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First Yoga Class [starting when over 50]

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 

OMG! Way harder than I thought!  There wasn't a beginner class available when I was so I went to a "moderate" one.  The owner said I would be OK as the instructor only has a few people in that particular class.   There was only two other students.  They said for a first timer I did pretty good, but I'm pretty sure I'll be sore here and there tomorrow.

 

The instructor looked like she was about 100# and couldn't open a pickle jar that wasn't previously opened.  Wrong!  I'm pretty sure she could open jars I can't.

 

All I kept thinking through the class was "why the heck didn't I start this in my 20's?"  I'm playing catch up at 54.

 

Many things we did I saw as an instant benefit to skiing.  If nothing else but for the range of motions and balance.

 

If you've been on the fence, go for it.  Glad I did.  Sorry I waited so long.

 

Very impressed.

 

Ken

post #2 of 63

Check in again on Monday morning with how your hamstrings are feeling. :D

post #3 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post
 

OMG! Way harder than I thought!  There wasn't a beginner class available when I was so I went to a "moderate" one.  The owner said I would be OK as the instructor only has a few people in that particular class.   There was only two other students.  They said for a first timer I did pretty good, but I'm pretty sure I'll be sore here and there tomorrow.

 

The instructor looked like she was about 100# and couldn't open a pickle jar that wasn't previously opened.  Wrong!  I'm pretty sure she could open jars I can't.

 

All I kept thinking through the class was "why the heck didn't I start this in my 20's?"  I'm playing catch up at 54.

 

Many things we did I saw as an instant benefit to skiing.  If nothing else but for the range of motions and balance.

 

If you've been on the fence, go for it.  Glad I did.  Sorry I waited so long.

 

Very impressed.

 

Ken

I've only done yoga a few times and came away with a lot of the same first impressions that you have.  

 

I really should get into a regular yoga routine/class. 

 

Thanks for the inspiration. 

post #4 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

Check in again on Monday morning with how your hamstrings are feeling. :D

 

I already hurt tonight.  Not looking forward to tomorrow or Monday.

post #5 of 63
Thread Starter 

Good Lord!  Shit hurts I didn't even know I have!

 

The good news is it isn't like going to the gym for the first time in a while and over doing it type of hurt.  I can function without wincing or hoping no one bumps into my man boobs because I did too much bench pressing.

 

I feel tight and in a little bit will head to the basement for some self directed torture and will see if I can remember/practice some of what I learned yesterday.  I'm sure that will help with most of the discomfort I have.  What is different this time from most workouts, is the location of the pain.  (I don't think pain is the right word either.  I feel muscles going through the recovery process.  I'm not in pain.  Motrin isn't needed for this; more of what I did is.).  Usually you (or at least I) feel it in the major muscle groups.  I'm feeling it on the outskirts of them and as qcanoe warned, my hamstrings.  I feel it the most there.

 

I guess it is because I used more of the range of the muscles which is good and what I was after; maximize my ROM and build strength.

 

Ken

post #6 of 63

the thing about yoga is it can get more intense the better you get.

 

IE If I went to beginner class I would actually be the hardest one working there due to my obsession with breath technique and taking every pose to its maximum. and yeah muscle sores is good and expected but if joints or ligiments start hurting back off so you do not hurt yourself. 

post #7 of 63

If you want to learn more about those muscles you didn't know about, check out the book by Brad Walker, The Anatomy of Stretching.  I found the 2nd edition, 2011, last year in a book store and really learned a lot.  The drawings show the muscle of interest in the context of a complete body.  Also liked the cautions for when to not do a particular stretch.

 

Here is a review of the first edition, 2007, by a yoga instructor:

http://www.yoga-abode.com/review/anatomy_of_stretching

 

Apparently Walker is a sports trainer in Australia.

post #8 of 63

Ken welcome to a new athletic activity (yoga) that like skiing you may never master. There is always more to learn. Really great activity for everyone, especially those of us a little older and not used to a regular stretching and balance routine. Relax and enjoy the journey.

post #9 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMD View Post
 

Ken welcome to a new athletic activity (yoga) that like skiing you may never master. There is always more to learn. Really great activity for everyone, especially those of us a little older and not used to a regular stretching and balance routine. Relax and enjoy the journey.

 

There were a couple poses that when I looked at the instructor made me think, "not in this lifetime" and some I thought "maybe by next year".  Hopefully in a few weeks I'll look at them differently and next years goal will be moved to something sooner. 

 

I guess I felt like someone in their first ski lesson that had skied a bit years ago and got back into it.  You know what you're supposed to do and understand what you're being told to do, but you can't get your body to do it.  Just keep thinking it will eventually fall into place.

 

Ken

post #10 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMD View Post
 

Ken welcome to a new athletic activity (yoga) that like skiing you may never master. There is always more to learn. Really great activity for everyone, especially those of us a little older and not used to a regular stretching and balance routine. Relax and enjoy the journey.

 

There were a couple poses that when I looked at the instructor made me think, "not in this lifetime" and some I thought "maybe by next year".  Hopefully in a few weeks I'll look at them differently and next years goal will be moved to something sooner. 

 

I guess I felt like someone in their first ski lesson that had skied a bit years ago and got back into it.  You know what you're supposed to do and understand what you're being told to do, but you can't get your body to do it.  Just keep thinking it will eventually fall into place.

 

Ken

 

The first pose to work on is the patience pose. :)

 

Note: I'm no yoga expert. In the same boat. Took a yoga class weekly for several years. Definitely got mileage out of it but never was good about practicing frequently. Started up again recently and am struggling just like you. At my age I know I'm never going to be super strong at more than one or two things that I didn't learn as a kid (and maybe not even those) without a ridiculous amount of dedication. Therefore when it comes to yoga I focus a fair bit on trying to let go of the competitive - or maybe it would be more accurate to say comparative - piece that always creeps in. It's not about whether I can touch my head on the floor, even if the guy next to me can; it's about moving things forward a tiny bit within my own envelope of capability, as it is defined today. It's definitely good for me to pay attention to others so I know what can be achieved and what directions to aim in. But it's not good for me to to get all, um, bent out of shape when I realize I'm not zooming toward those targets at prodigious speed. It's okay to be middle-of-the-pack. Someone has to be.

post #11 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

 

The first pose to work on is the patience pose. :)

 

Note: I'm no yoga expert. In the same boat. Took a yoga class weekly for several years. Definitely got mileage out of it but never was good about practicing frequently. Started up again recently and am struggling just like you. At my age I know I'm never going to be super strong at more than one or two things that I didn't learn as a kid (and maybe not even those) without a ridiculous amount of dedication. Therefore when it comes to yoga I focus a fair bit on trying to let go of the competitive - or maybe it would be more accurate to say comparative - piece that always creeps in. It's not about whether I can touch my head on the floor, even if the guy next to me can; it's about moving things forward a tiny bit within my own envelope of capability, as it is defined today. It's definitely good for me to pay attention to others so I know what can be achieved and what directions to aim in. But it's not good for me to to get all, um, bent out of shape when I realize I'm not zooming toward those targets at prodigious speed. It's okay to be middle-of-the-pack. Someone has to be.

 

 

When it comes to comparative thoughts it is similar to my skiing.  No sense in comparing myself to really great skiers except as a goal so I don't forget there's (plenty of) room for improvement.  When I think about whether or not I'm performing well, I compare myself to how I used to ski.

 

People get hung up on not being able to achieve the "ultimate" goal and loose sight of all the good that came from trying to get there.  I do it myself sometimes.  Then I watch videos of me when I started skiing or how well the kids I coach ski and then I realize the progress I've made.

 

I'm sure yoga will be them same.  I don't have to get perfect.  I just have to get better.  Or as in skiing, suck less this season than last season.

 

Appreciate the pun.  Will try to work it into the next class.:D

 

Ken

post #12 of 63

post #13 of 63

I think this bears repeating again,

 

"The Resolute in Yoga surrender results, and gain perfect peace;

 

 the irresolute, attached to results, are bound by everything they do. 

 

  • Bhagavad Gita
post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

I'm sure yoga will be them same.  I don't have to get perfect.  I just have to get better. 

Yoga is all practice smile.gif

Gaiam has a bunch of good DVD's. Ideally yoga is a daily practice, and 20-25 mins at home is a great way to establish the routine.

A good morning program set:

http://www.gaiam.com/rodney-yee-a-m-yoga/05-52899.html?start=4&cgid=3010200

When you need to, don't want to...excellent beginner program:

http://www.gaiam.com/yoga-for-stress-relief/05-52889.html?start=26&cgid=3010200

This is a 60 minute program with modifications demonstrated, great all round for athletes:

http://www.gaiam.com/yoga-dvds/yoga-for-athletes/91-0217.html?start=31&cgid=3010200

And power yoga:

http://www.gaiam.com/power-yoga-flexibility-dvd/90-0208.html?start=18&cgid=3010200

I like Rodney Yee's videos. They come at least somewhat from a male perspective of yoga without leaving the core practice. I find it is hard to go to a class consistently, and once a week isn't enough for me. Worth a look, anyway, as you really don't need an "instructor" for yoga.
post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


http://www.gaiam.com/rodney-yee-a-m-yoga/05-52899.html?start=4&cgid=3010200


I like Rodney Yee's videos. They come at least somewhat from a male perspective of yoga without leaving the core practice. I find it is hard to go to a class consistently, and once a week isn't enough for me. Worth a look, anyway, as you really don't need an "instructor" for yoga.

 

 

++++ on Rodney Yee.

 

The AM is a great video. Five 20 minute routines, each very different. I do it five days a week. long enough to do something; short enough to actually do it.

post #16 of 63

Thanks NB and Mom.  I just ordered the AM and the for Athletes.  They have a special now of 2 DVD's for $16.98 + shipping.

post #17 of 63
That's a good combo. I have gotten away from the Yoga for Athletes...when I did that program regularly along with power yoga and a few others I was easily in the best flexible shape of my life. I'm going to get back into it this summer, it is really a complete program without requiring a bunch of advanced poses. Let us know what you think.
post #18 of 63
+1 for Mr Yee. Eye candy for female practitioners, too. smile.gif
post #19 of 63

My only complaint with GAIAM videos is that you can't put them on your phone or tablet for travel. Stupid.

post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post

My only complaint with GAIAM videos is that you can't put them on your phone or tablet for travel. Stupid.
Exercise DVDs are the only reason I own a DVD player. If only my favorite DVDs were available on iTunes.
post #21 of 63
Well, surprise, at least some Gaiam videos are on iTunes, apparently including AM Yoga. Who knew?
post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post

Well, surprise, at least some Gaiam videos are on iTunes, apparently including AM Yoga. Who knew?


 

They're also on Hulu Plus.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

the thing about yoga is it can get more intense the better you get.


Hunh, well, I must have the ultimate beginner mind - after attending dozens of yoga classes of various flavours (and going through videos, and being coached by GFs with instructor creds), I have yet to feel anything at all from it.      

Pilates := awesome.    Yoga:= TimesuckwithmysterybenefitsthatIshouldn'tfocusonandthatI'mapparentlynotgoodenoughtogetyetanywaybutseriouslyIshouldstickwithitforyetanother10weeksession.

post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post

Well, surprise, at least some Gaiam videos are on iTunes, apparently including AM Yoga. Who knew?


Wow. I sure didn't know that. and it's certainly not obvious on the Gaiam web site. Now if only I can figure out how to get them on my Samsung device.

post #24 of 63
I know, I've been whining to myself about this for ages and never thought to look until I saw your post.

Check on Amazon; over 40% of new phone sales are Androids, so you'd think they'd cover that part of the market.
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post

Well, surprise, at least some Gaiam videos are on iTunes, apparently including AM Yoga. Who knew?


 
They're also on Hulu Plus.
Now I feel really silly. wink.gif
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

 
the thing about yoga is it can get more intense the better you get.


Hunh, well, I must have the ultimate beginner mind - after attending dozens of yoga classes of various flavours (and going through videos, and being coached by GFs with instructor creds), I have yet to feel anything at all from it.      


Pilates := awesome.    Yoga:= TimesuckwithmysterybenefitsthatIshouldn'tfocusonandthatI'mapparentlynotgoodenoughtogetyetanywaybutseriouslyIshouldstickwithitforyetanother10weeksession.
Not everything's for everyone, as we all know. My body loves it, though "intense" isn't a kind of yoga practice that would interest me. Balance in mind, body, and spirit is what I try to get at in yoga. I've never quite adjusted to the now-not-so-new world of power yoga, hot yoga, and whatever other popular models are being sold these days.

Pilates, on the other hand, is a wonderfully intense workout. Interestingly, many Pilates exercises were distilled from yoga practices. Traditional yoga practitioners have great core strength and alignment, but Pilates gets you there faster because traditional yoga doesn't have that laser focus on the core.
post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post
 
Quote:
Pilates := awesome.    Yoga:= TimesuckwithmysterybenefitsthatIshouldn'tfocusonandthatI'mapparentlynotgoodenoughtogetyetanywaybutseriouslyIshouldstickwithitforyetanother10weeksession.
Not everything's for everyone, as we all know. My body loves it, though "intense" isn't a kind of yoga practice that would interest me. Balance in mind, body, and spirit is what I try to get at in yoga. I've never quite adjusted to the now-not-so-new world of power yoga, hot yoga, and whatever other popular models are being sold these days.

Pilates, on the other hand, is a wonderfully intense workout. Interestingly, many Pilates exercises were distilled from yoga practices. Traditional yoga practitioners have great core strength and alignment, but Pilates gets you there faster because traditional yoga doesn't have that laser focus on the core.

For me, Pilates is more fun than yoga.  That makes a difference because then I'm much more likely to do it often enough to make a difference.  Pilates reminds me of the warm up exercises I did as a kid in dance classes.  Not a surprise since that's one of the disciplines that Joseph Pilates drew on as he refined his ideas.  Discovered recently there is a mat-based strength Pilates class at my fitness center that includes using a stability ball and hand weights.

 

Came across a yoga routine for skiing/boarding by an instructor at Jackson Hole.  Mainly for warm up and cool down.  She demonstrates with two very fit young adults, an Olympic skier and a pro snowboarder.  Includes some movement to get the heart rate up . . . if you are flexible enough to do it. ;) 

 

 

post #27 of 63
Actually, although the guy in that video is strong, he wasn't flexible enough to do many of those poses safely; check the number of times the instructor and the female student retained at least some lumbar curve with shoulderblades in a neutral position, while his back was completely rounded with shoulders hunched forward. There are modifications for those who can't maintain a flat back in the full position due to tight hips and hams, and it's worth doing right to avoid strain, and maybe even more importantly to train the body into good form to protect the back and shoulders for all poses.

But maybe that's not necessary for that style of workout.

'Flow'or vinyasa yoga, where you move through alternating forward and backward bending poses with brief holds, is also a nice dynamic warm-up, but it's a slower process. Maybe that's why I like it; I often come into a session with stiff bits, and gradually working into a warmed up body feels better to me. But that's the perspective of a 55 year old with a history of injuries that were aggravated by bad form at the gym or yoga studio.

The bottom line is that you you're more likely to do what you enjoy, and having a fun routine makes tedious exercise more timetable.

BTW, marznc, I always preferred mat work to the reformer. Maybe my trainer wasn't very good at teaching the reformer, but the reformer felt awkward and restrictive, whereas her mat classes were a lot more interesting and varied, and she was great at checking us all to make things harder or easier for people at different levels. Or maybe it was just that I loved her music mixes.
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post

Actually, although the guy in that video is strong, he wasn't flexible enough to do many of those poses safely; check the number of times the instructor and the female student retained at least some lumbar curve with shoulderblades in a neutral position, while his back was completely rounded with shoulders hunched forward. There are modifications for those who can't maintain a flat back in the full position due to tight hips and hams, and it's worth doing right to avoid strain, and maybe even more importantly to train the body into good form to protect the back and shoulders for all poses.

But maybe that's not necessary for that style of workout.

'Flow'or vinyasa yoga, where you move through alternating forward and backward bending poses with brief holds, is also a nice dynamic warm-up, but it's a slower process. Maybe that's why I like it; I often come into a session with stiff bits, and gradually working into a warmed up body feels better to me. But that's the perspective of a 55 year old with a history of injuries that were aggravated by bad form at the gym or yoga studio.

The bottom line is that you you're more likely to do what you enjoy, and having a fun routine makes tedious exercise more timetable.

BTW, marznc, I always preferred mat work to the reformer. Maybe my trainer wasn't very good at teaching the reformer, but the reformer felt awkward and restrictive, whereas her mat classes were a lot more interesting and varied, and she was great at checking us all to make things harder or easier for people at different levels. Or maybe it was just that I loved her music mixes.

Yeah, did look like the women were more flexible than the young man.

 

I'm usually more interested in learning exercises from a group class that can be done elsewhere in the future.  Plus using the reformer at my fitness center costs extra.  So have had no interest in checking that out.

post #29 of 63

So here's why yoga can be* a good fit for me. I haven't done pilates, so I can't speak to that directly. But I'll bet many here are in the same situation as I am. 

 

The other physical activities I do and need to condition for tend to be fast-paced and dynamic, with the focus necessarily on executing the activity itself in a way that is effective and fun and safe. These sports use the body, but they are not really about the body. While doing them, attention in the moment is not - and, I would argue, really cannot be - on the subtleties of where your body is tight or loose or weak or strong or whatever. Nor can or should it be on balancing those inequities. Instead it has to be on skiing through that next gap in Halloween Glade or on not riding off the edge of a narrow plank bridge.

 

It's because of this backdrop that I find yoga rewarding. It's a time to get stronger and more flexible, yes. But it's HOW I get there that I like. I love camping out in a pose and making the little guided adjustments and unguidable discoveries - encouraging or discouraging - that go with that. I also like the fact that I do it in one place and without a lot of gear or planning or other hoopla. I learn what I am or am not doing and what I can or cannot do with my body better in this context than I do while skiing or biking or hiking because I'm not distracted by wanting to get on with the "real" activity; learning is the activity. For me there is no agenda. I have no specific "goal," other than to fend off Father Time a bit. I'm just doing it.

 

*if I'm patient, practice frequently, and don't try to do too much too fast ... lots of "if"s, and I fail to implement more often than I succeed

post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Yeah, did look like the women were more flexible than the young man.

All things being equal, that is almost always true. Men tend to have a hard time overcoming some basic hurdles in building a yoga practice. This tends to increase the rewards IMO, because those hurdles are often mind/body integration related bolstered by emotional resistance.
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