I used to take yoga classes at Fitness First, but due to schedule and expense I canceled my gym membership almost a year ago. Since then, I’ve been finding other ways to amuse myself, such as running or doing crunches. I missed doing yoga with a class – I didn’t really talk to anybody then, but having a teacher around to help explain (or correct) your poses, and having a quiet, supportive environment, really made the class more fulfilling.
Over the holidays I have been overeating (just like any Pinoy!), so I decided to go back to yoga. Armed with an old yoga DVD, I unrolled my mat and started doing the video again. The problem is, I’ve had this DVD for so long that I’ve memorized it! And though I still enjoy the flow and the peace it gives me, I was, quite frankly, bored.
So this morning I decided to try yoga podcasting. I found a site called Yogamazing that offers instructional video podcasts based on a certain theme: e.g. Yoga for Strength, Yoga for Colds, Yoga for Runners, etc. The host, Chaz Rough, is a bit peppy; he makes lively conversation at the start of each video, which I’m not a big fan of (I like my yoga quiet) – but once he got into the actual asanas, I found myself enjoying it. He was doing poses that I hadn’t done in a loooong time! In fact I was quite embarrassed, because the podcast I tried asked for a Shoulderstand pose, which I had had no trouble doing last year in class – but I just COULDN’T lift myself up now. (No, not because of my weight 😐 I’m out of practice, is all!) By the end of the 20 minutes I was sweating profusely. It was fun trying to keep up with Chaz as he went from pose to pose, and also hearing his suggestions for correct alignment.
People make New Year’s resolutions for exercise all the time, but my return to yoga isn’t a resolution, just more of an alignment with my current needs. The focus, introspection, and challenge that yoga gives me offsets the stressors I’ve had of late, and it really feels like coming home to a good place – something that running, which is all about escape, doesn’t give me. All I have to do now is to figure out the logistics of doing yoga at home: clear out bigger floor space, set up speakers so I can hear the podcast better, find a good angle for my LCD monitor so I can see the poses even from the floor, buy tea light candle holders to surround my mat with candles, etc. I’ll be staying tuned to Yogamazing, and also look for other video podcasts on the Web. Here’s to a healthier and more peaceful new year!