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Old 02-03-12, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tony2v View Post
My teachers also remind us to modify if the pose is too hard. I been practicing yoga for seven years, I go to Vinyasa class twice a week and have a weekly private Pilates session.
The key to my practice is to listen to my body, but I do push to a point of discomfort, but never to pain.
I take yoga from an Iyengar teacher who has been thinking very hard since those articles came out. First, he always tells us to not go farther or more intensely than our body likes. Like my PT who said I could bike while in rotator cuff therapy as long as I don't cause the injury any pain. He also starts the class by going around the room to see who has what discomforts and issues that day, and then gives special cautions on some positions to specific individuals - in my case on lower back and on hamstring tightness.

he's eliminated several types of inversions and modified them for less stress on the neck, and always teaches fine points that are intended to minimize stressing. He says part of this is due to his Iyengar orientation, and some is due to having taught for several decades. He's trying hard.

Regarding 50+ or even 50+++++ yoga, I've been doing some chair positions at work to help my neck and keep more alert, counteracting the effects of my unresolvably poor computer screen position. I invented one that I use surrepticiously while on stage in long choral concerts like Handel's Messiah, to gain some rest while standing. I've been thinking about trying to teach some very simple things to the people at my mother in-law's adult foster care, like elevating the chest and rotating the shoulder blades toward the chest combined with mild breathing (I know, sounds irrational, but then you should try a voice lesson!) for them. But these are extremely sedentary people - some are wheelchair-bound. My wife's mom at 92 is the most agile of the bunch - a terror with her Rollator!

One comment he made - it is easy for an advanced practitioner of asanas to become too loosened, and that tendons that are too loose don't stabilize the joints as they should. Yoga has eight limbs, and asanas are only one. Ethics and reduction of ego are among the others. He said it should be hard because you should find the limits you may live within, so you can grow in that space.

I wonder if long-windedness is a side effect of yoga?
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