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Paleo Ayurveda and Spartan Yoga - Vie Binga & Tim Ganley EPISODE 3, 17th September 2020
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Yoga Poses - Part 3

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Yoga Poses - Part 3

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Episode Transcript

Tim: Hello this is Tim.

Vie: And this is Vie and we welcome you to another episode of the spartan mind mind strength podcast.

Tim: And this episode is part of a series of, go!

Vie: The good, the bad and the ugly of yoga poses.

Tim: And so we’re going to talk a little bit about the bad and possibly ugly, and then we’ll talk a little bit about the good of this.

Vie: Or great.

Tim: Yes.

Vie: Stay tuned, we’ll be right back.

Tim: And we’re back, but first, did you subscribe, did you like, did you follow, did you share,

Vie: Leave a review

Tim: Did you leave comments?

Vie: Yes.

Tim: It’s always fun to get comments. Very interesting comments sometimes, but we are now in like 40 different countries.

Vie: Oh yeah. It’s like unbelievable.

Tim: It’s unbelievable who actually listens to us and comments about us.

Vie: Exactly. And it’s unbelievable that they do actually listen to us.

Tim: So, we’re talking about some poses and in the first part of this, we talked about, where the poses sorta came from. And the second one we talked about

Vie: Fish and the alternatives.

Tim: Yes. And now we’re here with two of my favorite ones, but before we talk about our favorite of the favorite ones, Warrior one, which is a joke, tell me who’s sponsoring this?

Vie: Yoga Energy School, the best teacher training, and one of the oldest studios in Florida, and you can still get your yoga alliance 200 and 300 hour through them privately online and even have three months of mentorship afterwards. You still have time, but

Tim: Not much time.

Vie: Not much time, exactly. Oh yes. By the time this is out

Tim: There isn’t going to be that much time.

Vie: Not that much time.

Tim: So we’re now talking about warrior one.

Vie: Oh yes.

Tim: Warrior one, warrior one, which I consider pretty much one of the most useless poses in the world. To start with,

Vie: I consider it detrimental, but

Tim: It is detrimental, and. But first off, what, what’s the name of it in Sanskrit?

Vie: Oh, Virabhadrasana, Virabhadrasana one. Because that was, that comes from Virabhadra and Asana - Asana pose - and supposedly Virabhadra was a warrior that was created by Shiva’s hair or something.

Tim: Sweet, I like Shiva.

Vie: I love Shiva.

Tim: So, so, and so this isn’t about Shiva though. This is about warrior one.

Vie: Absolutely.

Tim: Because this pose is a fairly new pose. It’s it’s not, it’s less than 125 years old. It wasn’t part of the asanas for the Yogi. So we’re not talking like this is oh 5,000 years old. We’re talking, this is less than 125 years old.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: It was created mainly as a pose in a circus, in a performance. So it looks pretty. I’m not saying it’s not a pretty pose, it’s a very pretty pose. But it’s also pretty useless if it’s not done for being pretty. There is no benefits to it.

Vie: No, there are absolutely no benefits to it.

Tim: And it’s actually detrimental.

Vie: It’s detrimental, yes.

Tim: Tell me why it’s detrimental.

Vie: Well, actually there are two main levels of the pose being detrimental. For, for those who have, who have flexible hips in the sense of the bones of their hip joints, allow them to move quite a bit, the, the annoyance of it, the detriment of it is gonna come from what happens to the front knee.

Tim: Ok.

Vie: Because if they are able to get into the stance that this pose requires

Tim: Because it has a lot of rules

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: because it was, it was part of a picture.

Vie: Exactly, exactly. So of course it has rules. So if you are able to conform to the rules, if your hips allow you to conform to the rules about the hip position and the leg position, then you’re going to feel the impact sooner or later on your front knee.

Vie: If however your hips do not allow you to get into the picture and you are forcing the hips to get into the picture, the detriment sooner or later is going to be on the hip joints themselves, and possibly - it’s a matter of time - the low back. And the detriment comes from compression of the bones. So it’s going to be micro-fractures.

Tim: Yes. And there are supposed to be, we’ve been told by some big name yoga teachers, that there’s a lot of older time yoga teachers with a hairline fractures in their hips.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: But they won’t tell you that because they would lose money.

Vie: Of course, of course. And also, you know, it is personal. It is, it is emotional and mental. I mean, the disappointment that they are probably realizing from something that they blindly believed in for decades is huge. So a lot of times

Tim: They would follow Iyengar all over the place, or Pattabhi Jois all over the place and all of a sudden now they can’t do a lot of things.

Vie: Exactly. All of a sudden, the person that you were worshiping that you had put on a pedestal for whatever reason is proven to be wrong, to be hurting you. So it’s hard to admit, you know, so. It could be pure

Tim: Pure ego.

Vie: Yes, one or the other way it’s a form of ego. And also the, the other detriment that we mentioned like, and / or lower back as well, is gonna, is kind of a minor say, well it follows, it follows the hips because of the arms up. And also a lot of times for a prettier picture, interlacing the fingers

Tim: And sticking one finger up, steeple pose.

Vie: Steeple pose. Exactly.

Tim: Yeah. And that really pulls on the back. So especially in today’s world,

Vie: Oh yeah.

Tim: 125 years after it was created, we use computers. To start with we weren’t in a performance, we weren’t going around India showing off because it was created, no I don’t like to use the term show off because it was created for a great reason.

Vie: Yes.

Tim: But it then was sold to a lot of people as a enlightenment pose.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: In fact, some of the books say that practicing warrior one is great for all of your Vata Pitta Kapha.

Vie: The doshas, yes.

Tim: It also aligns all your chakras,

Vie: Yeah well, they claim that it’s good for your vata and kapha and probably pitta as well. But vata because of balancing. They say it creates a solid foundation, because.

Tim: And there’s so many other things that create a solid foundation.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: And actually you don’t want to go around telling people - hey, you got a solid foundation - might get punched for that one. As a school, you know, teaching in class - hey, everybody warrior one, great, you got a solid foundation there,

Vie: Well, I would take it as a huge compliment, but I’m different.

9:02 Tim: So I want to go to reading the book or reading the page from the weird one.

Vie: The yoga therapy, the international association of yoga therapists.

Tim: Yeah, because they’re the worst.

Vie: Yes, yes, actually they are scary.

Tim: And they cost the most.

Vie: Yes.

Tim: So if you want to spend a lot of money to get no knowledge, this is the perfect place.

Vie: Detrimental knowledge.

Tim: Okay. Yes. I’ll go with that even better. So it says that the benefits of it -develops flexibility in the hips and shoulders as it enhances stability.

Vie: Yes. Wow.

Tim: It tones the abdominal organs. How the hell do you know that your abdominal organs are being toned? Because most of these people don’t go to there’s no studies medically showing this.

Vie: No, no, absolutely, positively not.

Tim: And if there is, I would love to see them. Because right now I haven’t heard any science saying that their abdominals have been toned, their organs, I’m sorry, their organs, man I got a six pack on my liver.

Tim: So, and then it says, it also teaches us to face life with an open heart directly and honestly.

Vie: What bs

10:27 Tim: You want to face life, you walk toward it. You don’t go in a pose to face life. Something going at you, you don’t jump into warrior one.

Vie: It is. to me it is so, and for, for most people actually that I’ve talked with about that, it is so uncomfortable in a, in a, and it’s not because, Oh it requires strength - because holding plank pose for two minutes is uncomfortable, right.

Tim: And it creates strength.

Vie: But it creates strength. And you have, you have so many modifications you can do. But this one is so it’s uncomfortable in a way that you cannot do anything about. Because it has to do so much with the shape of your bones, what you came to this world with. So what it actually does is it makes the student feel inadequate - Oh, I’m not good enough to do this, I can’t be a warrior. right. It’s so,

Tim: And, and I want to just take this a little bit into the body language.

Vie: Yes.

Tim: Because body language is something that I look at a lot when we’re teaching poses. I know you look at more of the muscular things. I look at body language, what it tells to your body and how it affects your mind. And that is science.

Vie: Totally.

12:01 Tim: And doing warrior one is actually not a warrior stance. It doesn’t create strength, it doesn’t create that ability to move forward. In fact, it actually closes you up and it is, it does the reverse. So it actually creates you into a imprisoned type individual. It’s almost as bad as tadasana with your feet together

Vie: Mountain pose with your feet together.

Tim: Saying that you’re as strong as a mountain. No, you’re not. You’re as weak.

Vie: And mountain has a big solid foundation.

Tim: Yes.

Vie: Mountain pose with the feet together.

Tim: Does not have a solid foundational.

Vie: No.

12:42 Tim: So it’s one of those things that warrior one or hero one or Virabhadrasana, all of those, they don’t create a strong mind. It doesn’t create the ability to directly and honestly go forward. In fact, it’s lying to you when you’re doing it.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: So now going into the contraindications, it says those with knee, hip and low back pain or high blood pressure, heart disease or history of stroke should begin with modifications. So that’s, that is almost everybody in the United States.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: So here’s a pose that gives you fake beliefs. And the contraindications are so many people and in a group training class, because that’s what you are, you are a group trainer, you can’t make sure that everybody in the class that you know, that everyone doesn’t have these issues and how to modify each person. The class would take three hours just to do this pose.

13:45 Tim: That’s probably why Iyengar only did a couple of poses. But it was, it’s almost useless and you can really hurt people in this one.

Vie: Exactly. And also the only modifications I have seen in those other yoga books are, instead of the arms up, bring them to the heart center. That doesn’t, that doesn’t help much.

Tim: No. It doesn’t help much at all. So I would say as good, bad, and ugly, it would be a pretty pose, so it’s not ugly. It definitely is an extremely bad pose because there’s so many different things and there’s nothing good about it at all.

14:34 Tim: But what pose would you do instead of that pose in your series?

Vie: We’ll talk about it when we come right back, stay tuned.

15:12 Tim: So we’re back and you were just getting ready to tell us your main pose instead of warrior one which can do a lot of damage to a lot of different people, but this next pose, tell me.

15:27 Vie: Crescent warrior.

Tim: So Crescent warrior is what?

Vie: Crescent warrior is basically a lunge. All you have to do, that’s different from warrior one, all you have to do is take the back heel off the floor. Instead of having the back foot completely flat on the floor and the hips this way and everything and everything. All you do is take the back foot, the back heel off the floor and have the toes on the floor and make the foot facing straight.

Tim: And a lot of people already know what a lunge is.

Vie: Exactly, all it is is a lunge.

Tim: So it is a lot easier to explain, it’s a lot safer to people and there’s so many different modifications. And I know that you even use that one in your yin as the final yin pose, because it actually does what?

Vie: The fascia reboot. Yup. The fascia reboot lunges.

Tim: Yup. And that’s, that’s a huge one because it actually assists all your fascia.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: Fascia. But so tell me more about crecent.

16:52 Vie: Well the reason that Crescent warrior is so powerful, so beneficial is because what it does is it actually, it’s completely functional in your every day walking or even running or something, if you need to move faster.

Tim: Move around.

Vie: Exactly. Even if you need to go over a puddle, right.

Tim: So it’s a very functional.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: Where warrior one is, there’s nothing functional about it.

Vie: Exactly. Exactly. And you can, you can adjust if say, if somebody can’t hold it for too long or they don’t even have the ability to do that to have the back knee off the floor, you can set the back knee on the floor.

Tim: And it can also be used in a flow.

Vie: Exactly. It can, yeah. Crescent is huge.

Tim: Crescent, you can use it static. You can use it flow. You can use a lot of modifications, drop the knee to the ground. You can put hands to heart center, you can bring your arms straight up in the air. You can separate your hands.

Vie: You don’t have to lunge as deep. You don’t have to have the front thigh parallel to the floor and all that stuff. You can use it incrementally in so many ways.

18:16 Tim: And it’s one of those poses that pretty much everyone actually not pretty much everyone at the studio did it, did some form of it.

Vie: Exactly. Thirty seven people, thirty seven ways of doing Crescent, of practicing the Crescent warrior and hugely benefiting from it, hugely benefiting. And it does, because just that simple modification, the back foot, shifts the effort from the joints that you can’t control to the muscles, to the strength, that you can control.

18:57 Vie: You can develop stronger butt, you can develop stronger legs, you can develop balance

Tim: And stronger feet.

Vie: And stronger feet, yes. You can develop focus. You have control over all of this, but you can’t change the shape of your bones. You can strengthen the bones through strengthening the muscles.

19:30 Tim: Yup. So warrior one also and in going into body language, warrior one is very negative toward a positive brain. Where Crescent is very positive toward your brain.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: It puts you almost in the victory, the arms, if the arms go up in the air, you’re in victory, chest is going forward. That is moving you toward life.

Vie: Exactly. Exactly. And you can even open the chest more if you want by doing a tiny back bend

Tim: Or even clapping your hands behind your back opens the chest. So there’s a lot of little things that you can tweak with that pose where you can’t do with warrior one. Warrior one looks pretty, I’ll go with that. But there really

Vie: I think Crescent warrior looks way prettier.

Tim: I do too. But. So it, but you can also flow it into so many different movements. So like for you, you use Crescent warrior into

Vie: Shiva

Tim: Shiva

Vie: The balancing one legged balancing pose. Yes.

Tim: You use Crescent warrior into

Vie: Warrior 2.

Tim: You use Crescent warrior into pulsating.

Vie: Yes, oh the lunge, oh yeah, pulsating.

Tim: What else?

Vie: Crescent T’s.

Tim: Yep.

Vie: The twists.

Tim: So there’s all these different ways. Actually, it’s almost unlimited what you can do with crescent warrior.

Vie: You can even do Crescent warrior into tree.

Tim: And we actually did, we considered Crescent warrior more of a

Vie: Transitional, transitional pose.

Tim: So it can fit in almost any part of your practice, of teaching. It’s a pose that can bounce in at the beginning of the course, it can go in halfway through, it can even go near the end when everybody’s on the ground, you can come into a Crescent in some types of the flows.

Vie: Absolutely. Right when they think they are done just before the breath work. That’s actually really dirty but

Tim: I know but I love doing that. Everybody thought they were getting ready for breathwork and all of a sudden they’re doing a full sun salutation and into Crescent.

Vie: Yes. Yeah. And crescent warriors have have so many benefits in terms of strengths and also mobility. What I love about them is that you can monitor your progress with them. You can monitor how your balance is getting better. You can monitor how your butt is getting stronger. You have control over all of that. And then you don’t, you don’t feel strong enough for some reason or whatever you are tired or anything, modify, put the knee on the floor. Don’t, during the lunges, don’t bring the knee as low, during the pulsating, pulsating Crescent. Don’t bring the knee as low. Do a little bit smaller rang. You can decide on all of this with, without, without risking compression, your bones, without risking damaging your bones.

Tim: Excellent. So anything else you want to say about warrior One being useless and Crescent being fabulous?

Vie: Yeah. I have one more thing.

Tim: Go ahead.

23:13 Vie: You can’t practice, it’s harder to practice warrior one without a mat. Because, because part of the description in most classes of warrior one is, you have to have your hips parallel to the mat

Tim: Oh yes, yeah.

Vie: And you have to have the back foot, the back heel, fully aligned with the front heel and all that stuff. So there is so much even stupid overhead there that’s

Tim: And I also real quick is that you see everybody in class when they’re teaching this pose everybody has to modify, so you are wasting all this time for a pose that’s useless.

Vie: Yup. Yup. Economy of action you know.

Tim: Bringing out your greek in you, huh?

Vie: Economy of action and words. And since we are talking about economy of words - until next time, much much love from both of us. Na’maste kala! May we all be well, adapt and thrive.

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