Saturday, June 26, 2010

Progress Report - Yoga vs Osteoporosis Study

It's only been a couple of weeks but I just wanted to post my progress.

Study participants are required to perform a set of exercises daily - or at least most days of the week. I joined the study on June 10 and can report that I have completed the routine each day for the last 17 days. We have a scorecard and that really helps to keep record. I'm really psyched about being a part of this study and have every confidence that it will be successful!!!!

It's a Marvelous Night for a Moon Dance...

It's the full moon tonight and in appreciation for this event, I used "moon" references in my yoga class yesterday.

I opened the class with a reading of a moon story where it was noted that it is difficult to imagine the night sky without the moon. And, people have always believed that the moon is something mysterious and magical. I downloaded Van Morrison's "It's a Marvelous Night for a Moon Dance" (actually used the Michael Buble version) on my iPod for background music. We did a moon series of poses from Yoga for Movement Disorders. This was one time where I wish I had my camera with me. The class looked like synchronized swimmers - beautiful!!!! And, the theme was a big hit.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Yoga in Somerville

As a part of their "Commit to be Fit" campaign, I was invited to Brendan's office to share some yoga with the staff. Having worked in a Social Security office for many years, I can certainly empathize with the stresses these workers deal with on a daily basis. And, I had forgotten how stressful the morning commute could be! That being said, I was welcomed ever so graciously by everyone and enjoyed this mini yoga session.

We began with the Lion Pose - a stress-reliever if I ever saw one! This pose "broke the ice" so to speak and we proceeded with some breathing techniques. From there, we warmed up the body. Working hunched over at a desk and staring at a computer screen for hours at a time can wreak havoc on a body. The class responded well to the warm-ups and can do these at their desk in just a few short minutes.

As the folks were dressed for work - and not working out - I geared the poses to standing only. We practiced Mountain, Chair, and then Downward Dog using the chair for support.

We closed with a nice relaxation exercise. One of the women in the class is from Barbados and is getting married there next month. I used the beach in Barbados theme for the relaxation and played some steel band music.

As with all new experiences, I was a little nervous at the start. But, that soon disappeared when I looked at the relaxed smiling faces around me. Especially Brendan's.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I'm preparing a class for some office workers and so, last night I spent some time reading from a delightful book called Desktop Yoga by Julie Lusk. This book was printed about 12 years ago but it is still a timely resource. It offers some clear, easy explanations of various yoga poses that can be done while seated at a desk.

In one chapter, entitled Twelve Yoga Secrets for Managing Stress, I found a message that seemed to be meant for me! Regarding self-acceptance, Lusk says "It is not helpful to be either critical or complimentary toward your ability to do yoga. It is much more important to accept yourself for who and how you are. Being yourself is enough. It is a lot less stressful if you are able to stop putting yourself down all the time..." (See yesterday's post) It really doesn't matter that I'm not as flexible as Gumby. What is much more important is that I accept myself - as is!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Coordination Conundrum

Take a look at the pose on the left. Looks relatively easy to do, doesn't it? But, for some reason or other, I'm having difficulty with my coordination - or lack of it.

First, my left arm doesn't quite reach the floor. I tried using 2 blocks and this seems to help. I may need the chair for this one.

Second, I think I'm just a little nervous. Sure looks like you could twist and shout if you're not paying close attention!!!!

The funny thing is that I know once I get the hang of it, I will come to like - no, maybe even love it!!!! At least that's been my experience with poses that just seemed too confusing for me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Motivated...and accountable!

Not too long ago, Pat from the Yoga Librarian Blog posted a hearty recommendation for the book shown on the left. I have osteoporosis and I practice yoga. And so, of course, I bought the book and have been studying it ever since. This book is chock full of solid medical information, detailed descriptions of poses, and promise.

At, I learned that there was a study in place which "attempts to prove that properly chosen yoga poses can reverse osteoporosis without having negative effects on the joints." Participants in the study received a DVD which demonstrated these poses. I sent an email to the organization with the hope of being able to purchase the DVD - and received a reply inviting me to join the study! And so, this is where the motivation kicks in...

The folks involved with the study are most responsive and helpful. Using the book as my guide, I began the exercises on June 10. I just received the DVD and this has helped me to fine-tune a couple of the poses. As a member of the study, I am making a commitment to do these exercises daily. I am keeping a log and have just completed week 1. I'll try to post regularly now so that I can keep track of my progress here. All about accountability!!!