August 19, 2011

Things that distract me while practicing yoga with Tiffany Cruikshank on Yogaglo.

Computer Yoga.

Ever heard of Yogaglo?

For the yoga-interested people out there living on the moon (or people that don’t spend six hours a day on their MacBook Pro), Yogaglo is a website that allows us to stream yoga classes online. It’s computer yoga.

If the thought “Oh dear, what is this world coming too?” is going through your head right now—congratulations. It probably means you have a real life where you go for walks and spend time outside and stuff. Hats off to ya. Here’s a piece of advice: If you don’t know what Yogaglo is, don’t get it. Also, never google “funniest squirrel videos on YouTube” (three hours of your life you’ll never get back). Where was I? I’m losing track here—Computer yoga. Riiiight.

I first heard about Yogaglo from teacher friends of mine, all raving about how awesome it was. “Just imagine! 1000+ classes with great teachers to choose from—all in the comfort of your own home!” one of them said. But I was reluctant. I do spend six hours a day on my MacBook, and my computer is the sole origin of whatever stress I might have in my life. I love to write. So I write a lot. I love to connect. So I connect a lot. I love my work. So I work a lot. All of these a lot’s can get overwhelming; writing, connecting, working (and then all of them put together in social media, of course).

But so it happened, I finally got a Yogaglo membership. It was kind of accidental; out of curiosity I signed up for that “15-DAY FREE TRIAL!!!” that they advertise so well, and then I forgot to cancel it. Am I the only one that thinks that’s a sneaky way to get customers, by the way? I don’t like the fact that I had to make an effort to not have $18 drawn from my account each month. Also, I forget things (as with this), and it wasn’t until I checked my bank statement that I realized I was now paying for this computer yoga, whether I liked it or not. I am lazy, and it felt like such an annoyance to go online and get it cancelled, so I decided to really try it out. I started computer practicing. And, it turns out my friends were right: I liked it! At first.

I realized it is indeed awesome to have a wide range of classes available on your computer, day or night. I started using Yogaglo about once a week, mainly to go deeper into advanced poses. There are no teachers on the island where I live that can challenge me, and sometimes I feel stuck in my home practice. So Yogaglo turned out to be great, I can practice arm balances with Kathryn Budig, get my Anusara on with Elena Brower… I roll my mat out, press “Play”, and go. Thanks to Yogaglo (and the advanced classes) I am now pretty comfortable in my handstand. I’ve ventured into poses that I normally never even go for; flying pigeon, firefly, grasshopper (yes, that’s me rocking it in the picture below!). My asana practice is definitely moving forward. Yogaglo has become a nice addition to my home practice, and I am happy to give them my $18 a month. 

The bad thing is this: I so easily get distracted. There is something a bit strange in practicing in front of a computer, especially with the stress that the computer can represent, and I never actually get the same focus that I do in a “real” class. I need to be having a very calm, balanced, grounded day to stay focused in Yogaglo class, otherwise, it’s just not going to happen. I can still practice, but it doesn’t feel like real yoga. It feels like what it is: yoga online! It’s like, as soon as I take my computer into my yoga space my brain goes bananas. No room for contemplation. No relaxation. Meditation? Ha! So far from it it’d be easier in LA traffic. I get so distracted when trying to practice in front of the computer I spend the whole hour thinking about random things, then taking out the parts of the class I enjoyed and trying them on my own—with the computer out of the room. I’m wondering if I’m alone in this.

Yesterday I decided to go for one of Tiffany Cruikshank’s classes, a core flow. I like Tiffany a lot. Actually I more than like her, I adore her style of teaching, and I like to think that if I was in a room with her I would be able to focus very well. But yesterday in front of the computer, it was… Just. Not. Happening. My brain went haywire! To amuse myself, I took the liberty of writing down some of my thoughts. I’m giving you the uncensored version here, so please don’t judge. Just laugh.


Random things going through my head while practicing with Tiffany Cruikshank on Yogaglo:

…let’s see here. Mat rolled out, check. Computer plugged in, check. Comfortable seat, check. Here we go! Let’s practice. Aaaaand… Tuning into my breath. No thoughts, just breath. Space. Aah. I love to practice. It’s so nice to not think for a while. 

…but, look at that. I can’t believe she is wearing that top! That’s a pretty bold move – it’s all cut open in the back. It’s cute though. I wonder where she got it. Hmm. I wonder what I would wear if I ever got to teach for Yogaglo. Maybe my black lulu top. Or one of my purple tanks. Something dark. Did I wash that lululemon one? I totally want to wear it in class tomorrow. I wonder if I put it in the laundry bag. Did I put it in the laundry bag? I really need to remember to do that. Oh, wait, Tiffany is showing something. Half Moon. Focus, Rachel, focus.

…she is sweating now! Of course, I mean, we all sweat. But I would have totally chosen a different fabric to wear for this. And, that gray color is not good, it shows every drop! She should’ve gone with black.

…do they have a clock in there? On the wall, behind the camera? They always time it exactly at 60 or 90 minutes. There’s gotta be a clock somewhere.

… what if someone sits down in front of the camera in the middle of class? That must have happened at least once. I bet they’re super anal about that. I bet there’s a whole team of staff screaming in slow motion; NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, and then CUUUUT!!! Haha. Oh, shit. I’m supposed to be practicing. FOCUS, RACHEL!

…God, how many forearm stands can you put in one single class?? We must’ve done like, 20, dammit.

…I saw a picture of her on Facebook doing a one-armed handstand. So cool. I want to do that. I wish she would trade one of these pinchas for a one-armed anything. I bet I can do it. I’ll pause the class, and do just one. It’s probably not as hard as it looks.

…okay so I can totally not do a one-armed handstand. And now we need a new lamp for the bedside table.

…did I feed the dogs already? They’re being really loud in the living room. Dog, dogs… Where was I? Down dog to plank, right.

…I’m liking this side-plank variation. I’ll remember this, I can teach it in class later. What’s the Sanskrit name? I need to write it down. Good thing I have my notebook on the bedside table.

…I really need a new lamp for this bedside table. Maybe i’ll go do that tomorrow after paddle board yoga. Or before. Or after… Ok, stop thinking about stupid things!  Back to the mat.

…ugh, my back is bothering me in Side Angle. I wish i had my blocks, but they’re all at work. Can’t believe i have like, a million blocks, but not a single one here. I like the purple blocks the best. Purple is soothing. That would be a nice color for this wall here, it would be a nice change. A purple wall! Not crazy purple, but not pastel purple either. A nice lavender. Oh, glad i remembered! I have that new lavender essential oil still in my purse. Maybe i should get it now. But, what is that noise? It’s Tiffany! She is telling me to do things but i am not listening!

…next time i go to Portland i’ll go practice with her for real. I love Portland. Whats the name of that super cool vegan café i like so much? Red and black, something… Hmm… I’ll google it later.

…mm, this is a nice flow. I like the way she teaches. She seems happy, that’s good. I like happy people. But—look at this! I need to vacuum under the bed. Why is there so much dog hair in here? Crap – I’m not focusing!! What is wrong with me?? STUPID COMPUTER YOGA!!!

…wait. I can write an article about this for elephant journal. I bet I’m not the only one that can’t focus in these classes. And my article will be super popular and it’ll get a million views and then maybe Tiffany Cruikshank will read it and invite me to teach a class at Yogaglo and I can wear my black top. And then we’ll go to that vegan café. Awesome.

…Savasana? Now? Ok… But I’ll probably spend the whole time thinking about writing this article. 

(I did).


For the record: I am so incredibly happy in knowing that this is all temporary. I am not my mind. For this, I am grateful. Thank you Tiffany, thank you Yogaglo. Namaste.

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