Tuesday, July 27, 2010

5 Ways New Media Enhances My Yoga Practice

I love my computer! And, yes, there are certainly times when my yoga practice suffers because I spend too much time reading blogs, chatting with friends, or looking at random pictures on Facebook of children born to people I knew in high school. But I think the majority of the time I spend click-click-clicking away on social networking websites ultimately helps more than hinders my practice.

Here's how:

Blogging Yoga During my yoga teacher training, my teachers encouraged us to keep a journal of our practice. We were supposed to write down what poses we were working on, any questions that came to mind, any emotions that bubbled up. I didn't do it. And it wasn't until I started this blog that I realized the value in that. Just as Savasana (Corpse Pose) helps my body absorb all the energy of my physical yoga practice, blogging is what helps my mind absorb it ... and I can't believe the creativity that sometimes flows from it. It's liberating, and I'm so glad I have this outlet--a forum to share.

Twitter Tips. Almost all of my friends on Twitter are yogis. Whenever I feel like procrastinating, day or night, I can log onto Twitter and read tweets from yogis from all over the world reminding me to breathe, slow down, reconnect, and recommit to my practice. If I have a question about a pose, yoga philosophy, yoga product--whatever--I just ask and I get tons of responses almost instantly!

Facebook Frenzy. The way Facebook helps my yoga is similar to Twitter. Sometimes I see interesting yoga articles (and I always find out when one of my favoring yoga clothing companies is having a sale or giveaway). But the big difference for me on FB is that most of my friends are actually people I know personally. And sometimes the yoga is in finding compassion for all the people on my friend list that "like" Sarah Palin or have nothing better to do with their time than play Farmville.

Youtube Teachings. Sometimes the only way to learn a yoga pose is to see it. No magazine article will do when you want to learn the technique for dropping back into Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward-Facing Bow) and a myriad other complicated yoga postures. When I want to see something, I look it up on Youtube and usually find a teacher I trust has it covered.

Podcast Pearls. I love audio podcasts! And while I haven't gotten tino them much for yoga instruction, I have found a wealth of information that helps me juggle my yoga practice with my other responsibilities and just ways to enrich my life altogether. I used to listen to podcasts every day during my commute, and I also used guided meditation podcasts to jumpstart my meditation practice. But now that I work from home I take little breaks here and there to listen for 5 minutes to inspire me to keep going. If that's not yoga, I don't know what is!

How does new media to enhance your yoga practice?