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  • Writer's pictureWILLIAM HAZEL

Doing Yoga at Home - Three Great Resources

Yoga changed my life ten years ago. The transformation, of course, didn’t occur in the first class. The process of personal metamorphosis has taken, well, ten years. The ancient phraseology of practicing Yoga means just that; time on your mat is going to be spent practicing. I’m not certain how many years it took me to figure that gem out, but I’m a slow learner.

Like many over worked, over scheduled professionals, I viewed and approached Yoga as a physical challenge. I shout and scream and yell through the all the land how much Yoga helped me physically in my first year.

When I purchased my first mat, I was suffering with some mild back pain. The pain had been in my life for many years, lingering from a terrible trauma in a automobile accident. I had concluded this was a normal way to live. It shocks me still to put that into words. Yet, to be fair to myself, after being brutally broken in so many ways, I conveniently accepted a bit of back pain wasn’t such a bad thing.

My early Yoga practiced ended my back pain in a little less than six months. After going to class once or sometimes twice a week for six months, my pain was gone, and it’s never come back. The benefits practice has brought to mental wellbeing has been equally transformational. With an increased mindfulness, Yoga has lowered my stress levels, diminished average day to day anxieties, and brought an unquantifiable emotional boost.

But enough about me. I’m penning this quick read because someone recently asked me for suggestions for some good online Yoga classes. He’s been thinking about trying Yoga for quite a while and is now in that special place where it makes sense to buy a mat and see if all this fuss over thousands of years of documented health benefits is really true.

I had given these same resources to a coworker a couple of years back. She lived with rheumatoid arthritis and was afraid of how she might look in the Yoga class at her gym. I got a card from her recently that thanked me for bringing Yoga into her routine. Yoga had transformed her pain and wholly improved the quality of her life. I chose to accept the gratitude and avoided pointing out that she was the one making the choices.

Since I’m a slow learning, I finally figured out sharing these online resources would be make for a healthy blog post.

If you are thinking of trying Yoga at home, or if you are already practicing and seeking some new energy, here are three great at home Yoga resources:

Do Yoga With Me

You can use their website or find it all on their YouTube channel. There are many, many free classes, and things you can pay for as well. Do Yoga With Me is a small company with two owners, brothers David and Sean Procyshyn. At first glance, you’re going to think it’s a nonprofit, but it’s not. That’s not a problem, because they approach their work with a rare, truly genuine humanity that’s focused on making Yoga more available to all.

Take some time to explore the options before you begin. There are many different instructors, and even more options for the kind of practice you want to explore. They take the time to offer good descriptions, and it’s easy to see how long the classes are going to take. Trying a few different teachers with shorter classes will help you find a style you enjoy. My favorite part of this resource is that, unlike most online Yoga studios, there are so many different instructors to experience.

And to my dear friends in the US of A, be advised, these folks are from Canada. If you’re looking for the Americanized, put on your $175 yoga pants and see how many flows you can do in 30 minutes, you’re going be disappointed. Enjoying this resource means you’re going to need to slow down and actually breathe.

Five Parks Yoga

Once again, you can find the classes on the website or YouTube channel.

Start on YouTube, since the website’s free classes link is going to take you there anyway. Unlike Do Yoga With Me, this channel features the owner and only online instructor, Erin Sampson. She’s been teaching since ’08, and the classes are filmed in either Colorado or Costa Rica.

There are many free classes with a wide range of difficulties. Erin’s going to try to sell you stuff like memberships and Yoga Retreats you’ll wish you could afford, but the sales pitches are never intrusive nor do they overpower the mindful time you’ll spend in her classes.

My wife and I really enjoy Erin’s professional, thorough approach. She has a friendly, fluid way of instructing you through the poses, and her teaching style suits the camera. Teaching on camera is very different than studio teaching, and it’s hard to find online instructors that can effectively share yoga though a lens.

And we like that even though it might be bashing rain in Costa Rica that day, she puts her mat at the rain’s edge and videos the class anyway. It’s fun.

Yoga With Adriene

I almost hesitate to share the channel, since if you follow Yoga you’ve probably heard of her. Although it’s not my favorite online resource, with over 8 million channel subscribers, she’s obviously doing something right.

This definitely doesn’t look like a nonprofit. Mishler is monetizing every step of the way, so get ready for ads before the class, ads during the class, since she’s getting paid to wear a brand, and everything being just a bit over produced than it needs to be.

I toss this one out here, though, for I personally know several folks, including the friend that wrote me the card, that began their Yoga practice on this channel. If you haven’t tried these classes before, in a few minutes you’ll understand why. The style is fuzzy-wuzzy warm, includes a dog in the background, and the class length is sublimely timed to bring you back for another.

If you are intimidated by beginning Yoga in any way, this resource will at least get you on your mat for some genuine practice. She’s great at explaining the positions and techniques and offers a solid platform to become familiar with terminologies and routines.

Doing Yoga at home through free online resources is one of the great pleasures of modernity.

Whether you set this up through your smart TV or watch them through your phone propped on a book, you’ll be able to explore your breath, your body, your mind, with a professional class in the comfort of your own home.

I hope that one of these links was a new one to your world. That’s fun about sharing a blog like this. Yoga was a gift to my life. It’s nice to think that I might be able to pass it on today.


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