View Full Version : Jan/Feb Good Moves Yoga
02-06-2003, 04:43 PM
Although I'm trying to keep up with my New Year's resolution to exercise *at least* twice a week, I'm feeling completely unable to complete this month's Good Moves/Personal Coach Yoga workout. I have no previous yoga experience, but I really wanted to give it a try at home for all of the obvious benefits. Anyway, one position, in particular, has just been impossible for me--knees-chest-chin. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I can't do it! Can anyone help me out? It feels like the most unnatural position ever. Also, one of the other positions makes me feel like I'm on the edge of hurting my back or shoulders --threading the needle. Am I just doing it wrong, or is this "good" strain? Also, any general advice for yoga (like does rhythm come with time or am I supposed to be smoothly moving from position to position at the start) would also be greatly appreciated!
02-06-2003, 05:35 PM
I don't have the mag. in front of me, but if you give me the name of the poses, I --and others--I'm sure will try to help.
The knees, chest chin thing are you on your knees (the baby-type pose?) or on your back--which is more like a rocking motion??
If you are on your knees, simply tuck your head and chin into fetal position-like and place your hands either at your side or over your head. If you can't get your head all the way down to your knees, just do what is comfortable. Once you start stretching your back and elongating your spine, this will become easier.
I've never heard of "threading the needle" so I can't help there.
02-07-2003, 06:19 AM
Wallycat & Others,
The knees-chest-chin position is described as an "inchworm" move. You're supposed to be on your stomach and you somehow put your chest on the ground and your legs but arch what's in-between. does that make sense? I just can't do it; I end up flopping on the floor or just falling flat.
As for threading the needle, you're basically on your hands and knees when you loop one arm (let's say left) under the other (right) and then swing up your right arm by leaning on your left shoulder. It just makes my back feel contorted in very unhappy ways, but I'm not sure if that just means its a strength issue or if I'm actually risking hurting myself.
And since I'm on my yoga query kick, I also feel pretty hopeless about the breathing stuff--I just seem so awkward, not at all like I imagine "real" yoga.
02-07-2003, 08:11 AM
I started yoga in October with a "Brand New Beginners" class (taught at the studio Cyndi Lee, the "Good Moves" yoga person runs). First of all, yoga isn't about getting your poses to look exactly like the model's right off the bat - so don't stress about not being able to do something all the way - it's about progress and learning about your body.
Tips - for "inchworm" - your lower legs (knee on down) should be on the floor, as should your chest (bust area). Your chest should be at the same line as your hands, your shin touching down slightly in front. Once you're there, think of it as swinging your "sit-bones" (tush)so it's slightly pointed towards the ceiling (rather than the wall behind you) - this creates an arch in your back. This pose should feel like a back-stretch, but not painful - it is unnatural feeling, but kinda fun, I think!
"Threading the needle" - I had the same problem with this one, starting out, it hurt and felt a little dangerous. My modification, for a while, was just to 'thread the needle' (put the arm through the other, on the floor) WITHOUT lifting the other arm into the air. I felt a stretch in my shoulder at that point without the scaryness. Once that stretch wasn't as intense (a couple of weeks along), I started to try lifting the opposite arm into the air.
The grace and breathing come with time. Focus on the breathing some, but again, not to the point of stress over it. Just try to enjoy learning more about how your body can move and how your limitations change over time.
Hope that helps!
02-08-2003, 04:27 PM
That is so helpful; thanks! I can't wait to give it another try now.
02-08-2003, 04:53 PM
UH-OH! Please note - in previous post I said, "... your shin touching down slightly in front..." That should be CHIN not SHIN.
Sorry for the typo!
02-13-2003, 03:36 PM
Yoga can feel awkward at first, so don't get discouraged. The poses and breathing do get easier with time. But it should never hurt, and you can always modify poses to suit your needs. Here are some tips for the Jan/Feb Yoga sequence:
1. Knees-Chest-Chin may be uncomfortable if you back, chest, and shoulders are tight. You might try substituting another round of cat-cow (poses 1-2 in the sequence) to help loosen and stretch your back and shoulders.
2. If the full version of Threading the Needle is uncomfortable, just take to steps A or B, as feels comfortable for you. Another alternative to loosen your shoulders: Sit back on your heels, draw your right arm straight across your body. Hook your left arm under your right elbow and gently draw your right arm in until you feel the stretch in your shoulder. Repeat on the other side.
Hope this helps!
02-14-2003, 07:24 AM
Since people are still be really helpful, I thought that I'd throw a few more super-basic questions out there. About the breathing...is the idea that I'm going from step to step on the same breath? How much breathing--ideally--is going on in-between? Also, my breaths just aren't deep enough to finish a lot of the positions on a single inhale/exhale.
Also, do people prefer to practice in silence or with music? Just wondering.
Thanks for all of the suggestions so far; they've definitely helped. I'm trying not to be discouraged when I'm adding a lot of modifications, but I am determined to get that "inchworm" position right at some point :D
02-14-2003, 02:27 PM
You can inhale or exhale as you move from one pose to another. For example, you would exhale as you move into cat, then inhale as you move into cow, exhale as you move back into downward dog, then inhale to plank, and so on. Of course, if you want to stay in a pose longer then the length of an inhale or exhale, you should. Sometimes it's nice to stay in a pose for awhile and work with it a bit.
02-16-2003, 08:25 AM
My understanding is that there are certain benefits to moving with your breath as indictaed in the article - so when it says "on inhale, go into x pose", there is a reason for it (it usually has to do with the syncronization of all the movements in the body) - but if you want to hold a pose for a while (which, I agree with alisonashton can be a really great thing) - do so! When you are ready to move to the next one, do so when you are ready... and try make the move (when you do move one) on the inhale or exhale (whichever is indicated in the article) of whatever breath you're on - whether it's one breath later or 100 breaths later. I don't know if I am making sense.
:confused: Let me know if not, and I'll try and reword myself.
02-17-2003, 08:30 AM
Definitely stick w/yoga and know that it takes a while to get the poses just right. That's what is deceiving about yoga. If you look at photos in a book, the moves look easy. (DH is convinced of this) But in reality, our bodies in the Western world simply don't move and lenghten and stretch enough, the way they are really meant to do. That's why I find it so invigorating to practice these moves.
As for breathing, I try to focus on exhaling on the strenuous stretch or reach part. Similar to weight lifting. However, if you find it too distracting or awkward to focus on the breathing at first, don't worry about it too much. It will come. In the long run, breathing is extremely important in yoga, more so than in aerobics or other exercises.
Most of the yoga classes I've been to do not have music, as it helps you focus on your body more closely. But, if you're doing it at home and want music, go for it. I'd suggest looking for some of those CDs with "nature" music on it, live waves from the ocean or something like that. It will have a natural rythym, but not be distracting.
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