One of the top questions I get when I talk about teaching yoga is about getting into the practice with online classes. There are so many benefits to going to a yoga class at a studio, but taking a few classes online is a great way to get to know the poses and get used to different types of yoga. (Plus, most of the below recommendations are free.) The flows and teachers below have helped me through my yoga journey, and I would love to share them with you!
This One Specific 15-Minute Flow
For years, this was the only yoga flow I knew. This is a 15-minute practice that allows you to salute the sun and get a little flow in when you wake up. This flow actually helped me figure out I wanted to teach yoga; I was doing the flow in Poland with friends and the wifi gave out so I took over, taught the flow that I had memorized at that point, and realized that I wanted to do that for the rest of my life.
Jason Crandell also has a great set of poses for the evening, which you can find below.
Do Yoga With Me
This is actually a recommendation that comes from my college therapist. (Shout out to Kate, the real MVP.) DoYogaWithMe has a lot of free classes that range from restorative to Kundalini to butt-kicking vinyasa. My favorite teachers are Fiji McAlpine, Tracey Noseworthy, and David Procyshyn.
Black Swan Yoga TV
Of course, I’ve got to give a shout out to the studio that sealed the deal for me in Austin. Black Swan Yoga has the kindest teachers I’ve ever met, but they can also kick your ass and get you into shape. All of the teachers are beautiful souls and are wonderful teachers and before I name favorites (as if I could choose one) I’ll just tell you to try it out and enjoy the meditations, flows, and pose breakdown available on the site.
Yoga with Adriene
Austin teachers rule the world! Yoga with Adriene is one of the top yoga teachers on YouTube. She has tons of challenges, explains poses, and is really approachable for new yogis.
Bad Yogi is a similar teacher, but a bit sassier. If you are very new to yoga and not into chakras or ‘om’-ing and all the spiritual stuff, Erin Motz is a good teacher to introduce you to yoga without any spiritual stuff. You can also find yoga challenges on her channel as well!
Okay, I Have a YouTube Channel Too
Also me. I have a blog and work in social media but cringe at promoting myself or my practice. I began filming yoga classes to document my trip, and I have one flow left to record in New Zealand. The classes are lighthearted vinyasa flows, recorded in Austin before my trip. My absolute favorite is my headstand prep one, recorded in Austin with a good friend who recorded an absolutely beautiful soundtrack to go with the flow. The one above was filmed in the first week of my backpacking trip in Thailand, after the infamous Full Moon Parties.
I am still new at this, and if you want to watch, I would love love love some feedback. You are wonderful!
What Yoga Teachers and Online Videos Have Helped You Through Your Journey? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve finally got a new yoga flow for you! I recorded the audio for this flow in Austin, and filmed the video in Australia! I originally called this flow the Uber Driver flow (it starts out by gently stretching legs that have been sitting all day), but hey, anyone who’s sitting or standing around at work could use these gentle stretches and backbends. So it’s now the Yoga Flow for After Work!
All you need is your mat and your lovely soul…so enjoy!
FREE YOGA / NOMAD MEET UPS IN BRISBANE:
I will be hanging out in Brisbane for the next two months or so, and I want to teach a few donation-based classes at my new flat! I was thinking it would be a great opportunity for fellow yogis, Couchsurfers, and nomads to meet up, have a free fitness class, and hang out with like-minded people. If you would like more information, respond to this Couchsurfing event or head on over to my Facebook page!
Hey friends! I’ve got kind of a different post for you this week…it’s a little longer, with less pictures, but I’ve always wanted to write about my experiences with yoga. I’ve been exploring yoga on and off for many years and it’s really made a great impact on my health, physically and mentally. It’s a great thing to add into daily routine, but it’s also great for traveling, when every day can be different.
There are a few basic reasons why I enjoyed practicing yoga while traveling. You can do it anywhere, it keeps you fit, and it stretches you out after being cramped up on an overnight bus or spending your days hiking/walking/backpacking. Going beyond the physical reasons, however, yoga alleviates some of the mental strain that comes with traveling. I have three little stories about three different experiences I had doing yoga on my trip and when I finally settled down in Austin. Enjoy!
Yoga Centers You (Yoga in Berlin)
By the time I had arrived in Berlin, I had visited seven cities in the span of about two weeks. My head was spinning. I was jetlagged, and an overnight bus/ferry from Copenhagen had not helped one bit. I spent my first few hours at my Couchsurfing host’s house napping.
After scrolling through Couchsurfing meetups, we found a free yoga class in Tempelhofer Park, once of my host’s favorite places in the city. It was perfect: a free, fun activity in a beautiful location. The class was (luckily) held in English, and our yoga instructor said it was one of the biggest free classes she had ever held. People from all over the world attended, and Berlin locals even joined in throughout the class.
It had been the first time I had practiced yoga in a few weeks, but that’s the wonderful thing about yoga. No matter how far you can stretch or how well you know the poses, you can go through a class and get back to the meditative state that yoga provides. I could have been in Berlin, I could have been in Glasgow, I could have been in Philadelphia…but what I focused on during that hour was that I was in my own body. I began to use exercises I learned through meditation as I traveled: I began focusing on my feet as they wander through cities, the feeling of my back against my backpack, or my head pressing against the seat of a bus, train, airplane, etc. No change in scenery can change how I feel within my own body, so whenever I’m feeling lost, I return to focusing on that feeling.
Yoga Connects You with Others (Yoga in Kielce)
After Berlin, I spent two weeks in Poland volunteering for an English immersion camp for Polish teenagers. I volunteered with 20 other native English speakers. I hadn’t been a while since I had been surrounded by that many people my age for an extended (if you consider a week “extended”) period of time. I was so used to being by myself that when I was faced with so many people, I felt anxious. Were people judging me? Was I well-liked? I was asking the kind of questions I thought I had left behind in high school.
The second week in Poland was a change; many of the same native speakers stuck around, but we were in a new location. We stayed in a gorgeous hotel with a balcony. On the first day in this new location, I decided I would do yoga in the morning before breakfast. I always invited other native speakers to join. I played a YouTube video from one of my favorite yogis (which you can watch here) and some days I’d be by myself, some days I’d be joined by friends. One day in particular, the video wasn’t working. I basically had the video memorized, so I timidly offered to go through what I remembered. I was extremely nervous, but I tried to link together all of the vinyasas in the video the way I remembered. I even added in my favorite stretch during the practice (shout out to pigeon pose!!) By the end of the class, I was able to look at yoga from a new perspective. Paul and Angie were very relaxed as well; the session was a success!
I spent the rest of the day walking on air (even though I kept focusing on my bare feet against the ground). Yoga always provided me with a calm and peaceful energy, and that day I was able to share that with others. I was hooked. There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to pursue yoga even deeper.
Yoga Shows You Where You Need to Be (Yoga in Austin)
For the time being, I’m stationary. I’ve moved to Austin and signed a year-long lease. Besides wanting to explore this amazing city that I’ve admired from afar for a few years, I really need to save up some money before I travel again.
Within two weeks of moving, I started attending free yoga classes held at the Whole Foods on Mondays and Wednesdays. One Tuesday night, I had been venting to my best friend about my job, asking, “Am I doing enough? Am I making the right choices?”
On the bus to the class, I saw a tweet advertising that finally volunteer positions for Fun Fun Fun Fest had become live. I had been waiting on this application for a while, especially after having a blast volunteering for Austin City Limits.
I usually keep my eyes closed while I practice, but something about the flow of the class that night led me to keep them open. I remember gazing at the lights strung along the trees on the Plaza. I saw 300 Austinites practicing with me. I saw the neon glow of Waterloo Records, just a street away.
At the end of the class, in savasana (Corpse Pose, aka when you lie flat on your back and soak in your practice), I felt the activation of my third eye. I hadn’t been focusing on that chakra, so it was kind of odd. I told myself I would figure out what this feeling meant later and continued with my meditation.
After class, I looked deeper into what the third eye chakra symbolized. I found this quote from personaltao.com: “The third eye is our ability to see what might be, to see potential.” That sentence tied my whole day together in a nice little present. When I was 15, I was determined to move to Austin. I didn’t really have that much reasoning behind it, but that type of intuition is what the third eye provides. I knew there was something for me here. The day of the class, I was gathering inspiration from Austin; the music festivals I hoped to work for, the record stores, the bookstore I had visited next to Whole Foods…even going to the class itself. When I explore Austin, I’m exploring my potential.
There are many things I hope to explore while I’m in Austin: the city itself, yoga, blogging, crafting, my next steps in life…and I’ll hopefully continue to post throughout this new journey! If you have suggestions/feedback/etc. let me know in the comments or shoot me an email! (Info is on my Contact page). Thanks again for reading!