Friday, December 19, 2008
Whoa!Totally #4: Star Wars Yoga!
(Unfortunately, I can't link directly to the Star Wars video. Go here and scroll down to "Star Wars Yoga")
I can hear both scornful snorts and cries of delight already. Star Wars and....Yoga? If you are a fan of Star Wars and you're not a fan of yoga, this may seem like blasphemy of the worst sort. But you're wrong; it's awesome. In this popular episode from Yoga Today, Neesha uses the philosophical principles of Star Wars to create a yoga flow that is all about harmony, joy, the union of opposites, and THE FORCE. She starts out the class with breathing exercises that make you sound like Darth Vader!
That's why Star Wars Yoga is today's Whoa!Totally.
Honestly though, the Star Wars episode is just a lure. The real root of this awesomeness is Yoga Today, which posts FREE hour-long yoga practices online every day. There are three different teachers: Sarah, Neesha & Adi (my favorite!), all of whom teach multiple styles and levels. One of the best things about the series is that all episodes are filmed outdoors in breathtaking places like Jackson Hole, WY & Sedona, AZ. Sometimes deer wander up during filming, or fish leap in a stream behind the instructor. You can hear wind and birds as you do your practice!
Now, I know some people think that yoga is a little...well, 'woo-woo' ( and that people who preach about the life-altering power of yoga are even more irritating & 'woo-woo'), but yoga is totally rad. I got into yoga when I was in grad school (I was stressed out, eating poorly & not getting any exercise). I approached it suspiciously at first because I'd taken a few classes over the years that had left a bad taste in my mouth: irritating instructors, slow-moving classes & weird new age music.
I didn't have the time or the money to go to classes, but I thought 'surely somebody must offer free yoga online...' DING! Goldmine.
I will warn you, though, the first few classes can be excrutiatingly difficult (depending on which ones you take), and you will probably be deliciously sore for days. However, I've never done anything that gets you in shape so fast in my life. I've done ballet, aerobics, swing dancing, jogging, weight-lifting, gymnastics, etc. at various points in my life, but never have I seen and felt such a profound change so quickly. I could see the change in my body after only four days (!), and my headaches went away & my moods stabilized. Colors, smells and sensations were heightened. My appetite changed. My dreams became more vivd.
Can I say any of this without sounding like I'm drinking my own kool-aid? I'm not a lifestyle yogini (i.e. I don't buy special clothes, or go on yoga retreats, or subscribe to yoga blogs, or buy yoga straps & blocks) but yoga has changed my life and I can see why people get obssessive about it. If it hadn't been for Yoga Today, I probably never would have thought to do something like Whoa!Totally...
Now go do some Star Wars Yoga! See what all the fuss is about!