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Why don't I like yoga?

So I have a long-standing meditation practice, as well as a background in the martial arts. Yet I've rented several yoga dvds from Netflix and simply cannot care about doing these yoga routines. I keep thinking yoga would be a useful addition to my meditation practice. Some of the things that bug me are:
- the sing-song, too-gentle voices of the instructors.
- putting my face into the carpet while holding an uncomfortable position. I'm thinking of child's pose here.
- the penchant for using long Indian phrases I do not understand.
- changing poses so quickly that I cannot linger and enjoy the few poses I like.

Is there a way to get around my objections and actually enjoy yoga?

Wed. Feb 7, 2:38pm

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I would try a class instead of the tapes/dvd's. Real instructors don't usually have a sing-songy voice like on the DVD's! Also, do you own a yoga mat? i suggest buying one-it makes poses more comfortable and safe. Child's pose should not be uncomfortable-it is considered a relaxation pose. Try moving your knees apart a little, and if your forehead does not comfortably reach the mat, do not force it anyhow. Yoga originated in India, hence the Sanskrit words for poses-they are all named because of what the body looks like when it's in proper form. Not all yoga is fast paced-it sounds as though you have been trying vinyasa, or ashtanga yoga sequences? Look for a gentle, or beginners yoga class in your area. Yoga is not for everyone, but sometimes just trying a different avenue helps! Good luck!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007, 2:46 PM

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maybe if you borrowed a book from the library on the history of yoga and the different styles, you will find one that you enjoy. the history aspect may help you to better understand the soft-spoken instructors and remember the names of the poses. i think if you try studying yoga as a subject rather than "a useful addition" to your routine, you may develop a greater respect for it and, in turn, get more enjoyment from practicing it. have you tried pilates? this may fit your style better.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007, 2:48 PM

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Look up the different styles of yoga -- I think Hatha and Kundalini are slower, more meditative styles, while Ashtanga and Vinyasa (aka "Power") are fast-paced and sweaty. There are several other major styles, but I've never tried them.

Read the customer reviews of all the yoga DVDs on -- some of the reviewers are very specific and will mention things like whether English or Indian terminology is used.

Too bad the only non-sing-songy-voiced yoga DVD guy I can think of specializes in power yoga (Bryan Kest, I believe - total Jersey boy)...can't help with that.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007, 3:43 PM

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I agree with the previous poster. As I was reading your post I quickly began thinking 'pilates'. Yoga is more spiritual and pilates is more technical - although both focus on strength and flexibility. Pilates really focuses on a strong core and stability (but not imobility) and yoga seems to focus more on flexibility. I have tried both and pilates is really what I relate to most strongly for those reasons. I find it to be relaxing and the breathing that I have learned has taken my cardio to another level. As with the recommendations above, I would really recommend beginning with an experienced instructor - they will add a dimension and personal attention to your form that is lacking in videos. You don't have to keep them up, but learning proper form in the beginning is important.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007, 3:49 PM

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I do not care for yoga at all. I have tried it and I even taught it a few times. I am very much a Pilates love and since my background is classical ballet it goes hand in hand with pilates. I find that in yoga I have to concentrate too much on how my form and watching hyper extension of joints that I dont get a good meditation/calming feeling.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007, 4:20 PM

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OP here. Thank you each for your thoughtful and detailed responses. It may be true that I need to go ahead and buy a sticky mat -- perhaps that would relieve my face-in-the-carpet problem and help me feel more secure in the poses. Reading your thoughts has prompted me to wonder if maybe I just want to do 1 pose at a time, and not a routine. At this moment, I don't feel like I want to take a class. Maybe I'll put aside the videos and try selecting a pose or 2 from some of the books I have or maybe buy a Yoga Deck. If you have any favorites, I'm open to ideas. Thanks again.

Thursday, February 08, 2007, 8:44 AM

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i foudn a great book on yoga that suggest working on a few poses at a time til you master then then learn more poses. When i get home (at work at the moment) i'll jot down the name of the book and post it here for you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 08, 2007, 2:17 PM

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Thanks, that would be great.

Friday, February 09, 2007, 3:45 AM

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Yin Yoga is nice and :-)

Friday, February 23, 2007, 10:15 PM

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Yoga makes me cry!

I find that doing yoga with DVDs generally makes me friend who teaches yoga says that this is evidence that I "carry tension" in my body and that the yoga is releasing it. I believe him, but I disagree with his assertions that i need to release and work through this tension at this point in my life. Since I'm usually not up for a full-on weep fest, I made up a routine from the elements of a DVD that I liked, stretches (and I think of them as such, not as 'yoga') that work opposing muscle groups and actually make me feel better. (Supposedly after the crying, you feel better, but I seriously don't have time to be laying the floor weeping for a hour each day!)

Monday, February 26, 2007, 3:53 PM

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Dude, I've tried yoga at home, at the gym, at a studio. I just can't get into it. I don't want to relax on command. I have no desire to hold poses for hours on end. I eventually decided to give up the yoga craze, it's just not for me. Now I beat the crap out of the heavy bag for fun. =)

Monday, February 26, 2007, 7:58 PM

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Yoga was difficult for me in the beginning. You really have to pay attention to the poses and how you are doing them, plus your breathing to be effective. I have done pilates as well, and I like it, but I think the outcome is different. I got very frustrated trying to get my breath and pose "correct" in yoga, but I learned to stop reaching for perfection and go to where I needed to be at the time. I also think it is important to remember that all of yoga is not relaxation. I think if you are looking just for the meditative portion, you would only do Savasna - which isn't much of a work out at all. If you are looking for a good squence to try out - you might want to start with the sun salutation. It is a nice flowing pose.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007, 2:35 PM

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