Practicing at Home
Sometimes you just can’t make it to class. Or you find that the only time in your day to do some yoga is…nine o’clock at night. Practicing alone requires tremendous discipline. To do a self-guided home practice longer than 30 minutes or so is also very difficult.
There’s no shame in YouTube yoga. If you have attended enough classes to know some of the basic poses, I think practicing with YouTube videos can be great. With an instructor’s voice in your head, it is so much easier to tune out distractions that can quickly pop up in your home (like spotting dirty dishes in the sink or a sock on the floor that needs to get picked up and put in the laundry basket).
(Note: For true beginners I do NOT recommend practicing without an instructor.)
Here I am sharing some of my favorites that I have done again and again. In general, these are best for intermediate to advanced yogis, although the Prenatal Yoga video could be done by any pregnant woman who exercises regularly and has received permission from her doctor/midwife to practice yoga.
My YouTube Favorites
This hour-long practice was my absolute favorite during pregnancy. It felt so amazing on my back, hips, and shoulders, especially in the third trimester. But the breathing practices, healing music, and Sarah’s soothing voice as she leads you through spiraling motions for the spine and other flowing stretches will help keep your mind and body in happy, healthy mama-zone at any stage of pregnancy. I even did this video when I began returning to longer yoga practices about 8 weeks postpartum. To be honest, I might even do it again now.
If you have about 50-60 minutes and want to clear your head and return to your body, I recommend these videos with Bryan Kest. He is the teacher my first yoga teacher studied with, so this class reminds me a lot of the classes I took when I became hooked on yoga. There are 3 videos, Power Yoga 1, 2, and 3, all available on YouTube. Try them all! (Also, a young Seane Corn is practicing in these videos, if you’re into yoga celebrity spottings.) “Power yoga” does not mean you will be doing jump squats or burpees. It does mean that you will be engaging deep core muscles and connecting to your true seat of power. Also, these videos are from the ’90s, so keep an open mind about the hair, music, and leotards. Yes, leotards.
This is a live recording from Wanderlust and is an 80-minute class called “Surya Shakti: Morning Meditation and Prana Flow.” If you have the time, this will seriously supercharge your day! It includes meditation, chanting, and lots of sun salutations.
This is really only for advanced practitioners. There are no guiding visuals and this “video” is really just an audio recording of an advanced Sivananda class given in 2006. But, if you have been practicing regularly with me for a few years and consider yourself a dedicated yogi, you will likely be familiar enough with the practices that you could do most of them. This is like a birthday, holiday, and self-celebration gift to yourself. Two hours and twenty-five minutes long, this class will clear your energy pathways, remove blocks and tension from your muscles, and return you to your blissful, clear-headed true self. (Or this class will at least help you move in that direction…I hope.)