Sunday, August 30, 2015

Workshops & Certifications

Those of us that are part of the DDPY family are very fortunate indeed.  This isn't just a simple program where you buy a DVD set, slap it into the player and practice by yourself.  No indeed....there is a wealth of interaction on the member's portion of the DDPY website.  Once you're part of the family, you never have to be alone.  If you have a problem or a spot of trouble, there is always someone that will be willing to help or empathize.  There is even a chat available and it is busy throughout the day with only occasional lulls.  There is even a radio show exclusively for DDPY that we can listen to weekly.

There are many workshops that are available in many various locations.  I have signed up with one being held not far from me in Baltimore, Maryland for February 6, 2016.  I am so psyched.  I will have the opportunity to meet DDP himself.  I hope I'll meet some of you there too!
This gives me six months to work through the rest of the workouts that I have yet to cover.  I am currently working on two of my favorites--Below The Belt and Diamond Cutter.

I am hoping that I might be, one day, able to apply for certification I.  I will be saving my pennies and by the time I have enough for the application fee, I should be quite proficient!  LOL  Since I was a full-time medical massage therapist for thirty years, I have a lot of contacts in my area of past clientele and friends that might be interested in instruction.  I am retired from massage therapy now and living of off social security, so this type of certification might give me the opportunity to make a little extra 'mad money' for the extra joys of life.

Yes, we who are part of the DDP Yoga family are really enjoying the best yoga has to offer!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

How I Stay Motivated.....

My brain is so restless.  It comes up with ideas and schemes that I sometimes must laugh at.  My brain speaks to me much more than my heart does.  In olden times, the human race had much more time to ponder nature, their own bodies, their next food source in order to stay alive, etc.  Now days we are slaves to the time pressures of modern society, science and technology.  Is it any wonder that we lose touch with our heart and what it's trying to tell us.

Here are some of my brain's conversation:

"I'm an old lady.  I should just give up trying to fight weight gain and inflexibility.  After all, old age is unkind to us humans."

"I deserve that ice cream.  After all, I don't get many rewards out of this life anymore, so why not 'treat' myself?"

"I am done trying to fit into my clothes that no longer fit.  After all, every time I diet and get down to my correct weight, I just regain it all back and more!"  I am so tired of this Merry-Go-Round.  I'm just gonna wear sweats and too large tee shirts to cover the gut I have."

"I'm too old and unsteady in my balance to do yoga.  I might fall and break a bone, and then what!?!"

Well, that's only a sampling.  There is many more examples, but you get the gist.  Now, what does my heart have to say when I give it half a chance?:

"You can do it!  Just give yourself time and be careful not to hurt yourself!"

"You do deserve rewards in life.  And, what better reward than good health and flexibility!"

"You will lose weight and be able to keep it off if you put nutritiously dense foods into your engine instead of industy-prepared or fast foods."

"Yes, it's true you are shaky when doing the poses.  And, yes,  you are 68 and getting older as the world spins.  But, muscle and bones are God's great creation, and they are redeemable with consistent, well thought out exercise and stretching."

"What have you got to lose--well, I'll tell will lose flexibility, you will lose the battle against obesity, and you will fight injury and lose health."  "So, get on the mat, Baby!"


Friday, August 28, 2015

Staying On Track With The Dietary Plan

Two years ago I practiced DDPY when I first bought the package.  I did workouts from June 18, 2013 to August 6, 2013.  I then put it on the shelf to collect dust, however, out of necessity, I started again on June 20, 2015.  Why did I stop?  Well, I believe it was lack of motivation because I was overweight and lacked energy.  Why was I without energy?  I believe it was because I WAS UNWILLING TO FOLLOW THE DIETARY SUGGESTIONS!  When I kept gaining more and more weight and along with that higher and higher blood pressure, I finally became willing to get serious about the program in June of this year.  Now I follow the dietary suggestions religiously, and to lower my blood pressure without medication, I it was suggested by a doctor to follow a whole plant food diet with no vegetable oil.  For me in particular, that means NO MEAT, NO FISH, NO DAIRY, NO EGGS, NO VEGETABLE OILS (I even won't be taking in any olive oil), and PLENTY OF COMPLEX STARCHES, VEGETABLES AND FRUITS, with some nuts and avocado occasionally.  By following this strict eating plan to lower my blood pressure, I went from 170/110 to a normal 121/83 in only a week!

But, for those who don't need to address heart disease issues, the DDPY dietary suggestions are usually enough to get your health back and find your energy again.  And, this is an important part of being able to stick with the workout program in my opinion.  By eating the 'no dairy, no gluten and no sugar' way, one would gain the ability to practice the workouts with enough energy.  Of course, the poses will still be a challenge, but that is what the workouts are all about--challenging ourselves.

However, on this post, I'd like to address the problems one might face in following the dietary suggestions when out in public and when eating at others' houses.  I have found a really awesome little food carrier fashioned after the Asians that transport their meals in stackable pots.  I found a selection of these stackable pots made in stainless steel and of different sizes.  They are awesome for when I go out to places where the food is not made according to the dietary standards I need to follow, so I carry food with me.  I will often tell my host that if they would care to, they can bake me a potato or steam a vegetable, and I will add the rest out of my little carrier pots.  This plan has been working like a charm, and my host is not offended or perplexed about inviting a vegan to lunch or dinner.  This would also be handy for those following the DDPY dietary restrictions.

Here are pictures of the handy dandy pots and the insulator bag (purchased separately at WalMart) to store them and keep them cold/hot that I bought at Whole Foods:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Resolving a disability Part 2.....

I was doing well on the no sugar-no gluten-no dairy DDPY dietary suggestions, but I was still plagued by cravings.  However, it was what I needed to begin loosing weight and gaining energy and motivation to keep on track with my DDPY workouts.  However, after reading up about high blood pressure solutions on the internet, I also became no meat- no fish- no eggs- no vegetable oil (which means also, no virgin olive oil), and this took my blood pressure down to normal within a week, just as the eating plan I found on the internet said it would.  There is a video on Netflix called "Forks Over Knives" that explains the eating plan I am currently on, and it is for life.  When I was on this plan for only a week, all my cravings left me, and I didn't miss meat, fish, dairy, eggs or oils at all.  This makes me a very happy no-oil vegan!

Now that I had all this extra energy, keeping up my workout routine was easier than before--in fact, I am very happy and motivated to do my workouts now.  In fact, I was so motivated that I added daily biking to my exercising, and after a month or so of daily long bike rides, my knee started to go bad again and I had to use my walker for two days and then the brace for some time until it calmed down.  I had overdone the biking without any rest days.  I am not 30 years old anymore!!!  I just wasn't use to having that much energy!  LOL

I had to make a decision with this new re-injury--Do I continue with the workouts?  Or, do I stop until my knee is better?  I decided to continue the workouts and modify when necessary.  After all, Arthur did the workouts on leg appliances and knee braces.  I did not want to loose momentum.  As it turned out, this was a sound decision.  I could actually gauge how well my knee was healing by how much less I had to modify the poses.  At the same time, I kept up my growing strength in the other areas while my knee was healing.  As my knee got better, my stretching routine started to reveal other areas of my knee that were not releasing well.  I knew the area at the Fibular Head had been tight, but now I found that the medial area above my knee, the ADDuctors, were also too tight.  Once I released them through stretches and deep tissue massage, then I notices that the muscles below the knee in the medial area were also now too tight.  Our muscles are joined together by fascia that create what massage therapists call an 'anatomy train'.  As we release tight areas, we often find more of the 'train' that is tight, and we need to hunt down any part of the 'train' that still is tight in order for a full recovery of that area.

On a DDPY radio show Arthur was being interviewed.  Stacey Morris asked a very good question about how to increase flexibility.  Arthur answered that he uses five-minute stretches consistently so that stubborn areas release better.  I tried this with my knee, and it works!  As a massage therapist, I know that muscles have 'memory'.  These five-minute stretches help the tight area lose its previous holding pattern and help erase that 'memory' of shortness from before.  My knee injury was an old injury from my youth as a kick-butt mountain biker, so it had quite a long 'memory' of being too short and learning to function in that dysfunctional way for so long.  The five-minute stretches may seem too long for some people, but the muscle seems to need that length of time in order to reset its length and hold it.  I find that slow progress is important with the five-minute stretch because a change in muscle length will often make a muscle and even surrounding muscles more vulnerable to injury.  So, I went about stretching by slowly increasing the length of stretch.  As a massage therapist and guitar player, my dominant side shoulder was starting to shift forward and create neck troubles.  So, I did the five-minute stretches for the anterior neck and shoulders too.  Slowly my muscle unbalances are rebalancing.  I sure am happy about all these awesome changes!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Resolving a disability......

When I was a 30 year old I began an interest that dominated over a decade of my life--mountain biking.  I travelled to the highest mountains and the deepest valleys in the United States to quench my thirst for my beloved sport.  However, in my 40s I began to notice my left knee would be numb most all the time.  I began to kayak the rivers instead, but the numbness remained always, however, it did not cause pain.  Years later, after hanging upside-down only one minutes every morning for two years, out of the blue I could not walk on my left leg.  After working massage on my knee for a month I was able to use a walker, then a knee brace to get around.  I then got a service dog because my mobility was not trustworthy--I would fall to the ground without prior warning.

After some time, I developed a new modality in my massage business called 'cupping massage' which is a treatment that involves suction.  I applied this new modality to my knee and as a result, my fibular head released impressively.  I had no idea it has been adhered to the hard tissues of my knee.  Not long after, I could walk freely with only a little soreness.  Not long after I joined the DDPY community and began my workouts.  However, I was not interested in following the dietary suggestions in the DDPY program, so, after only 2-1/2 months of application I began to loose interest and put it on the shelf.  My knee was temperamental, but tolerable.  It would flair up at times, and some periods I even needed to use my service dog again for support.  However, then my blood pressure, which had been progressively creeping higher and higher, reached an all time high of 170/110!  I did not want to have to use medication to lower it, knowing one is just erasing the red flag, not resolving the arterial disease which high blood pressure is indicating.  I remembered the dietary suggestions of DDPY.  I dusted off the DVD set and began once again after my two year 'vacation'!  

too be continued tomorrow......

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Learning about my body....

It is so tricky trying to understand my 68 year old aches and pains as I reboot my body.  I have been a full-time practicing medical massage therapist for 30 years, and my body still amazes me!  I am retired now, but I am still learning about my muscles and their problems.  Doing DDPY is teaching me so much about myself.  I really had no idea how inflexible I had become until I tried various poses.

My wrists were very weak, and this surprised me since I had a lifetime of massage to clients!  But, when I did the plank, push ups and poses where I needed to bear weight on my wrists they complained.  I taped them up and this help immensely.  Our wrists are simply not accustomed to bearing a lot of our body weight.  It is more important than ever for me to stretch those joints that start complaining.

I have worked hard this week doing Red Hot Core, Below The Belt, and Diamond Cutter.  My weight is stable at 142 which is a good weight for my height.  I'm happy, happy, happy!

Monday, August 24, 2015

How does it feel to get old?  Well, at 68 years OLD, I'll tell you.  It isn't nice!  I have fallen down stairs;  I have needed to use a walker at certain times;  I have gained unwanted weight that, no matter how many diets I went on, would always return with a vengeance and then some more on top of the last poundage I was dragging around with me;  I had eating addictions that ruled my existence;  I lacked energy;  I lacked fundamental flexibility to do the most needed movement to make it through my day!

How does it feel to be 68 years YOUNG!  I'll tell you.  It's GREAT!  I no longer fall;  I never need the walker;  I am down to a normal weight yet I can eat to satisfaction as long as I follow the DDPY program;  My high blood pressure of 170/110 became a miraculous 121/80 without using any medication (only the corrective diet and yoga);  I have glorious energy throughout the day with no 3 pm slump;  I no longer suffer from my sugar, ice cream, chocolate cravings;  and I move like a youngster now that I have flexibility.

How did I make these fantastic changes?, you ask....I joined a group called DDP Yoga.  After seeing the Arthur Boorman video on YouTube, I decided that if Arthur could do it, so could I.  I was no longer going to sail into the sunset with the concept of 'everybody looses function when they hit old age'!  I found that unacceptable!  I bought the program--not only do you buy the DVD set. but along with that you get support on the internet in the form of a chat room and blogging with friends, etc.  I am never alone in my efforts for improvement!!!

Take a look for yourself.  These pictures are a comparison of my first two months doing DDP Yoga.