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Yoga Videos

In the winter, I find myself drawn to yoga.  There's not much I can do in the garden when the ground is frozen solid, and when it's 10 degrees outside I just don't want to be out there.  The perfect time to clear my mind and stretch some muscles with yoga.

Although I love yoga when I do it, I've had less luck finding a way to incorporate yoga into my weekly routine.  A few years ago, I took a class, which was useful for learning the basics but quickly turned into a pain in the butt --- I hated driving half an hour to feel uncomfortable about exercising around other people.

So I dropped out of the class and got a book --- Light on Yoga.  The book turned out to be intense --- just what I'd want if my goal was to become a full time yogi, but a little harder to handle for a lighthearted hobby.  I found it difficult to learn new poses, straightening out of contortions to read the next paragraph, and the book didn't help me come up with a thirty minute series of moves which I could do regularly.  I also had a hard time finding the poses I already knew since the names weren't in English.

A couple of weeks ago, I seem to have hit the mother load.  I'd tried a few yoga videos before and found them to be annoying, but a web search turned up Shilpa Shetty's instructional yoga series.  She has a fifteen minute "quick fix" routine (which is actually eleven minutes long), and then a series of other eight to ten minute routines.  I had no idea until today that the teacher is actually a Bollywood actress; instead of being glitzy, I found the series calm with just the right level of instruction. 

You can start out by watching the introduction, then run through the "15 minute quick fix", the sitting asanas (poses), and the back asanas.  I only do the latter three at the moment, though I can tell that within a few weeks I'll have those down pat and might add in some of the following: stomach asanas, pranayam breathing, neck and shoulder asanas, and standing asanas.  If you don't want to be tied to the internet, you can use Tech Crunch's website to convert the youtube videos to files you can download to your own computer.  I think the videos of hers which abound on the internet are pirated, though, so if you want the real deal you should probably buy the DVDs.

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