I have gone through many phases where I’ve renewed my love affair with the practice of yoga. There are many reasons for me to engage in this form of exercise, and the importance of each incentive rotates on a regular basis. As of a few weeks ago, I established Monday as “yoga night” for me. This works out well because the first day of the week is generally fairly stressful, and relaxation is usually the number one reason I use to motivate myself. Other factors include bonus calorie burn, diversification of my workouts, body-weight strength training and the hope that one day, I will be able to do this:
Our gym offers yoga on a regular basis, and although I’ve never physically attended a class, I’ve observed that usually these classes are quite full and people have to show up about 30 minutes ahead of start time to get a decent place in the studio. Not my idea of relaxing fun. We’ve tried a couple of yoga studios, but none with any consistency. I haven’t found one that I love, and most of them cost a lot of money, which I feel silly about paying since I already have a gym membership.
These factors have led me to start building an eclectic yoga DVD collection. So far, I own:
So every Monday, I step into my new Lululemon yoga pants (a Christmas present and I ADORE them!), roll out my yoga mat and immerse myself in a session of bliss. My most frequent routine utilizes the first DVD – it was my first purchase, and I really like that the workouts are offered in either 20 or 40 minute increments, and nothing says motivation like a roomful of hot cheerleaders going through the poses. The host/yoga leader is a little on the annoying side, though, which makes me want to put the whole DVD on mute and put on a CD full of whale songs or something.
Jillian’s DVD is my most recent purchase. I own several of her other DVD’s, and swear by her 30 Day Shred. Like that offering, a huge part of the appeal of this yoga DVD is the time factor. Jillian believes in high intensity in shorter bursts, so the workout is 30 minutes, but it incorporates higher intensity poses and repetitions before holds so your heart rate gets up a bit more and more sweat is shed.
This week, I brought the Gaiam DVD into play. I’ve owned this one for a while, but don’t use it as much. No idea why! I really liked it. For me, it was a good combination of traditional yoga breathing/concentration plus challenging poses. The instructor focuses on the flow of movement, which just gets me one step closer to the video I previously mentioned. This one is 50 minutes, making it the longest time commitment in the bunch, but it honestly didn’t feel that long.
Throughout all my yoga DVDery, I’ve been wearing my BodyMedia armband faithfully to get a better idea about the calories I’m burning with each. Sometimes, yoga, though cleansing, isn’t the best way to shed pounds. It will certainly never replace cardio/running/weight lifting, but it’s good to know what kind of contribution it’s making to my overall workout life. Turns out (and I know that calorie burn is based on a lot of factors that change day to day), but the last one (Gaiam) burned twice as many calories as the other options. It didn’t seem twice as hard (I actually thought that Jillian’s was the most challenging in the moment), but apparently it was the most effective in terms of calorie burn.
All of these DVD’s have one thing in common. Dan hates them. He doesn’t understand why a practice that is supposed to be about inner peace and reflection involves so much talking from the DVD leaders. I suppose they can’t really have blank air – they have to “host” but as soon as I’m good enough, I’m going to create my own DVD that features soothing classical music.
What do YOU like to see in a Yoga DVD or class?