Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rodney Yee's AM Yoga for Your Week

Note: I have this categorized under "Running Gear" because I am using this as part of a rehabilitation of sorts (see the post here).

I bought this Rodney Yee AM Yoga DVD [Gaiam] from Target for about $15. There were other videos and even other yoga ones by the same instructor Why this particular one? Well, it has five 20-minute workouts on one disc, whereas the others are generally one workout only.

The premise of this DVD is that you can do a short yoga session to wake you up in the morning before work on each workday, but I have moslty been doing them at night.

The five workouts are called:
  • Standing Poses
  • Twists

  • Backbends

  • Forward Bends

  • Hip Openers
The first time I did this, I picked "Backbends" because it was the middle one, and it was Wednesday. Once things got underway, the cat became interested and plopped herself right next to my mat. The poses were not easy but doable, except this one where you have to lay on your belly and grab both ankles from behind with your legs raised. It will be interesting to see if I can actually do it one day! I found myself having to control my breathing even if I had no intention of doing so. I always found that whole controlled breathing thing as something too "fluffy" and not for me.

After the 20 minutes, I really did feel more relaxed. I watched the interview with Rodney afterward, and he seems like a nice, practical yoga guy. I became jazzed about this whole series and asked "The Ukrainian" if he wanted to do one with me the next day. He chose the "Standing Poses." I didn't like this one as much because it was very leg-centric. Not that I couldn't use the leg stretching, but some parts of it tired my legs out, and I really could have used a full-body stretch and some butt-time on the mat, as well.

I guess "The Ukrainian" wasn't turned off, because a couple of days later, after watching The Fugitive, we did the "Twists" one. This one was kind of reminiscent of twists you might do to stretch after running and wasn't too difficult. By then, I was having trouble concentrating everytime Rodney said "buttocks flesh" in his narration. Just "buttocks" would have sufficed, but he always adds the "flesh" part, which is weird. Also, you need a towel or some other thing to create a sling for your leg.

As for "Hip Openers," expect a lot of leaning forward while sitting and some twisting. Yes, this one was tough for me, but I think it would be tough for everyone unless they have super-flexible hips. At some points, he used a yoga block, which is a foamy block about 1.5x the size of a brick. I used a nearby object as a sub, but it wouldn't work for all the exercise. But I refuse to buy a block!

Finally, I got around to the "Forward Bends," which is pretty similar to "Hip Openers." Lots of sitting like a lotus trying to lean foward. This is not easy, let alone for an inflexible runner like me, but I wasn't too bad.

All in all, I'm very excited about continuing my yoga stint. I can already feel the chronic tightness in my legs fading, though that could just be recovery in general since my running has been very slow and short lately. I would like to see how this will help me later on when I start running longer and faster.

And yes, there is some relaxation factor in all of this. I really like how each workout ends with a prayer position and the word "namaste," which in Hindu basically means "I bow to you."


On a related note, I found a site called Yoga Download, which has a routine for runners. I will review that later. Meanwhile, my sister K let me borrow some P90X stuff. I will probably try them at some point... slowly. I can't see myself committing to that kind of program right now. Actually, I'm saving it for post-babies when I will probably be at home a lot and need the transformation. Yes, I even dared to think that far ahead. But for now, I will pop one of those in once in a while... moreso if I'm going to be losing my gym membership. Did I mention this is a possibility? I hope to know my fate next week or so.

On another note, this time an unrelated one, I am so into the World Cup right now. This morning, me and a bunch of dudes (my boss included) sprang up from our chairs when the United States team made it into the Top 16 by scoring a goal against Algeria. I'm also rooting for Japan (fate to be decided by the week's end), South Korea (kinda, since they have already advanced), and England (who needs to start playing better since their performance in this series has been abnormally poor). Watch my loyalty change should all these teams get eliminated in the next round...

1 comment:

  1. Very nice review. I've been toying with the idea of going back to Bikram...but the heat and smell just makes me want to stay away. Lack of space at my place makes it hard to do any sort of video anything. This is why I miss gym classes sometimes.

    Regarding Snail's Pace, it is a nice free program to get involved with if you live near a practice location. There are people who are faster and slower and you can just find your own pace. It helps that other people are doing this with you so you don't feel like you are practicing alone. I don't have much feedback yet since I've only gone once but I will liking write about it some more as I go along.