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."
Probably one of the biggest and unrecognized complaints in yoga today is the issue of finding good-fitting yoga pants. I'm still in the process of reviewing various yoga pants for this website, and I'm finding much sympathy for women who are bigger than a size 2 (that includes me!). Not only do the sizes run towards the teeny weeny, it seems that yoga clothing manufacturers today make the mistaken assumption that those of us who do yoga all want our butt cracks to show.
For the life of me, I absolutely cannot fathom why the media gives Alec Baldwin a pass for his bullying. The audio of him bullying his own daughter over the telephone a few years ago was disturbing enough, and yet that didn't stop his career. Then, he allegedly called a black reporter a "coon" but that wasn't enough to get him fired.
I do a lot of work in front of the computer and I have to remind myself to do some yoga while working. It's easy to do some "chair yoga" while sitting at your desk. Sometimes it's as simple as doing a twist in the chair (I grab onto the arms of my office chair and turn to each side). I also stretch my back and shoulders as frequently as possible - especially because they tend to round forward when I am doing computer work. I also work on my wrists, especially because I have a bit of a repetitive stress injury in my right wrist.
What is it with being in your 40s that all sorts of little things start to bother you physically? Your hormones go out of whack, it's harder to lose weight, and you suddenly need bifocals. Now it's my right foot. I have to confirm with a podiatrist, but the plantar fasciitis I have been told I have (by a yoga teacher/physical therapist as well as a massage therapist) is acting up. It's a pain in the arch. It comes and goes. I'm not sure what I did to it, but it just had a "twinge" one day, and now it will randomly act up.
Yoga is often sold as a cure-all for all the body's ills. It's also supposed to be a magical flexibility pill. No, it's not. Years of doing yoga, and an entire 200-hr training, have done nothing to help some of my basic structural problems. The problem with my foot originates in my tight calf muscles and "bound up" ankles - muscles with "adhesions" to the fascia, according to several massage therapists I have worked with.