Finding Yoga’s Sweet Spot

While I am sitting here mustering up the energy for my daily yoga practice, I thought I’d inspire myself with a little blogging about it.

I have had the hardest time getting my home yoga practice going. G and I got an apartment with a yoga/meditation/massage room (for G’s massage practice). I injured my arm earlier this year doing a bound triangle pose, and had to chill out on yoga for a while, but for the last month or so I’ve been getting back into in earnest. It has been hard getting there, but I think I finally figured out the routine that works for me.

Discovering free yoga podcasts last year was a life-changing occurence for me. With the whole work-life balance thing, home practice is the only thing that is really going to fit with my schedule, though I do intent to find a teacher someday soon. I recognise my need for guidance in-person. But the home practice just never came together for me. I always had such a hard time pushing myself to do a full practice on my own.

The various podcast sites that I have found have been an absolute boon, helping me give shape to my home practice. I especially love Philip Urso’s Baptiste Power Vinyasa podcasts, but they can be burly sometimes, (and they are really for people who’ve had some yoga classes). My arm is still painful sometimes, and some days I need a little something gentler.

Lately what has been working for me is a gentle morning practices with a podcast from Yoga Journal. It’s about a half hour, and designed for rolling out of bed and just waking up. Like most people, I need to move a little more slowly.

So, each morning, I have been doing a half hour practice before getting ready for work, and in the evenings when I have time and on the weekends, I indulge in a longer Baptiste practice with Phil Urso. With these two, I am finding a nice balance and am able to gently push myself into a deeper practice. The combination is helping me find patience with myself and enjoy the sweetness of heart-opening.

Okay, I think I’m ready now.

Yoga Podcasts

This is for you, Paul! And for my numerous other friends who have asked me for the link recently.

A couple of weeks ago I discovered some free vinyasa yoga podcasts through the iTunes Store. I just did a search for yoga, and there were all of these free hits, including many full yoga classes. I was thrilled, to say the least.

Finding time for yoga practice is challenging for me. I commute a long way to work, and my time is limited. I rely on home practice, and that is, shall I say, unreliable at best. I am fairly experienced, having practiced yoga on and off for about ten years now. But I am by no means disciplined or experienced enough to really feel confident as building a solid home practice.

I think these podcasts are going to change my life. They are really wonderful, challenging classes. If you have never taken a yoga class before, I wouldn’t recommend them. But if you have studied for a while and are comfortable practicing alone, these online classes are better than any video I have ever seen. And there is a good variety as well.

There are two teachers I have found who post free podcasts of their classes, Philip Urso of Salt Pond Yoga in Charlestown, RI, and Dave Farmar in Denver, CO. They are both great teachers. I find Philip a little more spiritual and gentle in his teaching, and Dave I find a little more athletic, butch, if you will. Don’t get me wrong, you will definitely break a sweat and work hard with each of them, its just a different vibe. If you’re interested, Philip Urso also has some free podcasts about A Course in Miracles.

This is a great kick-start to the old home practice for me. I’m inspired. Thanks Philip and Dave! Enjoy, everybody!

One final note: I have created a yoga group in Ma.gnolia: Yoga Reference. So far I am the only member, and I can’t seem to convince many people what a cool tool Ma.nolia is. I think it is a matter of time before it catches on, though. Or maybe I’m just a geek. Ma.gnolia is a web tool that I like a lot. It helps me track and manage book marks. Check it out!