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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Challenges , Flexibility & Alternative Fitness

Six Signs of Unmet Fitness Needs at 45+ (Reasons For Yoga — Yoga Challenge Week 6)

I confess. I’m not always as proactive and purposeful as OlderBeast articles make me sound. When it comes to 45+ men’s fitness, I’ve often just learned from injury-driven needs that motivated experimentation, or by simply lucking into things.

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).

I see in retrospect that, as my 40s progressed, my fitness needs were changing. I had many of the “Need Yoga” signs, but I didn’t recognize them. Now, with regular yoga as part of my fitness routine, I’ve turned a lot of these “Need” categories into fitness and wellness positives.

My goal with this list is to help you do a self-assessment, and possibly reach a yoga conclusion sooner than I did (or if not, then at least “better late than never.”)

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Challenges

OlderBeast Fall 2017 Yoga Challenge: Week 1 Intro

Welcome to OlderBeast’s Fall 2017 Yoga Challenge.

The purpose of this and other challenges is to help inspire and support you in trying new fitness/nutrition approaches, in ways that “one-off” articles can’t do as well on their own. Every guy who undertakes this challenge can succeed, if he decides to. Really, it’s a challenge to your curiosity, willingness to be a “beginner” at something new, and determination to give something a fair trial to see if it might be part of your long-term game plan.

As the season unfolds, each week there will be updates such as OlderBeast-original content, curated “best-of” information and advice from gurus from around the web, expert interviews, and reviews of relevant products and services.

The rest of this post lays out this challenge’s specific goals, rationale, and detailed instructions for how to get started. Please consider yourself challenged, and read on!

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Owed to Yourself: 6-Week Plan for Guys to Give Yoga a Fair Shake

Among 40+ guys who don’t do yoga (which is to say, among most 40+ guys), I think there are three reactions when I tout yoga in OlderBeast articles.

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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Challenges , Flexibility & Alternative Fitness

Something You Need for 2018: Your Next (or First) Yoga Mat

If you’ve been trying out yoga, you probably fall into one of two main camps when it comes to owning a yoga mat. (If you’re not aware of our Yoga Challenge and want to check that out for context, click on the “Yoga Challenge” link in the box to the left).

Maybe you ran out and bought one soon after your first class (the male stereotype is that we do love our gear, after all). Or, you might have figured you’ve got other stuff to worry about — like surviving challenging yoga practices — and using borrowed or rented mats seems fine for you.

In either case, if you’ve been stringing together some weeks of yoga and intend to continue in the new year, now’s a good time to think about a mat. Either your first one, or the one you wish you’d known to buy the first time around.

“What’s the big deal?” you might ask. What’s so great about the “right” mat? This is one of those things that’s best understood in the reverse. As in, what issues does the wrong mat bring? So let’s start off there — hopefully to motivate you, man. Then we’ll identify a number of mats that might have your name on them.

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