Yo, Yo, Yo, Yoga!

Here’s a crazy tidbit of info: I have never attempted yoga! Despite the overabundance of yoga studios in Portland and the fact that I could take free classes at my local co-op, I still shy away from this popular form of soul-centering exercise. Maybe it’s because I prefer to exercise by myself. Maybe it’s because I am a bit uncoordinated. I really don’t know… A few of my friends have suggested I give yoga a try since I could certainly use a bit of calm in my life. Now I am overwhelmed with options and have no idea where to start! Ideally I would like to try a form of yoga that will calm me but also make me break a sweat and help tone my core. Does that exist? I am hoping my readers can guide me and offer some advice or suggestions? Please?! Thanks!


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12 thoughts on “Yo, Yo, Yo, Yoga!

  1. I suppose it’s useful to think about what *type* of yoga you’d like – do you want something that’s very calm, slow, and relaxing? Or do you want something more athletic that will make you sweat? Something in the middle?

    My experience with yoga is limited to an Ashtanga class I took during my senior year of college, but I absolutely loved it. My body felt wonderful, so stretchy and delightfully sore after every class. I was doing some Ashtanga at home for a while, but I haven’t done it in a few months. :( BUT I recently ordered a yoga mat, so maybe that’ll be the kick in the pants I need to go out and find a class somewhere! Eep!

    P.S.! I received my giveaway package yesterday! THANK YOU SO MUCH. It is overwhelmingly full of Awesome. <3 <3 <3

  2. I second Kelly’s idea that you need to be clear about what you’re looking for from yoga. I’ve been practicing since 2002, teaching since 2005, and I know a about a lot of different styles, lineages, and teachers. Feel free to email me, and I’ll be happy to go into more detail to help you find a class that suits your needs. :)


    • Thanks Laura! I updated my post to indicate what I am hoping to achieve with practicing yoga. It would be nice if I could do yoga in my home (I’m very uncomfortable in classroom environments). Through personal evaluation, I think I would benefit from a style of yoga that could calm me, but also give me a good workout.

  3. I’ve been practicing vinyasa yoga for over 6 years now (I’m also a certified yoga instructor, but I haven’t taught since last December because my teacher training was really just for fun). My core is STRONG and I sweat buckets in class (I usually take the upper level classes). It sounds like vinyasa would suit your needs, so definitely give it a shot! Just remember that it will take practice before you get really strong in your poses, so please don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen instantaneously!

    If you want to practice at home using DVDs, I recommend Total Yoga by the White Lotus Foundation (Tracey Rich and Ganga White), which is available on Amazon for about $10.

    Let me know if you have questions and have fun!

  4. I’m surprised no one has recommended Bikram (hot) yoga yet. I took my first class yesterday and while I’m uncoordinated, have no balance, and not flexible, I can see it being a big help in all these areas for me. Good Luck in whatever you choose :).

  5. I’ve been practicing yoga for 3 years now and I started for the same reasons you mentioned :)

    I’ve gone to a few classes over the years but I mainly practice by myself at home. I’m not much of a group person either.

    If you want to break a sweat and work your core, check out vinyasa flow yoga or ashtanga yoga.

    I mainly practice kundalini yoga which is great for the core, and it focuses on the spiritual side as well, so it may not be for everyone.

    Bikram is nice but I don’t like the 100 degree temperatures they have the rooms at.

  6. for me, i am practicing and learning about raja yoga (based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) with my yoga teacher, and for the physical side of yoga i love the vinyasa classes at my local yoga studio. a vinyasa class will get you moving and break a sweat, but i also appreciate a nice “slow-flow” vinyasa class and hatha classes every now and again as well. i also love to take a restorative gentle yoga class about once a week, too. i just really got into yoga about 3-4 months ago and it’s soooooo helpful with my anxiety, depression, the over-eating/bingeing pattern i’ve gotten myself stuck in, and it really calms me down and helps me stay more present. i absolutely love learning about the philosophy of yoga, practicing meditation, the asanas, and working on calming my mind and trying to better myself so that i can be more for everyone around me. it’s pretty amazing stuff, fo ‘sho! your best bet would be to take some time and visit the different yoga studios in your area – check out a few classes at each studio, talk to the teachers, and see what you like and what makes you heart sing!

  7. How did I miss this post?

    I second the vinyasa recommendations. It does a good job of centering you, but keeping your body engaged. Vinyasa is a really general term, like saying “I like chocolate”, when I mean Green & Blacks and someone else likes Hershey’s Kisses. It’s a whole spectrum, so if you try one class and don’t like it, try again. A home practice is really great, but I do recommend sprinkling in a couple of classes. You’d be amazed how often you think you’re doing something correctly and then you get an amazing adjustment from a teacher and think, “Wow, this is so much easier/better/more effective!”

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