February 28, 2012

Review: Three Minute (Yoga) Eggs—Not Tchotchkes.

The Eggs seem to roll out as an extension of your body!

The first time I saw a photo of the Three Minute Egg® I was incensed! They just rounded the corners on blocks and called it inventive!

The slogan of the Three Minute Egg is “Because your body’s not square!”

Well, duh!

But can you balance on Eggs during ardha uttanasana (halfway forward fold lift)? I was as intrigued as I was incensed, and laid awake at night thinking about those Eggs.

Tchotchkes is a Yiddish word meaning “things that collect dust.” After having made a series of semi-threatening (I consider myself some kind of protector of the sacredness of yoga) and skeptical comments about their gimmick on their Facebook page, I set out to prove the eggs are tchotchkes.

The six Eggs I was given came with a free backpack and an instructional DVD that offered ways to use the Eggs in a vinyasa and an alignment-focused yoga practice.

One highlight of the video came when the narrator cued, “using the bathroom muscles.”  The DVD shows how to use mostly 2-4 Eggs at a time, but there is also an encyclopedia list of asanas to do with more eggs. If you are not a DVD person, the Three Minute Egg® site has a plethora of free video tutorials.

As a teacher trained in a contemporary Ashtanga style of yoga, I am big fan of using blocks for support—since most of us can not even sit cross legged comfortably on the floor. The Eggs are similar in weight to a foam block but as soft as suede.

The Eggs seemed to roll out as an extension of my body and on to the mat. My students and I were elated the first time we used them, and there was a muttering of “this is kind of cool” across the room.

The Eggs have an unparalleled ability to rock back and forth with the breath under the hands in paschimotanasana (seated forward fold). This movement that connects to the breath is downright playful.

How did they measure up in ardha uttanasana?

Pretty well, darn it!

Placed at their highest setting, you press into the tip of the egg and get the benefit of a supported lift but have to use additional core strength to remain stable. There is one absolute must-try posture for the Eggs, which is how they came into existence in the first place—a deep heart-opening back stretch! Almost guaranteed to cause your back to crack, followed by a long “aahhhhh.”

The Eggs can be used in any way an ordinary block can be used and then some. The children I nanny love to build with the Eggs and one even tried to take a bite out of an Egg!

The first Three Minute Eggs were wooden, but proved too slippery for some postures.

The eggs can be used in arm balancing postures with the hands tipped down to alleviate wrist pain. The heaviness of a wooden Egg would offer some excellent benefits, so to combat the slipperiness perhaps they could partner up with ToeSox and their slip-resistant fingerless gloves and do a slew of promotional, artfully-hidden-private-parts-with-yoga-Eggs and socks/gloves advertisements a-la Kathryn Budig.

I feel like a futuristic yoga teacher when I walk into class with my 3ME backpack (complimentary with most orders) filled with Eggs.

There are two styles of Eggs: the Namastegg, which is lighter and softer, ideal for yin or restorative yoga; and the Hard-Boiled Egg which is what I have been using most.

The names of the Egg packages (which vary according to quantity of eggs and are available in all of the colors of the chakras plus grey) are hilarious: “Eggstasy,” “Shakti Snack,” “Breakfast of Yogis.” There is also a limited-edition series of ‘signed’ eggs by various teachers such as Aadil Palkhivala, who is one of the inventor’s biggest yoga teacher inspirations.

The Eggs are being manufactured in China (boo) but with possible USA manufacturing on the horizon (yay!) to meet increased demand and a growing desire among yogis to become Eggsperienced.  The Eggs retail for $14.50-$19.50 per Egg (with bulk-discounts available for studios) and are worth it for the back-stretch experience alone—one that continues to be heart-opening day after day.

The Eggs ship all over the world and can be purchased directly on their website, ThreeMinuteEgg.com, and new for Canadians, at ThreeMinuteEgg.ca.  If you are looking for local buying options, check out their ever-expanding Dealer Near You page. You may be able to find some closer to home!


Editor: Brianna Bemel

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