Diagnosis this morning

cookiebaker

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Hi. I've been on this forum for a few months because I suspected I have Fibromyalgia and yesterday I finally had my appointment with a specialist who confirmed that I do indeed have it. She didn't have any guidance other than learn to live with it. I don't know even where to begin, I found a support group in Winnipeg. Feeling completely overwhelmed and I don't know where to start. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Hi and Welcome!

my suggestion is to start with the pinned post at the top of the general discussion forum (will link it below)
There are a lot of great suggestions there of things to try - but dont overwhelm yourself and try to do everything at once - pick one or two things to try initially, and add to it one thing at a time.

The absolute most important thing, however, is to try to keep a positive attitude. Having a formal diagnosis does not really change much of anything, other than being able to give a name to it, so no real reason to be overwhelmed.

There is also plenty of information, suggestions, and just general help scattered around the forums. Jump in, ask questions, the only silly question is the one that doesnt get asked. ;)

 

sunkacola

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I was hoping for your ideas. Long/slow poses/movements is the main problem for me, aside from the extreme.
But I just tried a youtube Tadasana and managed for a whole minute before my arms started hurting and my hands tingling and burning. What helped was the small movements of knees, abdomen and breath.
I know when I first tried long Yin Yoga stretches it killed me, but 20-30'' is often OK. And only a few.
And I do actually feel a benefit if I keep it down to that.
I also do regularly use "back yoga" routines (lower, middle, upper), just it doesn't feel like real yoga much to do it that short. But from what you're saying it can be?
Are back yoga exercises quite a lot of movement "real" yoga, as long as done with the breath?
Also does the attempt count even if a posture I try doesn't look at all like what I'm trying to attain?
And is a plank real yoga even if - as I think - it hasn't go an asana name?
Managing tadasana for one full minute is great! the thing that matters is doing the pose correctly, and holding it for whatever period of time is comfortable for you. If that is 10 seconds, fine, as long as you are doing the pose correctly. You need to have a guide or teacher who will tell you exactly how to hold your head, your arms, your hands, and so on, because it is not just standing there. Which muscles to use, which to relax. Holding a pose incorrectly can do harm.

Most teachers you will find on youtube have no actual training in hatha yoga and will not guide you into doing the pose correctly. If you want correct alignment, find someone who is teaching Iyengar hatha yoga. (BKS Iyengar was the world expert in hatha yoga, and at the age of 70 he could do remarkable things. He wrote the book "Light On Yoga" that has been a sort of "bible" for many practitioners. )

I recommend Rodney Yee. He is an excellent practitioner and enjoyable as a teacher. He has DVDs, and many YouTube videos, including very gentle for beginners. Go to him.

Not having heard of yin yoga I looked it up. I can see from the photos that this is definitely not real hatha yoga. For instance, it shows a person doing a forward bend on the floor with cushions and a curved back. This is completely wrong. Cushions are fine - whatever you need to help support your body. But to do any forward bend with a curved back rather than bending from your hips with a straight back is very bad for anyone's back. So I wouldn't trust "yin yoga" for a minute. In a forward bend, whether standing or sitting, you never curve your back. That's like curving y our back to pick up a weight - not good. Now, if you can only go forward an inch with a straight back -then fine. Do that. If you are properly aligned and can hold that for several seconds or longer, you are doing hatha yoga correctly and it will be good for you. Even if you need to put your hands against the wall while standing and bending forward with a straight back. The straight back is the important thing.

I don't know what "back yoga" routines are, but they do not sound like yoga to me. Hatha yoga is not "routines" or exercises or stretches in and of themselves, although you do stretch in many poses and it can be a workout and you can flow from one pose to another and that could, I suppose, be called a "routine". I very much doubt that those back exercises have anything to do with real yoga, but if they are helpful, then go for it.

And yes, real Hatha is real yoga even if you only hold the pose for a few seconds as long as the pose is correct. In real Hatha yoga you are never, ever supposed to strain. You need to be able to relax into the pose, and how long or how far are not important.

The reason it is so important to do the poses correctly is you have to have your body in alignment. You won't know if it is or not without someone telling you how to get there, or someone doing it correctly for you to see, and a mirror can help if you don't have a live teacher. If your body is not in alignment and you hold a pose you can hurt yourself.

Back exercises with quite a lot of movement are not Hatha yoga, even if done with breath. doesn't mean they are not good - some definitely are! But they are not real yoga.

Yes, the attempt does count!
You can look in BKS's book and see photos of how the poses look when done by an expert, or see what Rodney Yee does, but no one expects anyone to do that, unless you practice for years and have a body that can do it. You are moving toward that. And if you only get one inch toward that, but you know what the finished pose looks like done correctly, it is doing real yoga even if you never get beyond that one inch. Some practitioners are very flexible (I was). But I have seen very serious practitioners whose bodies couldn't go very far into any pose, and they still got the benefit. And were doing it right.

Holding a plank is not a hatha yoga pose in and of itself, although going through a plank on the way to another pose does happen. Some hatha yoga does constitute going through several poses in succession (such as the Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar). Plank is one of the things you go through in a Sun Salutation and holding each pose including the plank is one way of doing Sun Salutation. Plank by itself is not an asana.

It's not about what someone could tolerate being called an asana. It is just what actually IS an asana or not. If something is not actually a hatha yoga asana then it isn't, and shouldn't be called what it is not. You don't need to call something what it is not.

Just call it something else. An exercise or pose of some sort that is not a true asana can, of course, be incorporated into the same time period that is spent doing real asanas, if it is helpful or comfortable to the body. As a yoga teacher I would not call something an asana if it is not, but would never tell someone they shouldn't do it if they like it and it helps them in some way.

The practice of true asanas always includes being mindful of the body and where everything is. Doing something while not being mindful would still be called doing an asana if it is one, but would not be the complete practice of Hatha without the mindfulness as well, because being mindful (not meditating, being mindful of the body, each muscle group, where everything is) is an integral part of the true practice of Hatha yoga.

Hope this helps.
 

JayCS

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Hope this helps.
Definitely, thanks.
I just tried "Yoga For Beginners Morning with Rodney Yee | Yoga | Gaiam" after seeing yesterday it seemed to come my way and was surprised how close it was to what I do anyway.
Yes, agreeable chap. Interesting he started off as a ballet dancer.
(Most challenging doing it was and still is now afterwards to keep putting up my arms that long for the mountain, plus some calf cramps while doing the downward facing dog. Interesting that and the small steps back to get there, I often use those backwards to get up off the floor quickly too, then 3-4 small "steps" with my hands from knees up my thighs to standing.
My own similar twist-stretches do more for my specific stiffness and back problems, so I have a feeling of accomplishment, but exhaustion, and my body hasn't got the stretches it needs. But praps I'll find a few movements in his stuff.)


Now I was once again curious if (like "Yoga" Nidra) "Yin" "Yoga" is new, not traditional, and that is the case:

"Yin Yoga" doesn't at all aim or claim to be Hatha Yoga or "real yoga". As "Yin" suggests it is a combination and adaptation of Hatha Yoga with "Taoist yoga", better called Daoyin, part of TCM, so Chinese. Developed by US martial arts experts (Zink, Grilley & Powers) fron the 70s on to get people more flexible thru very long holds and stimulate the TCM meridians as well as Hatha's nadis (India, Buddhist, originating from Buddha). Zink originally called it yin and yang yoga and was more Taoist, whilst Powers put more hatha into it, made it faster again, and then called that yang yoga and Insight Yoga.
(Yin Yoga was recommended to me by a pain doctor believing that the slowness is good for fibro. - But in my experience like everything it needs to be adapted, mainly to doing it in much shorter stints....)

Yoga has several roots, schools and has strongly developed, even more so in the Western world. Hatha yoga isn't that ancient at all, it started in the 11th century, with very few older roots and is based on texts from the 15th and 17th century. And the strong focus on asanas/postures instead of meditation is actually already an even more recent adaptation, started in the late 19th century by gurus from India, for Westerners. Since then the number of asanas used has recently been greatly increased and developed by people like the B.K.S. Iyengar mentioned to "yoga as exercise" / "Iyengar Yoga".
So even Hatha Yoga and Iyengar Yoga aren't "real yoga" in the sense of the philosophical mindset.
But what is often termed "yoga" is not "real Hatha yoga" and even more stripped of its origins.

(So for me the movements that help me I'll keep terming "exercises using stretches", for which I like using all kinds of these, however much yoga is in them, so I feel free to choose from this brilliant variety, incl. movement experts like Rodney Yee. :D)

(I just skimmed thru
Back Care Yoga with Rodney Yee | Yoga | Gaiam and it's 80% identical with the back exercises I suspected were "not real yoga"....,)
 
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cookiebaker

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...it started in the 11th century, with very few older roots and is based on texts from the 15th and 17th century.
Sorry, but this line makes no sense to me...
how can something that started in the 11th century be based on texts from the 15th & 17th centuries?
just does not quite compute, lol

I personally know very little about yoga - have watched a few videos, but there are a lot of movements that would be nearly impossible for me, for various reasons..

I would love to learn tai chi, and have watched some videos on that as well, but this is also one where a new student of it would benefit from having a live teacher/practitioner to ensure one is doing things correctly - hard to do when there is literally no one within 100 miles that teaches it :cry: but then again, i would need to be in somewhat better shape, physically, to even try (right now the low back/SI joint problems prevent me from being on my feet for very long)
 

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how can something that started in the 11th century be based on texts from the 15th & 17th centuries?
Not too hard, actually, I guess I mean something different by "based on" than you're assuming?
Like many things it started low and went slow: First inklings in the 1st century, then a bit more development in the 11th century, but only in the 15th to 17th century were the main texts written, creating a sort of fully fledged base of "real real Hatha yoga" with all Eastern mindset background, and then in the 19th & 20th century that base was further developed for the West, reducing the Eastern mindset, with more varied movements, to what we here were calling "real Hatha yoga" and then mixed up with other exercises as just "yoga", meaning a large varietyof exercises including Hatha and others.... so only partly or hardly "real"....

Compared I dunno 👐 to the development of a living being: The inklings are a pre-conception, the 1st century like a conception, the 15th-17th century authors/parents give birth, and the 19th-20th is the development of an adult in a different direction to that "intended" by the conceiving parents... :D. These parents are still existent as Hatha yoga with the full Eastern mindset and praps eyeing 'yoga as exercise' partly suspiciously, partly graciously. I bet someone can come up with a better image, but maybe it helps...
 
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sunkacola

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Yoga has several roots, schools and has strongly developed, even more so in the Western world. Hatha yoga isn't that ancient at all, it started in the 11th century,
Well, I don't know where you are getting information, but I am afraid it is quite inaccurate.

Yoga has roots that can be traced back thousands of years in ancient lands that are now called India. It was not known to Europeans until the 10th or 11th century CE, but yoga and yogis have existed for thousands of years. The asanas of Hatha Yoga may not have been called "hatha yoga" all that time, but the development of those poses is ancient. Yoga is mentioned in the Rig Veda, which is widely accepted as the oldest text known on the planet, dating to 2,000 or more BCE.

At the time of the development and creation of the Rig Veda (which was initially and for some time an oral set of verses, passed from rishis - or monks - to one another through the many generations), there were yogis. Yoga as a practice was known at that time, and historians have actually traced the roots of yoga back as far as 5,000 years ago.

So yes, it is an ancient practice in its many forms including the asanas.

It has not "strongly developed" in the western world!
It was strongly developed in India for, as I say, thousands of years before ever coming to the west. Westerners have made yoga popular, but have done nothing in the way of "developing" it because, like any ancient practice, it was already fully developed. Just as there have been different versions of ancient texts like the Quaran or the Bible, or the Torah, And modern takes and variations on some rituals or concepts or practices, those variations have not "developed" the original. They have only modified it.

What westerners have done is modify yoga it to suit themselves. I am not saying there is necessarily something wrong with that; all humans adapt and modify things and ideas to their own circumstances and desires. But there's been no development of the practice in the west, only popularization. Some of these variations are actually bad for the body, others are not. But they need to be seen as variations, not the original.
 

cookiebaker

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I guess I mean something different by "based on" than you're assuming?
"based on" - to use existing/prior information to support or prove an opinion or belief

i guess the way you worded it is what I am getting at.. the way you wrote it, you had 11th century teachings based on 15th century texts... time does not work that way.. it needs to be the other way round... texts from the 15th century are based on 11th century teachings.. follow?

and i guess that is neither here nor there in relation to the actual discussion at hand, but wording does make a difference in understanding.
 

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Well, I don't know where you are getting information, but I am afraid it is quite inaccurate.
Sorry - what I meant to convey, e.g. from wikipedia, agrees fully with what you are saying.
However you haven't included what was meant to be my main point, so I'll try again...

Yes, both yoga and asanas are very ancient, much older than most other religions.
But I'd've thought you agree asanas were originally an "instrument" in the yoga way of life all the time,
until yogis like B.K.S. stripped them off of most of the yoga way of life and mindset for the use of Westerners - "yoga as exercise".
Your long explanation above didn't in any way refer to any deeper mindset or way of life.

When I wrote "developed" in the Western world, I meant it partly in your sense of modification. But if we take the ancient teachings seriously, and how they see it, isn't stripping yoga down to simply "exercises" much more than a modification, isn't it in its view is emptying it of essentials? For them a strong negative development?

Also whilst prying the exercises out of the mindset their forms and amount seem to have been greatly increased. e.g. "Before 1900, hatha yoga had few standing poses; the Sun Salutation was pioneered ... during the 1920s." "The number of asanas used in yoga has increased from 84 in 1830 ... to about 200 in Light on Yoga and over 900 ... by 1984". Isn't that again much more than a modification? For the exercises a strong positive development?
 

JayCS

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"based on" - to use existing/prior information to support or prove an opinion or belief
i guess the way you worded it is what I am getting at.. the way you wrote it, you had 11th century teachings based on 15th century texts... time does not work that way.. it needs to be the other way round... texts from the 15th century are based on 11th century teachings.. follow?
and i guess that is neither here nor there in relation to the actual discussion at hand, but wording does make a difference in understanding.
Ah yes, I get you now, and am always keen to get my thoughts and wording clearer, not always easy in a non-English environment with only you as my teachers 👩‍🏫 ... :D
Hatha yoga isn't that ancient at all, it started in the 11th century, with very few older roots and is based on texts from the 15th and 17th century
You read 11th century teachings based on 15th century texts, which would of course be silly.
The "it" I implied for "based on texts" is not "the start of Hatha Yoga", but today's "Hatha Yoga":
Would this wording have prevented confusion?: "Hatha yoga is based (add: mainly) on texts from the 15th and 17th century, (although it) started in the 11th century, with very few older roots."
Well, I don't know where you are getting information, but I am afraid it is quite inaccurate.
Mallinson 2012, p. 20, "The techniques of hatha yoga are not taught in Sanskrit texts until the 11th century or thereabouts."
Burley 2000, p. 15, "While many scholars prefer to locate hatha-yoga's formative years somewhere between the ninth and tenth centuries CE, coinciding with the estimated flourishing of the great siddhas Matsyendra and Goraksa, other researchers and practitioners of yoga look much farther back in time.".

From my historical and other studies, my opinion is that scholars, being humans, like to prove their pre-conceptions, and if you want to see tiny things as being hatha yoga, they to you seem so, however I see reality as more complicated and diverse and so prefer to be more careful and "know that I don't know". So I follow more reserved scholars, in this case that hatha yoga was a tiny part of all yoga in the 1st century, became more in the 11th, a big part in the 15th and 17th, and in the 20th century split into 2? main branches, 1) mindset with exercise and 2) exercise with praps a bit of mindset, of which the 2nd was enriched/corrupted with non-yoga exercises....
 

cookiebaker

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Ah yes, I get you now, and am always keen to get my thoughts and wording clearer, not always easy in a non-English environment with only you as my teachers 👩‍🏫 ... :D
yes, LOL and I do understand about the language differences, I took a semester of German in highschool - dont remember much of it anymore, but the sentence structure was VERY different than what I am used to as a native English speaker.
Would this wording have prevented confusion?: "Hatha yoga is based (add: mainly) on texts from the 15th and 17th century, (although it) started in the 11th century, with very few older roots."
yes, that would have been a much better, and clearer, wording
 

sunkacola

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Yes, both yoga and asanas are very ancient, much older than most other religions.
First:
Just to let everyone know, yoga is not a religion.

For some people yoga is a way of life that is practiced daily, and this may include the practice of one or many of the forms of yoga, which may or may not include hatha yoga, and it may appear religious-like to someone on the outside but yoga is not a religion.

Many practitioners also find interest in other eastern ways of thought such as Buddhism or Hinduism, and sometimes there will be indications of these things in a yoga studio, or be practiced by an individual alongside the practices of yoga, but those religions are not part of yoga.

until yogis like B.K.S. stripped them off of most of the yoga way of life and mindset
I disagree with this statement. Inyengar did not "strip" anything, and in fact he was a very dedicated life long practitioner of several different forms of yoga as a way of life. "Light On Yoga" focuses primarily on the physical practice. But that doesn't strip anything away, it is simply a handbook to the practice of one form of yoga. You may know that it is a very long book. Had he tried to write so extensively about all of yoga you wouldn't even be able to pick up the book.

A person could write a whole handbook about Japa yoga, Karma yoga, or any other form. None would be stripping anything away, simply focusing on one aspect.

Your long explanation above didn't in any way refer to any deeper mindset or way of life.
This is true, and it's because we started this discussion talking about hatha yoga only, a way of life what we were talking about until you bring it up here. I mentioned mindfulness, if that is what you mean by "mindset".

There is definitely a way of life. But not everyone enters into those aspects of yoga. It is entirely possible to practice traditional hatha yoga without diving making it a whole way of life, and many do.
From my historical and other studies, my opinion is that scholars, being humans, like to prove their pre-conceptions, and if you want to see tiny things as being hatha yoga, they to you seem so, however I see reality as more complicated and diverse
Don't know what you refer to in saying "if you want to see tiny things..." and "they to you seem so" I would suggest that unless one has actually read the Rig Veda ( preferably in the original Sanskrit) it's pretty hard to know for certain what it says. You might also note that in my post I said that poses may not have been called "hatha yoga" at that time, and also I said :
"Yoga as a practice was known at that time, and historians have actually traced the roots of yoga back as far as 5,000 years ago.:"

I was referring to yoga as a whole, which is the meaning of that word, and not just to hatha yoga, and have explained earlier that hatha yoga is not all of what yoga is, but only one form of yoga. It is possible to be a yoga practitioner in other forms without practicing hatha yoga at all. Most western people only think of the word "yoga" as meaning only hatha yoga, which is understandable since the other forms have not received as much attention in the western world. But when I say "Yoga" in this discussion and elsewhere I am referring to all of the forms, and not only to hatha yoga.

If a person approaches doing asanas without any focus, while thinking of something else, they may find fairly quickly that they can't do some asanas and any of the slightly more advanced poses without focusing on their body and what it is doing, as it requires concentration and practice to achieve many of them. So someone serious about doing asana is likely, even if they start out only thinking of it as exercise, to come to a more mindful place in the practice if they move forward with it. I've seen this happen many times, and sometimes this expands into the person's life.

Whether the variations that have been made in recent years are positive or negative or neutral is a matter of personal opinion, and everyone gets to have one. I've stated my opinion but have no interest in defending it or arguing.
 

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I can see no reason to correct my stated impression that traditional yoga feels "yoga as exercise" to be stripping it of important aims like "complete transmutation of the physical body into a ‘diamond body’ (vajra-deha)" and partly be cultural appropriation. I still acknowledge that by seeing it as a stripped down form, but personally I welcome that, because that makes it easier to fit to other mindsets.
 

sunkacola

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I can see no reason to correct my stated impression that traditional yoga feels "yoga as exercise" to be stripping it of important aims like "complete transmutation of the physical body into a ‘diamond body’ (vajra-deha)" and partly be cultural appropriation. I still acknowledge that by seeing it as a stripped down form, but personally I welcome that, because that makes it easier to fit to other mindsets.
No problem with that.
 
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