Fortunately there are any number of video classes on YouTube and for the beginning of my practice, I started trying to sift through them without much luck. Too slow. Too advanced. Too "how the heck did you get your leg up there". I would get halfway through a session only to realize that this particular instructor wasn't suited to my level of practice.
Then one morning during my seemingly endless scrolling, I started seeing videos for the 30 Day Yoga Challenge. Intrigued by the promise of structure and organization, I clicked on the information video. Best decision ever.
Let me preface my review with a couple facts about myself. First of all, I am not what you would call "athletic". I've never been a fan of organized sports and running makes me want to cry. Second of all, I have never done yoga before, save the few videos I started my summer with. I am decently flexible naturally, but yoga requires a lot of musculature that I definitely did not have. The 30-Day Challenge has changed that.
The challenge was created by the wonderful people at DoYouYoga.com to bring together a wide range of people who wanted to do yoga from their homes, but like me, were discouraged by the availability of structured classes. In June of 2013, thousands of people across the world joined together in their practice - novices and experienced yogis alike. The challenge is completely free, with one 12-20 minute video each day - perfect for some quick yoga before work or some relaxation after a long day.
The instructor, Erin Motz, has a teaching style that makes even the most novice yogi feel right at home. For most classes, she shares a range of poses, starting with the most simple and providing add-ons for those who feel they want more - however, she stresses continuously that yoga isn't about how far you can get, but instead about what feels good. There's no shame in sticking with camel if wheel pose strains your back - it's your practice.
I was hooked.
30 Days Later....
I feel fantastic. After just 30 days, I can see muscle definition I have never had before (even EJ noticed!). I have seen myself get more flexible and things that used to be a challenge (looking at you, flat feet during down dog), now come easily. I mastered a headstand. And while I have certainly had some sore muscles, I have never felt strained or pained by the work I have done. To anyone looking to ease into yoga, I highly recommend this program.
Now that I have finished, I am looking into buying DoYouYoga's MyYogaPro series - an interactive video collection that tracks your progress and provides continued challenges.
Mom? Dad? Christmas present?
BONUS! Starting August 31, Erin is starting another free video series, designed to bring "Bad Yogis" from around the world together for practice. As more and more people register, more videos will be unlocked! So get over there and register, kay?