Ladies and gentleyogis, we’ve all been there at one time or another and thought, “Wow, yoga sucks!” Was it because of burnout? Was our teacher wearing us thin? Maybe it’s the wrong class? Had we just had enough? My heart chakra will never ‘open’! Enlightenment is overrated!
It seems actress Anne Heche (Hung, Donnie Brasco, Six Days Seven Nights) has snapped, and it’s nothing to do with former girlfriend Ellen DeGeneres, who is a yoga fan, or ecstasy tripping or her alien alter ego. The kooky tabloid-magnet is switching out her down dogging for more normal things like tennis and running. And because she is (or was) a celebriyogi Madame Heche gets a public decry of her yoga practice.
She told Access Hollywood Live,
“I got so sick of touching my toes doing yoga. If I heard one more down-dog… I was doing down-dog one more time and I was like… I’m outta here.
“I threw up… and they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re doing it well.’ I was like, ‘No, no, no, this is not good…’ And you have to stay; they’re like, ‘Please stay here, congratulations!'”
Yikes. Ms. Heche did not elaborate on which style of yoga she was practicing, but something tells us it wasn’t the “elegant stretch” with 91-year-old Mabes.
AH is a little out there, but surely we can relate, barf or no barf. Anyone else having one of those days? Months? Years?
thanks to recoveringyogi for the top photo find.
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- YogaDork Ed: Going Deeper Into a Pose? Or Going Off the Deep End?
Not Bikram – we don’t do down dog.
Happened to me too!
I go through phases. I love yoga. I hate yoga. I’m indifferent to yoga. I take a class. I stop class for a few months. And somehow I still end up in down dog.
I find it’s best for me to keep yoga to a once or twice a week pace MAX or I burn out fast!
I can’t even fathom the idea of burning out on yoga. Sometimes I burn out via my expectations for myself (pushing myself too hard, when I should opt for a more gentle practice, etc.) but the yoga itself… to me that’s akin to burning out on water or something.
My husband and I travel 4 months out of the year and I don’t do yoga class when I travel (working on a second language is enough, without adding the subtleties of yoga to it). So I really appreciate it when I have a good class available. I try to take advantage of those situations with 2 classes a week — more than that, I have neither the time nor money for.
I’m very, very particular about who I take class from and where, my home practice is generally better than a mediocre class. But I’m not, and have never been, an overboard yogi. 30 min. practice? Great!
I feel so out of touch with so much of the deepening your (effortful) practice stuff. Just don’t connect with it.
So no, I never feel like that.
I’m sitting here typing in one-legged ankle to knee because I recently got mugged and my hips/psoas are very, very tight. But I’m still practicing yoga.
I guess I’ve always been an underachiever.
I had a burn out after teacher training actually. It was all just too much to take in. Chakras, koshas, prana, ayurveda, and an ankle injury left me in a daze.
Few months later I was back though, this time attending restorative classes instead of high intensity jivamukti. Turns out all I needed was a change of pace!
I think everyone has their yoga ups and downs, as with anything in life.
After teacher training my husband and I went immediately to Argentina for 2 months. (Admittedly it’s great to be retired and with a little pension — which goes oh so far in Latin America.)
I could never stick with vinyasa for long — for me it always becomes tedious. We all have that one thing I guess.
Yoga? Why, mix it up with other things. Don’t have to do inversions if you don’t want. Or just keep them to a minimum. I like viparita karani (waterfall) better than shoulderstand .. but, Go, Mabes!–whatever floats your boat …
Why throw out the baby with the bathwater?
Yoga is stabilizing my torn meniscus right now … it travels with me into my third age of life …
I can’t find the right yoga asana class for me (I take to sooooft vinyasa–in fact, I invented my own system). I’m taking pilates and doing yoga at home … but I will attend satsangs …
[Big shout-out to Kundalini practitioners, you rock!]
Maybe some very lucky yoga teacher in the future will have just the slipper of a practice that fits this Cinderella’s touchy foot …
Just wondering what helps (yoga poses etc.) with your torn meniscus? I have some pain when doing sitting poses and which suspect is a torn left meniscus (not yoga related) but it hasn’t been confirmed by a doctor yet.
If your meniscus tear is on your stronger side (upper-body-strengthwise), not such a problem. But mine is on my weaker side. From only my system (not by nature a therapeutic practice; but an active practice that does not, philosophically, seek to transcend the “edge” [very important!]) I do supine pigeon, as well as donkey kicks and fire hydrants from a down-dog split.
If you are used to a very tough practice, try to put liniment on a half hour before practice, and avoid anything that would put impact or pressure on that knee with the torn meniscus.
But that is common sense anyway. If you go to a class, buttonhole the the teacher if need be – too few ask about injuries before class in the current climate – but you must let your teacher know.
Hey, thanks for the shout out! ; )
I”m with VQ2 on this one as well.
Home practice allows you to mix it up, but yoga also isn’t the only cool thing to do out there.
Do lots of cool things! Have fun! Yoga can be part of that and support it too; it doesn’t have to be *everything*. 😀
There is waaay too much emphasis on vinyasa in yoga studios now. I am seeing shoulder injuries galore. That’s what happens when the type-A teachers start running the show.
It’s high time the hipsters moved on to something else.
They inflated the prices of yoga classes with their demand for them. And reinforced too much attitude in many teachers by their worship of those flagellant agents, (i.e., disguised as spiritual self-mortification in a “receptive” practitioner).
The ’80s called – they want their aerobics back …
It’s nice to see at least one famous Hollywood celebrity emerge from the yoga pot cloud with her faculties – and perspective – in tact.
And certainly no surprise to see people still clinging to their hookahs taking uh, pot shots at her?
Lots of people walk away from yoga. They walk away from other things that no longer serve. Literally millions of people over the last 10 years have walked away from yoga – just look at the numbers.
I would take it as a healthy sign. And quite possibly a sign of things to come.
I note in passing that Yoga Journal is continuing to stall – third time – on the release of its latest quadrennial market research study on the yoga market.
Not a good sign, but they need to get the data out, they have had plenty of time to massage the survey results.
Barfing in yoga class? I’ve never heard of this before (outside of pregnancy-related occassional barfing).
honomann: badly aligned down dogs lead to an insane number of shoulder injuries. I wish every teacher TAUGHT down dog (vs. “press back into downward facing dog”) so people could protect their shoulders.
Out of curiosity, how would you teach it to prevent shoulder injuries? (I agree that “press back into downward facing dog” is not adequate instruction.)
It depends in part on what I see students doing, of course, but among other instructions I have used in the past:
Lift your weight out of your arms and press your weight into your feet.
Bend your knees deeply and press your hips/pelvis up and back to elongate your spine.
Lift your armpits.
Gently squeeze your shoulderblades together. (If the problem is too much squeeze, I would say engage your core by firming your belly towards your spine to support your torso, now release x% of squeeze from your shoulderblades.)
Align your head with your spine just as if you were standing (I use this one in classes where I use the alignment of tadasana as the class theme–let’s find tadasana in every pose).
This is not a back bend.
Life/flatten/rise through the low back.
Make your back as flat as possible.
(while holding hand above rounded/dumpy low back) Bring your spine to touch my palm.
I also teach the down dog arms from standing in tadasana, correctly and incorrectly (incorrectly here is with “military chest” jutting the breast bone to xyphoid process forward and shoulder blades squeezed super back, and with swayback). Sometimes I teach the down dog arms from balasana, which is also not weight-bearing but allows for a more “down dog like feel” than tadasana. Again, what I say depends on who is in my class; I know some students respond immediately to one way of saying something, and I give alignment corrections based on what I see in front of me. The main problems for shoulders in down dog are (1) throwing all/most of the body weight into the shoulder girdle and hanging in the shoulder joints, usually accompanied by (2) super sway in the low back. This is usually my bendy-flexy students or people who are new to classes but have practiced with videos at home. I spend a lot of time on individual cues to engage muscles, both in words and hands-on, where I see shoulder injury potential.
Squeeze your shoulder blades together in down dog?
I’ve always been taught to externally rotate upper arms and hug tricieps to mid-line. Biceps Up Triceps down & In.
Scap, move down the back ribs and slightly away from midline hugging on to side ribs, making space behind heart and engaging rhomboids (i.e. not a back bend) …
If you hug shoulder blades together , arm pits move away from one another, deltoids roll in rather then out, … etc. Like in a back bend.
This is a curious instruction that I have never encountered before. Please clarify for me. I am open to listening. What methodology, lineage?
Not specific to a lineage or methodology. I’ve found that in my super fleixble students, they don’t use any muscle action in their shoulders and just slump into them. Squeezing the shoulder blades together gently helps engage muscles to keep them from dumping into the joints. This instruction isn’t to power jam your blades together, just to engage the musculature.
I would NOT use that instruction with a less flexible student, or with someone whose arms needed correction/repositioning (external rotation). If the arms are out of line, I’d go there first–teach from the foundation.
Start on your hands and knees. Take hands shoulder width apart. Spread fingers wide. Rotate wrists until thumbs, yes thumbs point forward. Keep that as you roll the upper arms out until the trapezium receeds away from the ears and the shoulder blades receed into the back. Keeping that, lift the hips and push back from the top thighs until the legs are straight and the knee caps secure firmly in the patellar plate. Shoulder problem fix’d.
Like it. Thumbs forward. Good.
She is so sick of yoga, and the fact that nobody recognizes her, that she has decided to move on to an activity that allows the participant to actively fawn all over her. ” Dont let the door hit you on your way out Annie.
Someone associated with Yoga is is “out there.” I’m shocked.
This is humorous, only in the mainstream culture’s understanding of a yoga class as the package yoga solution for the busy yuppie/Stepford wife who has to keep up with the latest in trends — going to yoga class being particularly hip as well as good at opening your hips.
Traditionally, a student isn’t supposed to go to classes forever without an end in sight. The student is supposed to learn to practice on his or her own, every day. The reason that a person might be sick of going to yoga classes is that the person doesn’t know why she is going to yoga classes.
I liken that observation to the experience of going to psychotherapy. The psychotherapist does not want to work themselves out of a job. The patient is encouraged to feel that just a little more professional work needs to be done. There are social sanctions to continuing pas the point of ridiculousness on both sides (including peer pressure, if it exists). Such as if you have been practicing regularly for a few years and still don’t know where enlightenment is. As far as yoga asana “mastery” goes, I follow W.C. Fields’ advice: “Try, try again. Then give up. No sense being a damn fool about it.” I think this attitude, rather than anything a teacher can tell me, is what’s keeping me practicing yoga.
There are young women everywhere in my second-wave gentrifying neighborhood carrying thick pilates mats … but they aren’t going to pilates (I ask them, as I am a fan of pilates mat) … in actuality, pilates to my newest experience, provides the mats for you …
Who cares? I’ve never found her interesting or admirable.
I don’t really care if she likes yoga or not, but I do find her experiences in class suspicious……. I find the work in any pose endless. I am still working on SO MANY things in my downward dog after practicing for almost 10 yrs! So I personally don’t get her boredom of it, though I know that everyone is different…… And then there’s the throwing up in class thing. Either her teacher wasn’t that great, or Anne wasn’t a very good student and didn’t listen to her teacher- if the teacher was saying things like, “listen to your body and go into child’s pose if you need a break”, so she could have maybe stopped before the vomit incident occured. Who knows really!! I just find it very odd is all!
Anne Heche “snapped”? Really? Because she tore off her straitjacket and ran screaming from Zombie-land? Maybe her thorazine finally wore off.
Yoga is a way of a life. It’s nutrition, activity, settling the mind, harmonizing with nature, and connecting with spirit – not just touching your toes and doing downward-dog. You can’t get bored with living well and feeling great.