The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are a collection of 196 Sanskrit sutras (aphorisms) on the theory and practice of yoga.. The very first Yoga Sutra I.1 is ‘atha yoga anushasanam‘, which means “now, the practice of yoga begins,”.
Ath – which means ‘Now’ is simple and powerful. Bringing us to this very moment – this fleeting moment – and this very moment that you are ‘present’ in and is a ‘present’ to you. The physical practice of Yoga, the Yoga ‘asanas’ as we call them are tools of focusing in the ‘now’. Step by step as we perform our yoga asanas, our focus is in the now – the practice of being in the exact moment.
The importance of Yoga has taken another level in 2020. Covid-19 has brought us back home, taken us away from the gyms, Zoom Yoga is a whole industry by itself and I have has so many requests to teach Yoga from home in the last 3 months.
In the times of social distancing, a pandemic, what is a beginner to do in the world of Instagram Yoga. I have been asked this question many times now on my Instagram. So here I am sharing resources that have worked for me. The list is limited and one that is promising.
YouTube Tutorials –
It was 2011. My daughter was 3 months old. It was a hot March, I had spent 6 hours in the day, spread out, just feeding her. It wasn’t always comfortable and my lower back had started hurting. After feeding her and handing her over to our help, I walked to the wall, faced it, put both my hands on it, and bent myself. It hurt me. Then I turned around. Faced against the wall. Raised my arms and bent backwards. It was a wow moment!!! I repeated that movement after every tiring breast feeding session and gradually figured why not practice yoga everyday now! The next few months – I spent time looking for great online tutorials and the best ones were –
- Yoga with Adriene – Great for beginners.
- Kino Yoga – Spritiual mentor too.
- Yoga with Tim – Tim Senesi
My journey started with one hour everyday doing Adriene’s tutorials. I found them amazing. I was actually learning Yoga sitting at home. I started with her tutorials in 2011 – I was breastfeeding a child for more than a year and practicing seeing her videos was great for my fitness even during that period. I still use her tutorials for my rest days. Did you know she also a video called – Yoga for Courage!
It was only later, I graduated to Kino’s videos and philosophies. She is also a very good spiritual trainer. She has a great sense of yoga sutras. I haven’t felt the need to look beyond a mentor after I started following her. My knowledge on Yoga increases everytime I listen to her Yoga philosophy and spiritual practice videos .
If you stick to just the above 3, there’s tremendous learning – as you grow into your practice and feel the need for more – I would recommend – some great power yoga sessions by Tim Senesi.
Yoga with Adriene, Kino Yoga, Tim sensie are amazing, endless resources on working on your practice. I have never disliked their videos. Takeaways have been immense. They teach you to work on your ego and impatience levels through Yoga.
After my course got over at Rishikesh, I learnt most of my Yoga through – You tube. I did spend 3 years learning Hatha Yoga from a teacher based in Gurgaon, till I started seeking more and came completely to self-practice.
Yoga Journal – It’s a great resource for learning asanas by benefit, yoga pose instruction, sequences, free video classes, guided meditations, and information on the yogic lifestyle. I use this when I try an asana for the first time, second time, third time….basically till it becomes second nature to me. When friends and relatives have asked for me for yoga asanas for thyroid, Blood Pressure, back pain, recurring headaches etc. – I have quickly referred to Yoga Journal for best answers.
Instagram has done to Yoga what Yoga has not been able to do the world on its own! There’s a yoga storm going on Instagram and if you are a part of it as a beginner – then I pity you in many ways! You will feel inadequate, the best have felt it. So talk to yourself, bring your focus back on you, you want to learn yoga and that’s your aim.
Instagram has amazing resources to learn Yoga and follow the journeys of people with great knowledge –
Here is my Intagram Yogi list:
- Kino Yoga – Just reading her posts even if they come with advanced yoga poses will be hugely beneficial for you.
- Patrick Beach – Explains and has teaching lesson snippets on instagram.
- Larugayoga – She is a true blue Ashtanga Yoga practinoner. But the best thing about her is definitely her progression videos which is what I would have really liked to see as beginner. She shows you the ‘build up’ and takes every progression, even the minutest one very seriously. She is also my curly twin.
- lauralouiseyoga – Laura is a young yoga teacher based in the UK. I follow her because of her yoga flows – from beginners to intermediate to advanced, she covers it all – and her focus on the foundations instantly makes me practice the foundation poses.
Of course I follow many more yoga teachers and Yoga practitioners. But these stand out in my head because I learn from them tremendously almost with every post. Don’t get intimidated by their poses, they do show the hard work and time they have spent on this journey.
If you wonder why don’t I follow Indian Yogis, it’s simply because I don’t know them on Instagram. Happy to know names of some good Indian Yogis. I am always looking for a teacher who has spent time and effort knowing and learning foundations of Yoga. But the above 4 have done a wonderful job of displaying their knowledge for both physical and spiritual practice of yoga – and I dig both.
Wish you a great start to your practice. Stay Calm. Stay Patient. Stay Curious.