For a long time I wondered why hot yoga was such a big deal. Who would want to exercise in a room that’s as hot and steamy as Vietnam in August?
Then I tried a hot yoga class.
As much as I was confused by what the hell was going on (“Why is everyone moaning when they breathe? This feels violating…”), I realized why they call hot yoga “hot.” Because all the teachers are babes. No wonder everyone is willing to pay $25 bucks a pop to take these classes – they all want to look like the lithe, tanned goddess-creatures that are standing at the front of the room instructing the class to do things like, “Plant your roots deep into your mat and rise up through your heart…” (Translation: “Stand up straight, suckers.”). Those teachers are the best marketing campaign the hot yoga world will ever have. Hordes of people are willing to pay good money to be waterboarded with their own sweat, because they think it will give them a body like the LuluLemon-clad babe at the front of the class.
Or, you know, maybe they enjoy the relaxation-detoxification-zenification-namaste-whatever that comes as a side effect of yoga. Because sliding around in a sports bra in room full of strangers and their sweat-vapor is relaxing and detoxifying. (Really, you should probably get scrubbed down by a HazMat team afterward.)
But recently I found myself giving yoga a second chance. Yoga and I are like a much-healthier version of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick. (Except yoga hasn’t made me a baby-mama, so that’s a flawed analogy.) With some joint issue flaring up as well as an overall need to CTFO (chill the “frack” out), I decided that yoga once a week might be a good thing. Since I’m
poor frugal, I turned to the trusty old internet to get my “ommm” on. What do you know, I was able to find some great “classes,” and I even ended up kind of liking yoga this time around!
Maybe it’s because it’s easier to hold a pose when I’m not standing in a puddle of my own sweat. And because I’m not surrounded by half naked strangers who smell funny and/or look 10x better than me. Who knows…
At any rate, I’ve found myself actually looking forward to the mornings that I do yoga (I always dreaded yoga when I was taking live classes). These videos are challenging enough that I don’t feel like I’ve wasted my time lying on a mat, but also not so difficult that I feel exhausted at the end. Yoga still might not be my favorite type of exercise, but it’s definitely found a place in my weekly rotation. Of course, I’m still waiting for all my time on the (yoga) mat to make me look like a LuLuLemon-wearing long-limbed blonde yoga goddess…
If you’re looking for a low-key workout to ease your way into Monday morning, give one of these videos a whirl. Bonus points: You won’t get sweaty, therefore you don’t have to wash your hair, therefore you have more time to eat breakfast, therefore life is good.
First up, “Yoga with Adriene.” She’s hilarious, and this one is a pretty decent core workout if you give it a good effort. (She has tons of other videos, including some tutorials on specific poses. Check it out.)
Next, this lady. I like that she explains everything (sometimes a little fast, but that’s why the “Pause” button was invented), and I like her tank top. If you don’t have blocks, I suggest finding a better alternative than stacks of hardback books. They may or may not end up slipping out from under you and you may or may not fall on your donk.
This video is much more of the traditional Vinyasa flow, which I kind of enjoyed most of all. (Sitting in one pose and breathing for 10 minutes is boring, sorry.) I like doing this little video as a “finisher” after a quick strength or cardio workout. She does talk a lot about your energy and the earth mother and lighting up your locusts or whatever….but I really like the colors in the video, so that makes up for it.
And lastly, FitSugar has some quick little yoga flows for specific goals (i.e. hip issues, upper body strength, etc.). I’m not sure how effective these flows would be (on their own, at least) for achieving those goals, but I really liked being able to read the text and see photos and go at my own pace. This “Strong Arms” sequence is my favorite. (And yeah, mastering firefly pose was definitely the highlight of the whole thing.)