Yoga and Sunday’s go together like peanut butter and jelly, but yoga studios and your wallet, not so much. I love yoga for so many reasons. It’s a time to unwind, relax and push yourself physically and mentally, it always leaves me with such a peaceful mindset for the rest of my day or night.
Since our little man came along I haven’t gotten the chance to practice, however, with him getting a bit older now and his naps becoming more scheduled I want to take the opportunity to get some me time back. Being a new mom is wonderful, but man is it stressful. Geoff has his outlet of running which keeps him in check, I however need to get my groove back. Before I got pregnant going to the gym or doing home workouts was my stress relief. Now the thought of leaving the apartment is daunting, all I want to do is just relax and the last thing I want right now is to be out in the hustle and bustle.
If you’ve ever researched yoga in your area I’m sure you’ve come across studios that charge upwards of $100+/month, and that’s only for one form of exercise. Personally, I find being alone with my thoughts rather than a room full of people much more relaxing, regardless of the price. Especially if you are a beginner it can be a bit intimidating, people all around you, so much more advanced and bending like Gumby while you seem to be as flexible as a brick. Plus at home, you can create your own sanctuary, even if that means just dimming the lights and lighting a candle, but I’ll get into that later.
A few years ago, in my searches I came across DoYogaWithMe.com and fell in love. Not only does it have full-length videos, but you can search all sorts of options in different skill levels such as video length, yoga for sports, different muscle groups, pregnancy, you name it! They even have guided and unguided meditation sound clips as well. Anyone who I talk to who mentions yoga I’m always throwing this site at and I’ve never had bad feedback. There are hundreds if not thousands of videos so you never get bored. You can save videos in your profile for future reference or just so you don’t have to have a million bookmarks in your browser. It’s a great way to create a routine of gratitude and mental health and to also a great way to see if you enjoy it. Some people will use this as their main source of practice, others as a gateway to test themselves to see if they wish to pursue that studio yoga life before committing to their memberships.
Signup and membership to DoYogaWithMe.com is free forever, however they do have an option to be a $5/month subscriber to give you, even more access, their site is expanding rapidly so $5/month if you choose to take that option is a drop in the hat, plus it keeps them running, and no I do not get kickback from them or am paid by them. Every year the site also invites it’s members to a yoga retreat, this past year was in Croatia, each year it is a different destination, something that has been on my bucket list for quite some time.
One of the classes I suggest if you are just starting out is Beginner Basics in Flow by Fiji McAlpine. It is a 75-minute class but there are shorter ones out there if you don’t have the time. Fiji is by far my favorite instructor on the site, some are a bit too “hippy” for me if you know what I mean, but to each their own! They have added some new instructors in the past year however and I am very excited to give them a try as well. If you are an early riser or are the type of person who likes to workout in the morning, give Rise and Shine by Fiji a shot, it’s not a beginner class but a great intermediate class with variations to poses if you are a beginner-intermediate. Rise and Shine is only 35 minutes so it can be pretty easy to fit into your morning before starting your day.
A lot of people have a hard time mentally disconnecting from their checklist of chores they need to be doing around the house, or those episodes recorded on their PVR just itching to be watched, but once you get into making yoga at home a habit it becomes really easy to switch your mindset. Some tips I have for creating a relaxing practice environment at home are:
Dim the lights, or turn them off and light a candle if dimming is not an option, it creates a serene atmosphere to unwind, it also helps you focus solely on the video and not the vacuuming you need to do.
If you are a parent, put toys or other kid/baby items out of sight or do it in a room that is adult-ified, again, just to help clear your mind.
A yoga mat, this is a given, however, some people like to just use their floor and that is totally fine! It just may be uncomfortable at times in some positions and you may not be able to fully enjoy it.
Choose a time of day that you know you are 100% distraction free, kids nap time, in the morning before going to work, before bed, choose a time that you don’t normally have scheduled for other things, or simply make the time.
Close your curtains. Funny enough, in our old apartment, even with my lights off, when I thought I was safe from leering eyes I wasn’t, it was a little unnerving and interrupted my practice because I had to go close the blinds.
Make sure you can see the screen of your tv, computer, or whatever you’re using to watch/listen to your class on is easy to look up at.
Check your internet connection, if your internet is shotty you may have a skippy video, so not zen.
In regard to yoga mats, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg, wait until you are ready to invest in a really great mat. If you are just starting out some places to check out are Superstore, Winners, or pretty much any sporting goods store! Remember you really don’t need a lot of space for yoga, just enough space for you, your mat, and whatever you are watching it on. I hope that this post inspires you to move your body and relax. If you have found any other sites or links feel free to share in the comments below!