Yoga for Beginners
  • February 22, 2016
  • yoga for beginners(Photo by Christiana Basso)

    I am terrible at Yoga. I have tried many times, but I have never been able to get in the groove of the sequences. And the fact that I can’t touch my toes probably doesn’t help. That being said, I completely appreciate the benefits of yoga and make an effort to try to at least partially fit it into my life.

    So if you’re a struggling yogi want-to-be like I am, check out some of these options have helped me conquer yoga for beginners.

    Make your practice shorter with online yoga videos

    I am a big fan of at-home videos because I can fit in a quick stretch session in only 20 minutes. This is good for those people, like me, who have a hard time focusing during a yoga class. My mind is always moving 100 miles per minute, so I get easily distracted during a laid-back workout class and start thinking about what I need to do the rest of the day. With a short video at home, I still take a second to reflect on the day, stretch and build core strength, but it is short enough that I don’t feel anxious about what else I need to do. Try MyYogaWorks.com’s online streaming classes. Take advantage of the free 14-day trial.

    Make your practice into a dance party

    Last week I participated in Rooted Center’s offering of Techno Yoga. Unique to this studio, techno yoga is not your typical class. Instead of a quiet meditative vibe, techno yoga has EDM style music and passes out glow sticks upon arrival – making it seem more like a rave than a yoga class. Though the class starts off with typical yoga poses, it quickly evolves into a yoga dance party. At first it was hard to not take myself too seriously, and my friend and I were doing a lot of side-eye “what is going on” looks, after I embraced the music it created a different type of meditative state. It ended up having the same emotional benefit of dancing out a bad day to loud music in your bedroom while mixing in yoga poses at the beginning and end to make it feel like a full workout. It is a fun new perspective on the typically calm practice of yoga.

    Appease the cardio-addict within

    As a cardio junkie, I often times have a hard time relaxing and feeling comfortable with yoga as my workout for the day. Core Power Yoga addresses this concern by offering classes that escalate the intensity and leave me feeling super accomplished every time I attend. Their Yoga Sculpt offering combines classic yoga sequences with free weights, core focus and some cardio. The combination of moves really hits all muscles in the body and provides a hard-core, full-body workout.

     

    If you aren’t a yogi just yet, I encourage you to try to fit it in every once a while, even if in a nontraditional format. I hope to continue with my yoga short cuts to work my way into completing a traditional yoga class successfully. Join me on this yoga journey – and let me know if there are any other can’t miss yoga offerings!

    About Catherine Toupin

    Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Catherine is a proud graduate of two great Midwestern schools: the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Notre Dame. After receiving a degree in English and Communication, Catherine chose to take a risk and teach teenagers in Florabama for two years. Living in a location with warm weather year-round rekindled Catherine’s love of long outdoor runs (and of relaxing on a beach). Catherine has since taken a Meeting Planning job in Chicago, and though the views are slightly different, she still enjoys runs along the lake shore path and being outdoors as much as possible.

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