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  1. #11
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Shiro, it is very important to know that not all moves are for everyone. If you are consistently unable to do without pain a move that you know how to do correctly, then that move is probably not for you. That's fine. It's why I don't perform (or teach) headslides or any head-generated movements - they cause me great pain and therefor are not for me.
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  2. #12
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiro View Post
    My pelvis tends to revery backwards, especially with most hip movements. I can do slides without a problem, but others are hard not to do that. Usually I put my back out when I make mistakes with this type of movement. I really do have to be careful. Putting my back out leaves be bedridden for quite some time. I've started doing more yoga and pilates for this reason. I want to fix my issues with my back before continuing bellydance, but I also enjoy practicing.

    Despite what you think, I do these movements when I am completely relaxed. I start tensing up only after I start going out of posture and it puts a toll on my back.
    Wow... are you saying that these mistakes you are making are giving you back pain that leaves you bedridden?

    Have you had any back injuries in the past? Do you have current back problems?

    If so, this is something you should definitely warn people about whenever you make a post asking for this kind of advice.

  3. #13
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    It's time to seek advice from health care professionals and not dance teachers. In the meantime, commit Darshiva's last post to memory.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  4. #14
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiro View Post
    I've been "learning" bellydance for about 4 years now, and one thing I still have trouble with is coordination. I cant walk and shimmy with my hips or shoulders without looking like I have something stuck up my behind, I cant walk and do any movements and I certainly cannot layer anything. I would love to be able to actually move around when I dance (for myself), but I'm so darn clumsy and uncoordinated. I try to do different exercises with layering, ones where I can do both movements with good posture... But when joined together, no matter how hard I try, I leave that posture. I don't want to just keep going when I go out of posture since doing that would put that into my muscle memory and probably make it harder to refine later in life. What would you guys suggest?
    I would suggest that you try a different teacher. I expect that you either need a better model for your movements (say someone who moves better or with more intention, or perhaps a teacher whose body looks like yours), or you need a different explanation or cuing of the movement.

    I would also recommend that you spend as much time drilling single movements as possible. Then start alternating movements, then start doing both at once. But spend most of your time on single movements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiro View Post
    Also, on the topic of learning, I got a ton of videos on Ebay for like 10 dollars. One of them was a bellydance video in with a lot of yoga and pilates videos. It's called "Flex Appeal." I watched about 10 minutes of it and the woman makes bellydance seem like such a sexual dance. However, some of the video looked okay. What do you guys think about it?
    I personally liked that video and learned a lot from it...more than I learned from either "Magical Motion" or the Veena and Neena videos that were available then (although Veena and Neena have since come out with excellent videos). I always say that dancers should ignore Kathy (aside from her cuing), and watch Ansuya for form. The red-haired dancer (Louchia?) is a good model for movement, also.

    If the video annoys you, invest 10 or 15 bucks in a different one. Neon's Love Potion and Jillina's Shape Up and Hip Out are both pretty good, IMO.

  5. #15
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiro View Post
    My pelvis tends to revery backwards, especially with most hip movements. I can do slides without a problem, but others are hard not to do that. Usually I put my back out when I make mistakes with this type of movement. I really do have to be careful. Putting my back out leaves be bedridden for quite some time. I've started doing more yoga and pilates for this reason. I want to fix my issues with my back before continuing bellydance, but I also enjoy practicing.

    Despite what you think, I do these movements when I am completely relaxed. I start tensing up only after I start going out of posture and it puts a toll on my back.
    Bedridden is serious. I think you need to see someone like a sports physio to check if you have an underlying problem or "just" bad posture and tight muscles. (I have over "stretched" lower back ligaments from poor teaching decades ago - personally I need to stay fit with good automatic TA engagement to do many moves safely - and of course maintain my pelvis in neutral - even so I avoid Mayas as I can feel the crunch)

    Pilates (done correctly) should strengthen the core - and help protect the back - but start with one-on-one sessions not a mixed class. Many yoga classes will not help with some flexibility issues - some might make things worse - boring physio stretches are more likely to work (for instance it is difficult to impossible to stretch teh hamstrings standing which many yoga classes still do - and this can cause more damage to the lower back - ie the hamstrings cannot stretch because they are contracting to hold you up but your lower back ligaments with all that upper body weight can stretch/tear leaving you with less support)

  6. #16
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    I've injured my back 3 times. The muscles in my back are extremely weak due to that. For that reason, I use yoga and pilates in a modified way to help strengthen my back. My doctor wants me to continue doing this, she thinks bellydance will help me. Not to mention I have a very low self esteem, it helps.

    I'd like to point out that I don't do classes, I have agoraphobia and I'm mentally disabled in some ways and cannot work, so I have no income at all. I live with my mom (I'm 18 so that isn't too surprising) and she already buys me food and pays for some of my medications when I need them, I'm not about to ask her to pay for a belly dance class, too. Besides, I literally live in the middle of nowhere, no car and no bus fare. I would love to take a class, if I got over my fear of being around people and open spaces, and if they weren't all in Seattle. I live 10 miles from anything.

    I have gotten the lowest part of my back x rayed when I fell and hurt my foot, it also happened to hurt my back.. No problem there. My doctor wont xray the rest of my back until I lose about 70 pounds, because my weight does have a toll on my weak back. I cant lose weight from dieting alone, because my mom refuses to buy healthy food, so I've turned to exercising. I used to have a hard time doing even 15 minutes of it because I'd push myself until it hurt to move. I keep all of my exercise light, and I do have to be careful with every thing I do for right now, until I can get my back issues sorted.



    The Flex appeal video is nice in the sense that the moves are broken down, and there is a lot to learn from it, but Kathy didn't learn bellydance for more than... Well I have. She doesn't do a lot of the moves right. For example, mayas, I've always been taught to keep my feet on the floor knees bent and using my obliques for the movement... She uses just her feet and legs for it. I also don't have 10-15 dollars to spend... I get a new video once ever 3-5 months, or in this case, I got 11 for 10 dollars on ebay. That's my limit for right now

  7. #17
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiro View Post
    I've injured my back 3 times. The muscles in my back are extremely weak due to that. For that reason, I use yoga and pilates in a modified way to help strengthen my back. My doctor wants me to continue doing this, she thinks bellydance will help me.
    Yes, the pain will cause significant wasting in a matter of days. But any old exercise won't help. If you are only using videos I would suggest dropping the Yoga - the benefits really only occur if you already have good technique or a good teacher. Mat Pilates done correctly should help - it was part of my rehab (along with hydrotherapy, massage, stretching and TA activation) But - again correct technique is important - make sure you are using your abs not your legs for the movements. If you use your legs you get very little benefit.

    Ditto belly dance - the benefit comes from generating the movement with the obliques, back muscles (QLs) and engaging your deep abs (TAs). You can belly dance pushing your hips around with your legs and you will get little if any benefit. In fact you could do more harm - which is what I suspect is happening in your case. Pretty hard to do over the internet!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiro View Post
    I cant lose weight from dieting alone, because my mom refuses to buy healthy food, so I've turned to exercising. I used to have a hard time doing even 15 minutes of it because I'd push myself until it hurt to move. I keep all of my exercise light, and I do have to be careful with every thing I do for right now, until I can get my back issues sorted.
    Belly dance will tone - it isn't great for weight loss. Every time you push yourself into pain you are undoing any benefit. Muscle will spasm then stop firing and waste aaway. Be gentler on yourself.

    For weight loss have you tried walking? Just plain walking - around the house if need be; up the stairs if you have any - but gently - fast enough to raise a sweat but without jarring your back, knees or hips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiro View Post
    She doesn't do a lot of the moves right. For example, mayas, I've always been taught to keep my feet on the floor knees bent and using my obliques for the movement... She uses just her feet and legs for it.
    If you have back issues I would suggest you avoid Mayas - and vertical down eights as well. Stick to hip rocks, hip drops/lifts, correctly executed twists, try gentle horizontal hip eights with the obliques (not the legs), horizontal orientale hip circles - not tilting circle or ommies. Add some travelling steps and shoulder work and you have more than enough to dance with

    While there, other exercises to avoid:
    • toe touching/flop overs
    • bar hamstring stretches
    • straight leg lifts
    • V sits and double leg lifts

    All of these may make your back worse.

  8. #18
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiro View Post
    I've injured my back 3 times. The muscles in my back are extremely weak due to that. For that reason, I use yoga and pilates in a modified way to help strengthen my back. My doctor wants me to continue doing this, she thinks bellydance will help me. Not to mention I have a very low self esteem, it helps.

    I'd like to point out that I don't do classes, I have agoraphobia and I'm mentally disabled in some ways and cannot work, so I have no income at all. I live with my mom (I'm 18 so that isn't too surprising) and she already buys me food and pays for some of my medications when I need them, I'm not about to ask her to pay for a belly dance class, too. Besides, I literally live in the middle of nowhere, no car and no bus fare. I would love to take a class, if I got over my fear of being around people and open spaces, and if they weren't all in Seattle. I live 10 miles from anything.

    I have gotten the lowest part of my back x rayed when I fell and hurt my foot, it also happened to hurt my back.. No problem there. My doctor wont xray the rest of my back until I lose about 70 pounds, because my weight does have a toll on my weak back. I cant lose weight from dieting alone, because my mom refuses to buy healthy food, so I've turned to exercising. I used to have a hard time doing even 15 minutes of it because I'd push myself until it hurt to move. I keep all of my exercise light, and I do have to be careful with every thing I do for right now, until I can get my back issues sorted.



    The Flex appeal video is nice in the sense that the moves are broken down, and there is a lot to learn from it, but Kathy didn't learn bellydance for more than... Well I have. She doesn't do a lot of the moves right. For example, mayas, I've always been taught to keep my feet on the floor knees bent and using my obliques for the movement... She uses just her feet and legs for it. I also don't have 10-15 dollars to spend... I get a new video once ever 3-5 months, or in this case, I got 11 for 10 dollars on ebay. That's my limit for right now
    It sounds like you're in a tough situation. Can you call a local public agency and ask about food stamps? If the food $$ is yours, you can ask your mom to spend some of it on healthy food like frozen vegetables and fruit. You can make her a short list each week, and slowly make that list longer as she gets used to it. Maybe you could ask for fresh apples and frozen corn to start out with, and after a couple of weeks ask for Shredded Wheat breakfast cereal too.

    Another thing you can do is get healthy recipes from the internet, and ask your mom to buy the ingredients so that you can cook a dinner for the family (and keep the leftovers for yourself). Start with once a week, and look for "5 ingredients or less" entrees or one-dish meals. http://www.food.com/recipes/5-ingred...-one-dish-meal

    I found the moves in the Leslie Sansone exercise videos I've used to be very simple and safe, and I lost weight when I was doing them regularly. My whole body felt stronger and more stable, too. You can get her DVDs used on Amazon for as little as $3, plus shipping. I know you might not be able to afford that right away, but it's something to think about for when you do have some extra cash.

    Kashmir has great advice. Don't do things that make your back feel bad. Make sure you have good support from your doctors, get sessions with a physical therapist if you can (no, you probably DON'T have to go every week if you can discipline yourself to do the exercises and stretches at home, but a PT has the experience to give you the right exercises to do so your body can heal itself and get stronger).

    And make sure you're linked in to whatever monetary and program assistance you can get from the state and community agencies. Those programs are there to help people, so don't be shy.
    Last edited by da Sage; 09-14-2011 at 02:16 PM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    It sounds like you're in a tough situation. Can you call a local public agency and ask about food stamps? If the food $$ is yours, you can ask your mom to spend some of it on healthy food like frozen vegetables and fruit. You can make her a short list each week, and slowly make that list longer as she gets used to it. Maybe you could ask for fresh apples and frozen corn to start out with, and after a couple of weeks ask for Shredded Wheat breakfast cereal too.

    Another thing you can do is get healthy recipes from the internet, and ask your mom to buy the ingredients so that you can cook a dinner for the family (and keep the leftovers for yourself). Start with once a week, and look for "5 ingredients or less" entrees or one-dish meals. 5 Ingredients Or Less One-Dish Meal Recipes - Food.com

    I found the moves in the Leslie Sansone exercise videos I've used to be very simple and safe, and I lost weight when I was doing them regularly. My whole body felt stronger and more stable, too. You can get her DVDs used on Amazon for as little as $3, plus shipping. I know you might not be able to afford that right away, but it's something to think about for when you do have some extra cash.

    Kashmir has great advice. Don't do things that make your back feel bad. Make sure you have good support from your doctors, get sessions with a physical therapist if you can (no, you probably DON'T have to go every week if you can discipline yourself to do the exercises and stretches at home, but a PT has the experience to give you the right exercises to do so your body can heal itself and get stronger).

    And make sure you're linked in to whatever monetary and program assistance you can get from the state and community agencies. Those programs are there to help people, so don't be shy.

    Thanks for the link! I can't apply for food stamps until next month, I had applied for them but they never responded, and then said I missed an appointment that they never notified me about! I received a letter stating that I can't reapply for food stamps until Oct. 11. I'll keep the link bookmarked, though and maybe I can get my mom to buy some of those ingredients and I can make some dinner for us. She actually surprised me and bought roasted chicken (she normally buys fried), some radishes and oranges.

    I have actually applied for SSI assistance, because of the fact I can't work. They denied me twice and then old me I have to do an appointment. I think they are just as confused as I am! Haha! Luckily, if I do get it, I'm getting my back checked out and getting a new doctor. I've been looking into different programs for people with chronic back pain... I do like a lot of them, only the cost and distance from me is bad. One day soon, hopefully.

    I do want to point out that I don't do things that make my back hurt, I used to. This was 2 years ago... I'd pretty much just push myself. I have a lot better control and I know what I need to do for my back, so if a movement in a video is too hard, I do modify it a bit. I don't like doing this too much, because I do want my movements to be "perfect" (at least in my mind).


    Tomorrow I see my mental health therapist who also has back pain like I do. I'll talk to her and see if she can give me any advice... The weather here in Washington has not been to kind on my back lately! She'll likely recommend a couple yoga things to help stretch the muscles. It has helped me in the past, but the last time I did yoga was when I was pushing myself too hard!

  10. #20
    Member Sherezade's Avatar
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    I also have coordination problems, I also can't shimmy and make a hip circle at the same time. Sometimes even walking and moving my hips seems difficult. Another thing I find really hard is to move my hips and then add arm movements. It looks like my hips forget to go on moving when I lift my arms, can't explain better. So, I totally understand you, Shiro. Fortunately this doesn't cause me pains, I just feel awkward. Good luck for your next attempts.

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