I’m not necessarily unathletic, but I lack the motivation to do athletic things. I got by with gym class in school and softball up until 8th grade, and then ceased pretty much any and all activity that required me to get out of breath once all that ended.
I took a yoga class my senior year of college, and was surprised by how difficult it was. Even though I was a little bit discouraged by the fact that a lot of the other members of the class could do some of the positions and I couldn’t, I knew yoga was something I had to keep pursuing.
But yoga classes can be expensive, especially right after college. So, one day, while browsing the Internet (like I’d usually be doing rather than exercising), I came across a yoga instructor who posted free videos on her YouTube channel. They weren’t an hour long like most classes you’d attend are, but they were short and sweet and to the point.
And I became addicted.
I came across Bad Yogi first and immediately felt like she was my spirit animal. Bad Yogi, as proclaimed on the website, is “yoga’s anti-clique.” It’s a community of people who might not fit into the stereotype of someone who does yoga. And trust me, when I first started, I definitely did not feel like I fit in. I was the person who never exercised. I was the person who’d drink (too much?) wine in one sitting. I didn’t know what bakasana or pranayama was. (I still don’t. I Googled those just now.)
Bad Yogi is all about doing what makes you happy. So what if you do 30 minutes of yoga and follow it up with a bowl of buttery popcorn? If kale chips are your thing, that’s fine, too. Anything goes.
I did Erin’s 30-day yoga challenge when I first started out, and even though I missed a couple days here and there and fell behind, I eventually did them all. And that feeling can’t be beat. Not only are the videos 100% FREE, but they’re the perfect motivation to keep going in your practice.
I came across Yoga With Adriene sometime after the 30-day challenge with Bad Yogi ended. (Adriene also did a 30-day challenge, as well another one called Yoga Camp.) Once again, I challenged myself to complete these videos day after day for a month. And even though I was a little bit of a slacker on some days, I still finished and felt great afterwards.
Adriene’s slogan is “Find What Feels Good” and she’s all about modifying poses to find what works best for you. She’s got a super fun personality in all her videos, and after 30 (or more) days of watching her videos, you basically feel like you have a friend. (Awww.)
Her latest challenge, Yoga Camp, also incorporated mantras into the practice. Now before you’re like, whaaaa? Trust me, it’s awesome. I do love my Bad Yogi who tells it like it is, but it’s also awesome to get into the nitty-gritty of yoga and learn how it can really alter your wellbeing. Adriene gets a little into that without going overboard.
Both of these ladies are awesome. And 1) the videos are free, 2) you can do them at home, meaning in your pajamas, when you first roll out of the bed or right before you go to bed— and you don’t even have to leave your house, and 3) they’re catered to different areas of your body and various emotions (Yoga for your shoulders and arms? It’s there. Yoga for when you’re sore? That’s there, too.)
I think everyone should take up yoga, and if you’re a beginner, YouTube videos are a great way to start. Do them when you want, do them how you want, and find what feels good with your bad self.