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Yoga Gets Easier from Comfort of Your Home, on Demand

in YD News

Lilias Folan, "The Julia Child of Yoga"

Do you have a home practice? Admit it, not all of us have time to shuffle off to the studio at 5:30am, 6 days a week. No offense Ashtangis! Seriously though, there are days when life gets in the way of a yoga studio class schedule when the only opportunity to get a little mat time in is a few minutes before you go to bed or in random spurts (mommies, big up!) Or maybe you get to one or two classes a week, but that’s only if a studio is close enough to warrant the commute time and/or gas, and you can get your stubborn tuchus out the door. You know you always feel better, if you could just. get. out. the. door.

Which is why practice at home can be such a saving grace, and why the introduction of online yoga classes is kind of a genius idea. DVDs and VHS (ah, a lost art form) are good options, too, but the monotony might wear you out (and why the fluidity of online yoga classes works so well).

So with the ease and accessibility of technology, we have a growing number of webtube videos, but what about the good old fashioned boob tube? A medium that’s still viewed a whopping 28 hours a week by the average American according to the A.C. Nielsen Co. Really!

It shouldn’t be too surprising, then, that we keep hearing about yoga TV programming. And, with all due respect, this new era of Yoga TV is not your typical Lilias Folan, the “First Lady of Yoga” on PBS since 1972 (she is awesome though. check her out in her “terrifically beautiful living room”)

Today’s cast is a wee more hipster than hippie. We already posted about Sadie Nardini’s new “Rock Your Yoga” reality show debuting today via fancy new health network Veria Living (Dish Network and FIOS). But it looks like cable behemoth Time Warner is getting in on the action as well, with the announcement of Health on Demand, a brandie new channel offering 24 hour access to health and fitness programming.

Via the press release:

Two healthy lifestyle partners, Cooking Light, the only epicurean brand positioned at the intersection of great-tasting food and healthfulness, and Gaiam TV, a streaming video subscription service that includes exclusive yoga, Pilates and fitness classes. Local health care providers will also be able to feature patient education videos on the new channel.

Teaming up with Cooking Light and Gaiam TV, the channel boasts “new cross-platform advertising opportunities” for marketers. Think Home Shopping Network meets Oprah’s OWN. Still, it’s making yoga even more accessible and virtually ubiquitous through technology. There are no yoga holograms a la Tupac, yet, but they’re coming! And, yes then the Virtual Yoga contact lens.

How do you feel about yoga on TV? Do you have yoga on TV in your town? Would you watch a yoga TV show?



20 comments… add one
  • I’m definitely one of those folks who never uses his TV to watch television, but only uses it as a second monitor for my computer. It’s great for my home practice, I download yoga instructional videos and then play them on the TV.

    Steam Transport is a good free application for downloading video from Adobe Flash (e.g. Youtube, Vimeo, whatever):


  • we had some yoga programming on demand when we used to subscribe to u-verse, and i tried some of them out. it was hard to tell what level of yoga the program was for, and half the time i couldn’t follow along. i think the on demand i saw was for people who usually go to the gym, so they weren’t using familiar terminology and the pacing was all off.

    now, kimpton hotels have yoga channels (basically they play a DVD over their hotel room TVs) with rodnee yee and eonn flynn and others. those were great. i could follow along easily and actually feel like i got in a decent practice vs. the willy nilly on demand ones that were free from exercise.tv or whatever.

  • Vision_Quest2

    I find that online yoga classes seem to be more dynamic than DVD offerings; there are spillover effects of actually filming a studio class live, complete with teacher interaction with students in the class that is unscripted and spontaneous. And done with many non-professional, non-model-like yogis in the room …

    The only DVDs that had that feel, were the occasional “workshop” ones.

    I have a recent subscription to MyYogaOnline, and find I like taking from four of the yoga instructors there. Also there is one instructor on Yoga Download. And three on DoYogaWithMe.com. (Hint: it’s usually Hatha style, or Vinyasa birthed of a mellow, spiritual style–I avoid the too-trendy stuff.) This is in addition to whatever I’ve self-sequenced for years before I went high-tech; you have to get where I’m coming from … I did not exactly want to do the “rockstar” stuff, which I’d thought prevailed … had not had state-of-the-art equipment, so I could not really look around before …

  • Neil

    Its a nice idea, although I think I would still rather use an online service (I current use YogaGlo) which allows me the freedom to schedule my own practice. I also attend a weekly class.
    But if they do it right it could be good, for me it is about properly explaining the postures and ways to adapt them depending on ability. Creating that class atmosphere and properly explaining what kind of class it is at the start would be important also. Having used some of Rodney Yee’s DVD’s I suspect the classes would be of a good quality and nicely filmed.
    But when push comes to shove I do believe that if someone wants to start learning yoga then a beginners class is the place to go. A TV cannot lay on a hand or two to help you adjust your asanas.

  • jane

    I’m fond of the YogAmazing podcast. Unpretentious and short enough so the “I don’t have time” excuse doesn’t work 🙂

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