Four Online Yoga Sources for Busy (or Reluctant) Guys — Fall 2017 Yoga Challenge, Week 4

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). Click on “Yoga for Men” in the Challenges box to the left, to see Week 1 and other posts.

As a reminder, challenge goals are: (1) Do at least six yoga practices during October-December 2017; (2) Have those practices span at least two sources of instruction (yoga studio instructor or online class), including at least one in-person studio experience; (3) Achieve at least three weeks in a row where you get a yoga practice into your routine, during the span of this challenge; and (4) 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 one: 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.

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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…

“Yoga X” from BeachBody’s P90X program

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.

MyYogaWorks

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.

ManFlow Yoga

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.

Gaia Yoga

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.

Final Notes

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.

 

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When I started yoga at age 46, it wasn’t because I’d thoughtfully concluded “hey, I have some ‘need yoga’ signs.” I started just because yoga’s a weekly part of the P90X home fitness program. Luck. (Online yoga classes are actually a great place to start – more on that at the conclusion of this article).

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1. Inspired to try it. Man, I hope there have been at least a few of these…please?

2. Tuning me out. Kind of like the grown-ups in the old Charlie Brown TV specials – blah blah-blah blah.

3. Feeling somewhat persuaded, and a little motivated. But not enough to overcome remaining hesitancy or inertia.

You in Reaction mode #3? If so, this is for you, dude.

Here’s a step-by-step, no-commitments way for you to figure out more about yoga, try it, and decide if it’s for you. This envisions a 4 to 6 week period, after which you can “fish or cut bait” on the whole topic of yoga and you. 

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Endurance Guy Trying HIIT? Do Strength-focused Versions. (HIIT Challenge, Week 5)

As discussed in the introduction to this challenge (click the link in the Challenge box to the left if you want to see that), underlying the many variations of “HIIT” out there are two basic concepts.

There are Cardio Intervals. I.e, going fast enough for a short period to be uncomfortable/unsustainable, then a period of slower pace to recover, then repeat. And there’s Metabolic Conditioning.  That is, doing strength move intervals at a pace and difficulty-level that brings high-intensity benefits of elevated heart rate and amped-up metabolism.

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Fall 2017 HIIT Challenge, Week 4! If you need to catch up, no big deal. Click the “HIIT” link in the Challenges box to the left of this post, to get started.

If you’re taking this challenge, you plan to try out at least a few HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) classes at an in-person gym or studio, and experiment with online classes or on-your-own work at home. These are all ways to help you experience how HIIT can combine cardio and strength conditioning, and burn a lot of calories (during and after your workout).

But: a workout doesn’t have to formally be a “HIIT” one to confer some of HIIT’s benefits. You can (and should try to) add some interval concepts into running, cycling, swimming or “traditional” strength training. As architect of your own long-term body-and-soul health, this would be a good example of coming to understand what different forms of fitness and different workout approaches can do for you, and orchestrating them within your own game plan.

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