Life & Love, It’s For the Birds In a Good Way – In Pictures # 3

A Love Story Series Set Vol 1

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“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

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life and love, it’s for the birds, in a good way 😉 – in pictures

# 3

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***

it’s been said, a picture is worth a thousand words

well, i’m not gonna try that 😉

but here’s a series of pictures, one or two at a time, popping up here and there, now and then, each captioned and capturing a few moments of life and love, for the birds anyways, but in a good way 😉

set on a patch of preserve somewhere on galveston island, along the protective seawall, or anywhere on galveston i’m fortunate enough to spot and place their image in digital memory, we’ll just say we’re all glad this is a place they call home…


***

There's a Different Drummer I Tell Ya!! Can't You Hear It?
There’s a Different Drummer I Tell Ya!! Can’t You Hear It?

good to know we’re not the only species where we just have to walk our own walk sometimes 😉

***

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namaste – con dios – god be with you


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Teaching Yoga – Preparing a Class (my beginner’s view)

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teaching yoga – preparing a class (my beginner’s view)

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geez, where to start?

and that’s the crux of it at this stage of my yoga teaching career 😉

Adan Lerma
Adan Lerma

i’m overwhelmed with offerings from my mind, my readings, my experiments, and my focus on those usually in my classes

so it’s both a question of what i’ll focus on, and how i’ll present it to the folks in my classes

The What

if there’s a challenge in this area, and there is 😉  it’s choosing from the volume of such interesting things to do and learn about

i suppose, if i was content enough, with simple passes through poses, watching the students for alignments and exertion levels, and otherwise letting them explore themselves experiencing being in-process, then varying the sequence routine would be sufficient

and there is a depth to give and gain from that focus

i just don’t want that to be my class “routine”

my wife and i both have studied and become certified in fitness fields because we love the types of exercises we do, they’re fun and good for us [1]

my goal is to impart both the feeling and knowledge of what we experience

not doing so is not why i would want to teach to begin with 😉

***

Tomatoes in Poses
Tomatoes in Poses

so what are some of these things that interest me so much i feel the need and desire to incorporate them into each class?

* “safe & effective” as priorities

* exploratory experience of a pose, with a starting point of physical alignment with encouragement for recognizing our personal starting points and limitations

* fitness tips and basic info re physiology, ways of learning (visual, audible, kinetic), contra-indications, cross-training, recovery, music, home practice, etc – spread out over a wide range of classes

* similarities and contrasts of yoga to dance and resistance training and jogging among types of exertion (aerobic, flexibility, strength & endurance)

* asana tips from people like ray long and paul grilley and jill miller among many [2]

* great dvd info from stronger seniors, jazzercise, zumba, denise austin, etc

* the experience of having fun and being kind and gentle and forgiving to oneself

* yet disciplining oneself

* breathing technique benefits, fitness benefits, group exercise benefits, home practice benefits

* the process of integrating and choosing and merging among all these wonderful things life has to offer us

***

so i find myself wanting to also share all this in writing too

and i have blog posts in progress on asanas, my recent silversneakers yoga instructor workshop, and so much more

but i also need and want to prepare my next classes as thoroughly as i know i will enjoy presenting and sharing it – which leads to how i will do this

The How

this, i think, is shorter to answer, yet will be much longer in the doing 😉

why shorter?

because half the answer isn’t available until i see who is in front of me

mark stephens, in his book, “teaching yoga” refers to this frequently, including with a sub-chapter entitled, “teaching who is in front of you” – i agree!

the other half of the answer is what i bring to class any given moment

yes, the how is, like the what, a process – just longer

with a roadmap slowly revealed 😉

The Why

maybe the best way to answer this right now, is to show why i want to integrate yoga and fitness, which is my “mission” statement for my blog 😉

and the cleanest way to do that currently, is to point you to a cute article on yoga journal i saw today, “5 signs you might yoga too seriously” –

i’ve posted my response-comment, to the article, below :

***

wow, i must be totally opposite 😉

i feel the almost exact opposite of each of those!

# 1, i think it’s funny when i or one of my students falls out of any pose, otherwise where’s the playfulness in all this?

# 2, as far as pronunciations in sanskrit, i grew up where most the people can’t pronounce fajita correctly, i’m sure not gonna get bent up if/when i or anyone else chops up any other language, including sanskrit

# 3, i LOVE fitness yoga, my whole blog is dedicated to integrating what is artificially separated, isn’t that part of yoga-oneness?

ok, # 4 does apply to me at times, but now that i teach, not so much a problem 😉

# 5, cheat on yoga? geez 😉 hey, i don’t want to cheat on the fullness of life!

so if i’m (almost) a total opposite, does that mean i’m “bad” yoga-adan?

no 😉 i don’t think so!

namaste – con dios – god be with you

***

the article itself is well worth the read 😉

Closing Thoughts

so, on one hand, at least it’s not a question of what can i teach (not enough material) but rather, what will i teach (so much to choose from) –

the “how” of course, will be an integration of my preparation and paying attention, in class 😉

so i guess i better get myself back to doing that, right now 😉


***

footnotes

[1] sheila and i are both AFAA group fitness certified, zumba licensed, silversneakers certified

[2] an example of why this is important is my response-comment to “my yoga online

“How much of an impact does anatomical knowledge have on your yoga practice?” – well 😉

how much of an impact does knowing the boundaries to your body have when you’re a baby?

defines where, as incarnated souls, we begin, where others are, and that there is a space inbetween us…what “is” that space

is it any accident there’s a happy baby pose in yoga? 😉

and then’s there’s all that adult stuff! – groin this…hip that…breath again how?

the question then, really, is, how much of an impact does anatomical knowledge “not” have? and how much are we missing when we “don’t” know?

well, bet a set of those mat companion books from ray long might tell me 😉


***

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“The Wedding Blessing” — The Poetry of Unions

Love Poems Audible Cover“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

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“the wedding blessing” – the poetry of unions

featured in – Poems for Lovers Loving & Being Loved


The Wedding Blessing is now offered as a gift item –

And included in “Poems for Lovers Loving & Being Loved” & “Inspirations from Life: Thirty Three Years of Poems and Images” (preview at end) which is available on major online outlets –

***

Adan Lerma
Adan Lerma

a schedule began to emerge

our youngest girl’s earliest-dated-bff (since kindergarten, back in the early 80’s) was set to be married this past weekend in san antonio

sheila and i hadn’t been back to austin since the holidays, and missed a few friends we hadn’t seen in about a year

thursday we had a silversneakers yoga instructor’s class scheduled in houston where three of our granddaughters, oldest girl, and husband live

we currently live, again, in galveston

a route formed in our minds 😉

***

if we are all one, why bother making friends then visiting them? –

meeting lovers and, eventually, marrying some of them? –

staying close to family and, at times, knowingly let them endure us?

there seems more at work than like-molecules mutually attracted to each other, though that’s nothing to be minimized either…

***

sheila and i caught up months, the year, and decades – with a few small talks, winks, and most of all, recognitions :

“she and i talked and ate lunch together nearly 10 years” –

“i remember you when you were less than 3 feet tall!” –

“you changed your name again? can i pick the next one?” –

“yes i’m still painting, yes i’m still exercising, yes i’m still planning on retiring, yes of course i’ll come visit sooner, yes i remember when you ate more jalapenos than me, no she passed away, yes she’s a beautiful bride…”

weddings are as much a reunion as a union i think 😉

***

wedding vows are disparaged by some, made worthless by others –

but, mostly, it seems, honored as we humans honor all things, the best we can while striving to honor both all things inside ourselves, and around us

we know we must first be true to our own interiors, yet know we can not live alone, nor, most of us, want to…

so, it also seems, as our total human folklore tells us, we can meet someone so special, so soothing, we can do both, yes we can honor both the-me with the-you

we heard it in chants in forests long leveled, across peaks now rounded to hills, in valleys once under water, in times without time and in time we all knew it must be true –

so we marry…

for better or for worse 😉

***

A Wedding Blessing

Give yourselves patience

to learn then love

the little seen gems

inside each of you.

Lend each other your

separate wisdom to create

a unique union.

Bestow on yourselves

the benefit of any

doubts or unknowns.

And in the blend and mix

of all these

qualities

may you find

that each of you

is the other’s

ultimate

best blessing.

©  1995-2011 adam light creations / adan lerma

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Included in “Inspirations from Life: Thirty Three Years of Poems and Images” on Scribd.

Below is a preview.

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Now also available as a Gift Writing, on Amazon.

A Wedding Blessing Gift Writing On Amazon
A Wedding Blessing
Gift Writing On Amazon

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Adan at Wedding
Adan at Wedding

weddings have been some of my best memories and moments, this was no exception….

***

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I Slept like a Log, uh, Tree (Pose)

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i slept like a log, uh, tree (pose)

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waking, has been it’s own kind of dream lately

Dawn, White Flowers in Tree
Dawn, White Flowers in Tree

i’ve contended and firmly believe that most of what we learn, doing asanas, is really more a remembering, or re-connecting to what is already part of us [1]

most frequently, i find a reminder to this re-connecting, during the doing of a fitness routines i like – though, i rarely do one i don’t like anymore   😉

chasseing or twisting or breathing, i’m reminded of doing something similar at another time –

things, movements i did before “fitness training” or “workshops” existed –

i’ll remember sitting on a roof, as a young teen, mid july in houston, doing summer construction work and, typically, will smile at remembering how i didn’t even notice the heat – the concept of feeling hot never even crossed my mind – i didn’t even sweat!

now, remembering the same moment, i notice how i’d twist so fluidly, to the right to reach for a new wood shingle with my “left” hand, eyeing the next shingle for placement among the rows, sizing-choosing where it could easily lap the gaps between those shingles already laid down to prevent leakage –

twisting back to my left shingle in hand, and, having chosen it’s best over-lap spot, created a gap between it and the shingle it’d lay next to, to allow for a natural expansion and contraction of wood in houston heat and humidity –

reaching for galvanized nails from a nail box (called a stripper) that hung from my neck with worn leather straps, then twisting again, further left, as i brought my hatchet hammer across my torso with my right with a tap-tap as swift as allowed my left hand to escape being smushed, tap-tapped the nails, heads flush into the wood –

seeing the shingle laid flat secured to the decking below –

and now, now, i realize how easily i breathed with each movement…

not an inhalation exhalation with each micro or mid-range movement, but a slow..steady..breathing in..and..out…

throughout the various motions, the motions joined as one movement within one breath

more frequently, i find this type of memory-joining occurs during aerobic or stretching or strengthening routines

lately, in the morning though, when i first wake to the fact that i’m in my bed, my sleeping wife snuggled near by, the light

beginning to detail the view outside our bedroom window –

my first wakening breaths bringing me wiggles –

in my shoulders..with archings in my lumbar while i squeeze my groin and stretch my neck –

i’ll point my toes and, think, yes, oh, yes, there’s my right foot..toes caressing my left inside thigh –

huh!

i’m in a supine tree pose!

tree pose [2] is not one i “practice” on a daily, or even frequent basis –

yet here it is, my in-my-sleep, go-to wake-up pose 😉

Morning, White Flowers in Tree
Morning, White Flowers in Tree

from that pose, still supine still sleepy in my bed, i sometimes press my sleep walking foot, gently to the other leg, and in this mild tension, isolate and flex my hips-laterally, with light lifting stretches, pulling my lats like ladders toward my heart..awakening me..slowly

by now, leo [3] would have quickly known i was up, meowing it’s was time to eat!” 😉 and sheila, sensing i was waking, have made an instant decision, to further wake, or slip back to needed sleep…

first few times, i figured my waking tree pose was an “accident” – night time positioning gone wild!

but it’s become more regular, though not yet a habit

this, i believe, is a new level of remembering or re-connecting, to the already-present postures, patiently posing..in my yoga-dna

and as long as i don’t wake up on my head, dream or not [4], that’s ok with me 😉


***

footnotes

[1] “asanas are inherent and evolved from our very being, our DNA

[2] tree pose – vrksasana; i tend to remember the sanskrit name better when i think of the “vrk” part as similar to the “bark” of a tree; whatever associations work is good i think 😉

[3] thank you leo

[4] i’ve got some cervical disc issues, so best my waking and dreaming selves align, in more ways than one 😉 and i keep good safe healthy form


***

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Life & Love, It’s For the Birds In a Good Way – In Pictures # 2

A Love Story Series Set Vol 1

New – Box Sets page on this site.

Variety of original topics : Poetry, Fiction, and Images.

***

“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”

***


Site Areas

Fitness ** Arts ** eBooks

*

Please note: the “It’s for the Birds in a Good Way” series had been placed in “private” status during a re-do of my site, and are now again posted with updated information.

**

life and love, it’s for the birds, in a good way 😉 – in pictures

# 2

Tweet

***

it’s been said, a picture is worth a thousand words

well, i’m not gonna try that 😉

but here’s a series of pictures, one or two at a time, popping up here and there, now and then, each captioned and capturing a few moments of life and love, for the birds anyways, but in a good way 😉

set on a patch of preserve somewhere on galveston island, along the protective seawall, or anywhere on galveston i’m fortunate enough to spot and place their image in digital memory, we’ll just say we’re all glad this is a place they call home…


***

"I" Parked it? Didn't You Park It?
“I” Parked it? Didn’t You Park It?

wonder what it is they did park somewhere out here 😉

***

bird picture series

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namaste – con dios – god be with you


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Teaching My First Yoga Class – One Month Later

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teaching my first yoga class – one month later

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The path is still pretty, but we're still not there...yet.
The path is still pretty, but we’re still not there…yet.

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my wife sheila reminded me it’s been one month since teaching my first yoga class

seems like a year, seems like a day…

intro

if there is one thing i must say, immediately, it’s how absolutely humbled i am by the people who have come and returned! to these, my first days and forays into yoga teaching

thank you 😉

second, is how much i’m learning by preparing to present and verbalize what’s in my mind, then presenting it – whew!

did i mention how much i still have to learn? 😉

***

why i teach the type class i do

the type class i teach very closely matches how i feel about integrating the fitness fields i enjoy – dance, aerobics, resistance bands, and of course, yoga…

as an extreme beginner 😉

and i don’t mean “just” seniors… [1]

but in addition, my initial approach was to mimic how i approach my art work and poetry:

create it and let it draw those for whom it means something…

thus, to present a class with the mix of interests that i myself enjoy in my own home practice:

* fitness information i can use and am curious about

* start and stop and start at a pace i feel comfortable with

* breath work

* physical work

* fun

* remain safe, yet effective [2]

***

when i approached my two locations with a proposal to teach a yoga class, it was understood from the beginning, that these would be exceptionally slow gentle easy paced classes –

that they would be meant for people uncomfortable or unsure of themselves in regard to beginning any type fitness programm

it had a lot of info i wanted to share –

info both my wife and i had been surprised to find, after decades of doing jazzercise, jogging, etc, that we not only didn’t know, but hadn’t known to know we didn’t know –

basic stuff, that impacts how a person can perceive their efforts [3]

third party supporting stuff 😉

lex gillan, during my teacher training immersion, often said my enjoyment of talking 😉 would  probably do me well in the type classes i planned, and was already writing outlines and sequences for

plus, as so often happens, after i’d begun my first class, i found more support, coming across a passage in “teaching yoga” by mark stephens, p. 142 :

“Start with basic elements – being present, staying with the breath, relaxing…In introductory classes go even slower, frequently pausing to assess for understanding and encourage questions.”

then today, i came across “viva la yoga” – great title huh 😉 with stuff like, “i want the old kind of class, the kind my mom used to teach…Whatever was would be, and she would guide us through the poses one at a time….”

main party supporting stuff –

and of course this is the guys and gals in the classes

they’re as patient with me as much as i am with them 😉

i show them stuff i can’t do well, and arm gesture the stuff i might never do –

and tell them it’s ok – i still benefit – i still get better, every day, even when i tumble

and i tell them it’s ok – they’ll still benefit too – and still get better every day, even when they mumble 😉

they show up in pouring rain, temperatures that are cold for round here, early in the morning, and when it’s getting into the evening

the most excited thing they talked about after class this morning? –

not the neat knee alignment work with the knees in chair pose, or bone compression limits to the ankles in down dog (ala paul grilley), or the neat four prong prone stance cross-your-ankles sit-back-on-your-heels prone to sitting move i got from rodney yee’s “yoga for beginners,” and it wasn’t the neat darth vador breathing we do at the beginning of each class –

it was that sheila and i are going to silversneakers yoga instructor class tomorrow!

they want to learn, they value fitness with yoga!

like we do 😉

conclusion

from what i can tell, this must all be more than just a trend, as there’s a real response i feel resonating with the people i’m fortunate to be teaching with

there seems to be a real demand, a real need that yoga infused with fitness fulfills

magazine of yoga, in a conversation with ava taylor, in the subtitle to its article, speaks of “It’s actually very empowering, exciting and beautiful that there is a yoga industry because it means we as consumers are desiring wellbeing”

and when one becomes aware of the incredible efforts, in places in new zealand, ravished by earthquake [3], desparately clinging to offering things like yoga to a recovering populace, it feels like a groundswell gone good 😉

namaste – con dios – god be with you

***

related posts:

teaching my first yoga class – February 4, 20111


***

footnotes

[1] i’m an early senior myself at age 60 and counting 😉

[2] afaa has a series called 5 Questions, that formulates what should be asked of each routine – safe and effective are two of its components

[3] we learn a huge amt from all our instructor classes, but our studies for our AFAA Group Fitness Certification, and our SilverSneakers classes, are among our top sources

[4] this is a first hand acct of the earthquake in churchchrist, new zealand – beautifully and powerfully written


***

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DVD Review – “Yoga” from Stronger Seniors

The Arts, Dance Yoga Music Art Writing +DVD Review – “Yoga” from Stronger Seniors (Anne Pringle Burnell)

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Poetry for yoga, dance, music, art, and more…

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DVD Review –

“Yoga” from Stronger Seniors (Anne Pringle Burnell)

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intro

i hadn’t intended to have two dvd reviews in one week, but tomorrow sheila and i are taking the silversneakers’ instructor yoga class, and wanted to brush up on the only chair based / assisted yoga work i’m familiar with before hand, the stronger seniors “yoga” dvd

it should be an interesting comparison for us –

silversneakers’ various classes, of which we’ve taken two, are dense with fitness information, modifications, contra-indications [1], and an actual usable sequencing format designed to provide a fully rounded health enhancing experience

i expect no less from silversneakers’ yoga class tomorrow 😉

and speaking of expectations, for a dvd, stronger seniors’ “yoga” by anne pringle burnell [2], won’t give you much less than a full bodied, beginning-middle-and-end, high quality class-alternative

if your biggest complaint is not having a class or dvd with a “full” yoga experience: warm up and grounded beginning of meditation, followed by a combination of flow and held poses, ending with a guided meditative savasana, then this is gonna be a treat for you 😉

***

things i liked:

* anne pringle’s trademark humor, welcomeness, and fitness comprehension

* both a longer and a shorter-basic viewing options [3]

* short, bonus “foot” workout

* three alternating instructors often offering three full versions of each movement [4]

* modifications within modifications often presented

* captioned breaks between opening meditation, the seated & standing pose work, and ending breathing-relaxation section

* use of english with most sanskrit names for easier remembering and identifying

* large range of poses modified for this dvd, including: a mini-cobra [5], half eagle pose, up & down dog, monkey pose, warrior I, mountain pose, a nice sun salutation sequence, and myriad twists and forward bends

* full class sequence of an opening meditation, held and flowing poses, plus savsana (final relaxation)

***

Reviews: Clear Sailing?
Reviews: Clear Sailing?

***

things i would’ve liked:

* my perennial favorite wish item: closed captions [6]

* additional pose captions, both in english and sanskrit

* and word that another yoga dvd was on it’s way from anne 😉

closing thoughts:

i’ve never met anne, though i’ve received one msg from her via a comment i’d left for someone else’s comment, on amazon, for this dvd –

yet both my wife and i feel completely comfortable with her presentations – wonder at how much we still learn after so many viewings – and marvel at her consistently warm manner and breadth of knowledge through all her dvd’s

we have all the stronger seniors dvd’s, and hope there’ll be more 😉

*

closing challenge:

i’m very strong on believing people need to choose which way they want to improve and lead their lives, so it’s not lightly, that i playfully, and with the reader’s forebearance, issue this gentle challenge to those who are fit and well :

if you think, because you are fairly or even “very” fit, that you would not benefit from the stronger senior dvds, you may find, as my wife and i have, that they offer a full bodied relaxing workout between our more usual sets (jazzercise, yoga, zumba, resistance work, etc)

if you are a fit and well person, but have had times you couldn’t exercise like you’d like, due to illness or injury or needed recovery time [7], try these series of workouts to see if they could be a good back-up for you

if you are fit, and know people who would like to improve their health, but are afraid to start, these are a great way for someone to begin; especially if you do it with them at first 😉

*

namaste – con dios – god be with you

dvd review series


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Preview, Arts Poems

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footnotes

[1] when first learning about contra-indications and modifications, i was moderately shocked to realize, these were cautionary concerns i could’ve been helped by knowing when i was younger – ie, these are not just for seniors 😉

[2] anne’s bio is about 1/2 down the the strongerseniors “about us” page

[3] this review is mostly focussed on the “basic” shorter routine, which is about 40 minutes in length; the longer set is closer to an hour

sheila and i both prefer the shorter sequence, which at over 1/2 hour, is a nice length for our needs

[4] it’s a huge benefit to frequently have 3 distinct movement options; edna and james do a great job of helping anne, and james actually leads certain segments

[5] though not intended, but much in line with the rush of merging information processing within me lately, anne’s chest opening cues reminded me of some of ray long’s anatomy cues, such as for enhancing the breath

[6] i’ve begun to think i should have this “wish item” on my desktop for quick reach to paste into future reviews 😉

the frustration of kinda hearing, sorta hearing, maybe hearing what was said, especially when important, is compounded by the fear that what was missed, was “really” something importnat, if not just down right interesting 😉

i’ve also begun to suspect, since so few dvd’s provide closed captions of the spoken text, that maybe the cost is prohibitive, or difficult to obtain – i don’t know

i do know a great dvd example of how beneficial closed captions are, with an option to not use them, is via gary kraftsow’s two viniyoga dvd’s

[7] recovery, or rest, is beginning to be hyped as the “forgotten variable” and for good reason

two good places to read about this (among many), are, livestrong.com, and via a search for “training recovery time


***

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DVDs vs Live Instruction, a Comment

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dvds vs live instruction, a comment

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intro

below is a comment i placed to an article titled, “the poverty of dvd yoga,” by colin hall

the article makes excellant points that are actually extremely important, but i disagreed with the presentation, mostly, i suppose 😉

i don’t know if the link above still works, or will be working in the future, as the article is posted on elephant journal and i’m new to their articles and not sure how long the article’ll be available –

i hope it is in some form since, as mentioned above, it presents very important valuable points

the comments, of which mine is only one, also appear interesting 😉 good discussion generated by this article…

directly below is my comment :

***

a really large # of good points about the preference for more effective instruction, in this case yoga, when done live vs taped or scripted as in a dvd

Adan Lerma
Adan Lerma

the problem i have reading really well written points-thought-out articles, whether like this on teaching, or on the necessity for accepting oneself as a large participant, for example, is the intense rejection of what is being advocated against

for example, “The yoga DVD may play a role as a motivator if you have a hard time practicing at home, or as a source of inspiration if your teaching is getting a little dry and repetitive—but ultimately the yoga one encounters on DVDs is a yoga of poverty utterly bereft of the living experience of yoga necessary for actual yoga instruction.” –

the yoga dvd “may play a role” and “a source of inspiration if” both legitimately attempt to “see” the possible positives or use for an individual in certain circumstances – i like that, i can begin to relate to the thesis, then –

“on dvds is a yoga of poverty utterly bereft of the living experience of yoga” – wow

what happened to the understanding compassion?

is that what i am missing by not attending the live class?

is there a disconnect here? or am i merely “utterly bereft” also?

and in all fairness, though this is highly prevalent in yoga, it’s also seems highly prevalent in discussing immigration laws, women’s and minority rights, or either being very  poor or being very rich, and, certainly being in the middle, any middle i guess 😉

i totally agree that “live” instruction, whether in dance or singing or football or trading stock options, is “usually” better than taped or scripted or written non-interaction non-live mediums

does that mean the above article is merely then, the “same crap” as described in the article? – i certainly don’t think so

but neither are other articles that foster dialog or even “just” private thought

nor are dvds from, say, paul grilley or denise austin or stronger seniors, among many many others, i believe, faltering in “usefulness” –

would the inability of a living human being to attend or afford a “live” session, assuming it was taught or conducted by someone who actually cared to some hypothetical higher level, or was knowledgable as per someone else’s esteemed opinion, make the use of a dvd or tv program or tape unworthy, or invalid…useless?  “crap?”

i don’t think so, and that’s while also believing live “can” be best

my mildly offered apologies 😉 for the return-rant…

but i feel the author has such valid points, it hurts me almost as much to see them lost on people who need them, because of unnecessary betterment-battering, as it surely hurts the author above to see the value of “competent” live instruction under-appreciated

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/02/the-poverty-of-dvd-yoga–colin-hall/


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DVD Review – “Jazzercise Core”

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DVD Review – “Jazzercise Core”

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my wife sheila has jazzercised since the beginning of the 80’s, and i joined going to class with her on her birthday, valentines day, 2001

so we’re familiar with the regular class format [1]

going to a jazzercise class from galveston is a time/driving challenge at times, so we decided nearly a year ago we needed a dvd for home use

jazzercise core” has turned out to be one of my own personal favorites for routines i frequently go to and enjoy doing

there are 4 routines offered on this dvd, a 60 minute, 30 minute, 20 minute routine – all standing, and one floor routine

my review will concentrate on the two segments i use almost exclusively, the 30 and 20 minute standing sets

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things i liked:

* video and sound quality are both top-notch [2]

* variable time-sets cover a useful range, less than an hr to a full hour

* three alternating instructors [3]

* a few modifications offered

* excellent anatomical & movement cueing

* music is upbeat yet soft and in the background

* really liked the encouragement to both put some attentiveness into each movement, yet pace or alter as needed for each person – very yogic 😉

* there are sectional breaks even within the 30 & 20 routines, for instructor changes and change of exercise sets

* nice range of movement styles, from aerobic to latin to boxing style

* weights included in some sets [4]

* many of the moves are used in class, providing welcome continuity

* humor and smiles and clarity from the trio of instructors

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Reviews: Clear Sailing?
Reviews: Clear Sailing?

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things i would’ve liked:

* my perennial favorite wish item: closed captions [5]

* muscle captions to go with the excellent verbal cues of primary muscles being used [6]

* more modification samples, which i believe they include more so in some of their other dvd’s, so this may’ve already been addressed

* probably asking too much, but maybe a ten minute, well rounded set [7]

closing thoughts:

i want to point out that, though both the 20 & 30 minute routines “work the core,” the shorter set has more weight work, and the longer set has more range of footwork movement (you’ll need more floor space to move in) –

and, i really like having those two differing-emphasis to work with; the shorter set is more strength orientated while the longer set leans more toward cardio, though both of course engage the core

sheila and i continue to find that jazzercise and yoga are great compliments to each other; and have recently seen more yoga showing up in the choreography, which is nice 😉

ultimately, we don’t see any need nor necessity to choose between the two; they compliment each other, yet each style (yoga and jazzercise) provides distinctive benefits and enjoyments the other touches on, while emphasizing its own strengths

that’s the beauty of integrating one’s interests, they feed each other, and should make us happier 😉

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namaste – con dios – god be with you

dvd review series


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footnotes

[1] there are jazzercise classes for seniors we’ve attended a handful of times, and classes for teens, which we’ve been far too removed from to attend 😉

the senior classes seem to be as well rounded and paced as the regular classes

[2] there’s a short behind-the-scenes look at the production and studio on the dvd

[3] judy sheppard missett, founder and creator of jazzercise, plus her daughter, shanna, and one of their certified instructors, chere, model the routines

judy’s elegant easy fluidity are a perfect compliment to her daughter’s more power-based solid moves, while chere is a treat to listen to and watch and work out with, great humor and clarity in her instructions

[4] chere gives some weight-modification cues within one of her sets too, very useful

[5] though i’m an early senior 😉 my high-frequency hearing loss is something i’ve had since at least my mid 20’s

[6] “body by bethenny,” a nice yoga dvd i reviewed last week, does a nice job of placing a written caption onscreen for the primary muscle group used – please see under related dvd below

[7] denise austin has several dvd’s with ten minute sets; in the future i’ll review one i’ve used for nearly 10 years!


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My Yoga-to-Dance aha! Moments! – # 3

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My Yoga-to-Dance aha! Moments! – # 3

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what might yoga or dance inform to the other today, i wondered, as i made my 30 mile drive to clear lake for jazzercise this morning

as jazzercise’s trademark music and moves began, i slowly started working out the kinks of the drive, letting my limbs decide my range of motion, gradually, letting my limbering lengthen my reach and internal muscle-stretch “feel”

felt good, nice, fun moves

but nothing new…

oh well, i thought, i’d just gotten spoiled with all this integrating, internalizing an unrealistic expectation of endless aha!’s in me –

besides i miss my kitty leo, i pictured him waiting for me at home, but he wasn’t – my mom had helped, smiling for me, a group of us, as we shared a few jokes, saying, “isn’t it good when we can laugh and forget our worries for awhile” – didn’t need to stop at groceries going home but would need gas, the truck – opps, i missed a, a step – anyway, need to see if i have everything ready for silversneakers yoga class [1] next week darn missed that chasse turn – oh, i know, concentrate, i’ll concentrate on the music

fairly quickly, i regained movement-concentration, muscles mimicking the dance of bouncing beats – i was back in the moment, brain smiling

i’d forgotten expecting-wanting a new aha! moment –

that’s when i got my yoga-dance connection –

Adan Lerma
Adan Lerma

it wasn’t about the steps themselves this time, or a commonality of muscle movements, or similarity of pose expressions [2]

it was about concentration, which i’d done for decades, bringing my focus back into the now, being able to enjoying the moment more completely –

but, i realized, i was not giving myself credit for knowing this –

this was and is, legitimate motion meditation i can do…

as i flowed more fully thru the music, my sense of motion, i sensed the similarity of sensation, leading the breathing exercise, the beginning of yoga class, the night before, similarity, to exercise, in jazzercise class, the focusing the grounding –

yet there was a nudge of something missing –

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i inhaled deeply during a right then left half spin of the torso as i reached down behind me with alternating arms, almost zumba salsa-like, and inhaled deeply again – the breath!

moving to the music i joined my static-pose breathing-exercise in yoga the night before to the bouncing breathing i needed dancing, expanding my chest with breaths, an instant memory, reading ray long’s keys to deeper breathing articles the night before…completed the links…

meditative-concentration and the breath – their span crosses all disciplines…

i knew this before, but i know it better now, more consciously…

it’s a process…

namaste – con dios – god be with you


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footnotes

[1] it’ll be interesting seeing how the typically very useful-information-dense silversneakers class, focussed on yoga, would feel after my recent yoga teacher immersion

[2] for examples of previous aha! yoga-dance connections, please see the related article links below

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related:

My First Yoga-to-Dance aha! Moment! – Feb 12, 2011

My Yoga-to-Dance aha! Moments! – # 2 – Feb 19, 2011


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