ExercisePreventive HealthStress

Yoga: So Good For You, But Who’s Got The Time (And Money)?

I love yoga.

There are so many reasons yoga is good for you. And it’s interesting that physicians are increasingly “prescribing” it as a therapeutic intervention for their patients. Count me as one of those physicians! Yoga has been shown to be beneficial for a wide variety of health concerns. Not to mention the somewhat less tangible benefits of improved stress and a better sense of well-being.

I’ve dabbled in yoga from time to time over the years. With my first pregnancy I attended a prenatal yoga class that was the highlight of my week. I loved it, and was convinced that it was a reason why my pregnancy went so well and was such a pleasure.

But then life intervened and in recent years I’ve found it very challenging to get my butt down to a yoga studio. Who, exactly, has the time (on any sort of regular basis to make it meaningful) to travel to a studio, change, do a 90-min class, change back, travel back…hello, 3 hours later!) Not to mention the cost.

But after a recent health crisis, of sorts (…that I will talk about soon. But not yet.) I turned to yoga again. This time, I knew I needed to get creative. I had to squeeze it in somehow, but in my life right now (with 2 young boys, plus work and everything else), free time is pretty scarce. And I’d rather not spend $15 per class! I tried reading books and magazines with diagrams and explanations of poses…but this is just not the same. I love the class atmosphere: the music, the guidance from a teacher, all that. There’s the DVD option, of course. But I’ve done yoga videos in the past, and doing the same video workout over and over and over…well, it gets a bit dull.

I found an awesome solution. Online yoga.

Now I can do brief yoga tidbits (12-15 minutes, if that’s all I’ve got!) or a longer class if I find myself with a larger chunk of time. And I can do it at home, whenever I can fit it in. They’re real guided classes, including Savasana at the end (the delicious meditating bit where you lie on your back in corpse pose). The instructors are fab, and there’s tons of variety. And they’re always posting new workouts. So forget about the boredom factor. And it’s only $10 per month! You can’t even do one real-life yoga class for that. (And in case I sound like I’m selling this a bit hard, I have no connection whatsoever with myyogaonline.com and am not being compensated in any way for this post. I’m just a fan.)

But as much as I love yoga, I’m gonna play devil’s advocate a little, here: yoga is not a magic bullet. It’s absolutely fantastic, make no mistake, but it is merely part of a healthy lifestyle. If it were the only thing you needed to do to stay healthy and happy, there would be no unwell or stressed-out yoga teachers, right? Well let me tell you, in my line of work I’ve encountered many a yoga teacher who’s struggling with stress and illness just as much as the rest of us.

So what do you think? Are you a yoga fan? How do you get your yoga in? Has it made a difference in your life?