Many books and studies have been written about yoga, so I’m not going to quote them or talk about the historical roots of yoga. I will write about yoga as I see it. And tell you something about Istrian yoga centers and retreats you should check out on your next visit.
I see yoga as a universal exercise for the body and mind. It’s for everyone. Everyone can do it.
I know you’re in awe when you see all the headstands and bends and twists that experienced yogis so easily perform. But it’s wrong to believe “I’m not flexible enough to yoga” nonsense. Thus the yoga, dude!
How I Started Practicing Yoga
I began my yogic journey months ago when I injured my back and was compelled to do something that will help me get better. I wasn’t able to walk, sit, stand or to be in any position for more than 10 minutes. And there was agency work that needed to be done.
So, I Googled something like “yoga in bed” and started with a few simple poses (asanas). It turned out that these easy exercises were the help I needed. They expedited my recovery.
When I was able to resume the full blown office life, I decided I never want to experience that pain again and extended my home practice with the help of Youtube videos and some excellent virtual instructors.
I continued to practice to this day as many times per week as I can.
So, here are my main at home yoga perks:
1. You Can Adjust The Yoga Practice To Yourself
If you are the first-time yogi, your first workouts will probably be relaxing, slow-paced stretches to ease into it. If you are eager to speed it up and think yoga is too slow, you have vigorous Vinyasa sessions or Power yoga.
There is something for everybody.
You can do a quick 15-minute bedtime sequence on Monday and enjoy an hour-long Hatha on Friday. Even if you have been practicing for a few months and you are fit, you can get tired of the same routine or you can feel especially innovative/weak /drained and need to change the workout.
The thing is, whatever your condition is, there’s likely a free session for it.
- You’re cranky ‘cause your PMS is kicking – there’s PMS yoga practice.
- You overdid your last practice – you can find Too Sore For Yoga lessons
You don’t have to go to the east and spend months with gurus and masters to learn the essentials of yoga.
You have the internet.
And the internet is abundant in yoga variations, practice styles, and mentors. You will find an online mentor to guide you and make yoga fun for you, so you truly enjoy it.
2. Everyone Can Afford Yoga at Home
I practiced on a fake yoga mat. You know the $5 one you use for the beach. Yes, it’s slippery and you can’t nail every pose flawlessly, but I didn’t want to spend a penny until I was confident I will make yoga a long-term habit.
Yoga mats are fairly cheap and durable. Now, there are some premium picks in a higher price range like Manduka Pro with a lifetime guarantee for about $130, but you can as easily start your practice and stay within a 5-10$ budget.
While it’s important to learn the right way to do a yoga pose, it’s the same with all activities if you want to avoid injuries. If you don’t know how to run or don’t have the proper footwear – you can spread your ankle. Luckily, yoga doesn’t require big investments or special equipment.
Tip: You will probably realize you need a yoga brick to help you reach the floor and do some poses correctly. If you find a bundle that includes a yoga mat and two bricks for a good price – go for it.
3. Home Practice Is Effortless
The simplicity of home practice is what astounds me. You need two square meters of the floor to roll your mat out and something comfy to wear. That‘s it. No makeup, no preparing to go to the yoga center, no obstacles.
Just you and your mat.
You can be barefoot, even in your pajamas if you’d like. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or snowing because you don’t have to go anywhere.
I know I would be missing about 30% of my training if I had to go to a Yoga center downtown. Sometimes you just don’t feel like mingling with other people. That’s why I say home practice requires no effort.
Of course, it’s great to combine the two and go meet other yogis, but if you want privacy or to keep it on the budget, you can start at home as I did.
4. The Results of Practicing Yoga Would Amaze You
Everyone knows yoga is healthy.
So is rollerblading.
But rollerblading never had a drainage effect on my legs. It never made me less bloated, or so relaxed.
And that surprising flexibility! I thought it would take me 5 years to do a seated forward bend. Or any bends for that matter. But, to my own surprise, I was able to nail this pose after only four months.
I was never one of the flexible ones at school, so I am astonished by what my body achieved and how quickly it is changing.
My muscles growing (I’m finally getting those Cameron Diaz shoulders) and I am losing cellulite with a relaxed and fun activity that I can do even at midnight as it’s so soundless.
Sometimes I do a relaxing, long practice that doesn’t make me feel like I even exercised. Usually, sore muscles the next day show me the actual effect my practice had on my body.
By far, I saw yoga caused improvements in the following:
- Lymphatic circulation and drainage
- Body shape
- Cellulite reduction
- Core strength
- Stress reduction
- Digestion regulation
- Back pain
- Spinal alignment
- And not to mention, the overall flexibility
In your practice, you can clearly see the differences in left and right side flexibility, and you can observe changes from session to session.
Sometimes when I feel full of energy I fail at every balancing pose, yet sometimes when I feel too weak to chaturanga-I flow perfectly from one pose to another. Yoga will help you get to know your own body.
It’s a shame that yoga videos have to include medical disclaimers. Medical places and videos should include yogic disclaimers, like “medicine cannot substitute for your regular yoga practice.” or “Next time practice your yoga so you don’t even end up here”.
Funny Youtube User Fleisch Ber
Yoga does wonder for all your organs. Again, you can target a specific problem you have with tailored exercises – spleen, digestions, heart, etc.
How To Start Practicing Yoga at Home
Now that I’ve told you why I love it, I need to tell you how I do it.
I’m gonna assume you are not in bed with sciatica (like I was) and you are healthy enough to start experimenting with different beginner, maybe even intermediate practices. If so, check out some videos I used at the beginning and give it a go.
If so, check out some videos I used at the beginning and give it a go.
If not, I am sorry, but go back to step 1 and those poses in bed.
Until now, I’ve experimented with various styles, such as:
- Vinyasa yoga
- Yin yoga
- Hatha yoga
- Kundalini yoga
Somehow I always come back to Vinyasa, but there are days I look around youtube to find something new. I am always curious will I find something that I will like more than all my workouts so far.
- Vinyasa is fast and it will make you sweaty like any other cardio, so is Power yoga
- Yin is also slow and shifts focus from opening muscles to opening joints
- Kundalini uses dynamic breath work (pranayama) more than others and tries to awaken the consciousness
Here Are My Favorite Youtube Yoga Videos And Channels
Yoga With Kassandra– mostly intermediate levels, a lot of Vinyasa workouts
This video was the first video of Youtube yoga I ever tried to do. I was so tired after this practice. I felt pain in muscles I didn’t know I even have.
I wouldn’t recommend it as a first yoga workout to try since it says “intermediate”, but again – you can use it to break the ice, especially if you need something faster to warm you up.
This session is a great cardio workout.
For me, it was amazing to do, made me fall in love with yoga even more, and I regularly come back to it. I soon started reciting parts of the session alongside Kassandra.
I loved this practice so much I even left her a nice comment, and I am usually shy to comment on stuff.
Kassandra explains the poses well, some other videos can be a bit too fast so it’s hard to keep up with, but this one is on point. And I love her music, it’s relaxing, she uses it in other workout videos as well, so you get used to the familiar sound.
Kassandra also taught me how to adjust the practice to moon phases and be more aligned with nature.
Yoga With Adriene – Different levels / Topical Sessions
This woman is so calming you could call her a human Valium. If you are stressed, nervous or angry, Adriene can balance you out. Her voice is hypnotizing and she always seems like is enjoying herself to the fullest. I love all her videos.
20-minute yoga for bedtime is one of my favorite videos from Adriene.
After this video, you’ll be ready to go to the dreamland, for sure.
Her place is cozy, and if you combine a relaxing, peaceful session with her persona, her ambient, and her cute dog Benji sleeping in the corner, I am certain you will feel that sense of tranquility transmitting to your own mind.
Erica Vetra Yoga – Intermediate / Slimming and detox yoga sessions
Erica has a lot of amazing sessions for weight loss, but my favorite is one of her relaxing videos that is suitable for beginners, especially those craving for relaxation and insomnia relief.
The video above is called Beginners Yoga for Relaxation & Sleep, Flexibility Stretches for Stress, Anxiety & Pain Relief. And It’s on my list of favorites. I love how Erica engages with her viewers and makes you feel like you are doing this together, even if you are a million miles away.
And my latest discovery – a true yogic experience with…
Sri Swami Satchidananda and Hatha yoga
Below is a screenshot of an hour-long session that includes chants and guided relaxation.
Swami is a true master and explains the proper postures simply and effortlessly. He makes me smile when he is saying “slooowly”, and I love his positive attitude and love for its students.
Of course, a true guru always shares his wisdom, and so does Sri Swami Satchidananda. He helped me focus on doing some poses correctly, as it’s easier to perfect asanas in slower styles.
I had to copy/paste his name. I am sorry Swami. You are awesome.
He is different from the other, younger yogis and yoginis, and I truly enjoy his vibe and experience he shares.
If you want to be up to date with my selection of best free yoga videos that I train to – this is the public list on my Youtube channel.
Where To Practice Yoga In Istria
Every vacation should include self-indulging time. When you are in Istria in summer, the beach and the sea are natural healers and can replace the spa visits. You can even combine swimming AND yoga, with Metta Float sessions that make yoga happen on the water.
But if you are looking for more relaxation on land, Istria can offer you yoga centers, camps and retreats to try out.
Yoga Center Sadhana – Rovinj
Their program includes Zen yoga, Hatha yoga, Kundalini, meditations and yoga for kids or moms to be. Besides that, they have relaxing massages which nicely rounds their offering. Many tourists visiting Rovinj have already tried yoga classes and healing massages in Sadhana center, so if you ever find yourself in the vicinity, you could too.
Sal Yoga – Pula
In Sal studio, you can find different levels of yoga and Gong sessions. Tanja, the owner and yoga instructor, has been teaching yoga abroad and at home. On her journey, she participated in meditation teachings, Thai massage, craniosacral biodynamics studies and other.
Jhana Yoga – Rovinj
Jan will immerse students in Ashtanga and Hatha yoga. Besides teaching asanas, Jan also teaches qi-gong, chanting, chakra balancing. Here, you can indulge yourself by practicing yoga outdoors, looking at the Adriatic sea.
Iyengar Yoga – Pula
Nataša is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and she teaches beginner and intermediate classes in her studio in Pula and has also classes for kids.
Surya Center – Pula
Surya center is a wholesome place, a holistic center offering yoga classes, teachings, dance lessons, massages, energy therapies, spiritual healing sessions and more. Yoga classes are held by three individual teachers and range from beginner classes, targeted workouts for the spine, Hatha flow and others.
Yoga Centar Zanshin – Pula
Five female teachers will guide you through ABC (absolute beginner classes), integral Vinyasa flow, Ashtanga Vinyasa, revitalizing Yin yoga or even prenatal yoga. They also have classes of therapeutic Chinese yoga that walks you through the five main elements.
Besides the mentioned locations, some of the centers above organize occasional retreats during the summer that mix outdoor yoga with other mindful practices.
In summer 2018 we even had a massive yoga night under the stars in our Roman amphitheater, the Arena.
To Sum It Up
Here’s a yoga joke instead of a thoughtful conclusion.
What did the yogi say to his dog?
I hope this article was helpful. I’d love to hear your questions or stories about yoga.
Let me know in the comment section.