Much of my experience as a Yoga teacher has been with offering classes, workshops and Teacher Trainings in small towns and regional areas of Australia and Canada – two countries with “wide open spaces” and small populations. And I regularly hear from students and teachers alike that they have limited access to classes and to a supportive Yoga community. So, this month I’ve compiled a list of favourite resources that have been a blessing for me when travelling regularly and living in remote areas.
Most importantly, I think it’s key when cultivating a consistent and long-term practice to find a source of “community”. Whether it’s a regular class, workshops, or online yoga communities like www.yogamates.com, spending time and sharing ideas with others who are “like-minded” can help keep your practice inspired. And if you don’t have such a community where you live, perhaps you can be the inspiration that your community needs!
A few of my favourites for learning about yoga, discovering all aspects of the practice, and exploring asanas include:
- Beginners: Yoga Mind and Body by the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre (it was my first Yoga book), Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar,
- Intermediate: Power Yoga by Baron Baptiste, Ashtanga Yoga Practice Manual by David Swenson, Jivamukti Yoga – Practices for Liberating Body and Soul.
- Advanced: Ashtanga Yoga Practice and Philosophy by Gregor Maehle
I Want To Know More About:
- Philosophy: Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (my favourite translations are Chip Hrantford and Georg Feuerstein)
- Asanas: 30 Essential Yoga Postures by Judith Hanson Lasater
- Anatomy: Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga by Ray Long or Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff
- Spiritual Practice: Bhagavad Gita (my favourite translation is Juan Mascaro)
Always a great way to enjoy a practice at home, DVD’s come in a wide variety of yoga styles and intensities. DVD’s don’t take the place of good quality private or class instruction, but can be a great way to maintain your practice between classes. Trusted brands include Gaiam, Jivamukti, Stott Pilates, and some of our favourite titles include:
Beginners: Rodney Yee (a wide variety of titles), Total Yoga with Ganga White and Tracy Rich, Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss with Suzanne Deason, AM & PM Yoga with Patricia Walden and Rodney Yee.
Intermediate: Rodney Yee (a wide variety of titles in Power Yoga) Jivamukti Yoga with David Life and Sharon Gannon, Seane Corne Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Shiva Rea (a wide variety of titles), Baron Baptiste (Power Yoga)
Advanced: David Swenson’s A & B Series, Richard Freeman’s Primary Series and Intermediate Series, Jivamukti Yoga with David Life and Sharon Gannon, Rodney Yee (a wide variety of titles in Power Yoga). Sean Corne Vinyasa Flow Yoga.
Pre-Natal: Shiva Rea, Yoga Fit Pregnancy, Getting Started with Pre-Natal Yoga, Jennifer Wolfe.
An increasingly popular way to get new and inspiring Yoga music, guided practice sessions, and guided meditations. You can get downloads from sites like www.itunes.com, www.yogabasics.com, www.iamplify.com, www.yogadownloads.com and www.myyogaonline.com Many of these sites just require a monthly subscription and all downloads and articles are free. A great way to inspire your practice, and all you need when you travel is your MP3 player.
The much hyped video game/yoga practice is a possible option for those without access to Yoga classes, however yoga teachers who tested the WiiFitYoga system say that although there are many pro’s to the program, it does not really give you the holistic practice and sensible feedback that a yoga class would offer. But, it could be a great gateway into the practice for new students, and can also give practitioners some good feedback on balance and weight distribution during the postures. To read a review on the WiiFitYoga by Yoga instructors visit: https://wiifityoga.com/yoga/other-yoga-teachers-test-the-wii-fit
First Published in the Mind Body Messenger newsletter 2009