This year, one of the things I want to do is try new things in the fitness world. I am always reading and researching and learning from the other therapists and trainers at my studio. I also try to soak up as much knowledge as I can when talking to the great practitioners in my network, but I haven’t actually been out there to try what the other guys are doing in a while.
So I have committed to trying something new each month and to write a review about it. By no means do I pretend that these are objective reviews. Think of this as more my opinion as a fitness expert (it does say opinionated fitness guru in the title). Also, there may be things I don’t like that you do. I am not here to debate, just stating my thoughts because my name is in the url.
Gaia.com – Yearly Subscription
I know I know, it is December and I am just writing my November review. Well, I have a really good excuse…November is my birthday month, so I am off the hook.
This review is also a little different as I am reviewing something I have been working on over the course of the year, not just in the last month. In January of this year, I decided I wanted to incorporate yoga into my regular exercise routine. I enjoyed not only the movement, but also the focus on connecting the mind and body. I am no Yogi and there is no way I could come up with a any kind of flow on my own, so I needed some guidance. The limiting factor for me was finding classes that worked with my schedule. It was hard to find so I signed up for a year with Gaia.com.
Gaia.com offers online yoga classes that you can stream from your computer anytime. You can choose the duration, the body part you want to focus on, the instructor, the type of yoga you want to do, and more. They have classes that are 2 hours long and classes that last only 25 minutes. This flexibility in the length of classes enabled me to squeeze in 30 minutes of yoga a couple mornings a week instead of committing to the 1.5+ hours it takes to go to a live class. This allowed me to take class more consistently and to easily fit into my routine.
I also enjoyed being able to chose the body part I wanted to focus on. After a bike ride, I would choose one of the yin classes that focused on hip openers. In the morning, I would choose a vinyasa that focused on opening the chest and shoulders. In the evening, I could choose something that focused on the spine. This allowed me to personalize my yoga practice and tailor it to what I needed.
I have done more yoga (both live and online) this year than in any year previous. The ability for me to have the option to practice on my own was a game changer. Being more regular in my yoga practice not only helped improve the overall strength and flexibility in my body, but also gave me more confidence and a better understanding when going to live classes at a studio. I also “got in the groove” by practicing regularly. Meaning that if I didn’t do it for a while, I noticed, my body noticed, and I would fire up a class ASAP.
Gaia.com is less than $100 for the whole year and great intro to a consistent yoga practice if you have no idea where to start. They have 1,000s of classes to choose from and also provide articles, special series, and even films and documentaries. There are free yoga websites out there to try, I just happened to choose this one. Below, I have listed a few of my favorites on Gaia.com if you are looking to increase your yoga practice.
Instructors: Bernie Clark and Clara Roberts
Episodes: Happy Yin Happy Hips, Surya Morning Flow, Deep Release Yin Yoga
Pros: Affordable, flexible, and easy. Also, you can do yoga in your jammies if you really want because you are the only one in class.
Cons: Nothing beats a live instructor and the accountability a class provides.