For some time I have been looking for a simple form of exercise that I could practice on my own that did not require a large investment in equipment.
I've been learning Tai Chi on-again-off-again for the last two or three years. Tai Chi though is rather complex, the basic form has 24 different moves that you must learn to complete the sequence. And the entire set requires quite a bit of space to move.
Around about this past October I finally got around to looking at yoga (I'll explain a little more about why it took me so long later). I got on the iTunes Store looking for instructional videos and quickly found ExerciseTV's "Anytime Yoga" series of which they were giving the "PM Yoga" video away for free.
Since Halloween I have done the 10-minute PM set nearly every night before going to bed. The effect on my rest at night were noticeable immediately. However what surprised me most was that the near constant back and neck pain along with numbness and tingling in my hands and fingers that I had been experiencing since late summer and which was beginning to interfere at work was gone by Thanksgiving, a mere four weeks later.
Yoga is exactly what I've been looking for. There isn't a lot to learn in order to start. There isn't a lot of equipment to purchase, I bought a $9 mat from Wal-Mart because I found myself slipping on the carpet when trying to hold some of the poses. And it doesn't require a lot of space. There is just enough space in the living room of our camper for me to do the exercises, though I am already dreaming of the time we finish our house and can have more room to stretch out in.
The past three months I have been very happy keeping to the videos, but now I feel the need to really learn the poses on my own. The videos are good but they go rather quickly, and I'm looking to slow down and really plumb the depths of these exercises.
So for the coming new year I will be making a concerted effort to learn the individual poses by themselves and in depth. I will utilize the "Yoga for Beginners" special issue put out by Yoga Journal along with the many resources online as well as hopefully finding a local teacher to spend some time with.