rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
If anyone's considering getting a subscription to Yoga Today, type "oh_hai" into the Ambassador ID box and you get a free two weeks' trial.

Full disclosure: if you then subscribe for three months or more, I think I get extra time on my subscription.

And to be honest, you can get a long way just enjoying the weekly free classes and all the material on their YouTube channel.

But so far, I'm enjoying my subscription and it's pretty nice being able to rifle through their archive (over 200 classes!) at will.
jumpuphigh: Riddick and Kyra leaning face-first into one another. (comfort)
[personal profile] jumpuphigh
This is very exciting.  Bryan Kest is now selling downloadable classes on his website Power Yoga (as of 2009 apparently).  I really like what I have done of his thus far.  I actually did my teacher training with his brother, Jonny Kest, and want Jonny to record classes so that I can do my practice with my teacher but until he does, Bryan is the next best thing.  :D 

The downloadable classes start at US $9.95 for the audio versions.  There is a lot of other cool information on his website as well. 



rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Since I recently achieved one of my dreams and learned how to kick up into a handstand against the wall, I wanted to share some of the excellent resources that helped get me there (and some I've found since then; if you've got resources to suggest, please please rec them in the comments).

Handstand is thrilling and wonderful -- wait, no, actually, for a lot of us it's terrifying and dispiriting and something we think we will never, ever be able to do. Dayna Macy says:

Trying to kick into Handstand leads me straight into the heart of fear and shame and negative body image, which I've hung on to since childhood. When I was young, I was amazed when other kids flipped up onto their hands. I watched the crazed joy on their faces as their bodies sliced through the air with abandon. I was never that kid—I never felt that kind of unfettered freedom and trust.

Which makes it amazingly powerful and liberating when you do it. Not to mention fun.

Cut for length )
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Reverse Namaste)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
I was Googling "free stuff yoga" (my friend with the chocolate and coffee website cocoajava.com always puts free stuff into her newsletters and I was thinking, hey, that would be cool for our community) and I found this at Yoga To Go:

Yoga Solutions for Specific Problems.

Looked intriguing. Thought I'd share.

They actually have a Free Stuff page here.
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(Thanks to [personal profile] green for giving me the nudge I needed to finish compiling this!)

Actually, this post isn't just for n00bs at all; it's also for more experienced practitioners who might feel like a gentler practice, want to take things down a notch because of injury or illness, or want to revisit a simpler routine with a deeper level of insight.

But for people who are completely new to yoga, a quick disclaimer: I am not a yoga teacher (nor do I play one on the internet). Neither is YouTube. A good teacher isn't just going to show you the poses; they're going to guide you through the details, correct your alignment, and offer modifications suited to your body and needs.

However, videos (and books and DVDs and podcasts) can give you a great deal. At the very least, they can familiarize you with the most common poses that you're likely to run into in classes (or podcasts), and give you a sense of how your body responds. If you choose to go to a class later, they can enable you to focus more on what the teacher actually has to offer than on worrying about whether you're keeping up or whether you're embarrassing yourself (though, really? Everyone is worrying about that).

Cut for lots and lots of links )

Yoga, Inc.

Feb. 22nd, 2010 09:10 pm
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Yet another online find:

You can watch John Philp's documentary Yoga, Inc. for free online at SnagFilms (along with a bunch of other interesting-looking documentaries).

It's about the commercialization of yoga in the West, covering various controversies including yoga competitions, yoga studio franchises, proposed codes of ethics for yoga teachers, and Bikram Choudhury's copyrighting of his yoga style.

I'd be fascinated to know what other people think of it, and what people's feelings are about the "yoga industry" (I know that I'm ambivalent -- I want to feel that yoga is non-commercial in some ways, but then I also like being able to buy a nice yoga mat and a bunch of books and some DVDs and …)
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I've been trawling through YouTube yoga videos lately, and discovered these excellent and charming vids from Yoga Garden in Yokohama.

They seem particularly relevant while we're looking at Sun Salutations and useful information for beginners.

What's the Deal with Cobra and Upward Dog? This question confused me for ages -- I knew the poses were different, but wasn't sure I knew exactly how, or whether I was getting it right. This is a marvellously clear demonstration of how the different physical dynamics work.

Meet the Warriors A nifty short introduction to Virabhadrasana I, II, and III. These are poses you're likely to encounter early on (apart from III, which doesn't get nearly enough love), so it's worth understanding the alignment right from the start. Again, very clear visual guidance (though the suggestion of doing a reverse namaste in Warrior III is not so beginner-friendly ...).

Stretching Hard or Hardly Stretching? Use your Hips! Bending from your hips, and why it matters. Though they don't mention it, this is also crucial for avoiding nasty lower back strains.

(It looks they have a bunch of other interesting vids as well, including this memorable explanation of the anatomy of lotus pose using a Goku action figure and a lovely series of supported and reclining stretches.)
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
*peers round shyly*

Um, hi.

Recently, I realized that I have over 30 hours of yoga classes on my laptop, all downloaded for free from iTunes.

So I thought I'd post about this, in case other people hadn't yet discovered this treasure trove (or in case anyone else has recs to share).

It turns out that there's a wide range of free yoga podcasts available in iTunes -- including some excellent video classes, which I hadn't expected. Searching on "yoga" (or a specific title) and then clicking the podcasts section brings them all up.

Yoga Journal has produced a marvellous series with Jason Crandell; there are 12 video podcasts, and more audio-only ones, each focused on a different theme (balancing poses, forward bends, twists, a morning practice, an evening practice, etc.), and with the best teaching on alignment I've ever found. He gives very precise and subtle instructions, and includes some interesting variations to focus attention on different aspects of poses in different contexts. There's lots of emphasis on safety and modifying poses in ways appropriate to your body, but that doesn't mean it's low-key; in particular, he teaches some mean bound poses.

The classes are all in the 20-30 minute range, and each one is fairly complete and balanced in itself, but Crandell usually includes suggestions about which podcasts you might follow up with if you've got more time.

These are the classes I go back to again and again. I've done one of these on most days out of the last year and a half, and I keep getting deeper into them as I grasp more details of the asanas.

YogaToday has a range of interesting podcast classes in various styles (power yoga, Anusara, and some Kundalini, which I'm really unfamiliar with), including some good stuff on opening the shoulders, and a lovely twenty-minute sequence warming up for and leading into Hanumanasana, which is one of my long-term ambitions.

(Apparently if you register on the website, you can stream a new hour-long class for free every week; paying enables you to download any of their library of past classes.)

Chaz of YOGAmazing is often a bit too improvisational and chatty for my tastes, with minimal guidance on alignment, but he has some fun flow sequences and a steady stream of new podcasts (older ones get taken down from iTunes after a while and have to be bought from his website) .

I've only just begun digging into the audio-only classes available -- there are a lot of them, and it looks like there are some interesting things out there.

And then there's YouTube …
mlyn: (Default)
[personal profile] mlyn
Posted here by [personal profile] green_grrl's request. :)

I'm not a yoga practitioner, but I'm thinking about it. Money for classes is my main concern for not doing it right now, so I've been putting it off.

Yesterday I read this article about the benefits of yoga in mood stabilization and pain management. It's published by Harvard Health Publications. They're talking about actual medical studies with controlled experiments that show yoga does appear to make a difference. I thought this was especially interesting because it mentions fibromyalgia, and I know a couple people on my reading list might be interested to read that.

Read the article here.
brainofck: (Yoga)
[personal profile] brainofck
I am laboring away on a review of MTV Power Yoga and was looking for the correct names of certain postures, as well as trying to find illustrations.

I stumbled onto a fantastic site:

www.yogabasics.com.

I usually rely on www.yogajournal.com for their index of poses, but the Yoga Basics resource is much more comprehensive.

Sadly, it also requires a paid membership to get past the thumbnails of the intermediate and advanced postures, but still, a great resource!

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