Happiness Quest

Working Out with Yoga Today (AKA: Yoga Galore)

Working out is not something I’ve been able to do persistently. Perhaps you’ve been on the same boat, and if you do you might be like me: fondly remembering days long ago when you actually did workout, felt better, and felt pleased about your weight. That’s something I can remember happening vividly about two years ago, made even more memorable by the fact I had to get all my pants resized! I’ve never been overweight, but it felt great to see a noticeable difference.

Fast forward to the last school year, and no matter how much I thought I’d be able to work out in a week, I never seemed to hit my stride.

Looking at my Apple Watch data confirms it: I somehow managed to workout about 6 times a month during the school year. That’s not great. It became very clear to me that working out is something I have to be thoughtful about.

Now, I don’t know about you, but the idea of getting home after a long day at work and then heading out to a gym or class felt pretty unlikely to occur. I’m just not motivated enough, and the extra step doesn’t appeal to me at all. That left me thinking about finding videos that I can do at home.

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Honorable mention: if you love Pilates and challenges, these excellent videos might be for you!

The options can actually staggering. Never mind the videos you can find with your paid subscriptions (such as those on Netflix or Amazon Prime), there’s also great free videos like the ones made by Cassey Ho at Blogilates. I actually used these for a long time, but ultimately was drawn back to my first workout love: Yoga.

See, once upon a time there were so many free video Podcasts out there, and one such magical creature was Yoga Today. Free hour long yoga classes with great instructors. I loved them. Then… Well, I moved, stopped working out, lost track, Yoga Today because a website with a subscription service, and I… tried hot yoga. I absolutely hated it, and my love of yoga seemed to have died with it. Not to mention super slow yoga classes I took while living in Vancouver that bored me to tears. The love affair between us seemed to have ended.

Learning To Love Yoga Again

Getting less interested in Blogilates helped me reconnect with the workout I once loved and enjoyed. I realized that yoga was the one activity that I would truly enjoy because it made me feel stronger and more flexible. I can’t say I ever felt connected to the concepts described by various yoga instructors I encountered during the years, but even if I never felt that the spiritual aspect of yoga meant much to me I always felt so much more joyous after each class I took. So why did I dislike hot yoga and slow slow yoga? I’m guessing doing yoga in the dark in a very hot room just didn’t seem that appealing to me. I also guess that very laid back yoga didn’t make me feel like I was doing much.

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Screenshot of Yoga Today videos filtered to show one of my favorite instructors.

By realizing those two types of yoga just weren’t for me I was able to find my place again, and with it my practice. It was staring me in the face all along: Yoga Today. I decided to subscribe again, and have been really enjoying using these videos ever since. The subscription costs $15 a month, and I find it well worth it since there are so many videos to choose from and because I love supporting a business that helps me become healthier and happier.

My absolute favorite instructors are the same ones I used to love practicing with during those unicorn free Podcast days: Neesha Zollinger and Adi Amar. Their workouts are challenging, fun, and their instruction is both soothing and dare I say it: loving. Moreover, I trust them to lead my practice because they are such confident, happy, and inspiring teachers.  They always exude joy in their lessons and that’s just so important to me.

If you are thinking about getting started with Yoga Today, my absolute favorite lessons have been Neesha’s Go To PracticeTwenty Minute Tone – Core and Upper BodyMaximize Morning Vinyasa, and Neck and Shoulder Relief.

My Ethical Yoga Gear: Clothing & Yoga Mat

While I had some workout clothes and an old yoga mat sitting around, I did choose to upgrade my collection a bit where I thought I could use it.

I started out by upgrading my torn up yoga mat with a new one, the Hugger Mugger Tapas Ultra Yoga Mat. It’s made in the US and is free of latex, heavy metals, and phthalates. It’s not as thick as I’d like it to be, but I am using it on top of my old mat with great results. This mat is super sticky, and it doesn’t have the usual stench of plastic you might get from yoga mats. I’ve pleased with it, and it was about $38 on Amazon when I bought it.

Workout Clothes
I cringe at posting this, but luckily Zeus helped me show you my Pact leggings.

Next, I decided to add another one more workout pants to my existing collection of two pants. It might seem like a lot considering I am keeping a minimal collection of clothing, but I felt it was important to never let the excuse of “my pants are in the wash, so no today today!” ever happen. Pact makes great organic cotton leggings that are made ethically in India, and have just the right amount of stretch to them. They come in lots of great colors, but I love black pants a bit too much so I stuck with their “everyday essentials” black for $29.99 (paid a little less since they had a sale when I got it). I was worried that it wasn’t going to be great for working out, but it’s been fabulous at keeping me cool and staying put. I highly recommend it if you are looking for something simple and ethically made.

I think as time moves on and we march towards winter, I’ll be on the lookout for longer sleeve workout tops or possibly cardigans to wear when starting a class. So far, I’ve definitely been able to keep up with my goal of practicing yoga three times a week (more than that at times!), but the challenge will be incorporating regular workout during the school year. I’ll let you know how goes.

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