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2 Things:

One good:

My clothes are definitely starting to fit me better. I'm not quite down a size yet, but my belly has lost its tendency to bulge over my waistband, which makes me very, very happy. I'm also feeling much better in my skin.

One bad:

My sciatica is playing up again. To sit is an agony, to stand slightly less so, and to move an activity to be avoided at all cost. It's my own fault: I ignored early warning signs, and now it's the weekend, and I am out of painkillers. Woe.


Aug. 11th, 2007 11:22 pm (UTC)
Those 70-year olds you're worried about had to start from scratch too, I imagine! And I've noticed that people who practise yoga never laugh at someone who's just starting out on the same path. On the contrary, in every yoga class I've been in, everyone's been most helpful and friendly -- and there's usually a good mix of people who are very advanced and people that have just started and people that are somewhere inbetween.

If you want to start on your own, just concentrate on the Surya namaskar, aka the Salutation to the Sun, which should become a daily ritual anyway. It is a very good exercise which takes only a few minutes to do and serves as a warm up routine before practising any other yoga asanas. It is one of the best home exercises requiring little space, and consists of a series of 7 fairly easy poses (some of which are repeated) in a strict sequence. Do them twice to start with, and you'll notice that after a few days, your body will already start to remember them. Then when you go to class, you won't feel like an idiot because you can already join in in the first exercise!
Aug. 11th, 2007 11:34 pm (UTC)
Well, the Yoga I'm doing is barely yoga, it's more an introduction to stretching. It's called "Yoga: mastering the basics". A friend gave me a copy of the video, but I ended up ordering it myself from America. Now I don't have a vcr anymore, but I do have the audio which I recorded off the video so that's what I do. Oh good, I've just checked the website, and it and its followup now comes on DVD. The Himalayan Institute. It's a bit weird - the chick seems like a bit of an automaton, and don't get me started on the American accent in it, but it's a good place to start out. There's no insane postures to attempt, it's all pretty easy.
Aug. 12th, 2007 09:00 am (UTC)
I looked it up ... Andrew just tried it!
I'll give it a go :) thankee!
Aug. 12th, 2007 12:02 pm (UTC)
Just remember to take it easy when you're starting yoga. Don't try and force yourself into any positions -- just bend as far as you will go and no further! You don't want to do yourself an injury, and besides, the bendiness will come once you learn to regulate your breathing (that's basically the whole secret to it - breathe, and keep breathing!).

Another tip, something I always do: visualise! Think about how you will get into a position, think about your spine, e.g. think about it straight, think of how it's built up and how all the vertebrae are aligned. I usually image a thread or a beam of light going from sarashrara chakra (located a little above the top of your head) to muladhara chakra (a little below the sacrum) and with everything I do, I try to keep these two aligned. When you need to bend forward, do so from the hip/pelvis; don't bend from the shoulders or the middle of your back, and move slowly and carefully.

And, whatever asana you try, it's always a good idea to start getting into it from tadasana - you just stand for a minute, eyes closed, relaxed, arms by your side, feet planted firmly on the ground and slightly apart, try to clear your mind of everything else. Then when you come out of any position (simply by reversing every stage you took to get into it), rest in tadasana again.

You stick with me, kid, I'll teach you yoga yet! Good luck!