No Exercise TV? No problem

Two weeks ago, I lamented about the fact that Exercise TV was no longer on air and my workout routine had been left hanging.  Well, I am happy to report that I have figured out a solution, it just took a leap of faith. In myself, that is…

During that first week, I scoured my cable tv channels, trying to find a replacement program for my morning yoga. The ones I found were either too fast-paced and complicated, or I didn’t like the harsh, aggressive voices of the instructors. I do my yoga to stretch, relax and clear my mind- not to get pushed to achieve some momentous pose for an unnatural amount of time. So my next move was to check on Amazon for the exact routine I had been following, 10lb slimdown yoga, on dvd. They had it, but by the time I paid for shipping, I would have been out 20 bucks- and I didn’t want the whole dvd, just the yoga part. That is why I decided to take matters into my own hands.   

My cable tv has an ambient channel. I used it for the soothing, zen-like background music and an inspiring series of still shots in tropical paradise. Nothing like yoga on the beach, right?

          

On the first day I tried it, I relaxed my mind and let my body walk me through the moves. It knew what to do, I just had to trust it. Kneeling position, cat stretch, downward dog, vinyasa flow; it all came back. Instead of listening to an instructor, I listened to my breathing. I was able to better time my moves to my body rhythms.

   

If I felt like holding a pose longer or shorter, I was in control: no more moving under orders. After a week, I had solidified my confidence enough to draw on other moves I remembered, like spinal twist or screaming pigeon (I know that doesn’t sound relaxing, but it’s a great stretch). Now instead of ending in seated position, I always rise to do several sun salutations. It feels so good to move my whole body at the end.           

If you have lost a favorite routine due to Exercise TV being cancelled, I encourage you to try what I did. Find some favorite music that inspires or motivates you, either on tv or on your iPod. Let your body talk you through your routine. Whether it is yoga or cardio, trust yourself. If it is cardio, start by jogging in place. Eventually you will find yourself improvising and adding  leg lifts or jumps. I think we all have it in us, we just have to find it. We don’t need to rely on corporations to exercise. If you think you lack motivation, how about this…  I saved myself $20 and I created my own routine, which is far more enjoyable and I can be proud of myself. I am sure you can do it too.

Even if Exercise TV comes back, I don’t see myself returning. I am much happier doing it my way.

Left hanging by Exercise TV

Before the holidays arrived, I had established a disciplined routine for myself. As soon as my kids left for school, I turned on my Exercise TV yoga workout. I would spend 25 minutes clearing my mind in downward dog or warrior II. Then I would take a steamy shower and by the time I came back downstairs I was ready to start my blog. After Thanksgiving, the chaos of the holidays season came crashing into my routine and threw it off balance. When January rolled in I hoped to return to the calmness of knowing what I was doing every day.

During the first week the kids were back in school, I searched my tv guide frantically. What had happened to my Exercise TV? I finally googled the topic and found out that the channel had shut down at the end of 2011. There were no suitable replacements available on cable (at least not for free). I don’t need to listen to discussions about diet and nutrition or hear stories about successful weight loss. I need someone to talk me through my workout. Whether I need encouragment to hold the pose just a little longer or to push my heart rate a little higher, having a trainer tell me what to do has a better rate of success than doing it on my own.

The other problem is that now I have to find another way to clear my head and free my thoughts. Those inverted poses really got the juices flowing. You’d think by now I could create my own routine, but at 8am I don’t have much willpower and a cup or two of coffee seems so much easier. Caffeine is not as effective as exercise though. Maybe I will have to resort to buying a dvd and popping it in every morning.

For now I’ll have to rely on my dogs to get me moving. Maybe a good jolt of cold air will be a refreshing start to my morning…