Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Going with the (Vinyasa) flow.

I have to make a confession. Although I was once loudly and proudly addicted to lifting weights, lately I have not been doing much of it. It's not that I've fallen out with resistance training, it's just that I have fallen in with bodyweight training and have a growing fascination with exercises that keep me flexy and pain-free, like yoga. Heavy weights gave me wonderful muscles but I also managed to develop dysfunction in nearly every large joint of my body, and in some smaller ones - like those little joints in the spine (ouchy). So, I'm enjoying not feeling like the walking wounded.

Something I have discovered (and I can't remember where I first heard about it - either The Fitnessista or Skwigg), is the fabulous site, For a start, they generously offer many 20 minute classes for free, and the longer classes don't cost much, even when converted to NZ dollars. I'm anticipating travelling again early next year, and am ridiculously excited about putting into practice the Yogadownload catchphrase of 'take yoga anywhere', via my iPod. Each session comes with a pose guide, which you may need the first couple of times. If you are going to give it a go, you should be aware that it could take a few 'go-through's' to get it right. This was the case for me and I found my initial lack of coordination slightly discouraging. Generally the first time I try a class, I waste quite a bit of time wondering which way I'm supposed to be facing and consulting the pose guide with a perplexed look on my face. Of course, there is always the chance that I'm just a yoga dunce and that everyone else bypasses 'huh?' and goes straight to 'flow'.

I used to think that yoga was 'gentle' exercise for people that ate only alfalfa sprouts and wheatgrass juice. However, I had a sudden change of heart about 10 minutes into my first real Vinyasa class, which nearly killed me. For those that doubt, there is a download 'Power Vinyasa Flow 4' on the home page of which should convince you that weaklings need not apply. I did that one today. I think it's my favourite, and Dawnelle sounds nothing like a drippy hippie. She says 'breathe, breathe' with a level of firmness that makes it sounds more like 'suck it up, Princess'. I like that.


  1. Christina8:46 pm

    I so love YogaDownload. I have heaps downloaded on my Ipod and took my yoga mat to Cambodia and around Europe and tried to so some every day (hostel roomates permitting!). It was a great way to stretch out after long plane/train/bus rides etc.

    I've recently become slightly addicted to Bikram too- have you tried that? Its madness in a good way :)

  2. I have not tried it yet. I will definitely look around for a class though and let you know if I survive it!


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