I much prefer practicing in my local studio than on my own in my home: I love being in a community and not having to create my own sequence for my personal practice every single day. Still, there are many times my schedule just doesn’t allow me to make it in. For those days, I keep going back to the same YouTube video from Max Czenszak.
I happened upon the video a few months ago while searching for a video featuring Ashtanga yoga, which is known for being a pretty physical, fast-paced style of yoga. But why do I enjoy this particular video so much?
It is challenging.
There are so. Many. Jump throughs. (Never heard of a jump through? Look here or here ). I never make it through the entire video without modifying the poses or cutting some out entirely. Perhaps one day, I will — but until then, I enjoy the challenge of trying difficult transitions I rarely incorporate into my practice.
The instructor doesn’t talk much.
I like that touchy-feely kind of yoga where you ponder the spiritual and the instructor draws metaphors between the pose and life. But for whatever reason, I really, really like the sparseness of Czenszak’s instruction. His most detailed cues are pretty much “take your right toe” or “lie down.” The rest of the time, he’s just calling the poses. Even though I didn’t know many of the poses when I first tried the video, I was still able to catch on. His Spartan instruction has even helped me become less wordy in my own teaching.
It kind of feels like I’m in class.
I love that this is a filmed class with people at different levels. Seeing these different bodies helps when I’m struggling to get in a pose — in those bodies I see modifications and just the general reinforcement that yoga isn’t about getting an Instagram-worthy pose every time.
Done a couple of time a week, this video has really helped me increase abdominal strength and increase flexibility throughout my body.
All those jump backs and jump throughs help me develop the muscles throughout my midsection. Also, the primary series has so many great hamstring stretches that have helped me get nice and bendy, as well as a few hip-openers that have helped me enter lotus with more ease.
What are some of your favorite videos for keeping your home practice fresh?