I feel like doing some yoga.
When I first started with yoga about 4 or 5 years ago, my exposure had been limited to the yoga workouts that were a part of any program I was following, or, the occasional random yoga class either at a yoga studio or at a work-sponsored event. I never really dove in and did it multiple times per week. I think my form was okay, and I certainly became more mobile as a result.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that yoga doesn’t have benefits or doesn’t warrant programming multiple times per week. Quite the opposite. Yoga has a TON OF BENEFITS, and should appear more than once per week in your fitness lifestyle. I’m just saying I never gave it the priority it probably deserves. I’m going to change that for a few weeks.
One of the benefits of membership in the Beachbody On-Demand streaming services is that you can bounce around in their program library with reckless abandon. This morning I just felt the need to do some yoga. I was about to go to one of my usual P90x or 21-Day Fix yoga routines when I saw “3 Week Yoga Retreat.” It must be a streaming exclusive because I don’t recall ever seeing this sold as a disc set. I scrolled through the workouts, and found that its actually a lot of yoga. There are 21 different yoga workouts! It appears to be built in a progression type format where in week one you focus on just learning the fundamentals. Then, it would appear to get progressively more advanced.
I’m not a serious or well-trained yogi by any stretch of the imagination, so slowing things down and re-learning some fundamentals will only help to improve my overall practice. My plan is to do a new class from the “3-Week Yoga Retreat” following any of my normal workouts until I cycle through them all. I’ll do them in the sequence dictated by the calendar, just not every day like the calendar says. Since that means I’ll only get about 3 classes per week, this will take me about 7 weeks or so. I’m totally fine with that. I’m not in any rush. A practice like this is a marathon – not a sprint. I’m going to take my time, be very deliberate, and try to get as much out of this program as I can. Nobody has ever been worse off for having done yoga. Well, maybe except this person…
I hope she’s okay.
Day 1: Core (Fundamentals) – approx 30 minutes.
Overall a nice start. I’ve always struggled to keep good posture in the cross-legged seated position. I know your chest should be up, and your hands/wrists should rest on your knees. Due to how tight my hips are, my knees don’t get low enough, so it’s a struggle to just sit and relax properly in this pose. Right off the bat, the instructor offered a modification I never heard before. SIT ON A YOGA BLOCK. Once I did this, I actually felt like I was doing the movement properly. Boom. Learned something already.
The rest of the video covered some very basic yoga positions. The thing I liked most was the cuing. If you’ve read my other workout reviews, I’m very critical of cues and modifiers because I strongly believe that proper form and coaching is an essential part of an exercise program. That is not lost here. The instructor offered many cues on how the position should look/feel, and he offered modifications if flexibility is a barrier. Also, I really enjoyed the focus on breathing. He strongly emphasizes the need for breath control and to be mindful of your breath throughout. I might have heard that before, but it was really reinforced here. I’m very much focusing on just breathing in/out through my nose during the entire session (and future sessions).
The session concluded with a minute or two of some core (abdominal) work. Much to my shock (I don’t know if the yoga police know yet), but he didn’t end the session with corpse pose, a nice, “namaste,” or any type of “OM” chant. One of those three almost certainly makes an appearance in any type of yoga training you do. I do love me a good corpse pose, so I was bummed about that. Skipping the “namaste” or the “OM” is fine by me. But, just to be fair, I do understand that there is meaning and purpose for “OM.” I’ve just never connected with it. Yet.
Overall, I’m looking forward to the next sessions.
Are you an aspiring yogi? Do you enjoy mixing yoga workouts into your fitness plan? If so, please let us know about it in the comments. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” and share. Thank you!