I used to think that everyone who did yoga regularly was part of some exclusive club of people that had their life together. Maybe I thought that doing yoga was the secret to having your life together. As a young adult whose life was so far from put together it was practically on another planet, I’d always perceived yoga to be an extremely daunting task. It wasn’t until recently when I was itching for something to occupy my time with that I finally decided to give yoga a chance. My yoga-enthusiast friends sent me a few videos and apps to try out, and, slightly to my surprise, I ended up really enjoying it. As it turns out, yoga isn’t just for people who (seemingly) have their life together; if I can do it, you can definitely do it too.
- Everyday Vinyasa Flow
The first yoga video I tried was this one from Lululemon. Vinyasa was a new term for me, but in essence, vinyasa flow is a combined sequence of poses in quick succession. The poses are timed with your inhalations and exhalations. This is in contrast to traditional yoga classes, in which poses are held for longer durations. I liked this video a lot, although I realized very quickly that I am not as flexible as I thought. I was genuinely sore the next day, which honestly was a nice change. Being sore when you’re working out or doing yoga is a good thing: it means you’re moving your body in new ways!
- Full Body Yoga Flow
The rest of my videos are from the YouTube instructor Yoga By Kassandra. I love Kassandra’s videos because of her calming and encouraging presence. She makes you feel welcomed and motivated in your yoga journey, no matter whether you’re a beginner or an expert. This full body flow is perfect for days when you want to stay inside but still get in a full workout. It combines balance, flexibility and core work to truly work your whole body along with centering your breath.
- Spicy Core Yoga
If you’re looking for a good core and abs workout in your yoga routine, this is the video for you. I like doing this video on days when I have more motivation and want a video that incorporates more traditional ab workouts, such as planks and glute bridges. You’ll definitely feel the burn in your abs and work up a sweat, but in the best way possible.
- Intermediate Vinyasa Yoga for Flexibility
This is the video I do the most, because I feel like it gives you a great all-around stretch that isn’t too strenuous but still makes you feel like you’ve moved your body in new and productive ways that will improve your flexibility over time. Similar to the first Lululemon video, Kassandra also incorporates vinyasa flow, which challenges you to control your breath alongside your poses. My favorite part of Kassandra’s videos is ending in corpse pose, in which you lie on your back, your arms and legs spread out to the side, and you use the final minutes of the session to simply relax. It’s the only time during my busy day of stress and schoolwork that I prioritize the time to close my eyes and just be. It sounds a little cheesy, but it’s true. It’s so important to take time for yourself, temporarily forgetting about school, work or anything else causing you stress.
The final suggestion I have for people who want to get into yoga is to download the FitOn app. I just recently learned about it, and it’s a game changer for working out at home. This workout app is completely free and customizable to the type of working out you’re interested in. You can adjust your preferences and get a personalized workout routine scheduled down to each day, or you can browse through available workouts and choose one to do on your own time. And it’s not just yoga workouts that are available, but also HIIT, Pilates, kickboxing, dance, cardio and more. You can filter workouts by type, target area, duration and intensity, making it easy to explore the app and experiment with different workout styles until you find what works best for you.
Working out doesn’t only encompass long runs, intense YouTube workout programs or lifting weights; yoga is also a great way to work out that lets you move your body in a way that can be relaxing and challenging. It also just so happens to be perfect for exercising while stuck at home—all you need is enough floor space to lay down and a water bottle to keep you hydrated. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by school or intimidated by the thought of going outside to work out, give yoga a try. It offers the perfect balance of exercise and well-deserved relaxation, a time to focus on your physical and mental health.