Thursday, 15 March 2012
Do you practice yoga regularly? Do you go to a studio, and practice with a teacher or do you practice at home, using some sort of media - be it a podcast, audio, or dvd instruction? Or do you skip that altogether and just do your own thing?
I have a lot of yoga dvds, from many different styles and methods. I've got some really gentle, restorative ones, as well as more athletic, power type dvds, and a variety of in-between. My favs are by Kino MacGregor of Miami Life Center (www.kinoyoga.com and www.miamilifecenter.com ) - if you're into Ashtanga, I highly recommend her dvds. Kino is an amazing teacher, and her dvds are very well done.
If you're not an Ashtanga practitioner, but are looking for some others to try, some of my other dvds that I enjoy include titles by: Shiva Rea, Eoin Finn, Rodney Yee, Zyrka Landwujt, Seane Corne, Bryan Kest, Ravi Singh & Ana Brett, Maya Fiennes and Litsa Kapantais. Yoga Journal also has many good dvds too. I have so many dvds, and there are some more obscure ones that are just excellent too. Just because they don't have a big name yogi starring in them, do not assume they aren't as good.
So, depending on my mood and how my body feels, as well as what kind of backdrop and teacher I feel like, I can pick and choose. Some teachers are more mellow, while some are more up-beat. Some are in tropical locales, while others are in a minimalist studio. Do you want a powerful, sweaty yoga workout, or a slow-flow, gentle practice to stretch and quiet your mind? There truly is a dvd out there to meet all of your criteria, and having a variety does help keep things interesting, as well as adaptable to your current needs.
While there are so many amazing dvds available, which I think is awesome, I do strongly encourage people to find themselves a good teacher, and, if possible, attend a regular yoga class. It's important to have an experienced teacher assist you with alignment, to ensure that you have the best possible experience, and to help avoid injuries. I know that not everyone is able to attend a class, but it really does make a huge difference. A teacher is there to nourish you, to encourage you and to guide you on your yoga journey. They're there to provide modifications for poses, answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback - things that dvds just cannot do. Plus, the human interaction is important. We sometimes forget how important it is.
The other day, I lay down in Savasana. I had worked hard, and I was pleased with my practice. My teacher gently covered me with a blanket. Tucked in my feet. She came back to my head, and kneeled. She cradled my head between her hands, and gave me Reiki. It was bliss.