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A Free Yoga Class in Your Home? Yes, It Is Possible

April 29, 2011

I know that this is a highly uncharacteristic post for this blog, but I’ve found something I’m very excited about it so I wanted to share.

I’ve been feeling pretty antsy in the past couple of weeks. As the weather’s finally warming up, I’m becoming overwhelmed from being sedentary for the past couple of months and the heightened awareness  that I will soon no longer have the amount of layers to hide behind. I’m no longer content to spend my days working at my desk in my bed. I want to get up and be active and do something! It’s a bit difficult to do in the city. Yes, I love going for long walks, but that’s pretty much what my exercise tends to amount to (along with walking up the stairs in the subway and schleping heavy bags after shopping going to important meetings). I don’t ride a bike, and I don’t have the willpower, money, or desire to be looked at/judged by/in a silent competition with the other people in a gym or at a class. I come up with these grand plans to do some self-guided ab exercises and yoga a few nights a week, but I can barely motivate myself to get through one set of the routine I’ve designed, let alone keep it up for any respectable amount of time. I wanted to find an exercise regime that combined the discipline a teacher/leader would instill in me with the budget and privacy of my failed personal boot camp. I figured in this day and age, there has to be a podcast or some such thing for that, right?

Well.

Two nights ago, I went to a great yoga class. It was free. It was invigorating. It was educational. I could feel it working. And it was in the privacy of my own room. Yoga Journal has an invaluable collection of guided yoga videos available on their site. They’re each 20-30 minutes long and themed, so you can mix and match them to create a session that’s best for you. Here’s the set that I plan on sticking with. It has a nice range of movements and areas of focus without getting too repetitive. (I tried to embed them here, but WordPress is stupid with videos and Yoga Journal is stupid with videos because they’re Mp4s….what the hell are Mp4s? Anyway, I linked to them instead. Apologies.)

I started with the energizing sequence, which was a great way to perk you up and prepare you for the workout ahead. It’s a nice combination of stretching, sun salutations, and a few strengthening poses.

Then, I did the shoulder opening sequence, which really helped relieve the tension I’m constantly holding in my shoulders and upper back. There was also a bit of arm-strengthening as well.

Next was a series of hip openers, finishing with the lotus. My hips get sore from all that sitting and walking. This helped a lot.  Fun fact: I got stuck in the lotus position for a couple of minutes. I couldn’t untangle myself and it was both frightening and hilarious.

Then I did the core-strengthening sequence. It isn’t quite as invigorating as straight-up ab exercises would be, or even with pilates, but it still felt good to be targeting the area I want to help most.

Finally, I decompressed with the evening relaxation sequence.

This set takes about an hour total, which is a good length of time for me. There are plenty more videos that I skimmed through and look intriguing, so I’m looking forward to mixing and matching or adding some on as I progress.

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