(Hmm... that intro makes me sound a bit like a castaway on a desert isle... but I digress.)
I think I am supposed to pause here and describe the deep sense of enlightenment I have achieved.
But my mother taught me not to fib.
I love the practice, but any honest person (and any good yoga instructor) would tell you that life doesn't change in 11 days. Life just is.
So what have I learned so far?
I learned that I have a very short attention span. (Maybe I already knew that, but got distracted before I could write it down?) But if I try very hard to focus on my breathing, I can lengthen that attention span a little bit.
I also learned how to do a mean Crow Pose. And these little victories make each class, podcast, or video a highlight of my day. (Maybe that's close enough to enlightment?)
And last, but certainly not least: I found three free yoga-at-home downloads, to share with you! There are a variety of lengths and styles to choose from. To be honest, some were excellent, some less-than-excellent, but they all have strengths and weaknesses:
- David Farmar's audio yoga pod/broadcasts: Far and away Dave's are my favorite. The classes are tough, in a keep-you-focused sort of way. You hold poses for longer than you think possible, and that's the point. (This is good for those of us who are borderline ADHD chronic multi-taskers. Which is why I do yoga. Now what were we talking about?)
- Yoga Download: The audio + illustration format is great for poses that require a bit of extra instruction. However, the site requires an email login and only offers 20-minute sessions for free. And you can only listen to those once. All other lengths cost money. Listening twice costs money. And if it's going to cost money, you might as well get an honest-to-goodness in-person teacher who will prod you into perfect alignment. Plus, the class I did incorporated weights into the yoga routine. Weights? Are you kidding me?
- Yoga Journal's streaming videos are packed with useful information. The videos associated with the 21-day yoga challenge had no ads or other gimmicks, and were extremely clear in their pose instruction/demonstration. The style is a 2 out of 5 on the "hard" scale, involving mostly gentle stretching. And let me tell you: I am thankful for the kinder/gentler style after a couple of days of Dave's strenuous classes. If you try any, stop back and let me know what you think!