Good Morning Happy Wednesday! I wanted to talk to you all about my yoga practice today, how I got started, and my feeling about it.
I started my practice during my winter beak last year (2012) when I came across a free 30 day trial of MyYogaOnline.com. I was board and wanted to spice up my fitness routine after reading so many great thing about yoga in the blog world. I had never done actual yoga, only Pilates, which I did as a required class when I was competitive dancer. I always liked Pilates and the body weight moves and strength it required. So I knew yoga was similar but also completely different. Pilates is all about utilizing strength from the core then overall flexibility and strength whereas yoga is about breathing and deepening poses to create flexibility and overall strength. Pilates is also performed mostly in prone positions on the floor or with an exercise ball. Yoga has many different series which take you from standing, back bending, lying, etc.
So I began with some videos on MYO and really loved the way it made my body feel. I felt strong and it was a complete variation from the workouts I usually do. It was a great change. I quickly began looking for more advanced classes since the moves in the videos I was doing were fairly simple for me. I attribute this to my flexibility and strength I already had. I was also used to moving my body in non-traditional ways due to my dance history. And I loved it, I was getting a great workout and doing something that I started to really enjoy. However I had one problem, which I still do, I just could not get my mind to focus and my breathing to be correct. I have tried to focus inward and let my breathing flow with the cues from the instructor but I find it really difficult. My mind just goes to thinking this is a normal workout and dismisses the spiritual part of yoga. So this is where I am having the greatest difficulty in my practice. I have gotten better with my breathing but my mind still wonders so quickly and easily. But just like mediation I know it takes time, and it can take a lot of time, everyone is different, to get your mind in the right place while practicing.
So obviously my free 30 day trial ran out a long time ago and I had to find some new sites to get videos from. And low-and-behold I found my favorite yoga instructor/ inspiration. I found the site DoYogaWithMe.com which is completely free and has full length videos for all levels! This site led me to Fiji McAlpine. She is my yoga inspiration. I love all of her classes and her style of intermediate to advanced vinyasa flows and power yoga. Fiji has totally made me fall in love with yoga. While I first started I was a little iffy but I did like yoga but there was something holding me back. Once I started doing Fiji's videos I realized yoga is so much more. Her classes have helped with my breathing and mind wondering. I can not say enough good things about her and her classes. (To bad she lives and teaches in Victoria, BC, Canada...haha).
DoYogaWithMe also had other great videos as well and tons of beginner classes. So if you want to start your own home practice I would definitely recommend using this site.
Here are my favorite classes:
+ Connections to Core - Fiji McAlpine
+ BackBending from the Base - Fiji McAlpine
+ Power and Precision - Fiji McAlpine
+ Renewing Power in Flow: Twists - Fiji McAlpine
+ Renewing Power in Flow: Foot Balances - Fiji McAlpine
+ Renewing Power in Flow: Full Class - Fiji McAlpine
+ Beautifully Bound - Fiji McAlpine
+ Foundation in Flow - Fiji McAlpine
+ Level 3 Yoga/ Pilates Fusion - Kim Wilson
+ Level 2 Yoga/ Pilates Fusion - Kim Wilson
So what do I use and where do I do my yoga? I use my old falling apart pink yoga mat. I roll it out in my tiny bedroom and make the most of it. It is not mush room so I have to move around a lot to make sure I don't crash into my bed or wall or dresser, but I make it work. Which if I can do a home yoga practice in my very minimal small means, you can to. I urge and encourage you to try yoga if you have not. It may take time to find a style, class, instructor you love, but it is possible and when you do I promise yoga will become so much more.
(Above in the cramped space I roll my mat out in and below is where I set up my laptop to play the video I choose!)
Do you practice yoga? Home practice or do you go to a studio? I wish I had access to a studio but there are not many option where I live and I don't have the money to spend at the moment. But I would love to find out what a real class feels like.
Do you use yoga as a spiritual escape or as a workout?