My journey with yoga isn’t unique. I first started practicing when I was recovering from a running injury and needed a low-impact way to sweat. I was also alone living in a new city, with an internship to keep me occupied from 9 to 5 and literally nothing else going on. A local yoga studio with glossy floors, impossibly beautiful instructors, and a permanent eucalyptus aroma offered a $30 30-day unlimited pass. I went every single day.
I’ve never done well without movement, and I had been largely stationary for ten months nursing a femur that didn’t take well to repeated pavement pounding. I had always been active — running, weight training, skiing — but I had never done anything that required such close attention to my body. Yoga asked me to consider the way my joints fit together, how hard my muscles had to work to hold me up, to learn the lines and shapes my limbs could draw. I sampled everything the studio had to offer: heated power vinyasa classes, mellow yin classes, beginner
When I returned to the rest of my sports, I was stronger, with better proprioception and a more intuitive approach to movement. I’ve practiced regularly ever since.
Yoga studios have always felt like a haven for a tired body and mind: they encourage gentleness and patience in a way that gyms and tracks do not. Among many other things, we lost access to them when the pandemic struck. If this bums you out too, may I recommend: Do Yoga With Me, an online resource founded by Canadian yoga instructor David Procyshyn.
There’s a ton of great online yoga out there, from independent instructors live-streaming classes from their living rooms to slick companies with robust offerings. I can’t tell you that Do Yoga With Me is the best. I can tell you that I’ve been taking their classes for years, and that I return to them over and over again, more so than any other online offering.
Procyshn founded the site over a decade ago, with the goal of making yoga more accessible. Originally, all of their content was free, and a huge portion of it still is. There is a huge range of classes: everything from 5-minute shoulder releases to
The classes are easy to sort and search by instructor, length, style, and difficulty, and each one is clearly defined with a rating between “Beginner I” and “Expert III.” No matter how much experience you have — or what you’re looking for — there’s a class here that will suit you.
My favorite class is a mellow flow meant for cyclists, but useful for any type of athlete — or anyone who spends a lot of time in a chair. Deep, approachable stretches for the hip flexors, IT bands, and core offer a reset that feels equally valuable after a big training week or a long road trip. While you really can’t go wrong with anything on the site, I also recommend just about every class taught by Fiji McAlpine or Tracey Noseworthy. Kim Wilson’s pilates-inspired core, glute, and arm flows are great options when you have limited time and want to wake up some muscles.
Practicing solo throughout this last year has taught me a lot. Moving through the exact same flow a few times can help me drop into a class more quickly than I might with unfamiliar movements and get familiar with certain movements and transitions in a welcome way. I feel more comfortable adjusting a flow based on what feels right for me and what I’m looking for that day. I can also choose classes based on how I’m feeling — the extensive class reviews on Do Yoga With Me help with that — and avoid feeling pulled into too challenging or too mellow a class. It’s also a welcome way to move my body, think about my breath, and get out of my head during a particularly sedentary, indoor, online year.