It’s not really news to anyone that gym memberships tend to be expensive. But for the most part, I could always justify the cost since (1) I actually used the gym and because (2) physical health is important.
But when I moved to Montgomery County two years ago, my rent went up by $500 a month. And when I was restructuring my budget, my gym membership was the first thing to go.
My apartment does have a basic fitness center with cardio equipment and three weight machines (yes, three), but I didn’t have any way to replace my Sunday evening yoga classes. So I turned to YouTube.
There’s been a lot of trial and error. I’ve done plenty of videos that were just ok, but I’ve also found some gems. In particular, these (free!) videos are ones I’ve done over and over.
Length: 29 minutes
Why I love it: I feel like it’s basically just one leg stretch after another, and I am all about that. It moves at a good pace, but it doesn’t ever feel like torture. (Opposed to the ones where they decided to hold chair pose for 3 minutes. #nothanks) I also typically feel sore the next day, which I consider a plus.
Length: 14 minutes
Why I love it: I think of this as the quintessential yoga flow wrapped into a 15-minute video. There are sun salutations, twists, a little ab work, and – of course – child’s pose and Shavasana.
Length: 35 minutes
Why I love it: It’s a pretty foundational video – she does classic poses and reminds you where your feet, hips, etc. should be. However, she also does some inversion prep (handstands, tripods), which I really like, since doing a handstand is a goal of mine. (Though let’s be honest, I’m pretty far from achieving that goal … )
Length: 18 minutes
Why I love it: She starts by saying that this video is especially great if you’ve been carrying around some bad juju or moodiness. I think we can all relate to that. It also has some great spinal twists and hip openers, and it’s less than 20 minutes long.
Length: 15 minutes
Why I love it: It’s all about stretching your neck and shoulders, and it really does relieve a lot of the pain/tension. I especially love to do this one after I’ve been at a computer all day. They have a few neck/shoulder videos that are different lengths, but 15 minutes feels right to me.
Length: 33 minutes
Why I love it: This video has plenty of stretching, but more than anything, it’s a workout. So on those days when I can’t decide between running or doing yoga, I do this video as a sort of in between.
If you have favorite videos or channels, I’d love to hear!