Episode 2

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Published on:

10th Sep 2020

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Yoga Poses - Part 2

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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 strength podcast.

Tim: This is number two of the series of the good, the bad and the ugly of the yoga poses, not of Clint Eastwood’s movie.

Tim: We’re getting into the poses themselves now. But if you want to see the history where these poses all came from, make sure you listen to the first.

Vie: Absolutely. Stay tuned and we’ll be right back.

Tim: And we’re back, did you subscribe, did you share, did you

Vie: leave a review, a review is very important.

Tim: Very nice. I didn’t know that. So I shall review myself soon. This series of the good, the bad, the ugly of yoga poses is brought to you by yoga energy school

Vie: Doing the private online 200-hour and 300-hour Yoga Alliance registered teacher trainings and retreats coming soon.

Tim: You said private,

Vie: Private, yes.

Tim: So these classes, these certifications literally are one-on-one, it’s not group. So you’re paying for a group course, but you’re getting the private one-on-one so that you can answer all the questions without having to be

Vie: Exactly, to be, you know, in a group and having to sit through questions that you probably would never care about.

Tim: Very good. So private, one-on-one sometimes one on two, because two instructors.

2:20 Vie: Yes. And it’s yoga and Ayurveda.

Tim: Very nice. And it’s Yoga Alliance registered. Very good. So I want to get into a little bit more before we talk about the poses, because this gives our history.

Vie: Yes.

2:35 Tim: So we opened up a studio in 1999 and in that studio, we had multiple styles of yoga. So we taught Shivananda, we taught ashtanga, we taught Iyengar, we taught bikram, we taught Kripalu, we taught anusara, we taught what’s that New York one?

Vie: Jivamukti.

Tim: Jivamukti, we taught Kundalini, we taught

Vie: Restorative

Tim: yep, we taught flow just, we taught power. There are all these different styles of yoga. Even though flow and power are a little bit more abstract, we still had those courses, those classes going on.

3:25 Tim: And because we had all of those classes going on, we had instructors for each and every one of those, but they called in sick a lot. So we had to learn how to teach every one of those styles.

Tim: So our style that we practice we teach now is based on all of those styles and more. Along with that though is, this is where this good, the bad and the ugly comes from. Because we started questioning why we were doing these poses.

Vie: Why does this style teach it in this way and this style in a different way?

Tim: One, one guru would say, it has to be this way, any other way is wrong. And that guru, you know, teaches, has, you know, 500,000 people practicing. I’m giving a good number. And a different guru teaches the same pose, but teaches it completely different and they say, everybody else’s is wrong. And they have 500,000. And nobody’s really getting hurt from each one of those poses. Let’s say warrior 2. So, so there’s, this group is teaching it this way, saying everything, everybody else is teaching it wrong.

Tim: This group is teaching it this way saying everybody else is teaching it wrong.

4:47 Tim: And we did have people come into the studio and say that their guru is right and that student’s guru is wrong. I remember a headstand story. Oh, she went nuts, that one of our teachers was teaching headstand differently than her guru did. Now with that, when we started shifting the studio to a different type of business plan where it worked much better for us, I went out, we went out and we talked to hundreds of people that had practiced yoga and hated it.

5:30 Tim: And when we were doing the shift, we wanted to find out why they hated yoga and why they never went back. So I didn’t want somebody that practiced yoga, giving me answers. And I didn’t want somebody that never practiced yoga, giving me answers. I wanted people that practiced yoga and said, this sucks, I’m not coming back to yoga. And then we got, we built a list of 10 reasons why people did not go back to yoga and that’s in our business course, but I want to just go into one of them. And that’s the reason why we’re discussing this - is - they didn’t have the likes, the want, they didn’t like the pose, they thought it was a weird pose and they felt uncomfortable and they didn’t have that.

Vie: It didn’t give them that oomph, I want to do it again. It felt awkward and, and they didn’t even know why they were doing it. And it was, it was just out of place for them.

Tim: Yes. So there’s, there was a group of poses that they were just like, I don’t like doing them and I don’t go back to the studio, I don’t practice yoga anymore because of those poses.

6:54 Tim: And you might say, well okay that’s, who cares. Well, if you say who cares about that human being, you’re chasing a person that should be practicing yoga, away from yoga. That’s your arrogance. That’s saying that you don’t care about humans.

Tim: Because there was a large number of people that started practicing with us because we got rid of those poses.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: And some of them own studios. Some of them teach all over the United States. Some of them travel the world teaching yoga, because they started back with a practice that they enjoy doing.

7:35 Vie: Exactly where the post was not imposed on them.

Tim: Exactly. So now that’s where we’re going to start taking this is - we’re going to start looking at most of the poses that they didn’t like, because a lot of those poses are basically useless. And we’re going to start breaking them down, giving you content from some of the books. And we’re going to give content from some of the courses that we’ve taken. Because, once you hear the pros of that pose, when you hear the negatives of that pose, and when you hear actually what the pose gives you, you might be looking at that pose differently,

Vie: Stay tuned. We’ll be right back.

Tim: And we’re here back to talk about, one of the poses that I’ve always thought was unique and never could see the reason for it, but it’s been part of so many different lineages. So I thought it, at the time when I was going through training and everything, that it was important.

Vie: Yes.

Tim: And that one is fish pose, and that is in Sanskrit.

Vie: Matsyasana

Tim: Yeah. Which comes from fish.

Vie: Means fish pose, matsyasana yes. It’s a very, very, very popular and loved post. Or revered.

Tim: Revered pose by a lot of people.

Vie: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

9:24 Tim: However, when you ask them, what does this pose do? Almost every one of them tells us that either they don’t teach it in a group setting because it’s too difficult. It takes too much time to walk around and make sure everybody does it. Or they give all the counter, the cons

Vie: contraindications

Tim: contraindications of the pose, which is a lot more than the pros of the pose.

Vie: Yes

Tim: And or they just, they, they don’t know why they teach it. They just, it feels good for them.

Vie: It feels good for them. Or they give you thyroid benefits and parathyroid benefits. And like, where

Tim: Where did that come from?

Vie: Yes, exactly.

10:14 Tim: So where I’d like to go now, first is I want to bring up a book that you actually trained with the people.

Vie: Yes.

Tim: And this comes from actually yoga therapy

Vie: Yep, yoga therapy

Tim: Which you have to spend thousands of dollars to become a yoga therapist, which has no teeth here in the States, because it means absolutely nothing.

Vie: Unless you are a medical doctor,

Tim: Yes, unless you’re a medical doctor, it’s, it’s that whole scope of practice. And I’m getting on a tangent, but yoga therapy makes people think that they are doctors.

Vie: Yes. It gives them false sense of, of knowledge, of authority, orf whatever.

10:56 Tim: And I remember when we were in the meeting where they were telling us, because we used to be part of the yoga therapist organization, what is it?

Vie: IAYT - international association of yoga therapists

Tim: And they were telling us at that meeting - and actually we have proof that we were there because they took a picture of us and we were in the magazine -

Vie: At the round table, yes.

Tim: them saying that yoga teachers cannot be yoga therapists because they’re not smart enough. And they’re not smart enough because they can only teach group classes. And my argument with them was that there is truly no legal term for therapist, yoga therapist here in the States.

Vie: Exactly, yes.

Tim: So all the classes that we taught were therapeutic for different people, for different things. It’s not that we were doing doctoring, but that does help people all across the board one way or another because they wouldn’t be coming back if it wasn’t therapeutic for them.

Vie: Absolutely.

11:58 Tim: Even intense fitness is therapeutic. CrossFit is therapeutic for crossfit people.

Vie: Working out creates endorphins, endorphins make people happy, happy people don’t kill their spouses.

Tim: Where did that line come from? But anyways, so this is one of the pages from the international yoga

Vie: therapy - international association of yoga therapists

Tim: Their book, which costs a couple hundred dollars now, it is for fish. And I am going to read their benefits:

Tim: Strengthens the shoulders and upper back in extension, not sure what that means, opens the diaphragm and massages the heart muscle and lungs. How do they know that? Stimulates the immune system through activation of the thymus. So it activates the thymus which stimulates the immune system. Massages and opens the thyroid and parathyroid.

Vie: I told you.

Tim: And then last is open opens, clear communication. So you’re able to talk more when you’re in fish. So, so that’s the benefits. Now I want to talk about the contraindicators - indications. So, it’s not many. It’s contraindicated for those with neck, shoulder pain, hyperthyroid, high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke. Those with lower back pain should begin with modifications, such as don’t do it.

13:40 Vie: Exactly. Because tell me any person today who doesn’t have some sort of neck issue, back issue, low back issue. Give me anybody.

Tim: Most people do. Now. Some people don’t, but in a group setting when you’re teaching in a class, that’s that could be 98% of your class.

Vie: Exactly, exactly. So it’s, why, why even bother. It is such a high maintenance pose and should something were to go wrong.

Tim: How wrong can it go?

Vie: How wrong can it go?

Tim: We actually know a girl that was teaching this in a class and she went into it and broke her neck.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: A teacher showing how to do the class, broke her neck. So there are a lot of things that can go wrong with this pose. And let’s look at what can you do as far as what, what other poses could you do that do the same thing.

14:45 Vie: Yes. Yeah. And, and then also why is that pose even being taught at all? Where did it come from?

Tim: Yeah, now

Vie: So I have several questions.

Tim: Go ahead, go ahead ask your questions.

Vie: Well, first of all is, you said, what else could you do that gives you some of the benefits of this pose. Not necessarily those listed there.

Tim: Right.

Vie: But, but it does have benefits, just not those. So, that gives you some of the benefits of this pose. And then why, like where did it even come from? Who, who said teach that pose.

15:29 Tim: Yes. And if we look at a lot of the people involved in the creation of these poses, none of them are doctors.

Vie: No, no.

Tim: None of them have a,

Vie: None of them are physical therapists.

Tim: None of them have any of that. They just say it. And that’s what it is. I have not seen any evidence, hard evidence through any style of training that says that this does do that to the thyroid. And it might, it might not. There’s no science behind that. But what I do know is reverse tabletop does basically most of these poses, most of these, pros and it has less issues on the negative aspect.

Vie: Exactly. And when you say the pros, like not these specific, massaging the organs and stuff.

Tim: I’m not sure where that came from.

Vie: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So, but it does help. It has tremendous benefits and reverse tabletop has been studied enough by knowledgeable people.

Tim: And we also know that it’s been done throughout most of our lives because we did it as little kids.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: Crab clock, crap pose, or crab crawling when we were in grade school. I know in gym, I used to do it.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: So it’s one of those things that it’s been around and we know that it’s been done by a lot of different people.

Vie: Absolutely.

17:07 Tim: And it’s very easy to get into. You don’t have to spend a lot of time. And that’s one of the other things that I’m looking at as a benefit of any pose is you don’t have to spend a lot of time teaching it.

Vie: Yeah.

Tim: So for me anyways, when we had full classes, which was most of them, you can’t go to 37 different people to help them into that pose. So by the time you do that, the class is pretty much done. So your whole class is fish because you want to make sure that they do it properly so they don’t hurt themselves. And then the time that goes by, you can do so many other poses. And in today’s world, you want to get that class done quicker than later.

17:51 Tim: And I know that back when we first started, you know, we had hour and a half to two hour classes, but that’s not today.

Vie: Yeah. And that’s not realistic at all.

Tim: Most people don’t want to spend their whole evening at a yoga class.

Vie: Exactly. That’s why it’s not happening today. At least for most studios. Also with the fish is, you can’t, you don’t have the option to modify enough to get some of the, some benefit from it,

Tim: If there are,

Vie: if there are any, you don’t have the option to modify enough without risking to really screw up your neck or low back. Whereas say reverse table top, you have, you have 37 people, you have 37 different modifications.

Tim: Would you be able to say bridge?

Vie: Bridge definitely. That’s my, bridge is, I love reverse tabletop. And I believe in its benefits tremendously, but bridge. Let’s put it this way.

Vie: Anytime I would teach reverse tabletop in a class, I would do bridge first for sure.

19:11 Tim: And bridge, actually, if they’re doing it properly for our style,

Vie: Yes.

Tim: You’re strengthening the butt, you’re strengthening glutes, which actually helps the lower back

Vie: helps it dramatically

Tim: instead of having to worry about hurting the lower back.

Vie: Exactly, exactly.

Tim: I’m going to jump to Paul Chek real quick. Better butt, better back.

Vie: Yep.

Tim: That was a great course he taught on strengthening the glutes to make the back and the stomach better.

Vie: Yes. Bridge as a butt strengthener, not as a chest opener to help you with clear communication.

Tim: Yes, because there is so many other ways to have clear communication.

Vie: Yes.

Tim: So, so that is fish. Anything else you want to say? Go ahead, go ahead.

Vie: Oh yeah, I have lots of things to say about it.

Tim: Ok, let’s come back for it in a couple of seconds

Vie: Stay tuned.

20:32 Tim: And we’re back for Vie to go on a huge tangent about fish pose. I think you dislike this pose more than I do.

Vie: The more I think about it. And it’s actually a pose that I was practicing daily for a while.

Tim: I know that in three of the, the different 200s you have, they teach this and I know on several of the 200s I have, they teach it, but they all taught it with different,

Vie: Well, different modifications.

Tim: Yes, yeah.

Vie: But what is, what is really interesting is that they all gave, well almost all gave big warnings of how

Tim: why you shouldn’t do it

Vie: of why you shouldn’t do it, exactly.

21:20 Vie: Like ayur yoga right, ayur yoga has as

Tim: And ayur yoga is out of where?

Vie: Is out of the Ayurvedic Institute, Albuquerque New Mexico

Tim: Ok so this is part of

Vie: this is part of Vasant Lad’s school.

Tim: Yes.

Vie: So, ayur yoga, of course they have like the benefits lungs, heart, abdomen and, and then for contraindications, it has heart disease, ulcers, hernia, back conditions and pregnancy.

Vie: Back conditions, right. And then cautions, ensure that the crown of the head rests on the floor and there is no tension in the neck, which they should also say in the low back as well, because anytime you have tension in the neck, you have some tension in the low back. So where, that, that means you assume that the person doesn’t have any known back issues. And also you assume that their skeleton, the spine right, can bend a certain way.

22:38 Tim: Yep. And that goes back to a lot of the Paul Grilley style of yin yoga that shows that the bones are different.

Vie: Yes.

Tim: and it goes completely against Iyengar yoga that says every human being is exactly the same.

Vie: Absolutely. Absolutely. So our cervical spine, our thoracic spine or lumbar spine and our pelvis, they are bones. They have shapes. They grow and they deteriorate as well, but they are not the same. We are so extremely different from each other.

Tim: And even from ourself,

Vie: And from ourself, yeah.

Tim: One side can be completely different.

Vie: One side of the hips, that’s on the hips, you can see that. One hip joint has completely different shape than the other. So there is, and which also takes me to the sampoorna yoga, right. And, which has how to do it and how not to do it and says, do this, this and this

Tim: And Sampoorna real quick is out of the Miami area,

Vie: Out of Miami. Yes. And

Tim: Of Shivananda lineage

Vie: Shivananda lineage the sampoorna. And says that you will experience that the correct way feels very natural.

Tim: Again, they are assuming

Vie: because he’s going back to himself. I practiced that pose forever. And there was no natural way I could find.

Tim: No.

Vie: And I’m not the only one.

Tim: I know because I’ve been practicing, well not anymore, but I used to practice it for years and daily. And it never was a pose that felt comfortable for me at all.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: And I always felt that I was doing it wrong, even though I studied, I studied, I studied and everybody said, do it this way and oh yeah, you are right, looking at it, but it never felt comfortable for me.

Vie: Yeah. And, it’s, it’s extremely high maintenance and actually both of the sampoorna and I believe the Baba Hari Das Ashtanga yoga have as a counter pose that you should do the shoulder stand or plow pretty much right after fish because of how much impact it puts on your main joints.

Tim: And Ashtanga yoga coming from Baba Hari Das is another school you trained with.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: And that’s Mount Madonna

Vie: Mount Madonna Institute. Yes.

Tim: And so they teach it there, or they used to, I don’t know if they still do, but they, they say that fish is a counter pose for the shoulder stand and is complimentary to the rabbit.

Vie: Yes.

Tim: Benefits - expands the chest, strengthens the lungs and brings fresh blood to the thyroid and parathyroid gland helpful for asthma and bronchitis.

Vie: Yep. So which, also, fish, well fish has benefits, not the ones they are actually talking about. But any time you open up the chest, anytime you open up the chest, you help someone breathe deeper, if they are

Tim: Able to.

Vie: if they are able to able to and if

Tim: If their diaphragm is working.

Vie: if their diaphragm is working, if they know how to breathe, and if they don’t have to freak out whether they are going to break their neck or low back or all of this.

Vie: If they are able to breathe and are not holding their breath. So there are, you can have benefits, but there is nothing not even close that you cannot get from bridge, the pulsating bridge that we do working the thoracic diaphragm also, or

Tim: Because that actually does strengthen it.

Vie: Exactly or reverse stable top or poses like this.

Tim: So there really actually though, let me, go into standing back-bend.

Vie: Oh, standing back-bend is huge.

Tim: It’s a great chest opener. It does basically the same thing without any pressure on your head.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: And it doesn’t take much to teach. So again, it’s a very simple pose to teach in a class setting and getting the benefits without having to lose time or possibly injure someone.

Vie: Exactly. Exactly.

Tim: So with that is, would you consider this a pose, because I know the answer for me, but I want to hear the answer from you.

27:55 Tim: Would you teach it in a private setting

Vie: No, I wouldn’t.

Tim: So you really don’t see any benefits of this pose.

Vie: No. Absolutely none, except to

Tim: So you do see a benefit

Vie: Yeah, to stroke the ego of the teacher teaching it or the student who wants for some reason to have their picture in this pose.

Tim: Okay. So that, that’s that. Yeah. So there really is nothing worth anything for it.

Vie: Exactly.

Tim: And I think that’s basically why it’s still around, was more for the, the, the looks.

Vie: Yes.

Tim: It is a good looking pose.

Vie: It is, it is a good looking pose.

Tim: So if we say good, bad or ugly, I would say that reverse tabletop

Vie: is good.

Tim: bridge, pulsating bridge, pulsating bridge with the hands over the head

Vie: is good.

Tim: Okay

Vie: great actually.

Tim: And then fish, I wouldn’t call it ugly because it’s a good looking pose.

Vie: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yes, yeah.

Tim: But It is bad.

Vie: It is bad, It is really bad.

Tim: So standing back-bend.

Vie: Good.

Tim: Okay. So we’ve, we’ve just talked about one, two, three poses that are good.

Vie: Yes.

Tim: One with at least several variations.

Vie: Yeah. Oh yeah.

Tim: And then, because I just want to, yeah. That’s it. And one with variations and one that’s really actually bad.

Vie: Yeah. And smells pretty fishy too.

Tim: Yeah. There’s something stinky about that pose.

Vie: Until the next time. Much, much love from both of us! Na’maste kala! May we all be well, adapt and thrive.

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Spartan Mind Strength - Yoga Energy
20ish min episodes. Every Thursday during season.

Ancestral Sciences such as Paleo Ayurveda and Greek Medicine, Movement, Nutrition, Meditation, Breathwork, Stoicism, Tantra and Upanishads.

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About your host

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Tim and Vie

- Vie Binga - a former mathematician and computer scientist is a lifestyle entrepreneur, outdoor adventurer, author and global teacher of Paleo Āyurveda™, Spartan Yoga™ and Spartan Mind Strength™ which include Meditation, Breathwork, Spartan Fitness™, and Power Yin™. She loves to biohack blending science and nature, to enhance physical and mental performance, sharing her findings with others.

She believes that high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution will always make an impact in people’s lives and the world.

When she is not teaching or writing, she can be found rock climbing, surfing, whitewater kayaking or scuba diving.

- Tim Ganley - a former law enforcement officer and SWAT Leader/Trainer is a lifestyle entrepreneur, outdoor adventurer, author and global teacher of Meditation, Breathwork, Spartan Fitness™, Power Yin™, and Conscious Business.

He loves experimenting with disciplines that lead to physical and mental strength and endurance.

He believes that if people learn about the state of flow and practice building their life around it, the world will be much happier.

When he is not teaching or designing new programs, he can be found doing the same shit Vie is doing.