Yoga. What comes to mind? Skinny people twisted up like pretzels? An old man with a beard sitting cross-legged on a mountain top? Or are you already a fan and it brings to mind peace and tranquility?
I've done yoga, and enjoyed the benefits, off and on for years. I can't really say that I have a "practice" because I haven't done it consistently. In November I woke up one day and I was 8 pounds heavier. Even though I was riding my bike to work! What gives?! Being a "foodie" was getting out of control. . . obviously, I was going to have to cut back. My intuition was screaming "Where is your yoga DVD?!" and I was telling it "In the damned storage unit in Idaho!"
I hate buying things twice. It just doesn't work for me. So far, and it's been a year and a half, I haven't replaced anything that I already own. I do carry strange things home in my suitcase when I go to visit. Last trip I brought home a blender, some glass baking pans and a casserole dish. What I didn't bring home was my yoga DVD. I couldn't find it. So, out of desperation, I signed on to Amazon to buy another copy. And, guess what?! It wasn't available! There was one used one available for $45. Wow! Who Knew?! Apparently my favorite yoga DVD is everyone else's, too. . .
It is a good one. It's called Yoga Mind and Body and it "stars" Ali McGraw. She isn't the teacher, but just one of the students. It's shot on these beautiful white sand dunes, the cinematography is really well done, the participants are of all ages, including this beautiful woman who must be in her 70's, and, the workout is a bit advanced, but great!
So December arrived and I wasn't any thinner and my little inner voice was still screaming "Yoga!". There was a DVD called "Yoga for Inflexible People" in Mr. Green's DVD rack. He swears he didn't buy it and I'm pretty sure I didn't. A gift from the Yoga Gods? I popped it into the DVD player with high hopes. Unfortunately, it wasn't the yoga for me. It requires props. Which, if your body is inflexible, makes sense. All you need is a folding chair, a couple of blocks, a strap and a couple of blankets. I improvised. Not so good. It is an ingenious format, though. There are tons of workouts and options (it says over 35 on the cover) and it would be a great place for someone who has never done yoga and stopped stretching long ago. Props aren't that expensive if they are the doorway to being able to touch your toes.
Still no yoga. I was sitting at my desk on December 22nd and a little lightbulb went off in my head. We had just received a donation of a two week pass to a place called Yogaworks for an upcoming silent auction and my assistant had raved about how much her husband loved their classes. I got online to see where they were located and they had an on-line store! With yoga DVDs! I called their location that is literally two blocks from my office, and sure enough, they had the DVDs in stock!
I went by on my way to the bus and, after reading the info on the boxes, I bought All Three DVDs. They were not expensive. What a great Christmas present to myself!
There are no props required. The first DVD, called Beginners AM/PM, promised a workout to help me wake up and another to calm me before I go to sleep and a 45 minute beginner basics routine. The second, called Fit Abs, promised a strong core, lose inches and lean abs. Couldn't pass that up! The third, called Body Slim, offered to sculpt lean muscle, increase energy and burn fat. . . just what I was looking for.
Here's the truth of it. . .
Since December 26th I have done the beginner routine five times. I've done the PM routine three times, the AM routine once and the Fit Abs routine once (made me too sore, so back to the beginner routine). It only took two sessions for me to feel completely better in my body. I am amazed.
Yoga makes me feel mentally "clear". It creates a calmness that lasts through the day. My body felt stronger right away. Literally after two sessions. I'm still a little sore and am still doing the beginner routine, but intend to move on to the other routines soon.
And, I've lost five pounds. No Kidding.
Yoga. It Does a Body Good.
What are you doing for your body? For your health? Leave a comment.