Guest Author - Deborah Mauldin
Yoga is one of those wonderful activities that can be practiced just about anywhere. Practicing in a studio with your favorite teacher and your yoga buddies may be considered ideal, and yet daily life might make it hard to get the studio for that particular class you want to take. Or you may be in a situation where a local studio or teacher is not readily available. Not to worry! The internet hosts a vast number of resources that can be used to support your practice when being in a studio simply can’t happen.
Yoga on YouTube
Doing a search of the word “yoga” on the YouTube.com website will yield thousands of results. YouTube videos are free to view and you only need an internet connection and a browser to access and view the videos. The only downside is the sheer volume of yoga related videos available. Being specific in your search parameters will help decrease the numbers, so if there is a specific style of yoga you like, try searching for that particular style.
YouTube may be a bit of a trial and error experience for you until you’ve found videos that suit your needs, yet once you discover them you can add them to your Favorites list and access them any time you want as long as they’re hosted on the site. The site gives members the ability to subscribe to channels and to create playlists, like you would in Apple’s iTunes application. Subscribing to the channels of your favorite yoga videos will allow you to be informed if new videos are added to the channel. If subscribing doesn’t appeal to you, then you can make playlists that include your collection of favorite videos, available any time as long as you keep an account.
Yoga Subscription Sites
Another online offering to yogis comes from sites that ask for a small monthly subscription fee. For example, CorePower Yoga offers Yoga-On-Demand which is designed to stream a class to your computer over your internet connection. All of the offerings online from CorePower Yoga are the same if not extremely similar to the classes taught live. So if you love practicing at CorePower Yoga, try their Yoga On Demand.
Another subscription site is called YogaGlo.com and it carries an amazing array of different styles of yoga. The videos vary from 30 to 90 minutes and there are many different styles being taught, so it’s like a catalog full yoga classes available to you anytime and anywhere you have an internet connection that can handle streaming video.
These are just a few options available for online yoga videos. The sheer variety is one of the benefits of these services. The only compromise is that these videos cannot be downloaded to your hard drive so you must have your internet connection to access them.
Yoga on iTunes
The offerings in the podcast section of the iTunes store does an amazing job of making up for the compromises of streaming videos from a website. There are dozens if not hundreds of Yoga video and audio podcast episodes available, most of them being free for download. Because they are downloaded directly to your hard drive, you can access them at any time.
The first major requirement for using iTunes is that you download and install the iTunes application on your computer. You can access the iTunes store from inside the application. Simply click on the Podcasts button and then choose from Audio Podcasts or Video Podcasts in the link menu on the right. A search for “yoga video podcasts” yields a huge variety of podcast that you can subscribe to, as well as individual episodes and even results in iTunes University. Play around with the search terms to see what is available. If you’re looking for Kundalini yoga or maybe you want a bit of Anusara in your practice, look to see what has been added to the store with the search feature.
Check out the different podcasts to see what suits your needs. The offerings range from episodes of only a few minutes that introduce a posture or a short series to episodes of entire hour-long classes. Also look around at the Audio podcasts. All of these can be downloaded to your iPod, iPad or iPhone. Have yoga mat and podcasts, will travel! Consider subscribing to your favorite podcast series. Every time you open iTunes it will connect to the store and automatically download new episodes for you.
Not being able to be in the studio with a live instructor doesn’t need to put crimp in your practice. Ask of the web and you shall receive! Happy surfing!