaning up to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think I will do Belly Dance Step by Step ... it is less tough on my arms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If this streaming hiccoughs, I will think seriously about getting another download.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I feel charleyhorse in my midsection due to my first download, the Intermediate Practice (but I modified it down to my actual level ... soon I will have been practicing yoga for 5 years, but at my age and in my condition now, I had not stayed an "intermediate" for long. This practice is slow-paced, mindful and - let's face it - nobody's watching ... I also think this teacher would, if teaching me live, probably take an energy read on me .. accurately ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • March 7, 2012 at 10:13am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How often should a late middle aged person with not a whole lot of natural core strength do belly dance to not lose condition?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • And Ratcheting Down Further ....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        March 5, 2012 at 7:38pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, I finally purchased my very own Mexican blanket (in my favorite green color) after all these years of regular yoga practicing. And I used it for "surrendered pigeon" and for shoulderstand, which I can hardly do anymore without my neck hurting these days ... (my neck is not previously injured) ... as part of a Baptiste power yoga Download audio (which I, of course, modified and tweaked) done on 3 March 2012 ... Pretty fed up with that Baptiste (it did not take long). I will stick with Baptiste's own CD, which I "cheat" down from its intended All-Levels level (though it's hardly that), to my current seat as an advanced beginner, for now and maybe for a very long time ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What kind of yoga DO I like?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, there's hatha, Buddhist-infused vinyasa, vinyasa-pilates fusion, slow flow, and lengthy savasanas ... plus pranayama with some light bandha action ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've heard that Kundalini you have to be careful with. I once took a Kundalini class at the place where I go to the satsangs. It cost me $12.80 (price has since gone up to $18--the studio did not have volume customers) ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Meanwhile, I did about 35 minutes 5 Rhythms practice with a crampy, sore midsection ... for which I could thank my other belly dance teacher, Gillian Cofsky ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, feeling weak will not keep me from what I have to do ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Feelin' I got away with something at the hands of a commercial yoga studio, FOR A CHANGE!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            March 5, 2012 at 9:25am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I really like yoga, so much so I practice it at home. Class length. I could never afford frequent classes at a studio. I could never afford a frequent teacher. You also should know that I'm not much of a dvd person, but I'd had an agenda. Such as I needed to know why I like my otherwise intense home practice so much. Could it really have been that the style I practice did not resonate with the overall style taught at my former studio? So I'd picked up the Cyndi Lee dvd (of the Buddhist-infused OM Yoga fame) at a bookstore, making that purchase as a priority ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So, not too long after there had been the time, I went and bought an introductory 2-pack at a nice price at the one and only OM Yoga Studio in New York City.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Me: "And you don't hold against me that I used the dvd put out by this studio several times ?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Them: "No. You never have been to this studio before."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Me: "So you mean, LIVE classes not taken ... ?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is after reading the reviews on OM, that at the live classes they do practically NO hands-on adjustments unless you pay extra - which, believe me, I had not then and NOT EVEN NOW, am willing to experience... Dear reader, you don't have to know that I had been assaulted and seriously traumatized by gratuitous adjustments--back when I'd gone to my former studio. So, this is pretty much FINE by ME!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also, not thinking that, at least on the surface, my living in the NYC metropolitan area has anything to do with it, either ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But for THEIR intents and purposes and/or for all they knew (irrespective of my more advanced age to what they were generally used to, being in the NYU area and all--in addition to my more stocky size ..), I could have been sitting back watching the dvd as the movie it actually is; and eating chips, absorbing Cyndi's fine patter, instead of doing it, those several times. Instead, in true floating-drumbeat fashion, I'd practiced it several times with the intensity and dedication inculcated into me by my experiences at my former studio, longitudinally, their old long-lasting expiry (infinite, actually) class pack carefully having been parceled out over 19 months. The former studio was heavily influenced by the asana master Dharma Mittra. The self-mortification inherent in how that studio taught me, comes from their Jivamukti influence (us middle-pathers generally do not buy THAT part...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            All in all, I had not felt I really deserved the INTRODUCTORY 2-class pack they sold me, as I'd felt I knew OM Yoga in my bones already from that dvd! Well, I'd signed up and took the intermediate class. Which was practically the tweaked-by-me version of the dvd, but with a few more balancing postures, inversions, and chaturangas thrown in

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Feelin' I got away with something at the hands of a commercial yoga studio, FOR A CHANGE! [Even if technically not true] And this being a world-class place, to boot!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I look forward to doing the same with a download or two ... I don't exactly have room in my tiny living space for a dvd collection ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But since I can't afford to go to a studio anymore, there are other benchmarks ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And, failing that, there will always be how I feel afterwards!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • March 4, 2012 at 4:05pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There will be downloads. I streamed (in preview, several different times today) something on here, that rheumily coughed and hiccoughed at me, numerous times .... No way am I increasing my transmission speed, I am happy with it 90% elsewhere on the 'net. Probably a PranaVayu yoga and a few dance instruction ones ... Hemalayaa, I'm looking at you .... lol

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • I Did Hemalayaa and then 40 Minutes of my Own Yoga Thing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    March 1, 2012 at 7:26pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have a bit of a strained ankle, but still I was able to do the entire Bollywood (pretty low impact because of that), and then my own practice ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am floating-drumbeat, emphasis on the "drumbeat" ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, and I thought I would run out of my pre-programmed music (that's not so yogic) before I was done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But I didn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I fit in everything, right down to the finale, which consisted of bridge, chatushpadasana, urdhva dhanurasana, viparita karani (with block, not wall), then ardha supta virasana, and savasana ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gotta love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Glad I have a lot of time on my membership now ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The music thing is not something I always want to worry about ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cross Training for Yoga

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        February 29, 2012 at 8:43am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        84 or 85 minutes, S2BS .. release 18.0 is ready .. got all the bugs out ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        most enjoyable practice ..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let you on a little secret, though, had gotten ANOTHER bellydance lesson here at night before last... I think I've found cross-training which enhances yoga practice ...and is cardio, to boot ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Certainly, my 5 Rhythms practice (the very occasional class, or by myself at home) does not enhance my yoga practice in the flexibility department ... because while I am dancing the dance of the sages, I am not guided to stretch my hips any further than my comfort zone in the moment ... and I have a world-class 5 Rhythms teacher who'd studied under Gabrielle Roth, herself ... in that practice where the practitioner dances the dance of the sages (i.e. provides their own steps, as it were), it's just not DONE!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You know, I had been curious about bellydance . they had taught that (for $20 per hour, not $10 a month list price online) at one of the most convenient studios near me (to which I used to go when I'd had the time and the little bit of cash), and still teach it at all of that studio's uber-commercial spinoffs .. now I see why ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Which challenge are you taking, and why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            February 27, 2012 at 4:49pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Which challenge are you taking, and why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am taking the Sleep Well, Be Well Challenge. My activity levels at my job changed, contributing to a weight gain of about 18 pounds. What never changed was the environment I live in, however. I live in overcrowded, noisy and physically unstable conditions. I walk a fine line with my self-sequenced yoga practice [I know, I know ... if I can sequence my own practice what am I doing on this site? A lot of it is cross-training to be sure.] I have to continually reassess my sequence to make sure my yoga practice never generates too much "prana "(actually it couldn't–I'm not athletic enough for that), and instead engages my parasympathetic nervous system, such as it can. Noise from neighbors and vibrations and rattling from machinery within the building I live in, need me to sleep the sleep of the dead, as much as possible at night. I'm serious. When it works, infrequently enough as of now; I could arise before my alarm sounds, even in winter. (Certainly, this very record-breaking mild winter–for where I live–New York City--is helpful.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • I am taking the Sleep Well, Be Well Challenge because I have sleep problems that are pretty severe. At this point, my migraine doctor has me on sleep medicine that is interfering with my breast cancer medicine. He wants to change me to something that he said can be "addictive." I think I can find a better way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              about 2 years ago in Belmont, US

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Well, go to it. Ensure that your yoga practice—if that is what you are doing—leaves you worked out and centered at the same time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Best of luck to you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              about 2 years ago in New York City, US

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Enjoying Yoga for the first time in over 3 years ... New Kind of Cross Training

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              February 25, 2012 at 6:48pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I did only 80 minutes of yoga today. I wanted to do MORE ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think the cross training effects of Bollywood Dancing, Classical Pilates and Belly Dance (beginner with both Dance forms - not a beginner with pilates) videos done off of myyogaonline had effects on my hip flexibility ... without meaning to brag, ardha chandra chapasana, vrksasana, and (well, not quite) prasarita padottanasana (after a lengthy period of retrogression) ... this is my own self-sequence and I do these poses with the SAME breath counts and in nearly the SAME order within my usually lengthy sequence/system ... what has changed is the addition of new classes ... cross training that does not work at cross-purposes ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But then I'd never psychologically needed (nor have been physically able) to combine yoga with hip-stiffening activities such as running or spinning ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My Yoga sequence and I have a long history together ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I did do one of the PranaVayu sequences on myyogaonline ... and I will be back to the virtual yoga studio on here ... soon !

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • February 23, 2012 at 5:52pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  At only 40 minutes, the whole video ought to play by streaming ... If not, well, yours truly already knows pilates ... and I will just tack it on. It isn't like a yoga video that cuts out on me. I can DEAL, baby ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Bollywood. What's all the Shouting About?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      February 22, 2012 at 5:06pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just happened to preview a part of Hemalayaa's Bollywood Workout.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now, right after my 5 Rhythms class, which I've attended a few times, there was a Bollywood Dance instruction class. It seemed very crowded. And got more so from one session to the next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is New York City, not Mumbai, where the class gets so crowded.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now, at $20 walk-in for a one-hour class, I can't afford it ... NO WAY!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So, if with my slow transmission speed, if the video plays in its entirety, I could experience a Bollywood class, too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      With foot issues, and at age 57, I will take it low impact (although I did not get that far in previewing it).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If not, I will do as much of the video as my computer can accommodate, and then go into my own dance ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just love Hemalayaa's smile ... and she dances very well, too!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Erin Murphy Video Rocks on Preview

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          February 20, 2012 at 7:19am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think I would like to do hers next. Intermediate Classical Mat Class. The pilates teachers I used to have (live), while some brilliant - taught yoga and dance-movement on the side ... of course, it's all related, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But teaching myself what I call pilates had caused me injury. It had strengthened my core enough so I was able to go into the yoga clown pose in headstand - no mean feat if one considers where my middle aged self came from (swimming, cardio, not-so-strong arms, former nearly lifelong obesity and no core emphasis at all)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It is very tough to maintain my ab strength. The abs get sore all the time, and when doing more power varieties of yoga, my biceps and shoulders overcompensate!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Many yogis don't seem to need any core work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To me, however, this is worth the investment of time and money.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I intend to pick the brains of the pilates teachers here ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Edit: A few hours later, after doing some vinyasa pilates fusion, I feel even more that way. The key to doing this is, you have to start out probably not doing the full number of reps of each exercise or not the fuller range of motion that the teacher demonstrates. And patience. When I had been developing my own sequencing for my own use a while back, I would break this rule ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But pilates is like yoga that way ... everything comes in its own time ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Soft 2 Be StrongTM - Not yet "Commercial" (that's for my heirs) has a Competitor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              February 13, 2012 at 8:16am

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Getting it off the computer ... from --- -

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and not from 13 page list, preserved between the covers of a Wilson-Jones tabbed translucent report binder, that I put together which I have been doing for YEARS off and on (an occasional to fairly frequent live yoga class had been woven in to that .... lol)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I did the Intermediate Practice with David Magone. Being as I wanted the pranayama, the mindfulness meditation and the inspiration (although I am not really the kind for "aspirational sequencing" ..preferring moves I could reasonably do towards full expression, 95% of), I took the class online (a video this time, not a podcast), modified and just watched, where I had to. For that reason alone - not being under the fish eye of the teacher (you have to realize how competitive they are in New York City), aside from the affordable cost of not doing it live, it sure beats going to a class ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save my money for the occasional 5 Rhythms movement (dance) class ... lol

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • February 12, 2012 at 1:43pm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lyrical vinyasa-pilates fusion self-practice (which I have been doing for over 4 years) needs some new inspiration. Looking towards David Magone even though I have been only at advanced beginner level (actually was an intermediate before mild injury) ...

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