One of the biggest challenges when doing yoga is to maintain ease in a yoga pose - especially when the pose is being held for a long time. The question is: Is it really better to hold a pose (especially one requiring strength) if it, after a certain point, it is only causing tension and stress in the body?
I have a confession to make. When I first started studying yoga formally, I was for some strange reason very anti-anatomy. It just seemed dull and boring to me. So I had known about Leslie Kaminoff for years, but just thought of him as that "yoga anatomy" guy. I figured he was also going to be dry and boring, and so while I meant to get his book, I just never got around to it.
Yoga Alliance is implementing new CEU (Continuing Education) rules starting in January of 2015. Previously, if you had received online yoga training, one hour of a webinar would only count for 1/5 of a CEU hour. The irony of this set up is that the conventional wisdom says that one online hour of training is actually four hours of in-person training. Why? Because you aren't wasting time getting everyone situated, or figuring out when to have lunch break, or dealing with heating and cooling issues in the room.
After a bit of a hiatus (due to a month-long winter cold), I finally went back to hot yoga. This time, I had a really difficult time with the heat. I started feeling out of it, and had symptoms of heat exhaustion. My skin was tingling, but not in a good way. I stepped out of class and got a cold shower to reset my body temperature. My face was beet red before I finally cooled down.
No matter what they tell you - if you start to feel sick in hot yoga class, you need to leave the room and cool yourself down. Heat exhaustion can be very serious.
I recently started taking Zumba dance classes as a cardio workout in addition to yoga. I have been enjoying them so much that I find myself more motivated to go to a Zumba class than a hatha yoga class lately. (Granted, given all the yoga training I've had, I can easily do a yoga sequence at home and that is often my preferred yoga unless I am doing hot yoga or Kundalini yoga.)
The commercialization of yoga is a double-edged sword, and it behooves us to remember that yoga is ultimately about spiritual growth, not being trendy or developing a hot "yoga butt." The yoga gurus who brought yoga to America practiced in loinclothes on woven blankets. They did not have fancy yoga mats, special moisture-wicking yoga clothes, or even yoga blocks. They did not have air conditioning - which is what inspired Bikram to create his "hot yoga," so that we could experience a more authentic yoga practice.
I was taking a yoga class at the gym last weekend, and an older woman kept answering her phone during the class. And when I say "answer," I mean, she would actually answer the phone and talk while still on her yoga mat. Briefly, but enough. I got very fed up (especially because no-one around her was saying anything), and finally went over to tell her to go outside. Either she saw me or got the etheric hint (I wasn't sure), but - hurrah! - she finally stepped out of class to have her lengthy conversation.
I get why we tend to make "resolutions" at the start of each New Year, but I'm starting to think it's the worst time to actually make lasting changes in your life. To whit: I had a simple New Year's goal of simply going back to kundalini yoga classes on a regluar basis, and doing a hot yoga class once a week. We're two weeks into January and I've already failed. Why? Because when I got back from my holiday trip, I got sick (not surprising with all the stress - and germs! - of traveling). I've also been swamped trying to catch up on work that did not get completed prior to Christmas.
Wonder why you feel tired and exhausted sometimes after using the computer? You may be suffering from "email apnea" - a term that refers to how about 80% of computer users stop breathing while typing. This can trigger the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and put us into "fight or flight mode."