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? for anyone that does Yoga out there

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Old 11-01-2004, 05:48 PM   #1
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Unhappy ? for anyone that does Yoga out there

Ok, i finally got my Leslie Sansone "You can do Yoga" dvd. I was watching the beginning where she shows and explains the basic poses. It was all good at first... then she started getting into poses that i dont think I can do,.. some weird triangle pose, this downward dog thing,.. some warrior pose and this thing where you sit with your legs together and practically kiss your knees. It is *not* gonna happen, because my fat tummy gets in the way. So I guess my question is,.. should I just forget it? or what should I do to get started. I know that I can not even get anywhere near to some of these poses? I just wondered if anyone had any experiences with this?
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Old 11-01-2004, 05:54 PM   #2
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Do what you can, modify it to suit your abilities.

I used to do yoga, in fact I'm going to look for another DVD soon, and I loved it. I was SHOCKED after doing the tape a few times how much I improved.

Don't get too stressed out, yoga is HARD and you will be in pain the next day!!! It's a great strength/toning workout though. (And cardio if you get certain kinds.)

Good luck!
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Old 11-01-2004, 05:56 PM   #3
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yeah i'm kinda blah about the whole thing,.. i was looking forward to it, but I dont think I am going to even get in the same neighborhood as some of these.

I'm going to need all the luck I can get, i think. :-P
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Old 11-01-2004, 06:00 PM   #4
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Heather, you try to do your best and I use props to do my yoga, I don't know if your yoga dvd shows you props. One is a strap you use to help you stretch further, other are blocks to help you in some poses and last but not least is a blanket which you can sit on to help you sit up straight.

You will get better at it as you do it and don't worry if what you do doesn't look exactly like the person on the dvd.
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Old 11-01-2004, 06:05 PM   #5
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In the video. Leslie shows blocks with the triangle pose, but it seems like she was saying the blocks help that pose to be more advanced. She also shows how to use a chair for the stork pose. There is only one pose that im thinking is going to be really ugly when i try it,.. and I cant remember what its called,.. it is the one where you are sitting on the floor legs stretched out in front together.. you lean over and like I said in my earlier pose, it looks like you are kissing your knees,..and that is totally not happening for me,.. too fat still,..lol
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Old 11-01-2004, 06:41 PM   #6
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From the Yoga DVDs that I've done, the blocks help you if you aren't as advanced or as flexible, I've never done that yoga dvd so I can't say. As far as what to do with the one where you are sitting on the floor and kiss your knees, get a blanket and fold it into a square so you can sit on it comfortably, then get a belt (or a strap or something) and put it around your feet (I think the balls of your feet), put your feet straight in front of you (you can bend them slightly), hold onto the belt (or strap) and lean forward as far as you can. Don't worry if it isn't very far, even skinny people have trouble with it, it isn't about the fat, it is about lengthening your leg muscles and becoming more flexible. The trick with yoga poses and bends is to bend from your hips instead of from your back.
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Old 11-01-2004, 07:35 PM   #7
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Heather -

As a fat girl doing yoga, yes your belly is going to limit you but MUCH much more is your lack of flexibility. I know it *seems* like your belly is going to get in your way but right now I'll guarentee that you're not flexible enough to do those poses - it's not your belly making you inflexible, it's those short hamhocks (as I fondly call them) and your hip flexors.

What you are going to gain:
*Strength. That warrior pose is my #1 killed of my quads. I love it. Doward Facing Dog, arm killer.
*Body awareness. I firmly believe that as we gain weight, we become out of touch with our body. I think yoga reestablishes that link.
*Flexibility. Of course, this takes tons of practice.

If you're nervous about yoga and this is your first time, I strongly recommend a real live person in a class and the video tape in between sessions. An instructor will teach you what to look for when you're doing the pose correctly and correct you when you might not realize what went wrong.

I love yoga. Don't give up yet!
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Old 11-01-2004, 07:39 PM   #8
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hey don't feel bad for not being able to get some of the poses, there are MANY i don't think i'll be able to do for a LONG time. you'll get it all in good time. just modify it like everyone is suggesting.
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:45 PM   #9
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Does she offer a modification? I know in my pilates tape they tell you what to do if you can't quite get to that level yet.
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Old 11-01-2004, 09:35 PM   #10
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I used to go to yoga classes with my mother, and she's a larger woman. She just modifies them, and she keeps with it and is able to do SO much more now. Just keep trying!
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Old 11-02-2004, 10:21 AM   #11
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You may simply need to try a different tape. Although I do recommend attending a real course if at all possible as earlier suggested. It can be of tremendous value to build a foundation. I had the opportunity to take a class over lunch where I work for the past year, and it was wonderful. Your range of motion will improve dramatically and quickly. Strength gains will be minimal since it is based on isometrics, but it help maintain tone. I have several of Rodney Yee's tapes that I also do at home and would certainly recommend his items.
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Old 11-02-2004, 10:34 AM   #12
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Yes yes yes, stick with the yoga. Remember that when you see an instructor do a pose, they are modeling the "ideal" version. The beautiful thing about yoga, though, is that the point is not to do the ideal version right away, but do what you can and go from there. It's definitely true that, due to my excess flesh AND my bad knees AND my bad balance that there are some poses that are not available to me at all at this point. And, there are a lot of poses I can only approximate. But, it doesn't matter whether I can "kiss my knees" or not in a forward bend -- what matters is that I maintain proper alignment and move as far forward as I can. I get the same benefit as someone who can fold all the way forward. The benefit doesn't come from being able to do exactly what the instructor does -- it comes from aligning your body properly and doing what you can. The whole philosophy of yoga is honor your body, and do what you can. Even with all my limitations I would not miss my yoga class for anything, and it has helped me not only physically but mentally as well. It has informed the way I move through the day, it has helped me with other types of exercise.

I really highly strongly recommend the book Cool Yoga Tricks (www.coolyogatricks.com) by Miriam Austin. It does a great job of explaining a good set of standard yoga poses and all the ways you can use props to make them more available to you. She also wrote a book called Yoga for Wimps that is sort of a pre-yoga instruction manual. You may find it helpful to start there, then move back into the video. Another good video is by Gaiam -- Yoga for Weight Loss. It also includes lots of modifications. It's especially helpful in DVD format if you have a DVD player.
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Old 11-02-2004, 01:41 PM   #13
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Some modifications...

In triangle pose, the instructor has us put our hand on our leg wherever we can reach. Some people can put their hands flat on the floor, some people put their hand on their shin. You can use a block to rest your hand on instead of your leg, just put the block right next to your foot.

If your stomach is getting in the way of a forward bend, try using a strap (at home I use the belt to my bathrobe). Wrap it around your feet and hold the ends in your hands. Lean forward with your stomach on your legs and just try to get a good stretch. I've been taking yoga classes on and off for years and I can get a lot closer to my knees, but I sure can't kiss them.

If warrior position is hard, keep your hands on your hips for balance or just do a lunge with your back knee resting on the floor.

You don't need to be able to do all the poses the first time to reap the benefits of yoga, you just need to do the best your body is capable of each time. When I go once or twice a week consistently, I start to see changes in my balance, strength, and flexibility, but there are a lot of poses I can't do yet.

Just do the best you can and keep trying the difficult poses.
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Old 11-02-2004, 02:00 PM   #14
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Heather.. I did yoga (beginner) at the Y - and loved it! Personally, I liked the social part .. plus I could ask questions. When I first started I could not do much - but keep trying... you will get better.
It is a work out - I did sweat!! (which I was surprised at) I expected, and hoped for a lazy exercise but it wasn't. I plan to do it again after this pregnancy.

good luck!!

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Old 11-02-2004, 05:46 PM   #15
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Ok, so i think i will still give it a go. I really need to be more flexible. I think the more weight I gained, the moe clumsy and inflexible i got.

Tommorow is the day,..wish me luck
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