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You Could Use a Little Yoga

Please allow me to be unabashedly honest: I love yoga.

Silhouette of a seated woman stretching at sunsetI’ve met a lot of people who think it’s a little bit hokey, or that it’s just not for them. And although I would hate to force it on anyone, yoga is sufficiently diverse that if you search long enough, you’re bound to find something about it that you like. Well, that’s what I think, anyway.

Yoga helps me stay balanced in my mind and my body. It makes me feel strong, graceful, centered, powerful, calm… all those clichéd adjectives that people usually associate with yoga. It’s a way for me to escape from the day just a little bit, to take a break and tune out the things that are causing me stress. In a way, it’s a mini-vacation. Or, if you like, a mini-staycation. Whatever you choose to call it, I think you get my point.

The problem is, I don’t always make time for yoga. Even though I know how effective it would be to do just 20 minutes of yoga, I still tend to let it slip whenever I’m reaching a stress boiling point. And that’s what’s motivating not only this post, but the idea behind it: why don’t we all do a little yoga together? There’s often strength in numbers, and having a training partner (even a virtual one) can go a long way toward increasing accountability. So what do you say? A minimum of 20 minutes, two times a week?

You may already practice regularly, you may be considering getting back into it, you may never have tried a yoga pose in your life. No matter! Regardless of your level or yoga knowledge, you are welcome to play along on this one. And if you don’t like the idea of going to a yoga studio, you can always practice in the comfort of your own home with the assistance of any number of yoga DVDs, or yoga podcasts–websites like YogaVibes and YogaDownload are great, inexpensive resources for an at-home practice and even have videos you can follow if you’re less familiar with the poses.

We’ll report back on our accomplishments (and possible enlightenments) on a weekly basis. So that just leaves one question: are you down, dawg?*

 

*Oh come on, that was awesome.

By Emilie

Runner, yogini, knitter, Manhattanite in spite of myself. Also blogging at http://www.icametorun.com.

19 replies on “You Could Use a Little Yoga”

I’m in! When I worked at a gym I took yoga 2-3x/week but since leaving that job I’ve been lax. I really noticed a difference with yoga and I am kicking myself that I ever stopped. I’ve got an Gaiam AM/PM Yoga DVD by Rodney Yee that’s collecting dust. Might as well pop it in and give it a try.

I’m in! I’m also guilty of not making time for yoga, especially when my life gets really busy and stressful – that is, when it would be most helpful and effective! And I think a minimum of 20 minutes twice a week is a great start – I have a tendency to feel overwhelmed and instantly demotivated when contemplating huge projects or commitments, but 20 minutes twice a week sounds totally manageable!

Personally, I will be doing Megan García’s MegaYoga, which I recommend to any big/fat/curvy ladies out there. It is completely size- and HAES-friendly, it has a great 30-minute program for beginners, and seeing a big/fat/curvy lady like myself do the poses has worked wonders for my self-esteem.

I have a chronic illness and that amount of yoga (if it was poses and not just breathing) would probably kill me. But! I have serendipitously just signed up to start a Yoga for Weaklings class (I’m trying to reclaim “weakling”) in a few weeks’ time, and it would be great to know other people here are yoga-ing too. Going to check out those free podcasts asap.

Bikram is, I think, the only style of yoga that makes me hesitate and not want to jump in right away. For some reason, I bought a Groupon recently for a month of Bikram classes at a studio near my office. I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time but I regret it now.

YogaDownload has a huge number of free 20-minute podcasts (available through iTunes). Some of them have video options, and I know there’s at least one beginner class that has like a powerpoint presentation type slideshow that can will demonstrate what the poses look like. There are also tons of free yoga podcasts available from other sources, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find something :)

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