Namaste and all that.
Yoga, for me, is like that old t-shirt that fits so well and makes you feel great, but for some reason keeps ending up in the back of the closet.
I tend to get more diligent about my daily practice during times of stress or during a physical low point, but I’m not amazing at maintaining that practice when I feel great. It’s like yoga helps, I feel better, and then I decide, “Oh, I’m good, I don’t need to do this anymore.” I’m sure there’s some deep-seated psychological reason why I flake out on the thing that makes me feel good. I’m sure it’s something to do with my relationship with my mother or something equally unhealthy. I’ll chat about it with my therapist and get back to you.
In the meantime, let’s talk yoga.
I love an at home practice more than going to a class. Why? I find that I’m able to relax more doing yoga by myself. I can clear my mind in a more organic way if I’m not distracted by other people. This is just my preference. I’ve done both at home, and in-person classes. I’ve also done a one-on-one, at home session, and I will say that an in-person class, or one-on-one at home, can be extremely valuable to have an instructor ensure that you are doing poses correctly, so that you are not hurting yourself in any way. (Though, right now, everyone should be doing home yoga, to keep safe and healthy.)
Favorite At-Home Yoga Practice
My favorite yoga for at home is hands-down Sarah Beth Yoga on YouTube. I just vibe with her style. She has a soothing cadence to her voice, and she maintains a good mix of different styles of yoga as well. I lean toward a Yin/Hatha/Vinyasa mix practice because I like my yoga slow and stretchy, but I also like to do a Vinyasa in the morning to help me get moving for the day. (It’s a time of stress and a low point for my physically, so I’ve definitely made it a point to be on my mat twice a day. Now, if only I can stick with it after all the crazy has subsided…)
Here are some of my current favorite videos:
Types of Yoga (There are numerous types of yoga, so I’m only going to describe my favorites, because I’m an egotistical monster, but I do encourage you to do some research and see if there’s another type that speaks to you.)
Yin – Yin is a very stretchy practice. It involves coming into a pose and then maintaining it to really increase the stretch. It’s very passive, and it is also sometimes referred to as restorative yoga, because of it’s gentle nature.
Hatha – Hatha is a fairly broad term used to describe any type of yoga that teaches postures, but they do tend to be geared toward a more gentle, slow, relaxed practice that is focused on bringing peace to the mind and body. Perfect for beginners.
Vinyasa – Vinyasa is a more active yoga. It connects movements with breath as you flow from one pose into the next. Flow is the key word in Vinyasa. It helps you to meditate on the temporary nature of everything. Nothing lasts forever, which is something you’ll be happy for when you move from downward dog into a plank. I love Vinyasa in the morning to boost my energy and warm up my muscles. It also helps get your bowels moving. You’re welcome.
Other YouTube Yoga Recommendations
In addition to Sarah Beth Yoga, I also like Yoga with Kassandra. Kassandra’s style is very accessible and right now she is doing a great 10-minute morning yoga month. She also has a meditation video with affirmations that I like.
I would also recommend Yoga with Adrienne. Her style is very relaxed, and she is funny and warm. She is all about “whatever feels good,” which is amazing advice on the mat and in life.
I hope these recommendations help you to develop your own yoga practice at home, and maybe we can keep each other going even after we feel better, which is inevitable when you’re maintaining a yoga practice.