Friday, October 23, 2009

Fitness for the Couch Potato

I wrote last time about my descent into complete non-exercise and unfit-ness. I wanted to get back in shape, but without paying for a gym or leaving my apartment.  I had just changed jobs to a much lower salary, and didn't want want to budget for a gym membership.

Enter the world of home exercise DVDs.  I had to pick something quiet, though, as not to disturb my neighbors (dammit, when will I get a free-standing house). Yoga seemed like a great choice, especially since I had liked doing it before the big downward spiral.

So these are the DVDs that I purchased to get myself back in the game:

Kundalini Yoga for Beginners & Beyond
I don't really know what Kundalini yoga is, but this DVD is great for the beginner, someone getting back into yoga and wanting something gentle, or even for an intermediate/experienced person who wants to have a more easygoing workout once in a while. The first part of the DVD is mostly in a seated position and works on loosening up the core and back, which also helps work your muscles as well. The second part of the DVD is a bit more advanced, with the tabletop position (basically a crab pose), double leg lifts (basically stomach workouts), downward dogs and upward dogs, and some serious back/flexibility/strength exercises. The DVD is about 45-60 minutes but I skip some exercises and interminable meditations so that it's about 30 minutes.

Source ($12.99 on Amazon) 
(be ready to see very skinny girl doing yoga in what amounts to big panties)

Crunch Yoga with Sarah Ivanhoe
This is also a good beginner DVD, with two 30-minute programs.  The first is mostly standing poses, like downward facing dog, lunges, warrior two, and other exercises. It doesn't make you go through the sun salutations, but rather picks out poses from the sun salutation sequence and focuses on each one. It has some great twisting poses, but nothing too hardcore. The second is a similar difficulty level, with a simple flowing sequence that's good for beginners.

Source ($7.99 on Amazon)

Power Yoga with Rodney Yee
One of my favorites. This is advanced beginner/intermediate. You go through the sun salutations at a reasonable pace (and includes poses such as triangle, warrior 1, 2 and 3, half moon pose, and others) and then move on to back exercises, core exercises, twisting and stretching. Good stuff. About 1 hour (sometimes I just do the sun salutations and call it a day).

Source ($8.99 on Amazon)
(yup, practically nekkid)

Yoga Shakti with Shiva Rea
This is definitely more intense. Some of the exercises are intermediate/advanced intermediate, others just rocket to advanced (like, "Sit cross-legged.  Now put the tips of your index fingers on the floor in front of you and elevate your entire body."). There are a ton of short sequences on this DVD, and you can either do them all in a row or pick and choose. I have only explored half of them, as many are way too advanced for me. Nevertheless, there are enough doable exercises that it's worth it. Since the sequences are short, I can do anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour.

Source ($24.99 on Amazon)
My main mantra in getting back into the swing of things was to take it easy and not put too much pressure on myself. I told myself that if I could do just 30 minutes, 3 times a week, I would be satisfied because that's a lot more than what I was doing. Have I followed this? Not exactly. But I'm not going to beat myself up about it either.

Do you have any recommendations for good home workout DVDs?

1 comment:

  1. oooh! excellent synopsis! now if I could get motivated to actually DO the DVDs instead of merely watching them and mocking the instructors...