My parents have officially moved 1,000 miles away—to say I am heart-broken would be an understatement. The drawn out anticipation leading up to this move and then the actual move itself has left me so drained. I’ve been desperately trying to stay centered and grounded, and ironically, last week I received a free 6-month subscription to MyYogaWorks.com in exchange for an honest review on my blog—what perfect timing!
As a mom, my everyday life is crazy; especially now that school is out for the summer. I’m doing my best to maintain some form of schedule and structure, but sometimes it just fails miserably. I’ll have grand plans to get to the gym but then it seems my sons gang up to prevent us from getting there. This is where a service like MyYogaWorks.com is an awesome alternative!
Working out from the comfort of your own home doesn’t get any more convenient. As you can see from my so-realistic-I’m-cringing photo, I had to carve out a small space in a sea of LEGOs, stuffed animals, and other toys, but that’s all I needed. Aside from not needing to leave the house, what I like most about having this website-based service is I’m not tethered to a TV with a DVD player. I can access it from my laptop, desk top, iPad, phone, or through Apple TV via AirPlay (click here for more info on that awesomesauce technology.)
Outside of the technology, no additional equipment is truly required—yes, a yoga mat helps cushion your knees, but as someone who is usually too lazy to fetch my yoga mat from the car, I can confirm you can still complete these workouts on carpet, without a mat. Having a yoga brick is also a nice addition to have on hand, though certainly not a requirement either.
The user interface is very well designed on their website. I think the best aspect of the entire site is the drop-down “Videos” menu where you can select your desired workout length of 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, or 90 minutes—how fantastic is that?! You can also select your ability level—1 beginners, 2 intermediate, 3 advanced. There is even a ‘For Teachers’ option, which I did not have a chance to check out but I plan to in the near future, if only to ooh and ahh over impressive body contortions and awe-inspiring poses! The people who created MyYogaWorks.com really seem to understand the ebb and flow of daily life. Some days we have an hour to dedicate to our practice, and sometimes we can only find a 5 minute break to get us back to a calm, centered place before jumping back into our crazy day. It’s refreshing to finally see a fitness service acknowledge reality!
I like that in Account Settings, a history log with the date is kept of all videos you have completed, as well as the option to create a favorites list. This makes it super easy to find a particular video again.
I am most impressed by the quality of instruction in these videos. Honestly, they’re better than most of the classes I’ve taken at a dedicated yoga studio that is considered prestigious in the Philadelphia area. On MyYogaWorks.com there are eight different instructors. I wasn’t able to experience all eight teachers in just the one week I had access to the service before my review deadline, but so far all have done a really solid job of explaining the purpose of the poses, properly defining the muscles that are being affected, and giving kinesthetic cues throughout the practice. While the teachers are clearly knowledgeable on their craft, they are also very relaxed and “normal”—that might be a weird word choice, but I really appreciate how each video feels unrehearsed and like I’m truly participating in a regular, in-person class. It’s also nice that there are two students demonstrating the poses, so the instructor can focus on instruction instead of performance.
With over 500 videos to choose from, there truly is something to fit all fitness needs. Here are some classes that were recommended to me to check out for the purposes of this review:
- Road Trip Yoga Classes – https://www.myyogaworks.com/video?journey=road-trip-yoga
- Stability and Balance – https://www.myyogaworks.com/video?embed=dpaW5mZTr-UMYz7UNPWBTiqPeE9VtcfS
- Mindful Fitness Classes like Pilates, BarWorks, and SculptWorks- https://www.myyogaworks.com/videos#/Mindful-Fitness
- Need a challenging yoga class? Relentless Flow with Vytas is the one! – https://www.myyogaworks.com/video?embed=ZpYnZuZjorckZy3uU4c3bj03sK27b_co
- Moms short on time? Try Nap Time Yoga for Moms: https://www.myyogaworks.com/video?journey=nap-time-yoga-for-moms
- Expecting Soon? Try the yoga classes in the Journey to Birth series: https://www.myyogaworks.com/video?journey=journey-to-birth
Ones that I found myself and loved were:
- The Journey Series: Yoga for Runners: https://www.myyogaworks.com/video?journey=runners
- Firm Your Foundation (only 15 minutes!): https://www.myyogaworks.com/video?embed=hkNGdkbTpeY5B7aXAu2gUxYUqACjPayK
- Erase the Weekend: https://www.myyogaworks.com/video?embed=ZzeG82ajqqinY7LxxR9fka_Q6r3YFVCU
As I mentioned earlier, I was given a free 6-month subscription to MyYogaWorks.com; however, at $15 per month for unlimited access to over 500 videos, I think this is a great deal! Yoga classes, at least around here in the suburbs of Philadelphia, cost about $12 for ONE class. There are deals where you can buy a package and get it down to about $10 per class, but then you’re paying a lump sum up front. For just $15 a month, this is an incredible savings!
I know I’ve been singing the praises of this service throughout my post, but there are a few cons to keep in mind. When you restrict your yoga practice to online videos, you miss out on the in-person experience where the instructor can give you feedback on your form and help you make necessary adjustments. On a similar note, yoga stretching can easily lend itself to injury so the likelihood of that slightly increases when you’re doing it at home without professional supervision. Additionally, and this is a con I have for all at-home workouts, your motivation only comes from yourself which research has shown to significantly lower adherence rates. I personally need to belong to a gym because I feed off the energy of other people. I LOVE group fitness classes because I get so inspired by others’ positive attitudes, accomplishments, and you can’t beat the camaraderie or the making of new kick butt friends. I also think there’s more accountability going to a physical location which will motivate you to not skip your workout.
I am very happy with MyYogaWorks.com! I think they’re doing an excellent job making yoga easily accessible for everyone, at an appropriate price point. I highly recommend it to those who don’t have a gym membership, and I STRONGLY recommend it to street and trail runners as a supplement to their running (see why here.) I know there are some controversies when it comes to yoga, particularly in Christianity, so I also want to point out that this is truly Fitness Yoga. There were no chants, ‘oms’, Buddha references, or music in the classes I took. They do say ‘namaste’ at the end of each video, but that’s pretty innocuous.
Since I’m loving MyYogaWorks.com so much, I’m giving away ONE FREE MONTH to all of my readers!! When you sign up, simply use the coupon code: bloggermonth
Update: Please note that you will need to enter credit card information but, as long as you cancel by day 29, you will NOT be charged. Set a reminder alerting you on day 29 to cancel, otherwise it will automatically charge you for the following month and you can keep enjoying your yoga practice for just $15 per month.
I can’t wait for you guys to try it out. Please let me know when you’ve activated your free month—and give me an update once you’ve tried it out!—in the comment section below.