Please continue to keep the North Coventry Food Pantry in mind during your shopping trips. For the October distribution they are in need of toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, baby wipes and feminine pads. They also need plastic and paper grocery bags. Please drop off any donations at the studio.
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
A home yoga practice can be challenging whether you are a beginner or an experienced yogi. Choosing the right video for you can be overwhelming. I’ve been collecting yoga videos for the past 12 years and have reviewed four of my favorite. I hope one of the videos inspires you to begin a home practice.
A few tips before starting your home practice
When practicing yoga at home, listen to your own body. If you have an injury or pain, don’t force the pose and don’t compare your posture with the instructor on the video. Be in your body without judgment and accept your limitations. Breathe in and out through the nose and allow the breath to be the link between body, mind and spirit. If your mind wanders, begin to observe the inhales and exhales. Enjoy the practice! Yoga should be steady and joyful and never forced!
Core Power, Abs, Back and Bliss with Baron Baptiste
If you don’t have a lot of time and want to focus on the core of your body, back and abs, this video is awesome. It is 30 minutes but feels like a complete yoga session. The Krishna Das music playing in the background along with calm reminders about breath and alignment makes this video one of my favorites. The session begins with sun salutations, followed by a sequence of backbends, abdominal work, followed by forward bends, a final twist and savasana (final relaxation).
Yoga for Beauty/Dawn with Rainbau Mars
This video is approximately 55 minutes, and is appropriate for all levels. Rainbau Mars focuses on the breath and also teaches two abdominal cleansing breaths. There are a few transitions that might feel tricky for a beginner but as always listen to your own body. The vinyasa where she flows from a down dog split to a seated twist and then up again into Warrior 3 w/o hands is challenging. Work within your own intuitive body, and skip or modify anything out of your reach. I enjoy her calm voice and pearls of wisdom throughout the session.
Yoga Shatki with Shiva Rea
This video offers a variety of opportunities to practice yoga at home for all levels. You can choose from four pre-set guided practices along with a yoga matrix. The matrix works like a menu where you can chose from groups of postures. This feature allows you to customize the session based on time and need. You can select from a variety of meditations, sun salutations, back bends, forward bends, several standing sequences and more. I love the option of being able to customize my practice! If you want to follow a pre-set program the Basic Session is short and excellent for beginners. The other three are longer and more challenging. If you don’t have the time you can use your ‘next’ button to skip a group of postures. I highly recommend this video. Shiva Rea has a soothing voice, her prompts are poetic, and she makes suggestions for alignment and is overall very relaxing.
Insight Yoga with Sarah Powers
This video offers two Yin Yoga practices and two more intense Vinyasa or Yang practices. The Yin sessions offer passive long held back bends and forward bends. The poses are held anywhere from 2 and ½ to 5 minutes. Sarah talks in a soothing voice about Chinese medicine, Buddhism, chakras, meridians and shares personal stories and experiences. The Yang sessions are vinyasa style; the poses flow from one to the next. I rarely practice the yang series because I really love the Yin session. I practice the Yin sessions when I’m really tired or stressed. This is an interesting and informative as well as healing.
Choosing the right yoga video for you is the first step in a home yoga practice.
In Sanskrit, sankalpa means intention directed toward a specific outcome. Sankalpa praises the nobility of the effort rather than focusing on what you are doing wrong. An intention is a promise you make to yourself about what you intend to do, be, or say. An intention is a way to put positive thinking and desires into action. Intention is not oriented toward a future outcome. Instead, it is a path or practice that is focused on the present moment. You set your intentions based on understanding what matters most to you and make a commitment to align your actions with your inner values.
I begin many classes reminding students to set an intention for the practice. Sometimes we pick angle cards and often the cards align with our intentions. New Years Day is a time for starting fresh, a time for reflection and thinking about where life is calling for a change. Begin the New Year with a yogic twist. Set an intention this year praising the efforts rather then focusing on the failures. Create an intention and open yourself to the universe.