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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Elizabeth Street

THE PERFECT YOGA VIDEOS FOR TIME-CHALLENGED MOMS

Sep 12, 2013

The Perfect Yoga Videos For Time-Challenged Moms

Oh, 2009. It’s the year I was in the best shape of my life. I got married that May, so I was in bridal-boot-camp mode, and I wasn’t a mom yet, so the hours I now spend prepping lunches, folding laundry and working up exciting new renditions of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” were devoted to a very different regimen: weights, running, and yoga.

Running I can still make time for--throw on your shoes and you’re out the door. But the idea of making it to a 90-minute yoga class and back almost seems laughable on your average Tuesday. I miss the strength yoga gave me, not to mention the serenity. I was looking for a way to return to my practice, so I was psyched when a friend told me about a new online course by Mind Body Green, the fun, upbeat wellness website that’s been generating a lot of buzz lately.

The series ($99 for unlimited access) is led by Tara Stiles, model-turned-yoga instructor and founder of Strala Yoga, a chic, popular studio in Greenwich Village. Stiles comes across as open, easygoing, and fun, so I liked her immediately. Which is important, since the course is more than five hours long. In her introduction, she invites you “into Strala for as long as you like” and offers to hook you up with a “strong, healthy, radiant body.” Check and check.

I loved it. The two hour-long classes (one to relax, one to gain strength) are right up there with the quality I got in my Laughing Lotus days. Stiles and her co-instructor, Michael Taylor, walk around the studio helping two students in the videos with inverted poses, offering banter and the occasional giggle. The group-class dynamic, plus the instructors’ urban-cool vibe, give the course a personal and more interactive feel than your average yoga video. While the classes do incorporate high-skill poses, they’re still appropriate for beginners, thanks to detailed instructions and the website’s discussion component, in which Stiles and Taylor answer user-submitted questions on flexibility, joint safety and more.

You could argue that the MBG yoga course is too detailed for your average time-challenged mom—it includes a two-minute video on ways to move your body, for example, and boasts an extensive pose library to help you perfect every posture imaginable—but it’s all broken into easy-to-navigate increments, so you can watch what you need and skip what you don’t. Besides: Who wants to be average? 

Check out Tara Stiles' yoga video above and tell us in the comments, will you be trying her at-home exercise tips?

By Lee Helland

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