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The Why: We've all heard about the amazing benefits of regular yoga, but it can be such a hassle (not to mention expensive!) to drag yourself to a studio several times a week. With YogaToday.com you can download free yoga videos or play them right on the site -- you don't even have to leave your house. They also tell you the level of each class, and there are typically two students following along: one a beginner and the other experienced.
The Health Bonus: Yoga is great exercise, with health claims ranging from better strength, flexibility, posture, coordination, and balance to stress reduction, stronger bones, cardiovascular conditioning, and the prevention of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and more. Devotees are pretty emphatic about the benefits on three levels: physiological, psychological, and biochemical.
What We Liked Best: YogaToday.com offers a new class each day, and the videos can be saved to your hard drive so you can fit them into your own schedule. And all the classes are filmed with wonderful backdrops, such as Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Nice. Just watching the video can be a peaceful experience. Also, the video and music are both crystal clear. And all at no cost. Wow!
What We Liked Least: The site doesn't archive programs (other than the last four days). So if you're looking for a specific class -- like beginning yoga moves -- you will not be able to find it. The good news is that there will eventually be a searchable archive, but you'll have to pay a small fee to download from it. Also, it would be nice if when you watched you were able to view in full-screen mode -- I didn't see that option. And there's advertising at the beginning. I guess they have to pay the bills somehow.
The Price: Free
Web Site: http://www.yogatoday.com
Where to Buy: Visit the Web site to view the four most recent sessions.
Offerings: Daily one-hour video downloads with wonderful, diverse instructors. You can download in Windows Media, QuickTime/iPod, or audio only.
Ingredients: The experienced instructors practice various styles including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, Anusara, Kripalu, and Kundalini.
Do you have a Calorie Bargain to share? Send in your favorite Calorie Bargains to firstname.lastname@example.org -- they will be posted on the Web site. And if your idea is published in the column, you'll receive a FREE copy of the book Breaking the FAT Pattern or Lighten Up.
Reprinted with permission from www.dietdetective.com, July 2007.