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Crafty_Dog
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« on: May 07, 2007, 08:43:21 AM »

This article from today's NYTimes leads me to open this thread.
=========================================

A Big Stretch
by SUKETU MEHTA
Published: May 7, 2007

I GREW up watching my father stand on his head every morning. He was doing sirsasana, a yoga pose that accounts for his youthful looks well into his 60s. Now he might have to pay a royalty to an American patent holder if he teaches the secrets of his good health to others. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 patents on yoga accessories and 2,315 yoga trademarks. There’s big money in those pretzel twists and contortions — $3 billion a year in America alone.

It’s a mystery to most Indians that anybody can make that much money from the teaching of a knowledge that is not supposed to be bought or sold like sausages. Should an Indian, in retaliation, patent the Heimlich maneuver, so that he can collect every time a waiter saves a customer from choking on a fishbone?

The Indian government is not laughing. It has set up a task force that is cataloging traditional knowledge, including ayurvedic remedies and hundreds of yoga poses, to protect them from being pirated and copyrighted by foreign hucksters. The data will be translated from ancient Sanskrit and Tamil texts, stored digitally and available in five international languages, so that patent offices in other countries can see that yoga didn’t originate in a San Francisco commune.

It is worth noting that the people in the forefront of the patenting of traditional Indian wisdom are Indians, mostly overseas. We know a business opportunity when we see one and have exported generations of gurus skilled in peddling enlightenment for a buck. The two scientists in Mississippi who patented the medicinal use of turmeric, a traditional Indian spice, are Indians. So is the strapping Bikram Choudhury, founder of Bikram Yoga, who has copyrighted his method of teaching yoga — a sequence of 26 poses in an overheated room — and whose lawyers sent out threatening notices to small yoga studios that he claimed violated his copyright.

But as an Indian, he ought to know that the very idea of patenting knowledge is a gross violation of the tradition of yoga. In Sanskrit, “yoga” means “union.” Indians believe in a universal mind — brahman — of which we are all a part, and which ponders eternally. Everyone has access to this knowledge. There is a line in the Hindu scriptures: “Let good knowledge come to us from all sides.” There is no follow-up that adds, “And let us pay royalties for it.”

Knowledge in ancient India was protected by caste lines, not legal or economic ones. The term “intellectual property” was an oxymoron: the intellect could not be anybody’s property. You did not pay your guru in coin; you herded his cows and married his daughter, and passed on the knowledge to others when you were sufficiently steeped in it. This tradition continues today, most notably in Indian classical music, none of whose melodies have been copyrighted.

Perhaps it is for this reason that Indians do not feel obligated to pay for knowledge. Pirated copies of my book are openly sold on the Bombay streets, for a fourth of its official price. Many of the plots and the music in Bollywood movies are lifted wholesale from Hollywood. I have sat in on Bollywood script meetings where we viewed American films and decided that replication was the sincerest form of flattery.

Still, Indians get upset every time they hear reports — often overblown — of Westerners’ stealing their age-old wisdom, through the mechanism of copyright law. They were outraged by a story last year of some Americans trying to copyright the sacred Hindu syllable “om” — which would be like trade-marking “amen.”

The fears may be exaggerated, but they are widespread and reflect India’s mixed experience with globalization. Western pharmaceutical companies make billions on drugs that are often first discovered in developing countries — but herbal remedies like bitter gourd or turmeric, which are known to be effective against everything from diabetes to piles, earn nothing for the country whose sages first isolated their virtues. The Indian government estimates that worldwide, 2000 patents are issued a year based on traditional Indian medicines.
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Mongo Gary
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2007, 11:50:51 PM »

WOW Crafty

Glad that you started  this, I been looking into a lot of diffrent systems for Yoga and to help me with stretching and my lopsided back ha ha ha ha . I like a lot of yoga and found a wonder full dvd from a Yogi slash martial artist. Hes name is Duncan Wong  and his website is yogic arts wonderfull little website  that I think would help a lot of pepole.
I liked the stick stretches at the Penn Semm and still do them and the alinement routine that you showed me.
Now I did not know that your father did yoga and I think that is a good thing. Now is there any type that you like besdies the Dr Gyi yoga Letha yoga system?  My all means check out Yogic arts Duncan dvds have a lot of breathing routines on there also. Have a good one Mongo Gary
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Mongo Gary
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2007, 09:22:00 PM »

Was really hoping that this thread would have taken off but bummer. Stretching is so important and I do feel a difference when I do a class . That may be from checking out the women in class though grin
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2007, 03:53:53 AM »

I too hope this thread will get some traction.

I know what you mean about women who do yoga smiley 0==8

GM Gyi is quite good at yoga and has solo practice and partner assisted practice with stick (a taste of which you now have) and with the staff-- which is a favorite of mine.

The sphinx position is an essential part of my alignment practice.  It is outstanding for releasing the psoas and related muscles, something which in my opinion is extraordinarily important.  My understanding of the position I learned from Sara Petitt, a yoga teacher of Guro Inosanto (I am quite proud to say that I introduced the two of them).  Squeeze the ankles and knees, draw up into the perineum, thrust hips into the mat, pull with the forearms, heart chakra foward, etc.  A variation upon which I have stumbled is, with all the aforementioned details in place, to bring the heels towards the butt (SLOWLY or cramping can result).  The idea is to put the hamstring/glutes in a postion of peak contraction, thus triggering peak release for the hip flexors.
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Bandolero
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2007, 02:19:07 PM »

At my age I have come to discover that when I stretch (be it traditional Yoga poses or no), before and after a workout, I feel much better the rest of that day and into the next day.  If I do it consistently for days at a time I find that my tendency towards arthritic pains noticeably (primarily knees) diminishes.

Separately and apart from Yoga, is what I guess is best called joint range of motion training.  That, coupled with stretching/Yoga, when I do it consistently is when I am at my most pain free.

My lady does some of the Power Yoga DVDs from Brian Kest, Baron Baptiste, and YogaHands (yoga with Heavy Hands).  Man those do not look like easy workouts.  I know I would have great difficulty doing them.  She rocks, but then again how many people can do 200 burpees in under 20 minutes?
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Mongo Gary
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2007, 04:09:39 PM »

Hey Cold War Scout
Can you give me a example of burpees? Is that like Hindu push up? From yoga's downward dog to a cobra stretch? Is that it?
Also Crafty yes that small taste of staff stretching and alignment has helped me greatly and this tread Will stay alive and will gain some traction on here. cool
I was also wondering about Gm Gyi I know some one that trains with my teacher from Ohio U where DR Gyi teaches at or at least did at one time well he had this woman come from GM GYI camp to do a letha yoga semm but I had to work that day and could not do it.But they did allot of staff and rope stretching. I was bummed out that I could not go but the guy is a bit of a prick not Gm Gyi but this guy who trains with my teacher . He never had her back and I think that is a big mistake.
Now I was wondering Crafty if you and Guro Inosanto and Gm Gyi believe in the healing aspects of yoga through breath control and do you practice any of this ?
In my first post on this tread I stated the founding of a guy named Duncan Wong and his breathing of Mudras and Bandhas sorry but I was Reading g the back of the dvd box. I know one is breathing and the other poses but  with your experience of stick fighting  did you find yourself healing up faster though some from of yoga and breathing?
also with your knee surgery did you find any of this helpfull?

I was hoping at some point that the leaders of the arts such as your self and Guro Inosanto ever thought about making a dvd of conditioning exercises that you have found helpfull to the public? ps if you did not get that email that i sent to you great work on Grandmasters Speaks vol 2 and snaggletooth I cannot tell you the way Tiffany and I  dig that a lot both of them. Ever think about Vol 3 and one on GM Gyi? I know hes Bando but also from what I have read a legand in his own right.
As allways woof Mongo Gary
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Bandolero
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2007, 09:49:36 PM »

Hey Cold War Scout
Can you give me a example of burpees? Is that like Hindu push up? From yoga's downward dog to a cobra stretch? Is that it?
Also Crafty yes that small taste of staff stretching and alignment has helped me greatly and this tread Will stay alive and will gain some traction on here. cool
I was also wondering about Gm Gyi I know some one that trains with my teacher from Ohio U where DR Gyi teaches at or at least did at one time well he had this woman come from GM GYI camp to do a letha yoga semm but I had to work that day and could not do it.But they did allot of staff and rope stretching. I was bummed out that I could not go but the guy is a bit of a prick not Gm Gyi but this guy who trains with my teacher . He never had her back and I think that is a big mistake.
Now I was wondering Crafty if you and Guro Inosanto and Gm Gyi believe in the healing aspects of yoga through breath control and do you practice any of this ?
In my first post on this tread I stated the founding of a guy named Duncan Wong and his breathing of Mudras and Bandhas sorry but I was Reading g the back of the dvd box. I know one is breathing and the other poses but  with your experience of stick fighting  did you find yourself healing up faster though some from of yoga and breathing?
also with your knee surgery did you find any of this helpfull?

I was hoping at some point that the leaders of the arts such as your self and Guro Inosanto ever thought about making a dvd of conditioning exercises that you have found helpfull to the public? ps if you did not get that email that i sent to you great work on Grandmasters Speaks vol 2 and snaggletooth I cannot tell you the way Tiffany and I  dig that a lot both of them. Ever think about Vol 3 and one on GM Gyi? I know hes Bando but also from what I have read a legand in his own right.
As allways woof Mongo Gary


I don't have my video handy but here is a link to a couple of web sites that demonstrate it.

http://www.rosstraining.com/articles/burpeeclip.htm

http://www.teamruthless.com/100_1201.MOV

The emphasis should be on an exploding jump.  Not a mere jump, but a driving upwards exploding jump.
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Mongo Gary
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2007, 10:05:50 AM »

Many thanks Cold War Scout now I know what a burpee is. Squat trust with a plyo jump looks like alot of fun. Now I was wondering litle bit about you I have seen you post a bit on here and was wondering about your backround a bit. Are you from Cali ? Fight alot of gatherings and your take on yoga and the healing benefits to heal after such a event.Mongo
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Bandolero
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2007, 12:19:09 PM »

Many thanks Cold War Scout now I know what a burpee is. Squat trust with a plyo jump looks like alot of fun. Now I was wondering litle bit about you I have seen you post a bit on here and was wondering about your backround a bit. Are you from Cali ? Fight alot of gatherings and your take on yoga and the healing benefits to heal after such a event.Mongo

Remember a burpee involves a pushup as well.  Without a pushup, as my friend Ross Enamait says, it's just a burp.

I live in the DC area.

Have never fought in a Gethering.  I am just a big wannabe.  I have thought about it but the truth is that at age 52 I want to keep enjoying the ability to collect the pension that I spent 25-years of other sh!t earning.

When it comes to yoga I can only speak to the benefits I see it has on my aging body.  You young guys who aren't doing flexibility and range of motion training now will be sorry as hell later.  Thta is one promise I can make unabashedly to you.  grin
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Mongo Gary
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2007, 12:36:07 PM »

Amen brother about flexibility and at the age of 39 have been stretching for a long time on my own but now really looking into styles of yoga . The gym where i train at offers it but some are not good teachers  and have bad credentials but  know a few that are good and been learing from them.
No wannabes here if your on here then you doing good and I have not fought in a gathering myself but thinking about it a lot. I been doing martial arts for a while and did the Dog Brothers semm in Penn this past march and also did privates with Crafty wow that was great stuff and at 54  Crafty is the man. But some of the alignment stuff we went over was great and helped me out a great deal. Have a good one Cold War and keep streaching if you find the time check out duncan wong yogi arts[u][/u]
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Bandolero
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2007, 01:28:08 PM »

Amen brother about flexibility and at the age of 39 have been stretching for a long time on my own but now really looking into styles of yoga . The gym where i train at offers it but some are not good teachers  and have bad credentials but  know a few that are good and been learing from them.
No wannabes here if your on here then you doing good and I have not fought in a gathering myself but thinking about it a lot. I been doing martial arts for a while and did the Dog Brothers semm in Penn this past march and also did privates with Crafty wow that was great stuff and at 54  Crafty is the man. But some of the alignment stuff we went over was great and helped me out a great deal. Have a good one Cold War and keep streaching if you find the time check out duncan wong yogi arts[u][/u]

Can you tell us a little about Duncan Wong yoga and how it is different (if it is at all) from other yoga systems?  My lady is always interested in something different/something new when it comes to yoga.

The "big thing" now I hear is hot box yoga.  I guess the box must be pretty hot after doing yoga for an hour in 100 degree heat.  grin
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Dog Robertlk808
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2007, 03:03:57 PM »

Quote
You young guys who aren't doing flexibility and range of motion training now will be sorry as hell later.  Thta is one promise I can make unabashedly to you.


I hear that, I have been interested in the "hot box" for a while it is something that I will add to my list to create balance and "Walk as a warrior for all my days"
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peregrine
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2007, 04:44:39 PM »

Crafty- excellent post on the sphinx and your results. Thanks for that tidbit. Very useful. anymore? knee stuff? upperback?
Anyone read any books with regards to the physiological results of each pose? i have seen book in the mega bookstores but the title slips me.

My gf used to be really into hot yoga doing the Bikram version. I thought it was useful and had a purpose for longevity and range of motion. I doubted the reports of increased muscle 'strength'(relative). I see flexibility and longevity as part of a continuum of training including strength/flexibility/endurance/speed/power and a bunch of other facets.

I am getting part of my flexibility work in post workout in a sauna, this seems to help. Before my weight workouts i get in 3-5minutes to break a light sweat with the juices flowing. Do a few dynamic stretches and jump start the mind. I then get a little cardio going for another 3-5minutes with a little more specific work. Then i proceed with my weights and follow with a few rounds in the sauna. Sonnon and Pavel have some intresting views on warmups and cooldowns that i find worth mentioning. I also think finishing with the 'hot box' has a lasting effect with regards to metabolic conditioning and fat loss. It sure conditions one to lose water. Though i am wary of the sanitation of some saunas. uck.

 
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sting
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2007, 04:54:17 PM »

When it comes to yoga I can only speak to the benefits I see it has on my aging body.  You young guys who aren't doing flexibility and range of motion training now will be sorry as hell later.  Thta is one promise I can make unabashedly to you.  grin

It's clear that you've found an activity that suits you and keeps you physically-active.  However, I am skeptical that yoga or "flexibility and range of motion training" holds any monopoly on increasing the physical longetivity of the body.  I can cite numerous examples of pain-free senior that have never attended a single yoga class but have engaged in daily physical exercise with zero emphasis on increasing the range of motion throughout their lifetimes.  Yoga is an activity of exotic poses that appeals to practitioners placing faith in charismatic, confident presentations of body exercises from a far away place.  The US/European dynamic equivalent are the morning calisthenics routines of the 50s which are only now being rediscovered only after they've been displaced by a generation of muscle-thickening isolation exercises.  The benefits of the "placebo effect" are well-noted in drug tests, and there is little reason to exclude that from the actual benefits of yoga.  Yoga and Tai Chi are better than sitting on your butt in front of the TV, but the net effect of yoga in the US has been to displace aerobics classes and exclude the obese population that are better-served by activities that raise the heart rate and exercise muscles in more useful motions that are more akin to those used in day-to-day life.  I'll think about standing on my head for physical development the next time I pass on taking the elevator in favor of the stairs.

Though, I have to say that a good choke-out is a great way to relieve a headache built by a day of eye strain from a computer screen.





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Dog Robertlk808
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2007, 05:33:23 PM »

Though, I have to say that a good choke-out is a great way to relieve a headache built by a day of eye strain from a computer screen.

That and delivering a  good beating with stick  grin
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2007, 06:34:05 PM »

Guro Inosanto recommended to me a yoga headstand as a way to help adjust to jet lag.
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Bandolero
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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2007, 08:51:34 PM »

I do way more than Yoga on any given day.  Any stretching/yoga/range of motion training I do is merely a supplement to the main workout.  It works for me so I will stick with it.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2007, 08:53:11 PM by Cold War Scout » Logged

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2007, 10:02:28 PM »

Woof Baltic Dog:

I think you underestimate yoga a bit.  Certainly there are versions that are naught but pleasant relaxation (nothing wrong with that) AND there are versions which are quite vigorous and physically demanding.  Ever see Rickson Gracie"s yoga in the documentary "Choke"?  There is additional footage which did not make the documentary which I have seen which is also quite impressive.  I have seen the Machado brothers do similar yoga which also descends from Orlando Cani's "Gimnastica Natural".  I have some footage Carlos M. doing some of it in my house on 4th street some 10-12 years ago.  Also quite impressive.  Roger Machado has taken his "yoga jiu jitsu" to a high level.  Guro Inosanto has trained with him extensively in it and has blended in silat movements to his personal expression as well. 

I think if you were to see any of these men do their yoga you would adjust your opinion.

In my own thought process for myself I think in terms of ALIGNMENT and ELASTICITY more than "stretching". 

PS:  Don't let him fool you; CWS is a pretty bad ass mo-fo in his own right. 
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Bandolero
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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2007, 05:55:39 AM »

I seem to recall Sonny Puzikas, a few weeks back, making favorable comments about Tai Chi and Yoga.  Not the incense burning and chanting kind, but the systems/movements which are quite physical.  Like I said, I have seen some of the Power Yoga workouts my lady does, and there ain't nothing easy about them.  If such workouts can challenge somebody who can do 200 burpees in under 20 minutes, then such workouts are physically challenging.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2007, 07:44:13 AM »

2x World Wrestling Champ, world class MMA coach and general bad *ss Rico Chiaparelli often begins his workouts with Tai Chi.  He doesn't do the forms, he works with the core movements
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armydoc
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« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2007, 08:13:42 AM »

Those of you interested in the "Yang" side of Yoga should check out Scott Sonnon's work on www.rmaxinternational.com

He has his own version of Yoga that he calls "Prasara Yoga" that is a mix of traditional Yoga and his own "bodyflow" exercises.  I'm not very familiar with Yoga, but it looks very challenging to me!

He also has a program that he calls  "Forward Pressure, The Yang of Yoga" which uses the transitions between Yoga postures to build strength as opposed to the "Yin" side of Yoga that most people are familiar with that emphasizes relaxation and flexibility.

I make use of some "Yoga" derived exercises that date back to the wrestlers in India.   I learned them several decades ago from my first Wing Chun instructor who just happened to be Indian.   Matt Furey incorporates them into the "big 3" of his Combat Conditioning program.   They are the "Hindu Push Up" or "Dand" and the "Hindu Squat" or "Baituk."   I haven't tried burpees before, but they look like a combination of the Dand and Baituk.  I'll have to give them a try!  smiley

Keith
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Bandolero
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« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2007, 11:20:50 AM »

Those of you interested in the "Yang" side of Yoga should check out Scott Sonnon's work on www.rmaxinternational.com

He has his own version of Yoga that he calls "Prasara Yoga" that is a mix of traditional Yoga and his own "bodyflow" exercises.  I'm not very familiar with Yoga, but it looks very challenging to me!

He also has a program that he calls  "Forward Pressure, The Yang of Yoga" which uses the transitions between Yoga postures to build strength as opposed to the "Yin" side of Yoga that most people are familiar with that emphasizes relaxation and flexibility.

Sonnon's Body Flow and Prasara Yoga is like yoga on steroids.  I'll bet many Yoga regulars could not do half of that stuff.
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Karsk
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« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2007, 12:38:09 PM »

A recent bit of research on Tai Chi appeared in MSN.com.  Here is an exerpt from a related site ( http://www.anitavestal.net/taichi.htm )

Quote


UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute September, 2003 Mind over Matter: Tai Chi Class Boosts Shingles Immunity, Improves Physical Functioning in Older Adults

UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute researchers report that older adults in a 15-week Tai Chi class saw immunity factors that suppress shingles soar 50 percent. In addition, participants showed significant improvement in their physical health and ability to move through their day.

Appearing in the September edition of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, findings of the randomized, controlled clinical trial are the first to demonstrate a positive, virus-specific immune response to a behavioral intervention.

“Our findings offer a unique and exciting example of mind over matter,” said Dr. Michael R. Irwin, a professor at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and director of the Institute’s Cousin’s Center for Psychoneuroimmunology. “A large body of research shows how behavior can negatively affect the immune system and health, but ours is the first randomized, controlled study to demonstrate that behavior can have a positive effect on immunity that protects against shingles. The findings are particular noteworthy as Tai Chi Chih or “meditation with movement” increased immunity in older adults who are at risk for herpes zoster.

“The improvements in both immunity and physical functioning were significant by widely accepted measures of each, and all with no surgery, no drugs and no side effects,” Irwin said. “We were particularly struck by improvements in what subjects were able to accomplish physically as a result of participating in these classes. In fact, older adults who had more impairment present at the start of the study showed the greatest improvement and benefit at the end.”

The varicella zoster virus, or shingles, can cause a painful skin rash with intermittent pain that can last for months or years. Even when the rash subsides, skin in the affected area can remain extremely painful to the touch.

The virus lurks in the nerves of virtually everyone who has had chicken pox, but the immune system typically prevents outbreaks. This cell-mediated immunity to the virus declines with age, however, leaving older adults particularly susceptible to the painful condition. The greater the decline, the greater the risk. No vaccination against shingles exists.

The study randomly assigned 36 men and women age 60 or older to a 15-week program of three 45-minute Tai Chi classes a week or to a wait list. To qualify, each volunteer had to show immunity to varicella zoster virus, but not to have had a history of shingles. They also had to be able to walk. Three class members dropped out before the study ended due to transportation issues. One member of the control group dropped out.

Varicella zoster virus-specific cell-mediated immunity was measured before the program began and one week after the program ended. Doctors used the Medical Outcome scale to assess physical functioning before the program began; at five, 10 and 15 weeks during the program; and one week after the program ended.

The study was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a unit of the National Institutes of Health.

Co-authors of the study were Jennifer L. Pike and Jason C. Cole of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Department of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Dr. Michael N. Oxman of the University of California at San Diego and the San Diego Veterans Affairs Healthcare System.

The UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute is an interdisciplinary research and education institute devoted to the understanding of complex human behavior, including the genetic, biological, behavioral and sociocultural underpinnings of normal behavior, and the causes and consequences of neuropsychiatric disorders.

End Quote


In Tai Chi writings, there is often a discussion of the difference between "Jing" and "Li"  I forget which is which...but...one is referring to muscular development, intensity, straining, youthful vigor  and the other is associated with relaxation, vital energy, calmness, and softness....

Generally, the first is considered to be not so good for your health and the latter is preferred. 

This is of interest to me as I get older.  On the one hand I want to maintain muscle mass and strong tendons and ligaments. On the other hand I want to avoid straining and to move economically and more cleverly.  I am interested in investigating whether these two goals/approaches  conflict with one another or if there is a way to do both.

I think this relates to the yoga discussion because I think that yoga tends to promote the latter approach to fitness.

I think that this conversation is also related to "internal" vs external"  and physical vs spiritual ways of looking at things.  Often these concepts are presented as a duality...in dynamic opposition to one another...but how does this work in pragmatic fitness maintenance?

Karsk
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TomFurman
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« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2007, 12:57:00 PM »

This is a post from Steve Maxwell, a Masters Jits Champ several times over and one of the hardest core conditioning trainers around.
It is from Steve Cotter's forum. www.fullkontact.com . Very interesting observations.

"I drove from Philly to Rhinebeck, NY. I had stayed and did some training at my old gym, Maxercise, for a couple of weeks. I was keen on getting back on the road to the Omega Institute, in the Catskills and training with this amazing Ukranian yoga master. I do use the term 'master' loosely. This guy is the real deal. He earned a master of sport in swimming back in the USSR (which unlike some claims can be proven). He has a PHd in robotics and submarine design. He dropped out of western culture to study eastern philosophy. He claims that the western mind has developed with primary concerns regarding the outer world of form like banking or technology. His studies of the eastern mindset showed much more developement of the inner worlds. He went to Nepal 26 times to train in the Buddist monasteries and to India 41 times to train under various yoga gurus, most of whom no one has ever heard of. His system of Universal Yoga was a complete ass kicking. He demonstrated for the class some advanced techniques and performed some beautiful Vietnamese yoga of which I had never heard of. He later hooked up his computer to a large screen TV and showed us pictures and videos of his travels. According to Andrey, most of what is done in the US is not yoga, but a dumbed, watered down version of the real eastern thing. His system was such a balance of strength, flexibility and stamina. He taught us the deeper energetic work along with the visualizations that are supposed to accompany the physical movements. I also learned some great pranyama techniques for walking meditations and running. facinating stuff. I was very fatigued by weekends end. I am going to study with this guy for a month during his intensive teacher training sometime in the fall. I've been incorporating his stuff in with my own system of physical culture with good effect."
Steve Maxwell
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sting
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« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2007, 07:01:17 PM »

As seen in the previous posts, I touched some nerves with my flippant remarks about yoga.  In no way did I mean to discount the pleasure and function of yoga.  Rather, I challenged the popular notion that yoga is a superior method for increasing youth and maintaining the body over time.  In a society that is lectured about perennial dehydration by the bottled water industry, yoga has displaced decent sport activity with variants that involve group dehydration in hot rooms.  "Feel the toxins oozing from your skin!" (No guro has ever quantified the toxins lost along with essential water and salts) Hot yoga is the Atkins/Zone diet of exercise.  Its ultimate appeal is that clothing is looser after a workout.  And what better to recover from hot yoga than with some Peregrino that is shipped from halfway around the world.  The primary appeal of the Atkins/Zone diets is the water, used to store glycogen, is no longer needed and purged in a matter of days.   See the pattern?

Some have raised the point that yoga actually a practice that encompasses more than static strength poses and muscle stretches.   I can only comment on the numerous yoga regima that I have mostly watched and to a much smaller extent tried.  I have respect for an individual's pursuit and just seek to challenge vague, ambiguous claims that yoga improves all other physical pursuits, but those pursuits can not improve yoga.




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maija
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« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2007, 07:44:37 PM »

i started training tai chi in 1986 in a freezing church hall in england. i got hooked when after standing in a posture with certain alignments for about 5 minutes, i started to sweat and my heart rate went up and i thought...i must investigate this more!
i still practice tai chi, but for the last 12 years my main practice has been bagua zhang, another of the so-called internal arts based on walking around in a circle. looks weird but really great body training for balance, flexibility and gaining total mobility of all the joints. it also stretches the tendons and twists the muscles, pumping more blood around the system whilst keeping the body aligned with gravity...i.e what it was originally designed for!
i am lucky that my teacher, luo de xiu, from taiwan teaches it as a true martial art., not just for health. i asked him once did he find it strange that something that was so healthy for you was also good for training to fight, and he said that to be a good fighter you needed good co-ordination and structure, the ability to issue power at will, hence balance and flexibility, agility -  mental and physical, a calm mind and a clear spirit...so what different?!!
anyway, as it turned out this training held me in good stead when my eskrima teacher, maestro sonny umpad, taught what he called the "moro warm up". very twisty stuff with high and low stances mostly done on the balls of the feet, no knees, but sometimes with the elbow almost touching the floor! sometimes the whole body balanced on the ball of one foot. it contains many of the same body alignments as i was familiar with and it's a great stretching series.
i start my class with them every week. very cool stuff.
i tell you, when you get over 30 the warrenty runs out, and then over 40 you gotta use it or lose it! so anything that keeps the system working, is good with me.

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Dog Robertlk808
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« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2007, 07:54:35 PM »

Hi Maija,

How would one be able to tell that they have a good Tai Chi instructor? I mean I can ask around but I don't really know anyone and their answer will probably be biased.
What qualities would a begginner to look for?

Also to others who practice Yoga what qualities should beginners look for in a Yoga instructor?
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« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2007, 11:28:47 AM »

hi robert,
IMHO you cannot learn tai chi, or any of the "internal" arts without a teacher who is hands-on. by that i mean that the teacher should let you touch them so you can physically feel what they are doing. they should also correct your alignments by physically moving you into the correct posture. learning structure is first, then you learn to move that structure through space without losing the alignments. over time this becomes smooth and seamless, slow and connected which is why it is good for you.
almost through necessity this means that the teacher should be able to demonstrate the martial applications of each move in the form. after all this is reason why the postures and the form look like they do.
it is not that you need to learn tai chi to fight, or even have that mindset, it's just that the whole thing is meaningless if you don't understand why you are moving your body in this certain way. many people learn to wave their arms around in the air without any corrections from their teacher....for whatever reason. perhaps it brings a mild feeling of well being, but it is certainly not tai chi as it was intended.
so i guess i'm saying be wary of teachers who do not pay a great deal of attention on structure, especially if they focus very early on on feeling the "energy" or "qi" without any physical basis. also don't learn from someone who does not let you feel what they are doing and just teaches from a distance.
tai chi, hsing-i and bagua are all fabulous, sustainable, eternally engageing forms of movement that connect the mind to the body. you can get better and better at them until you die! AND they are martial arts.
BUT....you need to find a good teacher, otherwise you are just waving your arms around and feeling slightly good about it, without getting the real benefits the training can offer.
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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
Miyamoto Musashi.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2007, 12:06:59 PM »

When I was in Taiwain (1984?) for a couple of weeks I practiced in the park in the morning.  While there I saw some hsing-i guys practicing and was intrigued.  Also, for some reason I am curious about bagua.  Occasionally over the years people familiar with it have mentioned that some of the things I do overlap with bagua.
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maija
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« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2007, 09:03:02 PM »

hi guro crafty,
here is a clip of my teacher doing a few bagua applications:  http://youtube.com/watch?v=koYMr9ZJi8A . the clip labeled "gao style pre-heaven bagua" shows some of the circle walking body training. the "snake throw" clip is also nice.
i found the transition from bagua to eskrima quite straightforeward as there seem to be many commonalities, so i am not surprised that people have seen bagua in your movement from your fma/ silat background. there is a strong cross body co-ordination in the system, i.e left hand/arm with right foot/leg and vice versa aswell as other things like the toe in and toe out steps/kicks/sweeps.
in my system, the straight line forms which show the applications, also seem to have a strong weapons element even though they are done empty hand, and it was training with sonny that helped me understand them better.
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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2007, 12:02:14 AM »

Very nice movement!
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Russ
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« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2007, 06:46:43 AM »

Yesterday, we began class at the Kunming Botanical Gardens with some Yoga stretching.

A) The first exercise was a fairly traditional movement that Raw Dog used to have us do before training Muay Thai:

1) legs Indian style (Native American I should say!), chin up, reach forward with your arms and rest your elbows on the ground in from of your knees as far forward as you can manage.  Keep your chin up and face forward.

I was shocked to see that one of my students, a 2nd Degree black belt in TKD and current teacher who is very athletic and flexible, could barely place his elbows on the ground in front of him.  Does this indicated that flexibility within the hips versus in the hamstrings and quads (as most TKD requires) are perhaps not similarly attained?  I warned him that as he got older, hip injuries from TKD could be debilitating if he did not loosen up his hips.

2) keeping legs in the same position, place either hand at the base of the spine, palm down, wrist facing toward base of spine.  Use the other hand on your knee to assist you in twisting your torso so that you are facing backward and looking directly over your shoulder.  Often, this will crack my back as well!

Complete 3 sets of the movements above.

B) Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Yoga stretch-

This is an isolation of a Yoga Jiu Jitsu movement that Crafty Dog showed us in June 2001 in the IAMA DBMA Class.

The full movement rotates your legs either clockwise or counterclockwise beneath you at the knees while you move between a seated position to rising on your shins to complete a circle with your legs.  No hand involvement is allowed.  You simply allow your legs to rotate beneath you while you maintain a quiet upper torso.

The isolation takes place while one leg is to the rear and one leg is in front of you bent at the knee with the sole of your foot facing toward your opposite quadricept.  Lean forward onto this front leg and feel the stretch in your hip.  Alternate legs.  Raw Dog showed this isolation to one student who was having a lot of lower back pain.  Actually, I think he mentioned he had seen Dr. Gyi do this one.  Hmmm......

The next movement is a common stretch:
Seated, soles of your feet together in front of you, push knees down with elbows as you pull up on your feet.

To cool down, we worked two of Dr. Gyi's Dhanda Yoga movements using a 36" stick for assisted stretching and massage:

1) side grip deltoid stretch
2) overhead lat. dorsi stretch

And one Letha Yoga movement (I believe) that Guro Crafty showed us in the DBMA Class at IAMA the day before the November 2003 Gathering:

Partner lies face down, wrap your arms at your bicep around his or her ankles.  Adjust your legs into a squatting position (commonly seen in Asia as waiting for the bus or taking a dump, also seen/ known in the West for the posture of skiers while tucking during the Downhill Event in Alpine Skiing) as you extend your partners legs into a stretch position and raise their hips from the ground slightly.  Use your leverage from this squatting position to stretch your partner's hips.

And if that's not thoroughly confusing.... you should see what we did during the actual class!
« Last Edit: May 20, 2007, 11:49:56 AM by "C-Bad Dog" Russ » Logged

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peregrine
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« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2007, 04:07:14 PM »

Hsing i vs Bagua

http://youtube.com/watch?v=l6avEJprUm8

earlier in the movie he walks the circle
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krait44
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« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2007, 09:13:48 AM »

Many studies have been replicated testing mindfulness based practises. Yoga and Tai Chi definitely fit into this umbrella term. They are being examined rigoressly in a new field called, Behavioral Medicine. I have read many studies where tremendous efficacy has been demonstrated on a wide array of diseases.

There is no question that mindfulness based practise holds great promise for many modern diseases in our country. I don't find the claims of yoga vague or ambiguous. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't start seeing it in many hospitals along side standard treatments. 
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« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2007, 11:39:08 AM »

Maija said, "I tell you, when you get over 30 the warrenty runs out and then over 40
you gatta use it or lose it..."  I don't like the implications now that I am 50  smiley

Sting said, "I challenged the popular notion that yoga is a superior method for increasing youth
and maintaining the body over time". 

I don't know about "increasing youth", Ponce de Leon and I am still looking for that fountain,
but having played competitive tennis in college, run marathons, been a gym rat, in the
last few years I have found yoga to be truly beneficial.  I have never been so limber,
my knees don't hurt anymore, (I used to fence and still practice lunges) and I actually feel
light on my feet and balanced.  Oddly, my legs  are stronger than ever and the amount of weight I can push is
nearly the same or more.   And for my age, my speed is excellent.  I am not saying yoga is a panacea,
but I will contend that it is an excellent workout, especially if combined with a little aerobic exercise.
Further, as pointed out by krait44, while I have high blood presuure (bad genes and stress?) Tai Chi
and Yoga have been proven to be of benefit.  And, while I happen to be a hot yoga advocate (you
can stretch a lot better versus being in a cold environment) one of the benefits of yoga (and Tai Chi) is that
it can be done anywhere, by yourself, with little or no cost or needed equipment.  Maybe it's
not for everyone, but truly it does have a place.
james
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2010, 09:27:33 AM »

Cindy and I are taking advantage of an introductory offer of one month in Bikram Yoga.   More on this soon.
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JDN
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« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2010, 09:46:30 AM »

Good; I am glad you are doing the introductory offer.  Merely going once does not
give you a good perspective.  Frankly, because of the heat, merely surviving the first
time is the goal.  But you get used to it after 2-3 visits.

I look forward to your comments.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2010, 10:38:19 AM »

From my comments posted on the DBMA Assn forum:

"As I may have mentioned, the last several months I've been having a lot of hip and lower back pain.  Gradually I have been figuring out the solution and feel like I am on the road forward.

"What is helping at the moment is the Bikram Yoga in combination with weight lifting-- I am experiencing a lot of synergy between the two. e.g. Tuesday was Bikram followed by Squat Day yesterday (Wednesday) and I plan to do Bikram again today and maybe tomorrow.  It is intense, but the Bikram people speak of geometric progress with training it on successive days.

"For reasons beyond my ken, I began yesterday with light weight cleans for speed and form; this seemed to set up my shoulder girdle for nice support for the bar as I began squatting.  For some reason I wanted to alternate with incline bench machine (a very good fluid one with well designed bio-mechanics) with my sets of squats-- maybe also related to opening the shoulder girdle.  I hit my mark for the day for squats at 5x221 (45lb bar + 80 klilos in weights) I am now getting into territory which begins to challenge me a bit and do not have a sense yet of whether I should go up 10 or 20 kilos for next week.  Also, the gym has a very interesting new machine for "bicycling" with the arms.  It is EXTREMELY well made and seems to do very good things."

I would add that I LOVE the heat, but am not wild about some of the BY postures for me and find somewhat irksome the pressurefrom teachers pushing me to precision in form that is currently out of reach for me. 
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JDN
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« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2010, 07:30:41 PM »

  Also, the gym has a very interesting new machine for "bicycling" with the arms.  It is EXTREMELY well made and seems to do very good things."

I would add that I LOVE the heat, but am not wild about some of the BY postures for me and find somewhat irksome the pressurefrom teachers pushing me to precision in form that is currently out of reach for me. 

The bicycling machine with arms you mention is a marvelous machine.  I injured my knee once; it was my primary method of aerobic exercise.  Also, I injured my shoulder once; again this machine was great.  Unfortunately, I can only find it at my physical therapist.

As for Bikram, glad you like the heat; I do too.  In the heat you can do more, yet be careful; you can pull something very easy (I did twice) overextending at first especially in the cold weather after class.  Yet I find the heat cleansing.  Ignore the "push BEYOND your limit" chant.

Regarding the "pushing"; if it is done constructively, i.e. roll your right shoulder in I appreciate the attention, or simply "try harder" but if it borders on harassment (I understand your point) I either ignore them and/or politely after class tell them; I can be direct smiley  that  I do not appreciate being pushed beyond my limits.  In your case, given your physical exercise routine, I am sure you know you body.  Work on form, but don't push beyond limits. 

Regarding "irksome" again I understand your point; but to BY's credit; each pose has a purpose.  It can be boring, but each pose has benefit even if you are not
able to do it to the maximum, i.e. extend your leg in the standing series, or touch your head to the ground, etc.  A good attempt, pushing to your limit
is beneficial in and of itself.  And after time, you will be surprised at your progress.

My objection is the repetition of the poses.  It's the Jack in the Box approach to Yoga (he's a brilliant businessman). That's why I mix other yoga classes. And weights, etc. Plus aerobic.  In the end I find myself going once every two weeks or so, sometimes more often. 
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JDN
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« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2011, 07:35:46 PM »

Cindy and I are taking advantage of an introductory offer of one month in Bikram Yoga.   More on this soon.

I am looking forward to hearing your comments/analysis of Bikram Yoga......
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2011, 08:18:51 PM »

Both Cindy and I liked our month there a lot.  Speaking for myself,  I think it has improved my health, my alignment, melted a few pounds, and has synergistic effects with the rest of my training e.g. I get more out of my own stretching routine.

Dislikes:  Some of the positions are forced for me and with some of the instructors I have had to be assertive to prevent them for pushing me to places I did not want to go; for a methodology based upon flexibility some of the thinking is surprisingly rigid-- I would think if a 58 year old man says he has had some injuries and would rather avoid certain things that would be the end of it  tongue   Also, it's a small thing, but having to return to Savasana every rep on the floor exercises is rather tedious, indeed it annoys the excrement out of me sometimes. 

I twisted my ankle badly about 10 days ago and so have not been going in-- I don't want to hear siht from the instructors for not doing it "right".  What does that say?!?

Bottom line, I will continue to do it because it gives me good results, but am irked by some aspects of the experience.
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maija
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« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2011, 08:45:28 AM »

I have not really done very much yoga at all, one of the reasons being the 'scene' and the other the general quality of the instructors. Many seem under qualified to keep people injury free by the way they teach - either by not paying attention to anyone in the room - or as in your experience, forcing the poses.
This is not universal though - I went to one awesome class in Santa Monica with some friends the morning after I came down to The Gathering. It was a 6.30am class taught by a French chap, and it was really, really good. His knowledge of body mechanics was top notch, and he gave personal attention to everyone, moving them and helping them all within their capabilities. He stands out because he was so different.
It was one of the most exhausting workouts I've ever got through, really good, and I'd study with him again in a heartbeat.
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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2011, 01:50:22 PM »

Both Cindy and I liked our month there a lot.  Speaking for myself,  I think it has improved my health, my alignment, melted a few pounds, and has synergistic effects with the rest of my training e.g. I get more out of my own stretching routine.

Dislikes:  Some of the positions are forced for me and with some of the instructors I have had to be assertive to prevent them for pushing me to places I did not want to go; for a methodology based upon flexibility some of the thinking is surprisingly rigid-- I would think if a 58 year old man says he has had some injuries and would rather avoid certain things that would be the end of it  tongue   Also, it's a small thing, but having to return to Savasana every rep on the floor exercises is rather tedious, indeed it annoys the excrement out of me sometimes.  

I twisted my ankle badly about 10 days ago and so have not been going in-- I don't want to hear siht from the instructors for not doing it "right".  What does that say?!?

Bottom line, I will continue to do it because it gives me good results, but am irked by some aspects of the experience.
Woof Guro Craftydog,
 So do you have a deeper understanding of what Don Juan was talking about, considering petty tyrants. cheesy
                 P.C.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2011, 04:26:13 PM »

Of course-- which makes them even more annoying-- perhaps elevating them from pinches tiranitos to repinches tiranitos. 

(BTW, of course "petty" is not a literal translatin of "pinche" but IMHO it actually is a rather good translation in the context here.)
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2011, 04:55:59 PM »

 grin
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JDN
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« Reply #45 on: November 27, 2011, 01:48:18 PM »

I went to a Yoga class this morning; actually I've gone the past few Sunday mornings.  It's Yoga to music; sounds a bit strange, but actually for an hour and fifteen minutes
it's a great workout.  I guess the music helps the time go fast.  It's a nice change of pace versus the gym.

It seems the Sunday instructor and part owner of the franchise knows you Marc.  We talked for a few minutes; he seems he knows a lot about BJJ.  And he rides an Italian motorcycle so
we talked about riding and bikes as well.


"After graduating from Cornell University, Jonathan moved to LA in the early 1990s to study Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu and martial arts under Rickson Gracie, Rigan Machado and Dan Inosanto. After playing college football and over two decades of training in martial arts, Jonathan's passion is yoga and loves how YogaHop yoga enhances and strengthens athletic performance in martial arts and all competitive sports."

http://www.yogahop.com/pas/instructors.asp?id=6
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #46 on: November 27, 2011, 04:44:43 PM »

Sounds like a very interesting concept.  I'd love to blend it with the "Hot Yoga" (Bikram) that I do from time to time.  I like the heat of the Bikram approach but sometimes feel constrained by the intolerance of the deviations my age and injuries need. 
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JDN
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« Reply #47 on: November 28, 2011, 10:19:48 AM »

I too enjoy, but feel constrained by Bikram.  "Lock out your knee" isn't always the solution.  Nor is "push is past where it hurts". 

Yoga Hop in contrast doesn't focus on form, although some participants are very good, or a set program, , but rather the focus is to keep moving.
The environment is artificially warm, but nothing near Bikram sweat box hot.  It's a fun alternative.

It's a good workout; a lot of twisting and stretching with some strength and abdominal exercises.  I believe they have another location in Santa Monica. 
That's not too far from your house.  You might try it.  I suggest the hour and fifteen minute class; you need to check since most of their classes are only one hour.
But I think you get a little extra work and it makes a difference.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2011, 09:18:28 PM »

Sounds interesting but Santa Monica is too far for me.  The wear on tear on my hips and lower back from 2 hours or so in the car would undo the good of the workout. 
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JDN
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« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2011, 09:53:22 PM »

Oh, I thought you were in the South Bay; that should only be 30 minutes or less each way. 
Combine that with shopping/eating afterwards in Santa Monica on the weekend it might make sense.

But I agree, if it's an hour each way it simply is not worth it. 

However, I did think it was interesting that Jonathan knew you.  Small world.
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