Monday, December 17, 2012

Western fitness class vs Ashtanga Yoga

Arching Quadriceps

Pros/Use – Stretches quadriceps and hip flexors.  The above is not a traditional yoga pose.  In my opinion  is that westerners dreamed this one up for fitness class.  Again no yogi trained by the various styles from India has this pose, at least not in Ashtanga yoga.
Cons – Places high stress on kneecap and other tissues in front of knee joint.  Those with a history of knee problems should refrain from this stretch.  Most health-care professionals also discourage use of this stretch.
Above is last of dangerous poses listed in NASM text book.
Ashtanga yoga has pose similar as follows, but is in the Advanced Series, which most never master until after years of practice.
Many western yoga studios include this pose depicted above, and I have not yet encountered in my Ashtanga Yoga practice, for after 15 years, I am not ready for this one.  Takes years of practice.

Kapotasana from Ashtanga yoga advanced series

Note the difference of pose from Ashtanga yoga and the western version.  Hips are up, not descending toward the ankles.  

Again NASM publicizes its criticisms of yoga, without researching nor providing reliable information.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Straight Leg toe touch (NASM term)


Definition: Bending forward in a standing position.
Standing poses develop strength and flexibility in your legs and hips and equilibrium in your body. The Hands-to-Feet Pose stretches your spine and joints, and increase the blood supply to your brain. The Triangle is the last of the basic Asanas. You must master this pose and its variations before trying the advanced Asanas.
Objective: To make your spine and legs supple and strong.


This is similar to the Forward Bend, but here gravity helps to stretch your body down. Stand with your feet together. Inhale, while lifting your arms straight above your head. Exhale as you bend forward and down. Breathe normally while you are in the pose. Hold for at least 30 seconds: as you gain experience, increase the time to several minutes.

NASM lists this as dangerous potentially.
Possibly placing the vertebrae and cartilage discs in low back under high stress.  Not for those with history of herniated discs or nerve pain that runs in the back of the leg. Advises not to hyperextend the knees placing high stress on ligaments of the knee.
Again NASM text tells what not to do, but does not offer cues for doing this pose properly.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Shoulder Stand

The above is how the pose is done.  The one depicted in NASM text is not recommended and if performed how they show can cause injury.  Note above the student is using a blanket, neck and spine are not touching the floor.  A mouse could crawl under the neck.  The spine is vertically aligned and the palms face up located each side of the spine and gaze is toward the toes.

Sarvangasana, the Queen Pose of Yoga, is another asana that NASM says can be dangerous due to high stress on the neck, shoulders and spine.  This time there is qualification of if exact technique is not used.  However NASM does not say what that is, so they have limited knowledge in this area.

Again the neck and spine are not used to bear the load, rather use the shoulders upper arms and use hands for back support.

Inversions encourage blood flow to the brain, help move fluid of the lymphatic system.  Balance and spatial awareness are developed.

Beginners should learn this pose from a qualified yoga teacher not a fitness trainer.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Plow Pose

Academy of Sports Medicine says Plow Pose is another yoga asana that could cause injury to the neck and spine saying that undo stress is placed upon the neck vertevrae. NASM ignores yoga instructions for this pose which yoga teachers say that weight is supported by shoulders not the C-5 of neck vertebrae.  This is an inversion which encourages blood flow to the head and encourages movement of body fluids.

The more I study NASM and their negative comments about yoga asanas I begin to question their intentions.  I have noticed most physical trainers have negative attitude about yoga and do often say negative things of this sacred practice that has existed for centuries.  The CPTs often have yoga versions developed by physical trainers in their gyms for group classes.  Having attended these I do notice that instructions and cues are not the same as yoga certified teachers, and I often see positions and sequences that are harmful and encourage muscle imbalances.  I think NASM should focus more time on their teachers and not claim yoga poses are dangerous.

There are fitness trainers that recognize yoga benefits and include them in their DVDs; e.g. Tony Horton of beachbody.  He attends traditional yoga classes and often has his yoga teacher on the yoga dvds.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Inverted hurdler's stretch

The hurdler’s stretch can injure the knee and should be practiced with caution:
1.  It stretches the medial ligaments in the knee.     
2.  It crushes the meniscus, or the disk of cartliage found in your knee.  
3.  It can lead to slippage of the knee cap, which could result in a twisted or compressed knee cap.

There are modified versions with back knee in various positions.  Yoga versions involve folding forward face to knee.  Hurdler version includes folding forward and bending backward.  This stretch looks like a track athlete going over a hurdle.  Runners benefit from stretching the muscles involved with this.


The National Academy of Sports Medicine considers this stretch dangerous.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Controversial Yoga Poses

The National Academy of Sports Medicine indicates 5 yoga poses which are potentially dangerous:
1.  Inverted hurdler's stretch
2.  Plow
3.  Shoulder Stand
4.  Straight Leg Toe touch
5.  Arching quadriceps.

Now I see the yogis saying that I am being negative and should not speak  on this subject.
Of course,  exercise can cause injury and each person should strive for improvement without injury, but one should use common sense.

The group yoga leader will say only go as far as your body tells you to go without pain; but alas the group class teacher first demonstrates the desired position in the pose, as taught in teacher training, and afterwards advises beginner positions not so challenging.

Ashtanga yoga has philosophy of learning the sequence from a teacher and progressing with your self practice, which is a good one.  Yet many depend too much upon the teacher to master the pose with adjustments, which is another source (major one) of injuries.

Then the Ashanga yoga teachers claim only the Series of Ashtanga yoga are all one needs for daily exercise.  This means aerobic exercise like jogging or running are not necessary.  And the push, pull, squat, gait, twist and bend from physical fitness academies are not recommended.

I say the advanced yoga people avoid other forms of exercise because they want a body that will make the advanced positions more accessible.  Running does tighten the leg muscles making forward fold and others more of a challenge.  Pull ups and lifting weights enlarge the muscle tissue and this additional muscle inhibits those often sought after yoga poses.  So the yoga person devotes entire life to the yoga practice and thus does not  acquire the benefits of an Academy of Sport Medicine workout.

Ashtanga yoga is challenging and uses body weight for improving the body, mind and spirit through the practice.  Yet the advanced yogis from Ashtanga add gymnastics moves to the flow making the practice more challenging; yet they claim this is as taught by Jois.  I say the literature indicates that these gymnastic moves were added to what was originally taught.  Just watch the original practices of those going to Mysore in the early days and compare them to those that went more recently and there is a noticeable difference in how the practice is performed.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sivananda Yoga

When one strays away from the core, it is wise for return to Sivananda Yoga practice.

Sivananda heals all injuries of mind, body and spirit.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 1 Les Mills Pump Challenge

Les Mills Pump Challenge
Sept 4, 2012 Measurements

Chest:  39
R Arm: 14.5
L. Arm: 14.5
Waist:  33
Hips:  39
R. Thigh: 22
L. Thigh: 22
Weight:  176

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Training schedule since Tuesday

Wednesday-strength workout, spin class
Thursday-Ashtanga yoga led class
Saturday-Acrobatic Yoga workshop 3 hours
Sunday-3 mile outdoor bike ride at noon

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

half primary Ashtanga Yoga today

Half Primary today, more gentle class than usual with new students.  I wonder if they will stay with the practice.

Healthplex workouts today

Morning bicycle ride, later Strength Endurance workout then spin class.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Riverfront Yoga class Moss Point

Sivananda type yoga taught today for two new students and two regulars.  We signed sympathy card for one of our students whose husband passed away unexpectedly Monday evening from heart condition at age 55.  He was not practicing yoga, but worked out of home in his profession of photography.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

weekly workout schedule for wellness

Monday:  Strength and Endurance Performance workout from National Academy of Sports Medicine.  Indoor Cycling.
Tuesday:  Ashtanga Yoga
Wednesday:  Strength and Enduring Performance workout from NASM,  Indoor Cycling
Thursday: Ashtanga Yoga
Friday:  P90x Chest and Back
Saturday: Rest plus Stretching and self Myofascia Release (SMR) with foam roller.
Sunday: Cycling OUtside

Friday, July 13, 2012


Efit type yoga today after self practice Sivananda Sun Salutations.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Insanity Asylum

Speed and agility today after working out at gym.

I had only done 12 days of Insanity the Asylum 3 months ago, finished P90x and started over with Insanity the Asylum.  Knee still recovering, so modified most of the routine favoring left knee.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ashtanga Yoga after P Barz

Morning class of Ashtanga Yoga at MPCC Riverfront.
Earlier Level A Day 2 gymnastics on parallel bars.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

P Barz

Early morning P Barz workout from GMB program for parallel bars.  Day 1 week 1 of the Level A program.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Yoga and bicycling

The past few mornings I have  been riding bicycle each morning for about 20 minutes and later in day Ashtanga Yoga home practice.  Still recovering from injured knee and week of the flu.  Flu is gone now, no drainage, but knee needs more physical therapy with yoga.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Friday:  Total Body Weight Training with Dumb bells
Saturday:  Ashtanga Yoga Short Form

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Friday 45 minutes of aerobic swimming and aquatics.
Saturday 30 minutes cycling on Beach to Market and back home.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

P90x Certified

P90x Certification
San Antonio, Texas
May 2012

MPCC P90x Stretch X

Round Robin of chin ups, push ups, crunches.
3 rounds 3 sets  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ashtanga YOga

Tuesday at MPCC Riverfront.  Class practiced Short form 45 minutes of Ashtanga Yoga then 15 minutes of pranayama then corpse.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

P90x 6

Kenpo X Sunday
Stretch X Monday

That finishes up week 6 onto week 7 Tuesday.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Ashtanga Yoga using Short Forms DVD by David Swenson 45 minutes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Back and Biceps, Ab Ripper X
Day 3 Week 1 Chin up Challenge AM


Received notification of passing P90x certification.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

P90x week 6

Shoulders, arms and triceps then Ab Ripper X after MPCC Riverfront Yoga and stretching class.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Chest and biceps
Ab Ripper X

taught gentle yoga for lower back relief at the Riverfront earlier this am.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Plyometrics today full 60 minutes, burned 450 calories.  Quite an improvement with knee in recovery mode.  Key goal was to follow modified version shown on DVD.

Day 1                              

Day 90

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Recovery all week P90x

This week is all recovery P90x preparing for Certification this weekend.  Knee range of motion improving and still working on chin up challenge.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chin up Challenge Revisited

Friday was a revisit to the Chin Up Challenge, completing week -2 Day 1 doing 5 sets 1 rep.
Friday also included upper body workout of chin ups, L-sits, knee tuck sits, handstand practice, push ups, crunches and some cardio on stationary bicycle.

Saturday is cardio day, stationary bicycle, later Kenpo X martial arts.
Note that today is new moon, no yoga practice.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Kenpo X after Yoga

This morning practice included 60 minutes of Power Yoga, then 30 minutes of Kenpo X from P90x.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Chest and Back
Power Yoga at gym class with group
Lunch of Easter Leftovers, ham, sweet potatoes, broccoli, peas, pineapple, and carrot cake.
Rest then in the afternoon

Warm Up March, run, jumping Jacks, Run Lunges with alternate arm raises, Side to side head rolls, expand contract chest back shoulder stretch, topas should stretch, standing side stretch, arm circles
Ballistic stretches of huggers, swimmers, reachers should triceps combo stretch neck stretch
Chest and Back
Round 1
  • 1. Standard Push-ups
  • 2. Wide Front Pull-ups
  • 3. Military Push-ups
  • 4. Reverse Grip Chin-ups  BREAK for water
  • 5. Wide Fly Push-Ups
  • 6. Closed Grip Overhand Pull-ups
  • 7. Decline Push-ups
  • 8. Heavy Pants   BREAK for water STIRRers
  • 9. Diamond Push-ups
  • 10. Lawnmower
  • 11. Dive Bomber
  • 12. Push-ups
  • 13. Back Fly's

Round 2 repeat 2,1  4,3  6,5  8,7  10,9  12, 11  13
then cool down Ballistic Stretches
Shakers, Huggers, swimmers, standing side stretch, wide feet forward hamstring stretch, cat stretch, child's pose.

Legs and Back

Chair Lunges
One leg on chair. Switch Legs 15 Reps

Calf-Raise Squat
squat with Toe Raise w/ Weight. 15 Reps

Reverse Grip Chin Ups
Palms toward you.

Super Skaters
25 reps each side

Wide Front Pull Ups

Step Back Lunges
Alternate legs, 15 total reps between both legs

Side Step Lunges
Legs together, step left, back to middle, step right. with Weight, 25 total reps

Close Grip Overhand Pull Ups
palms away from you.

Wall Squats
Back against wall, legs together, sit down until legs 90 degrees to floor. Raise up and down alternatively every 10 seconds for 1 minute.

Dead Lift Squats
No weight, touch floor leg squat flat back.

Switch Grip Pull-up
Ballistic Stretch
three way lunger with two kick option
sneaky lunge
reverse grip chin up
Chair Salutations
Toe roll iso lunge
Wide Front Pull Up
Groucho Walk
Calf Raises
Closed Grip overhand pull up
80/20 siebers-speed squat
switch grip pull up

Cool down and stretch

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fun Day with P Barz American Gymnist

Beginner gymnast age 63 having fun today:








Feared falling, easier done on palms

Weekend is Rest Day for P90x

However, Saturday is fun day playing with American Gymnast workout:

Warm Up with Sun Salutations from Yoga
Sit Tucks
Planche Tucks
Push ups
Handstand Press

All of which on P-Barz then yoga cool down asanas and stretching, Corpse pose.

For this round of P90x, the plan is work from Bring It Book working thru phases of Warrior workouts without using the DVDs.  Of course now I need to look at the book confirming in my mind the next routine until knowing by heart as preparation for future teaching/leading class for small group exercise.

Friday, March 30, 2012

P90x again

Since last post I have been working with P90x again.  This must be 4th round.

Today was Cardio day from book Bring It.

Test from Tony Horton's book indicate I am a Warrior and should be doing Warrior workouts in his book.

I am comfortable doing the warrior workouts having completed 3 rounds of P90x and one round of P90x-2, but some of the routines I must modify; e.g., chin ups and various versions, plyometrics being careful with previous injury of left knee and having runner's knee of right side, but leg muscles are strong and I can manage.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gymnast workout then flex and tone

Warm Up American Gymnast workout then dumb bells cool down.
Flex and tone 1 hour class.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


P.A.P. Upper body from P90x-2 dvd.  Very challenging even for athletes. Post activation potentiation.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ashtanga Yoga Class/American Gymnast at home

Ashtanga Yoga with students this AM at Moss Point Community Center overlooking the Riverfront for less than 50 minutes, Half Primary Series.

Later at home warm up for upper body, then American Gymnast Beginner workout consisting of:

4 sets of 10 sec. Tuck Sit, 4 sets of 10 sec L-Sit, 4 sets of 10 sec Tuck Planche, L-sit to Press 8 reps, push ups 8 reps 4 sets all from American Gymnast on P-Barz.  Cool Down

Cool down total time at home workout 30 minutes.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday morning Workout

Yoga/Intermediate workout with pull up bar and weights

Warm up Ashtanga Yoga SS-A and SS-B.

Scooby's intermediate workout:

BodypartExerciseNumber setsNumber repsTempo
abscrunches38-301s up 1s dn
latspullups38-152s up 2s dn
latsdumbbell rows38-152s up 2s dn
chestpushups38-152s up 2s dn
chestdumbbell flys38-152s up 2s dn
legslunges38-15 (each leg)
bicepsbarbell curls38-152s up 2s dn
tricepsdumbbell french press38-152s up 2s dn
shouldersalternating dumbbell press38-152s up 2s dn
shouldersside raise38-152s up 2s dn
Weights: 60 minutes & Cardio: 20 minutes - jog, brisk walk or bike

Then cool down and stretching.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday's Workout

Ashtanga Yoga warm up 3 SS-A & B, 4 sets of 10 sec. Tuck Sit, 4 sets of 10 sec L-Sit, 4 sets of 10 sec Tuck Planche, L-sit to Press 8 reps, push ups 8 reps 4 sets all from American Gymnast on P-Barz.  Cool Down

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yoga/Intermediate workout with pull up bar and weights

Morning Ashtanga Yoga for 50 minutes with fabulous 5 at Moss Point Community Center.  One student came from Brazil for the class and will be here for the month.

Later at home, scooby's intermediate workout:

BodypartExerciseNumber setsNumber repsTempo
abscrunches38-301s up 1s dn
latspullups38-152s up 2s dn
latsdumbbell rows38-152s up 2s dn
chestpushups38-152s up 2s dn
chestdumbbell flys38-152s up 2s dn
legslunges38-15 (each leg)
bicepsbarbell curls38-152s up 2s dn
tricepsdumbbell french press38-152s up 2s dn
shouldersalternating dumbbell press38-152s up 2s dn
shouldersside raise38-152s up 2s dn
Weights: 60 minutes & Cardio: 20 minutes - jog, brisk walk or bike

Then cool down and stretching.