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#223818 - 02/23/07 05:19 PM Yoga Recommendations
Marcato Offline
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Registered: 11/10/06
Posts: 273
Loc: Northern New England
As of roughly 3:00 am this morning, I am officially closer to 40 than 30. As I indulge in my birthday festivities, I can't help but reflect a little on the physical effects of aging. While I certainly feel as good today as I did at 18, I'm thinking of making a pre-emptive strike on the consequences of time.

I've heard loads of people extol the virtues of yoga, and I'd like to give it a try. I like the idea that it is both physically and mentally demanding, leading to both muscle strength and flexibility. Honing mental clarity and control through meditation is appealing as well.

However, I'm NOT interested in the socialist undertones that seem to be present in most of the groups that practice yoga. I'm also not interested in having my chakras aligned or my humors balanced. I can ignore most of that if I have to, but given the option, I'd rather be in an environment that is not jam packed with smelly dreadlocked hippies.

I know that there are many schools of yoga, and I'm hoping someone here might have some insight on a particular style that is long on results and short on BS. An aquaintance who I've since lost contact with described to me a style of yoga that involves turning up the heat and holding very strenuous poses. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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#223819 - 02/23/07 06:24 PM Re: Yoga Recommendations [Re: Marcato]
Entity Offline

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Registered: 03/23/02
Posts: 1773
Loc: Avalon UK
Ashtanga Yoga, perhaps?

It seems you just got another year older today. Many happy returns.
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#223820 - 02/23/07 08:08 PM Re: Yoga Recommendations [Re: Marcato]
RandomStranger Offline
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Registered: 03/09/05
Posts: 2770
Loc: Here.
There might be some good information about this downstairs. It's your birthday... why not treat yourself

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#223821 - 02/23/07 10:41 PM Re: Yoga Recommendations [Re: RandomStranger]
Marcato Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/10/06
Posts: 273
Loc: Northern New England
Fair enough! I'll see you there!
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#223822 - 02/24/07 05:43 AM Re: Yoga Recommendations [Re: Marcato]
DarkApollyon Offline
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Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 581
Loc: Brighton, England
When I reached 30 I decided I was fed up with beginning to feel like 'a tin man who needed oiling', so took the plunge and started yoga classes. I started with Iyengar yoga, simply because it didn't look too strenuous, and I knew the teacher, which, I felt at the time, was a bonus.

I did classes about once a week for two or three years, but since that have practiced at Home on my own, and have experimented with other branches of Hatha yoga as well as Iyengar.

I prefer practicing on my own, but feel it is probably important for a beginner to attend some sort of class, so there is someone experienced around to correct your alignment, and to suggest variations if you are not flexible enough to do the full pose in the early days.

I was lucky that Brighton is overflowing with yoga classes so I had a wide choice of classes - if you are in this sort of position I think one just needs to 'shop around' until you find a class you are comfortable with, or if any friends or aquaintances already practice ask them for recommendations.

I certainly wouldn't rule out returning to classes at some point - I'm quite tempted to try Astanga Yoga at some point, and wouldn't feel confident enough to do so on my own, at least to begin with.

I have had no problem detatching myself from the philosophy side of it - I have found some classes stress this more than others, so again it is probably a case of exploring different classes.
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#223823 - 02/24/07 05:57 AM Re: Yoga Recommendations [Re: Marcato]
AEnigma Offline
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Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 1731
Loc: Belgium
I have found this book a decent place to start: Yoga For Dummies.
It should at least give you some insights on where you do and do not want to go with yoga.
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#223824 - 02/27/07 07:55 AM Re: Yoga Recommendations [Re: Marcato]
Roho_the_Rooster Offline
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Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 6999
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A book I have found helpful is thisa book by Richard Hittleman:28 Day Yoga Plan.
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#294194 - 12/29/07 07:18 AM Re: Yoga Recommendations [Re: Marcato]
MagdaGraham Offline
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Registered: 06/23/04
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#294283 - 12/29/07 12:40 PM Re: Yoga Recommendations [Re: Marcato]
AurEum Offline
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Registered: 11/16/07
Posts: 1158
Loc: Australia
Have you considered Pilates?

I have been doing Pilates (with and without the reformers) for 6 years and love it. It does exactly what I want (increase core muscle strength/endurance, lengthen the muscles, and increase flexibility). I occasionally do Yoga and it's fun to tackle the challenge of certain positions, but Pilates is by far more my style. As a side bar, there's no Pilates "culture," we're there to work towards personal fitness goals (so its stinky hippie free).

I don't think we've had much (if any) interaction on here, so I'm not really sure if you're a guy or gal. If you're a gal, you might want to look into exotic dance for fitness programs, they are incredibly fun and an amazing workout. The "dance studio" that I work at teaches a lapdance-type class that incorporates Yoga, Pilates, and exotic dance so it's very isometric. Our other classes are pole dancing. No strength is required originally, you'll work up to doing advanced spins and tricks (if you want to). It's an endurance weight bearing dance class, and far more athletic than most people think. Before I started taking classes there I was benching 90lbs, now I only lift weights at a regular gym once a week and I'm benching 120lbs. I was originally a client, but liked it so much that I took a part-time job there (I still can't believe they pay me to do this!). Between working there and taking classes there, I probably put in 12-15 hours a week and I'm happy with the results. Plus you leave with some usable material, I'm all for going to a regular gym, but it's not like your step aerobic skills are especially useful in seduction. ;\)

If you (or anyone else) have fitness related questions, I'm around if you want a sounding board.
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#294417 - 12/29/07 07:27 PM Suggestion. [Re: Marcato]
Nemo Offline
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Registered: 10/06/02
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Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
 Quote:
However, I'm NOT interested in the socialist undertones that seem to be present in most of the groups that practice yoga.


Wear earplugs.

More seriously, you have to simply observe a class to judge it.

Avoid the ones where the teacher runs an ongoing verbal patter.

That tends to distract you from feeling what you are doing.

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#294424 - 12/29/07 07:55 PM Re: Suggestion. [Re: Marcato]
Colonel Kurtz Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 192
 Originally Posted By: Marcato
...turning up the heat and holding very strenuous poses.


Bikram Yoga. In Los Angeles it is very trendy. That seems to keep the hippie types away.

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#294787 - 12/31/07 08:42 AM Re: Yoga Recommendations [Re: AurEum]
Auge Offline


Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 163
Loc: Germany
To present just another alternative to yoga:
I am doing Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan and I can only recommend it!

It is somewhat different from yoga. Instead of mostly static positions they teach a set of movements similar to a kata in karate. Originally, Tai Chi Chuan is a martial art that is now mostly used as a dynamic form of meditation, but you will see the connection to other kung fu styles very quickly. The underlying philosophy of tai chi is taoism, which you might or might not like, but it was never pushed on me, so you probably don't have to care.

Tai Chi is mainly used to heighten flexibility (not as much as yoga, though), balance and overall health (it is a wholistic aproach). It is especially good if you are having problems with your back. The mind learns to relax but to stay focused since you have to do quite complex movements all the time. It also trains you to use your strength, your energy as a whole, more economically, which can result in quite astonishing effects, but those are not the goal, just a consequence.
All of this may work for you, or it might not, that is on you to find out.

And beware, some schools practice tai chi for its aesthetic value only. While this is not bad, it is ultimately useless if you want to achieve anything with it except looking good.
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Alle Wesen bisher schufen etwas über sich hinaus: und ihr wollt die Ebbe dieser großen Flut sein und lieber noch zum Tiere zurückgehn, als den Menschen überwinden?
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#294839 - 12/31/07 11:49 AM Re: Yoga Recommendations [Re: Marcato]
Marcato Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/10/06
Posts: 273
Loc: Northern New England
I just noticed that someone dug up this old thread. I appreciate all the recomendations.

I never did enroll in a Yoga class, but I did take up a regular running routine combined with some stretching excercises. I've lost about fifteen pounds and I feel great.

This is key when you enjoy cooking and eating as much as I do. ;\)
_________________________
I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.
Ayn Rand


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#294906 - 12/31/07 07:01 PM Re: Yoga Recommendations [Re: AEnigma]
Maqlu Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 1673
I think it's one of the few intro yoga books I've stumbled upon that doesn't tell you to go right a head and do headstands even if you've never done them before.

Plus while it does have some philosophical crap, it's all grouped into the last couple of chapters in an easily ignorable package.


Edited by Maqlu (12/31/07 07:04 PM)

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#295111 - 01/01/08 09:18 PM Re: Yoga Recommendations [Re: Marcato]
L0ki Offline



Registered: 12/04/07
Posts: 991
Loc: Scandinavia
Good for you. Should you at some point reconsider, I would also recommend Thai chi chuan.


Edited by The Black Waltz (01/01/08 09:19 PM)

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