Tuesday, August 23

Yoga challenge continues

The 21-day yoga challenge continues.

I am on Day 11.

(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!


  1. I get so distracted during yoga...and bored. I know it is good for me, but I'm having a tough time learning to like it.

  2. Yay! I've been looking for free at-home yoga practices. I belong to a studio but the classes don't always coincide with my schedule. I will have to check out that first one you mentioned. Sounds great!

    Awesome job on this yoga challenge. I'm super impressed! Maybe when you get to day 21 you'll want to do 31 days! :) You never know!

  3. This sounds like a cool challenge! I really need to pick my practice back up. I can't even remember the last time I practiced!

  4. @Miles... It may be a matter of finding the right style. There are some yoga classes that I really, truly can't get into. Some teachers are slooooow.... Some are fast fast FAST! I am a Goldilocks girl... I like something in the middle - physically challenging, but enough time in poses that I get my form right without rushing. (Too fast and I wind up hurting myself.) It took trying several types of classes with different instructors before I figured out what worked for me.

    @Kate - I'm starting to think that... Now that I'm in the habit, it would be easy to stick with yoga every day! (I wonder how long I can last...?) ;)

    @Paige - The online classes were perfect for me. I can talk myself out of driving to class (why waste fuel for yoga?) but not out of putting my mat down in the living room!


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