Yoga. Yoga is one of those things that once you start and get into a habit of doing it’s hard to imagine your life without it. Never in a million years would I have thought I could stop doing yoga and forget how amazing it feels.
But that’s what happened.
I think I was about 18 or 19 when I first tried yoga. It probably started off as a few poses from a book which then led to a DVD and then some local park district classes and finally to an actual yoga studio (Prana Yoga in Geneva?).
Practice at home, for me, was never a regular thing but I did try to get out once a week if I was in a program of classes or twice a month if it was a studio visit.
And I loved it. Yoga brought me peace. Yoga brought me relaxation. Yoga was my own spiritual enlightenment.
But then I stopped.
I don’t remember why, it could just be that time ran away from me.
I’ve recently found myself reunited with yoga after an almost 7 or 8 year break. It almost turns my stomach to write that. How could almost a decade pass since I’ve practiced something that brought me so many good things. It seems to happen to all of us though, whether it’s cooking for ourselves, drawing, reading, writing, hiking, or doing any of the things we inherently love so dearly.
What changed? A little over a year ago I ordered Tara Stiles’ This is Yoga. Truth be told I didn’t really start practicing the DVDs until January of this year.
In the last place we lived it was impossible to do an activity like yoga, the miserable floors creaked with the slightest of movements. It wouldn’t have worked out.
I can jump, fall, and gallop around the house—so I thought let’s try this yoga thing again.
Like I’ve mentioned, yoga isn’t new to me but when you take several years off it kind of feels new.
This shouldn’t intimidate us but sometimes it does.
In the beginning I could barely touch the ground in a standing forward fold, the bridge felt uncomfortable, and my breath—well it was really hard to get a deep inhale/exhale going.
I couldn’t believe how much changed in just 7 days! I was able to touch the ground with my fingers and a slight bend in my knees. I wasn’t able to do the wheel—which is basically a backbend—and stayed in bridge, but now I can hold the wheel for at least 10 seconds! The pigeon pose, one of my favorites, becomes easier and my quads and hips love the stretch.
My arms are getting stronger and stronger and not just my arms but my shoulders and legs too.
I’ve watched the weight on my upper hips melt off so much so that when I’m in a twisted lunge pose I’m looking down at an ass I haven’t seen in several years.
Have I mentioned I’m loving yoga? Again? I am.
I have Tara Stiles to thank. The routines are perfectly balanced with gorgeous scenery, relaxing music, and a calm clear narration (which happens to be Tara). They support a wide range of stamina levels depending on what I feel like or have time for.
- Strong Flow [60 minutes]
- Relax Flow [34 minutes]
- AM/PM Yoga Flow
- Gentle Flow [15 minutes]
- Daily Flow [32 minutes]
- Energy Flow [62 minutes]
- AM/PM Yoga in Bed
- Pose Library [23 minutes]
- Joshua Tree Routine [23 minutes]
My absolute favorite is daily flow from DVD 3. I’ve done this 32 minute session almost everyday since the beginning of January and in the rare time I’m bored or just want something different I switch to one of the other half hour sessions.
I’ve done some of the 60 minute ones, but only a few times—they are definitely more of a workout. While they are all a ‘workout’ those are more so with many single leg balance poses etc. I think it’s good to try them every so often, just to see my progress and gain strength.
The only downfall I find with the DVDs is the discrepancy between what is on the back of the case and what is actually on the DVD. The titles of the routines and time listed is off.
So, I added a slip of paper with the actual routine names and correct time.
- “Tension has no use but to dissolve especially if you breathe into it.”
- “Every inhale makes a little more room in your body and room in your mind and every exhale simply moves you right into that new space.”
- “If it’s not there, don’t push or force anything, millions of things to do with yoga, so no need to stray from right where you are, you are already right where you need to be.”
- “The more you practice the more room opens up, so simply do yoga all the time.”
Where I’ve Made Progress:
- Tree pose with foot on my shin vs the floor
- The wheel pose !!!! aka backbend — I love that I can do this now
- I can hold chaturanga longer
- Better balance
- I can get myself into position to do crane and use the wall to boost the tips of my toes up
- Any pose that involves forearms resting on the floor
- Side plank
Cheers to finding yoga again and giving it priority in my day-to-day. xo
Is this DVD set still for sale?? It would take writing this post for me to realize that this DVD set is a little bit harder to find online one year later, but if you can I highly recommend!
Read more about Tara Stiles.
Tara’s Youtube channel.
Do you do yoga? Meditate? Have a favorite Youtube channel or DVD? Let us know in the comments.