So. I have a love/hate relationship with workout DVDs, throughout the years often getting excited and high hopes at the prospect of some, but then only finding about 25% of them to really be great with the remaining 75% leaving some or much to be desired. I do think that even the good ones need to be taken with your own grain of salt – knowing you need to move at your own pace, being mindful of your form and heart rate and fitness goals, and adjusting how you follow along and/or adapt based on those factors.
I recently read about the “Ultimate Yogi” program – a set of 12 DVDs that takes you through 108 days of consecutive yoga, consisting of three phases – and was intrigued. And yoga is something that I previously really only enjoyed in a studio setting or doing on my own. I have found some YouTube videos that I liked, but never a whole DVD that really nailed it.
Something about “Ultimate Yogi” seemed different though, so I read and read… and read… as much as I could about it, before biting the bullet and purchasing the DVD set (on Amazon.com for a much-reduced price). If the “program” is being followed as designed, there is a yoga practice every day for 108 days; that full duration is also divided into three segments, with the overarching goal being a “transformation” from start to finish. These classes intend to stretch, strengthen and revitalize your body from the inside out, in different ways. I’ve never looked at yoga as something that focuses on how you look – visible physical changes are a secondary result – but how you feel and how your body functions, which seems to be at the core of “Ultimate Yogi.”
Peter and I decided to do take this on together, and we started on Monday so are only two sessions in (the third being tonight), and so far I am REALLY happy, enthused and motivated. And sore. Each session has a different focus, and the instructor of the series – Travis Eliot – does a great job guiding each session, focusing on the core intentions of each pose and yoga in general, combining movement and meditation. He really gets at the mind-body balance that’s at the core of yoga, and I haven’t felt that resonate from a DVD before (only in-person classes).
As for the aforementioned soreness – my triceps, deltoids and obliques are quietly screaming at me, but in a “yay, you just awoke me from a long sleep!” kind of way, which to me is a good thing (aka the activation and use of muscles and other tissue in new and important ways!).
Like any physical activity, precautions must be taken, care must be exacted and certainly benefits/risks should be assessed based on your individual self and needs… but there is so much positivity in yoga, so much to be gained on body, mind and spirit levels; I really believe everyone could benefit from incorporating it into their life in some way. Even if it’s laying in child’s pose or savasana for ten minutes a day and breathing mindfully! It’s carving out the time, however short or long, to dedicate to your practice in the way that best suits you. And Travis speaks to this in the sessions, which I really appreciate.
I love yoga so much – different kinds for different reasons – and am always looking for new ways to expand and evolve my practice. 2013 has been a year of yoga for me in that I practiced more than any other year in the past, and I’m excited to feel that 2014 is going to take it to the next level.
My two biggest goals in going through this program are to increase flexibility and strength. I’ll post updates as I make my way through… stay tuned!