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Thread: Incorporating Primal into Yoga? Or just general personalisation. page 6

  1. #51
    YogaBare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaleoMom View Post
    Wow, what an incredible shame there is such lying going on! I don't understand the motives to sell others on what isn't working in someone's own life. That can just hurt so many people.
    People who need a lot of healing often grow desperate and cling to something that gave them some sort of results. It's very hard for them if it stops working because it's given them something to believe in. The more people they convince of their path, the more they can believe in it. It's a ping pong effect, but in the end a lot of people end up putting their faith in something that is limited, purely because of their blind desire for answers.
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by YogaBare View Post
    I think some people can thrive and build muscle on any diet, but for most people it's more difficult on plant-based diets.
    Sure. Body type has a lot to do with it, as does age, as does one's overall lifestyle (movement, etc). and just because something is slow doesn't mean it's less rigorous or vigorous. Man, mountain pose can be a seriously difficult posture when you're trying to truly align it properly.

    I get sore from it, anyway.

    Ha I get your drift, but that labelling doesn't bother me. True, Yoga was a whole school of philophy with many branches, and Hatha was the movement component, but when Western people first adopted it there was no yoga "chains" like Ashtanga, Anusara etc. and the label "Hatha yoga" just meant that you were doing the movement aspect of yoga as opposed to the other branches of Yoga like Raja (meditation) etc. This form of yoga was very traditional, and thus slow. As other teachers began to develop their styles, new yoga names were born, and people who wanted to indicate that they were sticking with the traditional form of yoga continued to call it Hatha yoga. Even India teachers in India call it Hatha.
    First, in the big-big picture, it is as we agree -- the yoga of postures is hatha yoga. Therefore astanga, etc are all hatha yoga. For me, the inaccuracy of asserting "hatha" as an alternative to 'astanga" is the peeve (or one of them).

    Where I disagree is in the historicity. First, hatha yoga has always been stylistically identified traditionally speaking -- either by lineage or location. And, in some instances, by outcome of technique. This is the traditional cultural behavior of india in the development of it's techniques. It is, of course, likewise true that any teacher of any kind of school of yoga as we understand it today will call it "hatha yoga." Because it is, no matter which lineage, location, or descriptive label applied to it.

    Second, vinyasa has as much historicity as "slow" forms. There is nothing more or less traditional about slow vs vinyasa forms. From what we can tell, certain hatha-kriya practices outlined in the pradapika among other texts show that vinyasas have been a part of the tradition for a long time. Likewise, we can look to buddhist forms of hatha yoga and see that many of them include vinyasa forms as part of their processes.

    I've had two really amazing yoga teachers who taught "hatha yoga"! I guess with anything in life, it's more about the teacher than the subject.
    Since all of my teachers have taught hatha yoga, I can't argue. In addition, they can describe very specifically the hatha yoga that they teach -- lineage, location, purpose/outcomes, and also what the class experience may be like. That's really the point of the labels.

    The difference is my experience of those people who label their yoga "hatha' and leave it at that in terms of interfacing with potential practitioners (students or clients -- whichever name you would apply to them). It is -- most crassly -- marketing. But it is unclear, vague marketing. It is usually accompanied by a vague description. And this appears to be an alternative "brand" of yoga, rather than being what yoga is (or the yoga of postures anyway).

    What is accurate is that it is *all* hatha yoga. What is accurate is that there are ways to describe what we do effectively -- in labeling and describing our classes.

    This way, people can get what they actually need. "Take hatha yoga" is vague and it's not the alternative to astanga. Astanga is hatha yoga. Instead, it's easier to assert might mean "Take a gentle yoga class. Or a restorative one. Or one that focuses on slow forms such as Iyengar or Gosh. Or. . .." There are lots of ways of describing these things without having to resort to the most general term which is being inaccurately applied.

    And that's the peeve.

    I have a general peeve with poor teaching, and honestly, over the many years and locations where I have worked, the teachers who want to use the term "hatha yoga" tend to be the ones who have the least training, the least connection to the tradition, and the least clarity in what they seek to provide for the students. They also tend to be dilettantes when it comes to both the practice and the teaching of yoga -- often giving up after teaching a few classes, or simply not showing up to teach or what have you.

    It's not to say that there aren't traditional teachers who can accurately use this label -- and describe clearly. The gurukalam where I practiced for a bit was great in that way.

    But when I trot past a gym marketing "hatha yoga!" I get this sinking feeling in my stomach that someone read a book and wanted to start teaching. lol Call me jaded. I've just experienced it too many times since 1997 to not just be reactive. LOL

  3. #53
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    Also: astanga, veganism, and adrenal fatigue. i am just making a note to come back to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YogaBare View Post
    People who need a lot of healing often grow desperate and cling to something that gave them some sort of results. It's very hard for them if it stops working because it's given them something to believe in. The more people they convince of their path, the more they can believe in it. It's a ping pong effect, but in the end a lot of people end up putting their faith in something that is limited, purely because of their blind desire for answers.
    Put that way, I suppose I do relate quite well. It is hard to understand when something works so great at one time and then starts failing the next.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

    Where I disagree is in the historicity. First, hatha yoga has always been stylistically identified traditionally speaking -- either by lineage or location. And, in some instances, by outcome of technique. This is the traditional cultural behavior of india in the development of it's techniques. It is, of course, likewise true that any teacher of any kind of school of yoga as we understand it today will call it "hatha yoga." Because it is, no matter which lineage, location, or descriptive label applied to it.

    Second, vinyasa has as much historicity as "slow" forms. There is nothing more or less traditional about slow vs vinyasa forms. From what we can tell, certain hatha-kriya practices outlined in the pradapika among other texts show that vinyasas have been a part of the tradition for a long time. Likewise, we can look to buddhist forms of hatha yoga and see that many of them include vinyasa forms as part of their processes.
    Sure What I was talking about though was the introduction of yoga to the West. It predominantly came through the hippie movement. In India, Yoga at that time was a spiritual path, complete with it's eight limbs, and those who studied it went the whole way. When the hippies came over they generally experimented with the other aspects of Yoga, but was got translocated to the West was predominantly the physical aspect, Hatha.

    Other Indian teachers saw the Western potential in this, and started adapting the physical yoga practice to siut the desires of its Western students. They knew Westerners wanted more disciple, science, and athleticism and they modified their practices to suit this. They then branded the yoga as theirs and thus we got Iyengar yoga, Astanga yoga etc. They were the early guys, but new "types" of yoga continued to be formed (Bikram yoga etc.) and nowadays Westerners are creating "styles" (Jivamukti, Anusaura etc).

    With the creation of all these brands, Hatha became a brand by default. The other aspects of Yoga are, of course, little known

    Don't get me wrong - I have no issue with the development of new styles - I find it interesting. But likewise I don't have issues with "Hatha" as a label. I do agree that it's a foundational yoga, but at the same time, it does suit the needs of some people quite well. Off the top of my head, I can't think of many other slow forms of yoga. Yin, restorative, and Tantra. All those are quite distinct in their approach. "Hatha" is a general approach. With the right teacher it can be quite beautiful. Anyway, I don't take any of these labels too seriously - a rose by any other name and all that

    But then again, you've been teaching for a lot longer than me, and it seems like teaching is much more a part of your life than it is mine. Maybe if I was as invested as you it would be a peeve of mine too, lol
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  6. #56
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    lots to say, but going to take a break for a few days.

  7. #57
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    I have been going to a very small Iyengar class for a number of years now and one of the prime motivators was the parlous state of my knees. My teacher is very knee orientated , but not about keeping them straight, she's hyper vigilant about not hyper extending the knees, pulling the knee caps up and making sure that we are engaging the musculature around the knee in order to support it and therefore support the rest of the legs, hips, spine etc. She always tells us to bend our knees slightly if we feel that we are ever at risk of hyperextension.

    "The teacher was very strict on protecting my knees by keeping them bolt-straight, even though this was an unnatural position for someone whose knee joints straighten to >180. When I changed studios and joined one closer to home, that teacher was as insistent"

    I think as someone else has suggested, that you had a bad teacher as Iyengar has been amazing for my knee. I have a ruptured ACL, articular damage on the other side, a disintegrating kneecap and no cartilage at all on the inside point of the joint. Iyengar yoga keeps my knee strong and stable.

    On a more general note, my yoga teacher talks a lot about intelligence - not doing things because you're told to, because you "think" you should, because everyone else does - but about applying your intelligence and allowing your body to tell you where is the right place for you to be. This applying not only to yoga but to how we live....which I find very Primal.

  8. #58
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    Astanga, Veganism, and Adrenal Fatigue -- a theory

    What is Adrenal Fatigue?

    Adrenal fatigue is when the adrenals do not function properly due to their overuse from stress. That stress can come from a variety of sources such as

    * recurrent disease, infection or illness
    * exposure to toxic chemical and pollutants for a long time
    * events or situations that place enormous burden on the body, such as major surgery, long-term malnutrition, or addiction
    * prolonged life stresses that create long-term physiological circumstances. (source)

    Adrenal fatigue has many symptoms, the two main ones being -- exhaustion/tiredness (even after good sleep, etc) and usually abrupt weight loss or rather abrupt decline in physical health overall. Often, it's both.

    Many people who are beginning to experience adrenal fatigue often recognize it as "feeling stressed." Overall, they are starting to feel overwhelm, and may just notice the symptoms of unusual tiredness and some abrupt health issues or even health issues that won't seem to go away or get better.

    Veganism

    Of course, we understand veganism to be a very simple diet based on plant food for nutrition. Vegans vary in how well they eat, but even assuming that a vegan is eating awesomely healthy at all times with all the right supplementations and the like, it is a difficult to process, highly "cleansing" (or "detoxing") diet. Certainly, for this last idea, it has it's uses as a detoxing diet.

    But as such, it is tough on the body. Detoxing is not easy on the body. It can be good, but it's hard on the body. From there, once you have detoxed, the body then has to rebuild and maintain itself -- and if it's doing so from a vegan diet, it's actually quite a challenge for some people (perhaps most people) to do. And this increases stress on the body.

    It might also be malnourishing, which is thought to be one of the causes of adrenal fatigue.

    Yoga

    Yoga is well known to be a stress reducer, but in my own observations and loose studies over the years, yoga actually stimulates the body in very specific ways. There are cortisol (the main stress hormone) releases. Endorphins are released toward the end of a session. And often, adrenaline is released in the process of yoga. Cortisol and adrenaline come right out of the adrenals, so this means that the little organ is stimulated.

    Over time, and with practice, adrenaline rushes in yoga stop, as does cortisol, and endorphins may or may not be released depending upon the circumstances of the individual and the class/practice.

    This is true of astanga as with many others -- when "practiced properly."

    The trouble is that many yogas are not practiced properly, and most people aren't even aware of the hormonal connections in their practice. Once you can observe the hormonal rushes, you can actually work with them to slow them down and balance things out -- but most people just accept the highs and the feelings and what not, rather than looking at them.

    Anyway, astanga usually attracts very driven people -- people who like to push themselves. People who, through pushing themselves in other aspects of their lives, are likely very stressed out. And it can work for them -- and often does "change their lives." But, more often than not, it just makes their situation worse.

    The idea of "with practice, all is coming" can often be a rallying cry for these "do-ers" to "do more." Practice harder, longer, faster, and more frequently to get results. But that's not what this means. It means to practice. That is it. Sometimes, it means practicing less, practicing more slowly and attentively, and perhaps paying attention to why you are pushing and whether or not pushing is really the means by which you will find relief from pushing.

    So, astanga can be practiced in a slow, methodical, mindful way -- or it can be another method of pushing oneself to far for whatever reason the person feels compelled to do that.

    Many astangis start out as hyper-stressed, type-a people who are looking to find a way to relax. They often adopt vegetarianism and/or veganism around the same time, because they are really driven people. It's not a bad thing. I'm a type B+ -- not quite as laid back as I like to think! LOL I'm probably a type A. LOL

    Now, there are apparently people who practice veganism for decades without any health problems, but in my experience most people who do practice veganism do end up with health problems. Even prominent people in the movement will admit to having health problems and change their diets away from veganism over time. Simply, it is malnourishment.

    Likewise, there are people who practice astanga for decades, without wearing themselves out -- usually when they take a more laid-back approach to it, rather than "go go go!" Even Jois was known to take some days more slowly, and made sure that there were days off from practice (moon days, etc). The understanding of the quote "With Practice, All things are coming" was really about just taking the long view, and being diligent in practicing awareness in the process, moreso than becoming more and more adept at given postures and sequencing.

    I believe that this is how a person can practice astanga and veganism and be healthy. First, they do not have an underlying health condition or are not close to it. Thus, they are healthier/stronger from the outset. Second, some people are vegan and do thrive (usually in the first 5 years -- and if you are meeting a thriving vegan, it's likely that they are thriving within this time frame). Third, there are multiple ways of practicing astanga, and a more "laid back" approach tends to be what works.

    It doesn't mean the person doesn't practice daily, but how one practices astanga (or any vinyasa form) makes a difference.

    But in the end, for many people, the compbination of a high-stress life, a high-stress (malnourishing) diet, and a high-stress practice is just a recipe for disaster.

  9. #59
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    Wow, thanks for posting such a wonderful response! That was certainly me. At the time I remember thinking that I didn't know how to do better - I was vegan, how could I eat better than that! I was doing Astanga, how could I do better than that! I can see now how incredibly under-nourished, under-fed, under-slept, under-rested I was. The perfect storm, really. Here I am 15 years later still trying to fix what I broke.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    the funny thing about the body is that an external stimulus can be picked up unconsciously (or, by the body itself), and the endocrine system responds, which in turn sets off the nervous system. The nervous system is feeling-thinking, so it might cross into consciousness "I feel stressed! I feel afraid!" etc -- basically are then translated into feeling states and applied conscious, observational meaning.

    Other times, we feel feelings first, and then the body creates a chemical reaction. This is common with art, btw. Movies, art pieces, music, etc. These engage the mind space, and then we "sense" after the fact -- or the hormones come in to back that up.

    But, over time, you can actually feel the hormones in your body -- you can feel the feeling of cortisol, or the feeling of adrinaline, or the feeling of the loss of progesterone before the estrogen kicks in, which is when women have their highest testosterone levels (during fertile years), and they they tend to be fractious right before menses. They also tend to be hornier than "normal," too. And, that time is actually what their menopausal state will be -- lower estrogen/progesterone, and higher testosterone, even if the levels dont' actually go up.

    So, if we think in terms of stress for a moment, yoga can help us reduce stress by recognizing whether our bodies are reacting to our minds or our minds are reacting to our bodies.

    And if our minds are reacting to our bodies, then we can change the mind, to calm the body down and slow down those hormones and bring us back to balance/equanimity. And if we are reacting to our minds, we can go through a conscious process to change the hormones, *or* we know that we have to work out a thought pattern (great for process work/supervision), and then the body will follow when we no longer go on that prtiuclar pattern (reaction) to specific stimuli.

    much of this happens unconsciously through the process of learning yoga, so it's not like we have to talk about it much, or at all. The doing does this on it's own, really, and we just create the space for it.
    Zoe, sorry for teh really late reply on this one - I just wanted to say thanks so much for running through all this: it's super insightful.

    Have you noticed there's a correlational between particular poses and hormonal responses, or do you find it varies from person to person? Also, how would you describe the sensation of the loss of progesterone before the estrogen kicks in?

    Btw, do you teach a particular style of yoga, or is it a synchronisation of everything you've learned? What style did you study?
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

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