When I started My Happiness Project I knew immediately yoga would be part of the process. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed (practicing on and off for a few years) but I simply haven’t had the time to attend classes since leaving school and starting work.
In comes Tara Stiles, my favorite yoga instructor (I’ve mentioned her several times). I’ve been doing her 5-10 minute routines on her YouTube channel and on LivestrongWoman whenever I can and have really enjoyed them. When Tara announced that she was doing a course on MindBodyGreen called The Complete Guide to Yoga I had no hesitation in buying it, despite the $99 price tag (I just love her that much).
A summary of the course by MindBodyGreen:
This course is lead by Tara Stiles, founder of Strala – the widest-reaching style of yoga in the world – and named “Coolest Yoga Instructor Ever” by Vanity Fair. Strala co-founder Mike Taylor joins Tara in giving you everything you need for yoga at home right here. Whether you’re brand new to yoga or a long-time practitioner, this course will get you learning, moving, and having fun!
What is included in the course:
For $99 you get over five hours of video from Tara and Mike and access to private discussion boards where you can ask them questions. The videos are separated into different modules: introduction to yoga, siting poses, standing poses, arm balances, back bends, inversions, restorative, sequences, relax class, and strong class. The introduction includes topics like safety, breathing, meditation, practicing at home, and more. The sequences section includes several 3 – 11 minute routines (yoga for sleep, yoga for back pain, etc). The last two modules called relax class and strong class are a full one hour yoga class that you would normally only be able to see if you were in her Strala studio in New York. All of the modules in between are pose libraries with tiny bite sized videos explaining different poses. All of these videos can be viewed on smart phones and tablets as well but they can’t be downloaded. You have access to this course forever, it does not expire.
My quick-to-the-point review:
I don’t think a long-time practitioner would necessarily benefit from this course (as the description states) but I would highly recommend it for newbies. I honestly skipped over most of the pose library since I’ve been practicing for awhile. Doing all of the sequences was great and I loved having access to the two longer classes (I did the relax class yesterday and feel amazing now). I plan on using these sequences daily. My favorites are the routines for weight loss (even though I don’t want to loose weight) and the detox one.
The best part about the course:
The real benefit about the course was the new sequences and the longer classes. If you are a big fan of Tara’s YouTube channel then this is for you. Some routines start out similarly to other videos she has on YouTube but they incorporate different poses that I’ve never seen Tara do before so it felt brand new. I also feel like the introduction to the course helped me realize how I was being to stiff in my practice and worrying too much about whether my posing was perfect rather than if I was feeling the benefits and moving with ease. It was also really cool getting to know Tara’s husband Mike, he is a very cool yogi and moves into poses like a cat (it’s really amazing to watch).
Where it could be improved:
My only wish is that Tara and Mike would have had a video talking about things that people do wrong in yoga (other than when they mentioned people focusing too much on poses rather than how their body feels). It would have been great in the pose breakdowns to know what are common mistakes. For example, moving your head too much in shoulder stand. There are certain things that can be dangerous. I also would have loved a gentle sequence for when I’m menstruating. Those are all minor complaints though.
I’m really happy to have purchased this class. The fact that I had to purchase it also made it easier for me to keep up with my resolution to do yoga daily. I might not have been as motivated if I wasn’t trying to make sure I enjoyed every last drop of the money I spent on it.
If you love Tara as much as I do, the class is worth the price. If you aren’t sure if you’ll like it or if you aren’t familiar with Tara, check out a few of her YouTube videos first. They are free to watch and are very enjoyable. Now, all I need is someone to buy me her reebok collection for my birthday. I’m dying to have it!
Do you do yoga at home or only in classes? What’s your routine?