Yoga? Oh, puke!
May 3, 2012 6:01 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations for Yoga DVDs -- my situation and needs inside.

I recently asked for recommendations for an exercise program that I could do in my apartment, and I got some great suggestions. I'm still in the process of trying them out to choose one that fits me and that I'll stick with. Until I settle on an idea, I'm doing SimpleFit--which calls for doing a fairly strenuous exercise routine three days a week.

I want something slightly less strenuous for the off days that focuses more on balance and flexibility. I thought yoga!

Slight problem, though: I have an obscure, apparently undiagnosable medical condition that makes it incredibly easy for me to get motion sick, which results in puking and nauseating incapacitation for the rest of the day. No need to suggest seeing a doctor -- I've been seeing them since I was an infant, and there is absolutely nothing that they can figure out other than that I need to see a therapist because the puking is all in my little lady head, or something. (The good ones simply gave up rather than declare me psychosomatic.)

I tried Rodney Yee's Power Yoga Total Body because I wanted something more strenuous than the beginning DVDs I've tried. The amount of activity was just about right, but it called for a lot of transitions like going from mountain pose to a foward bend, which resulted in -- you guessed it -- puking and nauseating incapacitation for the rest of the day. Fantastic.

So, does anyone have a recommendation for a yoga routine that (1) is available on Netflix (streaming or DVD) or -- ahem -- less legally, and (2) isn't a total breeze, but doesn't call for changing the elevation/orientation of my head repeatedly in short succession? (Or at least confines these parts to a single part of the routine that I can skip over?)

I would say I'm a beginner but I'm young and fairly flexible and beginning DVDs are not challenging. Intermediate poses are more challenging but doable if there is a good explanation of how to do them.
posted by Kutsuwamushi to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
One recommendation I can give for your situation is avoid anything that has "sun salutations" in the description: those involve going from standing to flat on your belly to standing again in quick succession.

I don't know any DVDs offhand that will meet your needs, but I do know that sun salutations are common in yoga practice and you will specifically NOT want them.
posted by sonika at 6:12 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't have specific yoga DVDs to recommend (sorry), but you might try filtering by type of yoga. I do vinyasa yoga, and it's basically the opposite of what you want: lots of rapid flow transitions. You'd probably also want to avoid Ashtanga/power yoga for similar reasons. Yin is less moving around, more holding poses and deepening stretches, so it would be less likely to trigger nausea, I'd think. It's been a long time since I've done Hatha yoga, but maybe it would be better? Here is a description of different types of yoga that may be helpful.
posted by instamatic at 6:18 PM on May 3, 2012

I used to have a Shiva Rea Shakti Yoga DVD that let you customize a sequence of poses. I don't remember much more about it except that she's a bit more advanced than I am, her voice is soothing and the scenery is beautiful.
posted by biscuits at 6:43 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Iyengar yoga tends to focus on longer holds of poses, so you might want to try searching for that. There may indeed be sun salutations at the beginning of the practice -- maybe just skip that part.

If you have $$ you could also search for a local teacher and do a private lesson, and ask him/her to devise a routine that keeps you away from problem situations. (This was super helpful to me when rehabbing from an injury.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:07 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

If transitioning from one pose to another results in motion sickness, you're probably going to want to avoid anything with vinyasana or flow in the title.

For home practice, I really like the Beginning Yoga: Step by Step series put out by Yoga Journal. You can start with disc 2 or 3 if you find disc 1 is not challenging enough. The beginning segment breaks down the poses with clear instruction and offers modifications for the less flexible. You can skip the "flow" segment at the end and just do the asanas separately.

I understand that you're not interested in beginner poses, but I'd suggest that you can make the simplest pose, even a simple standing pose like tadasana, more challenging by focusing on the best possible alignment for your body in that pose. It's hard to explain because you don't want to force anything in yoga, but just really being "in the pose", not just hanging out in that position can take a lot of strength and energy. Everyone is different, but I personally find that staying in a pose for a longer period of time (1-3 minutes) and really trying to work it, without forcing it, is more difficult than the higher energy flow classes.
posted by kaybdc at 7:14 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

On further review, if you opt for the YJ Beginning Yoga, you might want to stick with discs 1 & 2. Disc 3 (which is the only one I don't own) seems to focus a lot on inversions that might make you feel queasy.
posted by kaybdc at 7:17 PM on May 3, 2012

Yoga Shakti has a lot of Vinyasa Flow sequences that are not for you. Yes you can switch the workout to skip those sequences, but then it's not a challenging workout.

You could try "Yoga for every body", the advanced standing flow sequences would be appropriate (and it is easy to skip unwanted segments on the disk).

Honestly though I think you would be better off with pilates or a dance workout, much less up and down.
posted by crazycanuck at 8:12 PM on May 3, 2012

I love Iyengar yoga! I feel like it's so underrated. Seconding that and Pilates. I like the YogaWorks for Everybody DVDs from ExerciseTV (not sure if that's what crazycanuck was referring to, or something different); I have BodySlim and FitAbs and one of them has a lot of sun salutations, but I can't remember which one since it's been awhile. I think it's BodySlim (so you'd want to avoid that one). Pretty sure you can preview on the ExerciseTV site, assuming it still carries them. Not sure about Netflix availability.
posted by désoeuvrée at 8:35 PM on May 3, 2012

I second Iyengar styles, stay away from "flow" or "hatha" yoga styles because they really rely on Sun Salutations for getting your sweat on.

I will put a plug in for Kate Potter's Namaste series, because, well it was on tv for a while. It only focuses on a few poses in each video and actually makes them into a decent workout (for my fitness level : mid-high). Link
posted by stratastar at 8:56 PM on May 3, 2012

I am a yoga teacher, and my teacher's teacher is Shiva Rea. I would not recommend her style of yoga for you. N'thing the suggestions to try styles in which you hold poses longer. Working one on one with a teacher would be fantastic - and one or two lessons should be enough to create some sequences just for you to do on your own going forward. Pilates would also be great - it focuses on core strength, includes stretching, and is a wonderful complement to a lot of other activities.
posted by TrixieRamble at 9:18 PM on May 3, 2012

desoeuvree - no, I was referring to the DVD with JJ Gormley. I've done this one lots of times and there's tons of different workouts, none terrifically challenging if you are doing a daily practice but the 45-60 minute intermediate standing workouts should be good enough. Her more lazy stretching ones are kind of nice as well.
posted by crazycanuck at 9:36 PM on May 3, 2012

Someone has uploaded a bunch of Priscilla Patrick's yoga videos on YouTube. Take a look at a few and see if they are any good for you. If you like her style, she has a website where you can order DVDs.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:10 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

What kaybdc said: "It's hard to explain because you don't want to force anything in yoga, but just really being "in the pose", not just hanging out in that position can take a lot of strength and energy."

I'm getting a bit of dissonance from you wanting yoga to be challenging? For me it's more about being becoming very quiet and aware and relaxed, a shift in balance rather than a strenuous exercise. So even the simplest poses do that, and the challenge is to get your awareness fully into your body.

A good yoga session makes me hum all over and it's not exactly from the stretching but from the calmness - it's the deep relaxation that makes the more challenging poses possible. Also, books are quite good to learn from - find one that chimes with you and you're set. Good luck with it.
posted by glasseyes at 5:03 AM on May 4, 2012

Shiva Rea's Creative Core Lower Body replaces the usual plank/up dog/down dog transitions with some challenging squat variations. By itself probably not long enough to be a complete workout, but it might be worth tracking down a torrent so you can at least see a few ways to transition without all the head movement.

I own a ton of yoga dvds, but I honestly can't think of any others that would work for your situation, especially when the risk is being nauseated for the rest of the day. The best bet is probably going to be designing your own sequence, with an emphasis on standing postures, and then back bends (locust, bow, and bridge keep the head relatively stable) and seated forward bends to make up for some of what you're missing by skipping the sun salutations.
posted by arthuryoung at 7:51 PM on May 20, 2012

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