Yoga: Podcast Reviews
In a few minutes, I’ll start rounding up whichever of my friends are awake on a Sunday morning to head on down to join me in my Sunday routine of a free yoga class at Lululemon Athletica. At the end of a weekend of lounging around, studying, going out for late nights with friends, or a mix of all three, there is nothing better than the feeling of stretching out and those detoxifying twisting poses! (Unless you had too much fun on those late nights – if that’s the case, go back to sleep and resolve to be better behaved next weekend!)
But what if *gasp!* you are not within range of a Lululemon?! (Or, if you are snowed in like our friends in the northeast have been all too often this winter?)
Steve Jobs and iTunes have come to save the day with podcasts!
They’re amazing. They’re free. And for all you newcomers to yoga who are afraid of embarrassing themselves, they’re private. And you can get a lot of the yoga class ones in video form! (So you can see what the pose is supposed to look like and are not stuck feeling like you’re trying to twist your body into some position that reminds you of a game of Twister gone wrong: “You want me to put my foot where?!”)
Here are some of my favorites:
1. YOGAmazing: I love Chaz. He has a sense of humor and his 20-min or so classes are nice and short (and his name is Chaz!). I’d say they’re generally about medium difficulty and, like most of the podcasting studios, he centers each episode around a body part or area of concern or target audience. For beginners, I suggest trying his “Yoga for College Students” class. It is a class to introduce college students to yoga and even includes moves you can do while sitting at your desk.
2. YogaJournal.com: These classes are about the same length as the YOGAmazing ones, which makes them great to do either back-to-back or just by themselves if you’re pressed for time or depending on how yogamazing you’re feeling that day. They’re also about the same difficulty level as Chaz’s classes, but have the added bonus of 2 assistants that you can watch so you can make sure you’re doing the pose correctly (or see 2 slightly different variations of it, which helps because people have different body types and that affects how you might do one position or another).
3. Baptiste Power Vinyasa: I did “One Hour of Easy Power,” expecting it to be that: easy. It was not! I definitely worked up a sweat doing this one! As usual, I enjoyed it though, even though this one only has an audio component.
4. Yoga to the People. It’s an audio one, so I suggest that you only check it out if you’re pretty familiar with the most common yoga poses and have some experience under your yogi or yogini belt.
Two things I love about this podcast:
- the background music: It’s easier for me to quiet my mind and focus on my body when listening to yoga podcasts that have music in the background. One summer, when I was at my yoga practicing peak, I became a master at shutting out unnecessary thoughts and worries, but between doing it less frequently and having the added stress of school and graduation, it’s been harder for me not to let the worries invade my practice time. So I appreciate the tunes in this one — it helped that I recognized a couple of my favorites!
- taking the first part as a time to evaluate how you’re feeling: Instead of moving right from child’s pose into the flowing practice, this instructor (I did the first episode, so it was Greg, but I think they switch up the instructors every podcast or so) has you sit in child’s pose for a good bit of time. At first this annoyed my ambitious overachiever side, but then he explained how to use the beginning of class to tune into how I was feeling physically and mentally. It was a great way to get me to slow down!
I’ve done a couple more podcasts from different studios and have downloaded a bunch more to try, but these have been my favorites so far. So grab your iPod or computer and go get your yoga on with the added benefit of it being in the privacy of your own home.