August is the month yoga teachers nationwide wonder where all the students have gone. With long days, warm weather, and summer vacations beckoning, it may be hard to motivate yourself to go to the studio for your regular yoga practice.
But not every practice has to be at a studio! I firmly believe there’s no substitute for an instructor who can personally give feedback on form, design a sequence for your goals, and teach you the basics of a safe and effective yoga practice. But what’s a yogi to do when she just can’t get herself to the studio?
I often work privately with students to develop a written practice they can do at home that is specifically catered to their needs. But that’s a subject for a future blog. 😉
The next best thing is a well conceived and safe book or video. While there are thousands of yoga books and videos out there, until recently there were no videos I felt comfortable recommending. Viniyoga relies so heavily on adapting to the person before us, that we have resisted creating videos that, by their very nature, are ”one size fits all.”
But recently some Viniyoga teachers have taken the challenge, and I’m happy to say that the resources below are quite good. All but the book are available at Whole Life Yoga, in addition to many online retailers.
Yoga for Your Life
This book was written by Martin and Margaret Pierce, with whom I studied prenatal yoga. It has always been my “go to” resource for people who want to practice at home, but don’t know which postures to do or the order in which to do them. With gorgeous photos and a series of practices that build over time, you just can’t beat it for finding or re-invigorating a yoga practice. The last half of the book has practices for different activities, including a yummy pajama-clad practice for bedtime. Unfortunately, Yoga for Your Life is out of print, but there are currently copies available at many online booksellers.
The YogaAway Video Series
This video series was developed by a friend of mine, Bija Bennet, with input from our teacher, Gary Kraftsow. The videos were originally designed for the Hyatt hotels as in-suite video practices for Hyatt guests. There are currently four videos available, with practices focusing on everything from working out to falling asleep. All four have gotten great reviews from my students.
The Viniyoga Therapy Series
These videos were developed by my teacher, Gary Kraftsow. They are a little different than the yoga videos you normally find. Each contains almost 3 hours of material, including several practices, lectures on back pain, and individual tutorials for specific postures. He currently has one for lower back issues and another for upper backs. Two more videos are in the works: one for anxiety and one for depression. I’ll let you know when they are available.
Although there’s no substitute for seeing your bright shining faces at the studio, I hope you will use these resources to continue your practice even when you can’t make it to Whole Life Yoga. And I look forward to seeing you back this fall!
Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle!