Monday, March 12, 2012

30 day Yoga Challenge! Starts April 1st.

No, this is not an April fools joke thing.  April just happens to be the next 30 day month.  Anyway!

I have it in my head that while both Tara and I are doing 30 day yoga challenges for ourselves (mine started again last night!), I should probably try and get some of YOU to join us!  I will post up some info for easy online free streaming classes if you don't have access to anything at your house or locally.  You could go to a yoga class in town if you prefer, of course, or do your very own practice you come up with yourself...  but the idea is to get into the habit of daily yoga.  A little goes a long way, and we're trying to build healthy habits in ourselves!!

So!  Are you up for the challenge?  Join us!!  April 2012 will be the official yoga month for us here.  :)  Perhaps we'll host another one in April next year too!  We'll see how it goes.  :)

If you need yoga gear, let's get you set up with where to go so you get a good deal and a decent product.

Yoga Mat:  You can find a pretty decent variety of Gaiam mats at Target.  They will be in the work out area by the bikes.  If you have poor knees or need extra cushioning, go with the thicker ones.  There will be two different sizes available.  The regular ones are around 3mm, and the thick ones are either 5 or 6 mm.  3 should be fine for most people, but if you have trouble getting on your knees without pain, I would say to go with the thicker mat.  They'll be a little more, but you'll feel MUCH better during your practice.

Set of 2 blocks and a strap!  If you are new to the practice you will probably want/need these!  You can make do with thick books at home, or use a belt instead if you need to keep this cheaper!  BUT if you want a decent set of foam blocks and a strap, you can find a lovely set for around $10 at Walmart in their work out area.

I do NOT like the mats they have there.  I got my first mat here and it tore up and didn't last long at all, nor was it very sticky.  I know it's a pain to go more than one place for the things you need, but the mats here are simply not as good.  If they carry the Gaiam brand, you would be safe with that, but I don't like any of their other options!!

So, Walmart:  straps/block.  Target:  mat.  Easy enough for most of you, and there are links to online shopping for both if you need to order in.  :)

Beyond that, unless you want to get yourself a dvd to follow, you should be set.  Should not cost more than $30 or $40 to get set up as long as you have some comfy stretchy clothes to wear.  Doesn't have to be anything fancy, but you do want 4-way-stretch for sure.  Yoga can rip seams if you're wearing something like parachute running pants!  Knit is fine!  :)

If you want to go shopping for a DVD, I would recommend any of the following:

  • Seane Corn, Vinyasa Flow.  This comes in two separate discs as beginner and intermediate.  They are slow and VERY technical, so they're good for the beginner who needs to know how to line feet up, etc.  You can find them at Whole Foods sometimes, but they're on sale over at Gaiam!  The two come together for just under $30.  They were $20 each when I bought mine.  
  • Seane Corn, Detox Flow.  This has two lengths on a single disc and also comes with a free downloadable 10 minute practice for core toning.  This is more twist-heavy, is a little lighter as yoga goes, and has a few different audio tracks to keep it interesting.  I really really like this one lately.  A lot.  Found it for $10 at Walmart (is cheaper online apparently!), or you can get it at Gaiam for $11.
  • Anything with Rodney Yee is pretty good too!  He's a nice calm relaxing dude, and you can find his videos most places that have yoga gear.  
  • If you like more of a trance dance feel, Shiva Rea is really fun.  She also has a prenatal yoga if you are expecting and want to try it out!  :)  She's a little more "out there" than some of the others, but she's graceful and calming as a teacher.  And her work outs range from easy to challenging.  She's worth looking into!  Music plays when you enter the site, so be ready for it!  (I hate not knowing that sort of thing)
  • And our go-to place for the challenge will probably be Yoga Journal's YouTube page.  There are always loads to look at there!  :)

If you are wanting yoga clothing to wear as well, rather than just something comfy, I really like the following.  All tops will have a shelf bra, which I personally need, and pants work well for those with the mama-tummy thing going on.  :)

These Champion C9 pants, found at Target, are decent, though they don't fold over.  That look seems to be going away, sadly.

These tops are nice and breathable, supportive, and while they don't stretch quite as much as some others I have, they are a decent price:  Champion C9 tanks with shelf bra, mesh sides.

Victoria's Secret has some cute pants, though they are a little higher priced...  

And for a mid-range selection (read carefully if you want to be sure to have a bra!  Not all of these have them!!), check out Old Navy.  They have some very good deals and their products tend to be decent.  These cute tanks have a shelf bra.  The go dry ones don't.  I'm not a huge fan of their pants, but I do like mine to be pants rather than leggings.  I don't like the tight to the ankle look, myself.  But look around.  Maybe they are more your style than the stuff I like from Target.  :)

Overall, though, Target and Old Navy have the best deals for this stuff I've found looking around.  Victoria's Secret work out outfit would be a little splurge for me.  I wouldn't spend $40 for a single pair of pants just any time.  And I LOVE Lululemon stuff, but it's so expensive I just can't justify it.  I love looking over the clearance stuff though.  It's almost VS or ON pricing, lol.

Anyway!  You just need a mat, some space to practice, comfy clothes, and maybe a pair of blocks and a strap if you're not very flexible right now.  But you could just start with the mat and see what you think first.  :)  

In any case, however you choose to go at this, I'm excited to help you find different ways to do this!  I will join you and see how things play out!  It will be a very good thing, all around.  :)

Namaste!  And for kicks, a little glimpse into the trying to yoga with kids and cats around.  Kitten attacking my hand, boy waiting for his turn with the tv while his big sister was in school...  Ah, those were the days.  (This is 2 or 3 years old.)

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