Can I just say that I am thrilled–thrilled–by the number of you who are joining in for a bit of a yoga challenge! Honestly, I’m really happy that we’re all going to be venturing forth into our yogic adventures with a great support network.To recap, the challenge is intended to get you up and doing at least 20 minutes of yoga, twice a week. If you’d like to do more than this, then all power to you. There are no restrictions on what sort of yoga you do, either, so pick whatever works best for you.
If you started the challenge last week, how did it go? Did you manage to meet the minimum? Do you go above and beyond what you expected you’d do? I did a 26-minute podcast from YogaDownload last Tuesday, and on Thursday I did an hour’s worth of yoga at work (we’re in the midst of doing a 10-week yoga program here in my office). The Tuesday practice was very soothing and restful, and the Thursday session was challenging and fun with a lot of upper body work. I loved the variation between the two practices. Since my other form of exercise, running, can be pretty monotonous (especially when you’re running the same route day in and day out), I always appreciate the chance to change things up a bit with different poses and series in yoga.
Since this challenge is meant to be as inclusive as can be, I wanted to try devoting this post to a round-up of yoga resources. Practicing at a studio can be costly, but if you know where to look you can find a lot of inexpensive and even cheap ways to practice yoga through the Internet, on DVD, and in other places as well. There are probably a ton of ways I could organize this list, so instead of trying to find the best way, I’m just going to try to keep things simple. I bring you a list of resources, culled from my experience as well as the wisdom of your fellow yoginis in the comments on last week’s post. If you know of any resources that I’ve left off here, please mention them in the comments!
In the Studio: I did mention above that taking classes in a studio can get expensive; however, there are also ways around this if you’re willing to dig around a bit.
- Try identifying a studio you’ve heard about and seeing if they have any deals for new students.
- Similarly, see if any studios in your area offer free classes, donation-based classes, or free workshops.
- Some stores (like lululemon) host free yoga nights.
- Groupon and other coupon sites like Living Social can be a great resource for cheap passes to yoga studios in your area.
At Home: The Internet, DVDs, and OnDemand Exercise programs have enough information available that you could probably completely forego the studio completely and just develop an at-home practice if you wanted to.
- YogaDownload: A great service with lots of different options. There are free 20-minute podcasts available through iTunes, and on the website you can either stream or download full-length classes in a variety of styles and levels, and taught by a range of instructors. You can pay by class, or you can get a membership. Some classes have video, but most are only audio-based.
- YogaVibes: One of my favorites! Like YogaDownload, YogaVibes offers a range of classes, styles, levels, and instructors. All of the classes are video-based and are taught specifically for YogaVibes so there is an element of feeling like you are integrated into the class, and not just doing the same thing at the same time as everyone on the screen. This is also a paid service, but free instructional videos are available, too.
- YogaGlo: Recommended by CGMcBG, who says, “For $18/month you can stream unlimited classes, and they range from beginner to advanced and include many different styles of yoga. Plus, there are a few meditation classes you can take.”
- ExerciseTV: Free, and recommended by PileOfMonkeys.
- Yoga To The People: Offers free podcasts, and even a studio class is on the cheaper side if you’re in an area they’re in too.
- YogaToday: Recommended by QoB. This another subscription-based site, but they also offer a free weekly class.
- YouTube: You’re probably best off using this with caution, but if you have a favorite DVD from days gone by, you might be able to find it here!
- Netflix: Their exercise DVD selection is pretty thorough, and I’m sure you could find something you’d like. BicuriousShoes recommends Megan Garcia’s MegaYoga, a HAES- and size-friendly practice, and CGMcBG is going to dust off her Rodney Yee DVD.
Have I left off your favorite yoga resource? There are also books and magazines a-plenty, so if you’re feeling left out, speak up and add your suggestions in the comments! And don’t forget to mention how your first week went!