I’ve practiced yoga on and off for over a decade, and right now it’s a huge part of my life (and I couldn’t be happier). Most people are very surprised to learn that in all that time, I have never so much as set foot in a yoga studio, let alone taken a class there. In fact, I can only think of two times that I’ve taken a true, live yoga class. Once was at a giant community fitness even when I was living in Tampa, and the other was during my bachelorette weekend when my amazing friends had an instructor come give us a private class on the beach. Side note: my friends are troopers, none of them were into yoga and all of them joined anyway. 🙂
So unlike many (most?) yogis, I practice exclusively at home. Lately, I’ve had quite a few people ask me about how that works and whether I have any recommendations, so here is how I get my Ohm on at home.
One of the questions I’m asked most often is what yoga DVDs I recommend. But I actually don’t use DVDs anymore, I use yogaglo.
I love yogaglo because you get so much more variety than you could ever get from DVDs, maybe even from a studio. As of the time I wrote this post, there are 2,273 classes available, in all different lengths, styles, and levels. It’s an incredible resource.
I get bored easily, so rather than constantly buy DVDs, I’d rather pay to be a yogaglo member ($18/month) and have a zillion classes to choose from. And unlike a studio, I’m not restricted by the schedule, I can take any kind of class I want.
If you are just starting out, there is a Beginner Center. I often recommend people at least do the free trial just to check this part out and try a few different styles of yoga to find what works for them before investing in a DVD, studio, or even the yogaglo membership.
Once you know what you are looking for, you can search for classes based on all kinds of criteria: length, level, teacher, style, specific use (e.g. morning, stress reduction, hip opening, backbends, cross training), or body part.
If you find a class you like, you can add to favorites, or to your queue. The queue feature is my favorite, I stumble on classes that look good all the time, so I add it to my queue to schedule later and/or remind myself I wanted to try it.
You can also create a series, which is kind of like a folder, and you can add any class to as many series as you want. That way you don’t have to go digging for them later. I have them set up based on length, style, morning, strong/continuous practice, and slow/restorative practices.
If you are interested in learning more about yogaglo, definitely send me an email (busybod at ymail dot com) or leave a comment. I don’t get anything at all for promoting them (I wish!, it’s just a service that I truly love and use almost every day. 🙂
Before yogaglo though, I was a DVD girl, so there are a few I can recommend, but they are all old (which doesn’t really matter). I’m just not up and up on the latest and greatest DVDs. My other thing about DVDs is that since there is SO much variety in yoga, something I like might not appeal to you, or you might hate an instructor I love. You might buy a DVD, try it, and then decide you don’t like yoga, when really that specific DVD just wasn’t the right fit. Definitely do some research ahead of time if you aren’t sure what you’d like (or ask me, I’d be happy to chat with you to help you narrow it down).
That said, here are some of the DVDs I used before yogaglo.
Rodney Yee: He has a ton of videos available, and I had one, I just don’t remember which one. It was a long time ago. Like a really long time. So I don’t even remember good details about it. I know, super helpful.
Sacred Yoga Practice Vinyasa Flow (with Rainbeau Mars): I had this DVD in college and really liked it. I found it opened my hamstrings and helped me get a strong foundation in vinyasa flow (now my preferred style). This one is super old and maybe hard to find, but she has others, and I think she even has some youtube, etc.
Shiva Rea Fluid Power Vinyasa Flow Yoga: This was by far my favorite, and for me, was a great next step in my home practice. I practiced with this set daily for months and never tired of it. I only stopped when I scratched it up… whoops. It was a really unique approach to flow, very fluid and unrestricted, which I loved. I really liked Shiva Rea as an instructor, and finding an instructor you love is very important. The DVD is set up with a class “matrix,” mini segments that you select in the beginning to build your flow. It meant there was a lot of variety for being a DVD, and it also means there are lots of options regardless of your level. I’m not sure if all of her DVDs have this format, but Shiva Rea has a lot of them available, so you have lots of options with her. Check out her site for more.
This post ended up super long (oops!!!) so I’m going to stop here, but I’ll have another post soon with more on why I practice at home, along with some things to consider if you’ve never tried yoga and are considering beginning a home practice. Update 3/27/14: Here’s the link to part 2!.
Questions: Do you practice yoga at home? What resources do you use?