FAQ

Should I listen on headphones or through my computer's speakers, or on a stereo?
Is this particular program right for me?   
I'm new to Yoga - can I do this? Will this replace going to a live yoga class?
What time of day is best to do this routine? 
I'm confused about certain poses - what should I do?
Sometimes I think I might be hurting myself - what should I do?
Why don't you include any music in the lessons?
Are there more lessons coming? Are there other downloads available?
 
I'd like to practice for longer than 25 or 35 minutes. 
Why is this just audio? I need visuals.
Why isn't there a DVD/Video option?  
I tend to fall asleep during Savasana, the final resting pose. Is that bad?
What should I do once I've mastered this routine? 
I'm not Hindu, nor am I religious - can I still do Yoga?
What is Yoga? 
What style of yoga is this considered? 
Can you recommend a teacher or a place to study?
What props if any will I need? 
What are modifications, and can you recommend some I can do?

 

Should I listen on headphones or through my computer's speakers, or on a stereo?

It's a matter of preference.  If practicing in the early morning and you don't want to wake your roommate or significant other, or child, listening through headphones is great.   Or if at work, in a quiet area, headphones are terrific.  Or practicing in the park, or at the beach.    Also, having the controls of volume and the back button close to your body will allow you to make adjustments, should you need to do so, with minimal interruption of your practice. 

If listening through headphones, make sure they are comfortably fitted and securely connected to a small audio/MP3 player worn on your belt or arm.  Be sure that you have enough flexibility to move your arms freely without getting tangled, and that during inversions such as Downward Dog, the excess cord won't droop too much so as to cause distraction.  Experiment until you find the right set up for you.   This arrangement will give you the most flexibility and privacy, allowing you to practice anywhere, anytime. 

You may also decide to listen through your stereo or computer speakers.   This presumes you have the room and privacy to spread out.   This can be very fulfilling, to have the voice of the teacher fill the room and lead you through the poses. 

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Is this particular program right for me?   

We have designed this 25 minute portable yoga practice so that it can be done anywhere, anytime.  It is primarily a Vinyasa flow, meant to be invigorating, and presumes that the practitioner is at least at the end of the Beginner's stage of Yoga, or Intermediate or even Advanced.   Additionally, we have included an Introduction with important tips that can be listened to once, in addition to an extended version of the 25 minute routine that can be used either as an instructional tool (to break down the routine into more detailed sections), or as a slower paced version for people who prefer or require more time moving from pose to pose.

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I'm new to Yoga - can I do this?   Will this replace going to a live yoga class?

This practice - based solely in audio prompts as opposed to visuals - presumes that the practitioner has a solid familiarity with Yoga and common poses, and is used to moving his/her body in ways common to Yoga.    If you consider yourself a Beginner, yet have been going to Yoga classes at a studio - or have used DVDs extensively - it's possible this practice will be a good fit.   It was designed, however, with the Intermediate/Advanced Yogi in mind, someone who feels the motivation to practice solo yet needs the tempo and guidance to perform vigorously.    Feel free to try it out, but don't feel discouraged if it seems a bit bewildering.   Continue going to class at your studio, review the transcripts we provide and check out the Photo Guide.  Listen to the extended 35 minute version MP3, and try breaking it down into sections.    In all cases, attending live Yoga classes regularly under the guidance of a teacher is your best path to becoming deeply comfortable in your Yoga practice.

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What time of day is best to do this routine? 

The ideal time to do this is in the morning, upon awakening.   It can also be used whenever you need a pick-me-up, for example in the afternoon.   As it can offset fatigue, is not recommended for evening practice, unless you are seeking an energy boost for work or pleasure.

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I'm confused about certain poses - what should I do?

Check out our Photo Guide first.  If that doesn't clear things up, ask your Yoga teacher for a demonstration.   You should also feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to help you in any way we can.

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Sometimes I think I might be hurting myself - what should I do?

Stop!   Please don't hurt yourself.   Never strain.   Yoga can sometimes feel uncomfortable but it shouldn't cause pain.   There are modifications you can do for each pose, or you can simply leave certain poses out.   It's possible that you have a longer term injury that needs accommodating, in which case you should check with your physician and your Yoga teacher, who will be able to guide your more specifically.   We all have days where our bodies don't quite work the way we'd like them to.   Listen first to your body's needs and trust in its wisdom.   It's possible you may need more heat in the room, or warmer clothing.   A hot shower can help loosen limbs before practice.    Definitely stick with the extended 35 minute version if you are concerned about hurting yourself, as the transitions from pose to pose are slower and more deliberate.

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Why don't you include any music in the lessons?

In a regular Yoga class, where visuals and verbal cues are combined in real time, a soft background of music is often welcome.   We use music regularly in our practice to add variety and texture to the 90 minute class.   However, in a brief practice based on clear verbal cues only, we have found that a complete focus on the words is preferable, and that music can serve as a distraction.   In this format, if a verbal cue is missed, it's harder to catch up than in a class setting, where a quick look around the room can help you catch up.   That being said, once you are completely familiar with this practice and its prompts, feel free to add your own music at a very low volume in the room environment if you wish.

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Are there more lessons coming?   Are there other downloads available? 

We plan to develop future routines with different goals in mind:  relaxation, evening Yoga, stretch, etc.   Your purchase of the current routine helps support our continued efforts!   Thank you!

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I'd like to practice for longer than 25 or 35 minutes. 

By all means do.   We do as well.   This routine is meant as an anytime/anywhere supplement, a daily private practice if you will.    We encourage you to find a great Yoga studio in your area for long-form classes.   On days when you don't have class, this brief practice is ideal.   There are also many quality CDs and DVDs available that have longer classes, and many are available as downloads.    From our experience, we have found that longer-form classes are best when taught fresh, in a live class setting.  The pre-recorded routines (such as this one) work best for us when they are brief.

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Why is this just audio?   I need visuals.

This practice was designed for people whose familiarity with Yoga poses needs only the verbal cues.   We have provided a supplemental Photo Guide to help dispel any confusion about precise body positioning, but we acknowledge that most Yoga practice is visually and verbally guided.   What makes this practice unique is that the practitioner is not tethered to practicing near or in front of a computer screen or TV.   You are free to practice anywhere there is sufficient space to do so, and listening to the prompts allows you to go deeper within your own body, concentrating on your physicality within the poses.    The poses selected for this routine are not esoteric, meaning they depend little on visual demonstrations, and can be broken down into simple, step-by-step movements of your limbs.

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Why isn't there a DVD/Video option?  

We plan for there to be one in time.   Your support of our enterprise will help us continue to expand and add features, as well as new routines.   Thank you!

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I tend to fall asleep during savasana, the final resting pose.   Is that bad?

No, it is not bad, but it likely means you need to get more sleep at night. After a vigorous workout, it is important to give the body a deep relaxation, so that the physical and "karmic" knots that have been dissolved in your practice can be fully released out of your system. Ideally, one should remain alert to the sensations of the body experiencing deeper and deeper layers of relaxation with each passing moment in savasana.

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What should I do once I've mastered this routine? 

We continue to use this routine, even after mastering the positions.   We tend to use the 25 minute version, and experiment sometimes with pausing the audio and doing a few poses of our own choosing, like Head Stand, or Upward Bow Pose.   We'll also vary the length of the seated meditation and challenge ourselves that way.    Since these postures are basic to most Yoga practices, they can be considered continually relevant and worth practicing daily.    That being said, you may wish to move on to more challenging and newer routines on your own or under the guidance of a teacher. But feel free to return to this as a daily foundation.   We hope to be able to add further routines for your variety.

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I'm not Hindu, nor am I religious - can I still do Yoga?

Indeed you can.   We consider this more of a spiritual rather than a religious practice.    Our approach to Yoga is secular-spirtual, in that we enjoy keeping limber and strong, and appreciate the spiritual uplift we receive from mindfulness and meditation.   Short of that, we have no dogma or agenda, nor should you feel expected to participate in any religious exercise as a condition or result of a Yoga practice.     Yoga is derived from the Hindu tradition but we recognize and respect the wisdom inherent in all cultures and traditions.   We have also found that a Yoga practice without any spiritual reference to be missing a certain element, and find that incorporating a spiritual message or two provides a dynamic, catalyzing context for growth and the motivation to continue practicing. 

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What is Yoga? 

Yoga literally means "union."  It may be helpful to think of it as a union whereby our lower or more base tendencies are lifted upwards to meet the Light of Awareness, our higher possibilities.   Key to Yoga is the engagement of conscious breathing and prescribed movement.   Just get breathing and get moving, and don't worry too much about what style of Yoga you're doing, or how perfect your postures are.   Precision comes with time, and with repeated practice and a good deal of abandon, things start to flow.  Enjoy. 

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What style of yoga is this considered? 

Vinyasa Flow Yoga has been described this way by the editors of Yoga Journal:

"Vinyasa Yoga (also often referred to as Power Yoga) is essentially yoga with brawn.  It's the American interpretation of Ashtanga Yoga, a discipline that combines stretching, strength training, and meditative breathing.  But Vinyasa Yoga takes Ashtanga one step further.  Many of the poses (also called postures or their Sanskrit name, asanas) resemble basic calisthenics -- push-ups and handstands, toe touches and side bends -- but the key to Vinyasa Yoga's sweat-producing, muscle-building power is the pace.  Instead of pausing between poses as you would in traditional yoga, each move flows into the next, making it an intense aerobic workout." 

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Can you recommend a teacher or a place to study?

We are based in New York City, and naturally recommend Paul's classes at the Health Clubs where he teaches!   We don't know everyone in the business, but there are many wonderful teachers around the country, and many have created DVDs and CDs for in-home use.   We sincerely recommend attending class with a teacher as your foundation.  Regarding the style of Yoga, the best thing to do is treat yourself to one of every kind of Yoga that's offered:  Ashtanga, Hatha Flow, Bikram, Iyengar, Vinyasa, and on and on.   After sampling them all, you'll find which teacher you respond to best, and which style feels most right for your body. 

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What props if any will I need? 

You will need a sticky Yoga mat, and if you are indoors, it’s best to place the Yoga mat on a firm surface.  Carpeting will also work, if that's the only surface available.   No blocks or straps are required for this particular routine.   Some enjoy using a folded blanket to sit on, and then, for Savasana (final resting pose), unfolding it and spreading it over their body for added warmth. 

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What are modifications, and can you recommend some I can do?

Modifications are any alternative postures you decide to perform instead of, or in addition to, the suggested poses in the audio. You may choose to modify in order to decrease or increase the difficulty level and/or intensity of the practice, according to your needs.

Some modifications are taken because of physical concerns, such as painful joints (knees, ankles, wrists), injuries to any part of your body, fatigue, or flexibility limitations (everyone’s different!). Other modifications are taken because the practitioner desires to build extra strength, or is already familiar with the basic pose and wishes to engage in a more advanced form of it, or simply craves variety.

Some common modifications for the poses you'll encounter in this practice are:

Instead of:  Modification:
Downward Dog Child's Pose
Chatturanga Place knees down, then slowly lower stomach and chest
Upward Dog     Cobra
Cobra Upward Dog
Warrior One Use same foot positions, but shorten the stance to make it easier and more stable
Warrior Two Use same foot positions, but shorten the stance to make it easier and more stable
Reverse Warrior Use same foot positions, but straighten the front knee until you feel stable 
Stick Pose If the backs of your legs are stiff and it's hard to sit up straight, either bend the knees slightly or place a blanket or cushion under your seat
Forward Bend If the back of your legs are stiff and it’s hard to fold your torso forward, either bend the knees slightly or place a blanket or cushion under your seat; separating your feet hip-distance apart will also help
Seated Twist  If it's hard to sit up straight, it is because the foot of the leg that is pointing to sky is too close to your seat; step that foot farther away, perhaps just inside the shin bone
Shoulder Stand    Take your legs up the wall

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