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Yoga Today: YouTube #5: Tara Stiles and how to use short sequences

April 19, 2011

I love this lady.  She does great sequences, offers reasonably priced yoga in NYC ($10!! in the city!!!), and has a great view of yoga in modern life.  Please check out her site and read her blog / watch her vlogs to read her philosophies and views.  Seriously — such an inspiration.

Tara focuses on short sequences on YouTube, which is so easy!  Here’s an example:

You’ll notice that she does a few things that I think are helpful for shorter yoga sequences:

1) She jumps right in, but orders the poses in a way that eases you into it.  No sun salutations, no hoppin’ around, and yet you still have time to ease your body into the movements.  Awesome.  This also makes it easier to memorize/learn poses that will help for specific issues you may have.

2) She moves slowly and deliberately.  Okay….so this is mostly just how she is, I’m assuming, but it helps when you’re trying to watch something or follow along.  You can actually see how her body moves, which will help you with your own end result.  So awesome.  (I am working on being more deliberate and less…clunky….myself).

3) She voice-overs her videos.  A technical thing, but it helps you to be able to hear her.  It also allows her to add commentary that may not be as easily added if she talked live.  I learn a lot just by listening to her talk sometimes — it stimulates my own thoughts about yoga and how I teach.

Check out her site; check out her YouTube page; hit her up on Facebook or Twitter (she’s very active in social media!!).  I’d be particularly curious to see how people answer(ed) her latest question on research on yoga.  Love the discussion!!

SO!  How do you use these short sequences?  Many of the resources I posted in the last week are shorter videos….but you want to be able to do maybe 30 minutes of yoga in a stretch.  (You don’t have to, but if you would like to)….So here are some tips:

1) Always, always watch the videos first.  Don’t just put something on and dive in.  If you’re like me, you’ll get confused and frustrated and have to stop and start too much.  Take the time to watch the video(s) you want to do beforehand.  This goes for new DVDs, too.

2) Always start with a few sun salutations.  This is the first sequence I think you should learn as a yogi.  It opens up your body and warms you up and really, it’s something you can do anywhere.  Sometimes I sneak in a sun salutation or two in my office (sssh).  Here’s a basic image that explains it (from Yoga Health):

Do this about 3 times before starting any shorter sequence from YouTube and you’ll be warmed up in no time!

3) Write down each pose.  You don’t need to know the name!  Listen to the instructor, watch the poses, and use your own words to help.  Then, instead of starting and stopping a video 5 times, you can just glance at your paper.

4) Take your time with each pose.  This is particularly important for new poses.  You don’t know how it’s supposed to feel, so ease into each one.  Aim to be like Tara in your movement — deliberate and focused.  This will also help you listen to your body.  Then, as you become more comfortable in each pose, you’ll find your own way to get in and out of it, which is kind of cool.  You get to trademark your own yoga 🙂

4) Use your own music.  This will help rev you up for your practice and you’d be surprised how long you can spend in your own zone.  I like acoustic music, my Koop station on Pandora, or some mixes my aunt made me.

So did you try any of the YouTube videos?  What did you think?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Franzi permalink
    May 9, 2011 3:58 pm

    I love LOVE love Tara Stiles but you know that 🙂 She got me turned on to yoga and thru her I found the Tone It Up Team. She is definitely a must in the yoga buzz!

    I try to watch her sequences and the do it 2 or 3 more times. Then I realized that I need to know more about yoga and learn more about it before I can just watch and follow a yoga video.

    I love your tips because thats something I have been doing to. Watching the video once. Then starting with Tara and pausing the video if I need to.

    I will try the sun salutation for one of my next weeks of yoga 🙂
    Thank you!

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