I have a confession to make. In this, my season of running marathons and running challenges, I have neglected other workouts like weight lifting, cycling, and yoga an effort to improve my running endurance for the races I’m competing in.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved yoga. It’s common knowledge that yoga improves flexibility and balance, all of which help athletes perform better overall.
Because my time is so limited, my goal in a work out is generally to run as far and as fast as possible. Building up my running muscles and improving my endurance have been my primary focus for months. Besides a handful of weight training days mixed in, I’ve become the person who focuses on only one form of exercise, and I realize it’s hindering my performance.
With the running season winding down for me, I decided it was time to try something I haven’t focused on in a long time - yoga. And Yoga for Men seemed like the right place to start. With courses designed for beginners and the ability to get back into yoga without the discomfort of making public mistakes, the streaming video option is definitely the right choice for me.
Want to know which class I took and what I thought about it? Here’s my honest opinion and full review of Mystery Flow with Derrick Townsel.
This video was completed live on March 23, however it is now available on streaming video which means I can watch it again and again if it’s a yoga workout I enjoy. Which I do.
I completed this specific yoga workout twice this week. The website lists it as a beginner’s yoga course, which I completely agree with. Even if you have extensive yoga experience, you could certainly still benefit from it. Since the instructor takes the time to explain the poses, shows the class what needs to be done, and provides both technical yoga terminology and explanations, this course can be done confidently by beginners.
In the intro, the instructor says the course is designed to be a restorative workout with a focus on breathing, and stretching of the hip flexors, lower back, and shoulders. Again, I find this to be a very accurate description of the course.
We started in tadasana pose, and focused on breathing, reducing tension and tightness throughout the body. From there we moved through sun salutations with modified plank, downward dog, forward fold, chaturanga, and downward cobra to warm up the body. Moving down to the mat, we began to further warm up the hamstrings and lower back through swan, cow, cat, and tabletop poses, child’s pose, and hip rotations. Opening up the shoulders and relieving neck pain, we threaded the needle in child’s pose, downward dog, neck rolls, and twists. The instructor recommends ending the course with savasana, but it is unfortunately not a part of the video.
Duration:The course was just over 26 min from start to finish. This amount of time was perfect for me to feel relaxed and re-energized.
Format:Originally available on live streaming video on March 23, it is now available in the archived footage at the Yoga for Men website. The class focus is on breathing, reducing tension, and stretching hip flexors, shoulders, and lower back.
Equipment needed:A quality exercise mat, some space and time, and comfortable clothes are all you need to enjoy this course.
Suggested Outfit:Fitted clothing is recommended for this course, so that tops don’t ride up during downward dog and anything baggy might get in the way of the movements during sun salutations. Bare feet are always best for yoga.
Difficulty Level:On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being very difficult, I’d give this one a 2. Yes, you will probably break a sweat like I did, but there are no movements or positions that are difficult or require previous practice. It is a perfect class for yoga beginners.
Pros:Derrick shows some personality in this course, mentioning his 7 year old is responsible for his sniffly nose, something all parents can relate to. He provides excellent guidance for each movement, with modification options as needed. He is motivational and knowledgeable, and the course has an easy to follow routine.
Cons:There was no music (which could be a pro if you like to play your own). The silence during the longer stretching moments left me checking my monitor to make I hadn't lost the wifi connection. Also, I would have liked to have had a guided savasana and meditation at the end of the video.
My overall review of Mystery Flow with Derrick Townsel is A-. The course is excellent, with a motivational and knowledgeable instructor, clean and easy to follow movements, and a focused workout. With the addition of some way to ensure the audience knows that the video is still running and meditation at the completion of the video, I would have given it an A+.
After months and months of committing myself to running and only minimal weight lifting days, I found yoga to be a rejuvenating experience. Incorporating yoga into my workout routine, even one day a week, has made my runs more comfortable, and my recover faster. Additionally, I’m finding benefits in reduced stress and a happier, healthier mindset.
If you want to improve your performance in running or whatever sport you prefer, or if you just want to be healthier, I would highly recommend Yoga for Men’s Mystery Flow with Derrick Townsend as a great program for beginners or those looking for a great way to relax and stretch out after a good workout.
This is a guest post submitted by streaming yoga subscriber Robin Highsmith. If you would like to submit a guest post to the blog, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Destroying the myth that yoga is for the skinny female, take this practice with the big, inflexible guy in mind. Totally suitable for anyone, male.