Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cross Training: DoYogaWithMe.com

Continuing my pursuit for high-quality, free cross training, I've recently focused my search on yoga options.  I've found some duds, but I've also found some keepers, including my current favorite: DoYogaWithMe.com.  This site offers an enormous quantity of yoga videos: detailed explanations of individual poses, guided meditations, explanations of proper breathing and posture, and full-length classes for all ability levels.  And it doesn't cost a dime.  Be still, my frugal heart!

Though the site offers an abundance of choices, many of which are available on YouTube as well, I am a creature of habit and keep returning to the same two classes.  My tried-and-true options focus on releasing tension in the hips, hamstrings, and lower back, classic trouble zones for runners.  When I'm in a time crunch, I opt for the 28-minute version, but my body is so thankful when I spend 48 minutes on the full version.

The classes are taught by David Procyshyn, founder of DoYogaWithMe.com.  His pace is slow, giving beginners time to find their way into the poses and allowing more experienced participants an opportunity to really settle in and feel the poses' effects.  He provides highly detailed explanations and moves fluidly from one pose to the next.  I appreciate that he spends equal time on each side of the body; it seems that some instructors shortchange the second side, but David does not fall into this trap.  And the poses included in these videos target all of the hot spots in my body!  Every overworked running muscle finally relaxes when I follow these sequences.

Both videos can be done without any specialized yoga equipment.  A mat, block, and strap are useful, but you can easily substitute for them.  I use an old tie in place of a strap and a diaper wipe container instead of a block.  (I wasn't kidding when I called myself stingy!)  I do have an actual yoga mat, which I highly recommend if you can spring for one.  Its cushiony surface is gentle on the joints, and its standard size helps me locate my body in the proper position and better emulate the instructor.

If you're considering adding yoga to your running routine, I highly recommend browsing this site.  Report back if you find other videos there that you enjoy!