Fall 2017 Yoga Challenge, Week 4. If you need to catch up, no big deal (this is a self-paced challenge during Oct-Dec this year, and you don’t need 12-13 weeks to meet its basic goals). Check out Week 1 or browse other prior weeks as needed.
As a reminder, our challenge goals are simple, but meaningful:
- Do at least six yoga practices during October-December 2017
- Have those practices span at least two sources of instruction (yoga studio instructor or online class), including at least one in-person studio experience
- Achieve at least three weeks in a row where you get a yoga practice into your routine, during the span of this challenge
- Decide by New Year’s if-and-how you will keep yoga as part of your fitness and wellness routine
To seek these goals — and for life-with-yoga after the challenge, if you go that way — online yoga classes are a great resource. You can use them when you don’t have time to get to a studio, are traveling, or for any number of other reasons.
Including this honest reason: you’re just not “up for” doing yoga in public yet. I get that. I felt the same way. But after doing a bunch of online yoga practices, I knew enough about what an in-person class would entail — and could do “enough” of the stuff — that I was ready to brave the studio.
So here are four recommended online yoga class offerings. Each has a bit of a different style. They all offer free or sub-$1 trial periods so you can experiment with two or more of them if you want. (*note, this list is updated and expanded from one that has appeared earlier at OlderBeast).
Click the site names to access any of the below…
This is a great yoga practice and just a great workout, period. This is how I discovered yoga. To this day, the stuff I learned from this video stands me in good stead during in-person yoga classes. And, you can access Yoga X as part of BeachBody On-Demand’s 14-day free trial, which also has tons of non-yoga workouts including ones that would be great for the HIIT Challenge also now happening at OlderBeast.
This is the online library of the YogaWorks studio chain. There’s a 14-day free trial here, too. There are so many videos here, it can be hard to choose. I suggest using the “filter” tool to find 60-minute, beginner, well-rounded classes (these are all parameters you can search on). There’s one such class called “Simple, Not Easy” that seems about right, or you can choose “New to 2” for something a bit harder.
MFY offers what it calls “no-nonsense, fitness-centric” yoga routines for guys. As you’d guess from the name, the whole idea here is to demonstrate and start teaching yoga to guys. This company aspires to help guys benefit from yoga poses without a lot of the mindfulness / meditation aspects many yoga instructors infuse into their classes. There are some pluses and minuses to skipping these aspects, in my view. But I certainly get where these guys are coming from, and some guys might just not do yoga if it has to come with perceived “woo-woo” overlay. If that sounds like you, check this out. Free 7-day trial.
This company was a leader “back in the day” of yoga DVDs, and they now offer a huge number of online classes. More is not always better, but they have a really useful filtering system to zero in on options for you. If you’re new to yoga and looking to have it be an alternative “workout” in your schedule, I suggest starting with a search on “Power” as your selected style. Then look for videos of 90% or more thumbs-up. You may also be interested in exploring “Restorative” or “Yin” styles if you’re looking for something less-intense as a complement to harder workouts in your routine. No “free” trial but you can get one month for 99 cents — kind of the same thing.
Of course, this being the 21st Century, there are a ton of free yoga videos on YouTube, too. But with the above sources having free or near-free trials, I suggest you stick to those at the beginning. Later, once you know more about what you’re looking for, YouTube becomes a good option as well.
Be forewarned: you’ll probably find any of these to be pretty hard (especially Yoga X which isn’t really trying to be “beginner”). You won’t be able to do everything they do in the videos. That’s FINE – you’re just starting.
Be willing to be a beginner at something, man — that’s healthy.
Do your best and stick with the whole video for each session; you’ll be a better man for it.