Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yoga Gear

When I first started doing P90X, I gave the Yoga DVD a quick try. Having never done Yoga, I was easily frustrated and since it was a long workout, I opted to skip it the first few times through the P90X program. Then, between the 2nd and 3rd pass, I decided that I heard so many good things about Yoga that I wanted to learn. I sought Yoga advice from all of my readers and based on a recommendation from one reader, checked out Yoga Step by Step from the library. It really was a good learning program. I really liked how it was arranged in one section where they showed you the poses and the things that people do wrong and another section where they put those poses together into a workout. After a few times through, I started to get the poses and transitions, so I decided to give the P90X Yoga X a try.

What struck me most about the P90X Yoga X workout is how intense of a workout it was and how much I could feel the workout after I was done. I had always known Yoga as a centering and flexibility routine, I had never fully grasped that it was a bona fide work out with physical strength and balance benefits to me. Unfortunately, the one thing that I was still missing was the proper gear. As a result, when I do some of the poses, like Downward Dog, I find myself sliding and slipping - which means I don't have good form and am constantly readjusting. Without a block, I also found myself struggling with poses like Twisting Right Angle Pose. So, when I was contacted about checking out CSN stores, I decided that it was a great opportunity to get some Yoga gear. I did some looking through the store and I found a Yoga Mat, a Yoga Mat bag (to carry/store my Yoga Mat) and a Yoga Block. When I received the gear, I was anxious to try it out. I started using it a few days later, when Yoga X came up in my rotation. Let me say, that having the right gear has made all the difference. No longer am I finding myself slipping on the carpet when I am trying to hold poses downward dog and no longer am I feeling like I can't fully open up when I do the twisting poses. I am pleased with the thickness and stickiness of the mat I selected - the Yoga Direct Charter Oak Deluxe Extra Thick Yoga Sticky Mat. I do my workout on carpet, so I guess the thickness of the mat is less important to me than if I working out in a studio with hardwood or other hard floors, but still it works. As I mentioned, the stickiness is sufficient to keep me from sliding as I'm doing the various poses and transitions. The Yoga Block I selected was a Gaiam Yoga Essentials Block. I'm not sure how much difference there are with different brands, but this block feels like it is the right size and it certainly is lightweight enough that I can easily move it in and out as I transition between poses. I like the carrying bag that I selected for the Yoga Mat as well. It was a Yoga Direct Charter Oak Nylon Yoga Mat Bag. Right now, I don't carry my mat anywhere, but it makes a great storage container for my mat. Otherwise, I am concerned I would have to tuck it somewhere that my cat would rub up against it and leave behind pounds of cat hair as he generally does. With the bag, I can store it out of the way and protected from cat hair. The handle is nice and would certainly make it easy to transport if I needed to.

It's funny, I know how important the right gear is for any exercise, but for some reason, until I got the Yoga gear, I never realized that I really was missing something. I had always just seen it as optional, but now that I have it, I feel like I am doing a better job with the poses and in turn, getting more benefit out of the work out. Having the right gear for my Yoga workouts, works for me!

This post shared at Works for Me Wednesday.