Friday, January 15, 2010

Project #3 - YOGA

I saw a Martha show the other day called, "The Yoga Show."  I have heard her mention Yoga many times in the past.  Her website contains numerous articles and videos about yoga.  She practices it regularly.

I have very little experience with yoga.  I tried it a little bit a few times over the years.  I find the practice very interesting.  Yoga, according to Wikipedia, has roots dating back as far as 3300 B.C.E.  Um, that's a REALLY long time ago.  The fact that it has been around for so long is interesting enough, but the proposed benefits are varied and astounding.  I know many people who practice yoga and extol it's virtues.

I have spent most of my life seeking healthy habits, balance, fitness, peace...  Yoga appears to be a path by which many people achieve these goals and more.  So, with Martha's encouragement, and a little research as to what DVDs and video tapes were available at my local library, I tried yoga again.  I tried, on my own late last night, some poses that were on Martha's website.  I discovered how truly stiff and tight my muscles are.  And also got confirmation on my lack of abdominal and upper body strength.  I knew these truths already, but have been in denial as to the extent of their depth.  It was good to get a very basic refresher on some common poses, but it was just the form, and not a flowing workout.

Someone I know, who is a regular yoga practitioner, mentioned a book she is reading and working with called, 40 Days to Personal Revolution, by Baron Baptiste.  Baptiste is a well known yoga instructor, and founder of the Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga Institute.  I had heard of him before and there was a video of his at the library called "Transform Your Life."  The video has documentary style footage of a group of 42 people from all over the country as they experience a seven day yoga retreat with Baptiste instructing them in workouts, meditation, spirituality and nutrition.  That part was a good introduction for me.  At the end there is a guided workout.  I really enjoyed it!  It was not too difficult and moved quickly.  I was engaging and stretching my muscles.  I felt warm and peaceful.  There were a couple of poses that were tough due to my lack of experience, and a couple that were tough due to my lack of muscle strength.  **coughcoughwimpyabscoughcough**   I felt good after finishing, and look forward to doing it again soon!  I also look forward to trying other forms of yoga and finding what I like best.

I was drawn to another video entitled, "Transform Yourself with Jivamukti Yoga."  The look of the cover itself was attractive to me so I read the description on the back.  It said, "In just an hour a day, this Jivamukti Yoga practice will help you create a new foundation for a happier, healthier life.  The practice is fast and flowing, set to music played on traditional instruments.  The instruction is thorough and inspirational.  Once you make Jivamukti Yoga part of your life, you will look different to the world and the world will look different to you."  Sounds good, right?  The people who give the instruction, Sharon Gannon and David Life, have a studio, boutique and vegan cafe in NYC.  I'm going to try that one tomorrow.  Hopefully I can get my daughter to do it with me.  She has expressed an interest in doing yoga with me, so that will make it extra fun.