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#1 of 20 Old 12-06-2009, 10:52 PM - Thead Starter
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I’m hoping some of the yoga experts can help me out with a couple of questions. First, when I do poses like child’s pose where the top of my foot is flat on the floor I often get a cramp in the bottom of my foot. Any idea of what causes this? I don’t get cramps on the bottom of my foot doing anything else, for example if I flex my foot while I’m sitting here on a chair.

I was also wondering about quivering while stretching my hamstrings. My leg quivers a little bit when I do hamstring stretches where I’m on my back. The instructor on the dvd I’m using mentions this and says to back off the stretch, but to get the quivering to stop I need to back off so much that I’m not stretching the hamstring anymore. Should I just accept the quivering or switch to hamstring exercises (standing or sitting) where I don’t experience it?

Thanks - Dave
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#2 of 20 Old 12-07-2009, 01:01 PM
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Dave,
Sorry but I am not a yoga expert, I have taken the class a couple of times but beyond that I have no idea what could be causing those problems. Hopefully someone else will be checking in.
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#3 of 20 Old 12-07-2009, 05:35 PM
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Dave,

re: child's pose. not sure perhaps you have your ankle at an odd angle, pinching? or you could just be sitting on it funny. move it to where it's comfortable @ home. if you take a class, and that persists, have your yogi look at it, (s)he may move it a quarter inch and fix the issue

re: quivering. some people just do. if you are not in pain, which you are prob not. don't worry about it. Some folks it stops or lessens eventually (6 months) some folks it doesn't... breathe deep...don't stress about it.
tip: contract and release the glute and quad on the side you are stretching, that will help align and make sure you are working correctly. works like a charm.
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#4 of 20 Old 12-08-2009, 01:18 AM - Thead Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I'm not sure if I'm doing something unusual in child's pose. I tried moving my ankle around a little bit and it seemed to help when I pushed my heel out, which reduces the angle between the top of my foot and my shin. I'll keep at it and see if it goes away with a little more practice.

I'm not currently taking a class but would like to start. Any recommendations as to what type of yoga is best for runners? I've been looking around but there are a lot of options in my area and I'm not sure what to choose.

hey melistic - thanks for the tip on contracting and releasing the glute. When I first read that I thought, 'I already do that', then I actually tried it and realized I wasn't. It's a different stretch when you release the glute.
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#5 of 20 Old 12-08-2009, 01:04 PM
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Hi trunx -

For child's pose, I'd guess (just guessing!) there's something about putting your body weight on your lower legs while having your foot plantar-flexed that's triggering the cramping. Sounds like you are already playing with different foot positions in the pose which is good - every body is different. I do see some yoga students do child's pose with their foot dorsi-flexed due to tight ankles. Try it without holding your foot in a "hard point" like a dancer would.

Some people do shake while stretching - it can be a nervous system response to try to protect the muscle from overstretching, but it's generally not harmful as long as it is not painful. Does it subside as you hold the stretch? Are you trying to "force" your leg to be straight during the stretch? I usually tell my yoga students with tight hamstrings to soften their knees in a stretch like that and do the stretch with slightly bent knees. Also, if you have a strap or necktie, those props can really assist with that stretch.

It's always a great idea to take live classes when your schedule allows. Do you know what styles are offered near you? Yoga can be anything from long-held stretching to building precisely aligned postures to fast, vigorous flowing movement in a heated room. It's a very individual thing. I like power/vinyasa yoga because the movement helps me get very warm and then can stretch deeper. Many studios have low-cost introductory passes so new students can try out different classes and teachers. I'd suggest sticking with Level 1/Beginner classes as they are geared to newer students, or ask what the best class for your level would be.

Keep up your practice and your body will happily adapt to it -- you'll see and feel it change.

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#6 of 20 Old 12-08-2009, 02:42 PM
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i take mommy and baby yoga, it is hard! Yesterday in class, we were doing something and the instructor said "if you are prone to foot cramps, flex your foot instead of pointing it" and i thought of your post I would try to find a real live class so someone can look at your poses and correct them if necessary.

Here is another question-- does my instructor think I am a loser because I cannot do some things? I was NOT doing wheel pose yesterday. I did a modified bridge (?) instead. A lot of the ab dependant moves are hard since I had a c-section, so i modify them, but sometimes i need a breather. I think she thinks I am silly for the most part. She really worked on me to do the yoga squat though! argh!

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#7 of 20 Old 12-08-2009, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
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Here is another question-- does my instructor think I am a loser because I cannot do some things? I was NOT doing wheel pose yesterday. I did a modified bridge (?) instead. A lot of the ab dependant moves are hard since I had a c-section, so i modify them, but sometimes i need a breather. I think she thinks I am silly for the most part. She really worked on me to do the yoga squat though! argh!
I hope she doesn't think you are silly - you are her student! Does she know you had a C-section? (I modify a lot of ab stuff too because it irritates my right groin/adductor area, but I try to do extra of the ab exercises that don't bother me so I can build strength.)

What happened with the yoga squat? Did you do it? Sometimes I can see that a student CAN do a pose, but needs some encouragement or "challenging" (in a friendly way) to try it. Maybe she thinks this about you and certain poses? Personally I really do not care how "advanced" the students practice, as long as they are grounded, breathing, present, and have their bodies in safe alignment not likely to bother knees, necks, or shoulders. I DO want them to try to challenge themselves and get out of their comfort zones in class, because that's how you grow, but I don't care what version or level or how high their legs are, etc., as long as they are making an honest effort. I normally do not single out and "push" a student, but every instructor has a different approach.

Wheel takes a fair amount of strength and openness in the shoulders and back flexibility - many people don't practice Wheel even after years of yoga due to shoulder issues (and some can do it from Day 1). Bridge, Upward-Facing Bow, Camel, and Reverse Table/Reverse Plank are all great poses that deliver similar benefits.

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#8 of 20 Old 12-08-2009, 07:05 PM
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no, my instructor loves me and Zoe. She knows I had a c-section and is working me HARD to get those abs back. I need the hard work, but yesterday was a super hard class! In a good way, though. She did get me to do the yoga squat. One day when I was the only one in the class, she made me do it over and over and over again. And Thursday she offered me a block and I declined. I do my best. Because there is only a couple people in the class, it is easy to get a lot of one on one with the instructor. Sometimes I am the only one there!

It's funny because I have no yoga experience and she will say the name of the pose and I have no idea what she is talking about. Ignorance is bliss sometimes.

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#9 of 20 Old 12-09-2009, 01:18 AM - Thead Starter
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I tried something new today and it helped a lot, put a rolled up towel on the floor and put the top of my foot where it meets the shin (what is that called??) on the towel. Didn't have any problems with cramping. I think that's putting my foot more in a flexed position but not to the point where I'm on my toes.

Quote:
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Does it subside as you hold the stretch? Are you trying to "force" your leg to be straight during the stretch?
It's always a great idea to take live classes when your schedule allows. Do you know what styles are offered near you?
No it doesn't really subside as I hold the stretch. I keep my knee bent and stretch to the point where I feel it but I don't go beyond that. I did notice that when I did what melistic suggested and contracted/released my glute it seemed to reduce the shaking a little bit. I'll keep doing that stretch when it comes up on the dvd and see how things go.

I need to go look up the names of the yoga, the one I know for sure is the hot yoga. I'm not sure I'm ready for that, it's something like 90 minutes at 100 degrees. I can do marathons/ultras yet the 30 minute yoga dvd can kick my *ss. Is that normal when runners start doing yoga?
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#10 of 20 Old 12-09-2009, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trunx View Post
I tried something new today and it helped a lot, put a rolled up towel on the floor and put the top of my foot where it meets the shin (what is that called??) on the towel. Didn't have any problems with cramping. I think that's putting my foot more in a flexed position but not to the point where I'm on my toes.



No it doesn't really subside as I hold the stretch. I keep my knee bent and stretch to the point where I feel it but I don't go beyond that. I did notice that when I did what melistic suggested and contracted/released my glute it seemed to reduce the shaking a little bit. I'll keep doing that stretch when it comes up on the dvd and see how things go.

I need to go look up the names of the yoga, the one I know for sure is the hot yoga. I'm not sure I'm ready for that, it's something like 90 minutes at 100 degrees. I can do marathons/ultras yet the 30 minute yoga dvd can kick my *ss. Is that normal when runners start doing yoga?
YES. Other than racing, yoga is the hardest physical thing I've ever done. There have even been a few marathons where I was not as sore after as I was when I first did Ashtanga Yoga.

The hot yoga (Bikram) is one of the more aggressive styles in terms of its promotion/marketing. They commonly offer a very low cost introductory package to new students and then tell you to get the full effects you have to come every day. Definitely the more you practice the more the benefits, but it doesn't have to be every day. (Nothing against Bikram or hot yoga, by the way.)

Glad you seem to finding ways to make the poses work better.

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#11 of 20 Old 12-10-2009, 01:12 AM - Thead Starter
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Here are the types of yoga that are taught in my area:Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram, Kundalini and Hatha. Any of these that would be better for runners?
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#12 of 20 Old 12-10-2009, 11:13 AM
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i think a lot of it depends on what you want from yoga. for me, i want stretching and core work.

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#13 of 20 Old 12-10-2009, 02:47 PM
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Yoga is great. any form you choose. you just have to find the one that best suits your personality.
i might get smacked down from the yoga gods but here goes... MOST styles are yoga are derived from the same foundation. The difference to the uninitiated boiled down to temperature preference, spiritual preference or kitch. I suggest trying several classes. Most studios will let you come in a try a class or 2 without any sort of commitment.
That being said, yoga is awkward for most everyone in the beginning. Once you have a foundation of what things are called and how to breath and which hand goes where, you can focus more on what you are getting from the class over wtf is she talking about. I say this because your first class is not going to be as rewarding as your 5th class. Keep that in mind as you try out instructors and styles.
I would say that liking the instructor and syncing with their flow is, imo, the most crucial aspect of finding your glow. I have practiced for years now, I teach several days a week. I love to take random classes.
Locally here, there is a girl who reads pieces to meditate on as class begins, she oms and adds focus throughout always relating back. She teaches a hot yoga. hers is the hardest physically of any class around here. It really is a thing of beauty. Focused and driven and motivating. It doesn't work at all for me. I want it to be my favorite class, but I also just want to punch her in the face as she happily cheers on my flipped dog while quoting centering structure. I want to roll my eyes and laugh. Not good for me! Her other students are very devoted. it's a great class. it is most certainly not the class for me.
At one of the gyms I teach in; there is a girl who makes me hyperventilate. In out In out In out. NEXT.
There is another local class easy going and light, filled with laughter and random talking, that's more my style, but I'm never pushed. Never challenged. It's a great class for Monday morning when I need to shake off the Monday blues and relax and stretch. I love it, but it's more stretching with the girls over coffee than making any profound progress.
There is a man who teaches in town. Silver fox. He's quiet, reserved, serious, unassuming. The first time I walked into his studio, I felt the awe, I felt the hush, people all quietly looking inward. Girlfriends from all over town sitting hushed and solemn. This was 20 min before class I thought uh-oh. Zombies. zoinks. It is by far my favorite class! the only one that awakens my namaste and leaves me totally blissed out and zen. This is the one I prefer mostly, it has the effect on me that I look for in taking someone else's yoga class. I know how it's done. I've taught it for years. When I teach I'm giving, not experiencing.
This man, this class is able to bring me to the whole package. Some days that is what I need, some days it's light and laughter and coffee. (soccer mom yoga) Sometimes it's me & Rodney Lee (videos) and the cats and the dog and the kids. most days ; asanas alone.

point is. follow your bliss
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#14 of 20 Old 12-10-2009, 04:29 PM
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Loved your post, melistic - beautiful examples of how very different good classes and individual preferences can be.

trunx, I'd try any that intrigue you, but do let the instructor know you're new to the studio and style.

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#15 of 20 Old 12-10-2009, 04:30 PM
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Loved your post, melistic - beautiful examples of how very different good classes and individual preferences can be.

trunx, I'd try any that intrigue you, but do let the instructor know you're new to the studio and style.

Have faith in you and the things you do.

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#16 of 20 Old 12-10-2009, 09:20 PM
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Very enjoyable thread. Great responses, melistic.

It took a while for me to get into yoga. I think the instructor makes all the difference; you need to find one that suits you.

My favourite is vinyasa. It seems to stretch and strengthen all the running parts that need it. The one I attend is described as moderate/vigorous. I enjoy the challenge. I'm not really into a lot of oms and chanting. This class has music. I am absolutely blissed out at the end. No two classes have been exactly the same.

I have never been flexible and still get hamstring quiver like trunx, but, man, I have seen a fair amount of improvement over the last year or so. In the Masters section we joke about kicking ass at "competitive yoga," but as I understand it, everyone progresses at their own rate and does what they can/feel like on the day.

My least favourite is Bikram, but I've only attended one class, so I'm open to trying it again. I have been cautioned against taking Bikram as there is a tendency to overstretch when your muscles are so warm. I don't know whether that is so; just something to keep in mind.

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#17 of 20 Old 01-12-2010, 03:45 PM
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trunx
fittv is running yoga for distance runners today....

SGH: PM on it's way ...

any other PT's, LMTs Yoga/ Pilates instructors or Egoscue, Chek followers, chiro's, or others in the field who want to let me bounce an idea?
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#18 of 20 Old 01-12-2010, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
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trunx
fittv is running yoga for distance runners today....

SGH: PM on it's way ...

any other PT's, LMTs Yoga/ Pilates instructors or Egoscue, Chek followers, chiro's, or others in the field who want to let me bounce an idea?
Cool! I'm just popping in on a quick lunch break right now but will read and reply ASAP.

Wish I had Fit TV. If only you could do cable channels a la carte.

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#19 of 20 Old 01-12-2010, 06:29 PM
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might be on demand.
do you get on demand?
I can never find what I'm looking for on demand, even when it says go to on demand.
grrr
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#20 of 20 Old 01-13-2010, 01:57 AM - Thead Starter
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Thanks Melistic - I don't get FitTV either but I'll see if one of my neighbors does. I did find a yoga for runners class at one of the local places, I'm going to check it out in a few weeks.

One other question while I'm thinking about it, Since I've been stretching more I've noticed two things, I seem to recover better from my long runs, much easier to walk around later that day and on the following days but I've also seem to have more nagging little injuries, in particular in my hamstring. As a runner does it take time to adjust to a new level of flexibility? Has anyone else noticed that or do I just have to admit that I'm getting older?

Thanks in advance.
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