I know myself, and previous attempts to get back in shape after lapses in training have consistently resulted in some form or injury. So, rather than hitting the gym day one and trying to bench press and squat my “default” weight, I wanted to ease myself back in. Starting with a two week regimen of the Daily Yoga app (Android, iOS), I planned to reintroduce myself to the importance of stretching and hopefully add a little extra tone to my out of practice muscles.
I was incredibly hopeful for my first session. A clear, blue interface offered a selection of tabs providing easy access to all of Daily Yoga’s different options. Skirting over most of these, I jumped straight to Start Training, where I was met by another well-designed interface. Two columns contained all of the exercises on offer and clearly marked which were free and which required a subscription to access – important, as I had no intention of paying.
Poking around the screen I soon discovered a handy drop down menu to filter sessions by type. I looked down the list; all sessions, yoga skills, therapy… weight loss! – we have a winner. Selecting this was introduced seven possible exercise sets, each and every one required a subscription. Downhearted, I flicked around the other options, worried that I would be restricted to a handful of options without paying. Fortunately this was not the case, with multiple session available in all of the other categories for free.
Selecting Sun Salutation, and setting it to a 15 minute session, I assumed the first position. Each action was clearly explained through audio, while a clear picture of the trainer demonstrated the action onscreen. Just a few movements in I discovered the first of my two problems with Daily Yoga: on a phone it is impossible to see the screen while contorting yourself into position. I imagine with a decent sized tablet and stand, this issue could be mitigated, but due to my set up I found myself struggling.
Having to refer back to my phone had me constantly breaking the current stretch and losing time as I rewound to video to see what I’d missed. The upshot was that my 15 minute session ended up taking closer to 25.
That said, the actual content of the session was good. As I stated in a previous article, I trade a lot on past fitness, which stood me in good stead for Daily Yoga. If my stomach didn’t get in the way, my head could happily touch my knees, and I can still sit in the lotus position if absolutely necessary (though you would be surprised how infrequently this comes up).
But, while the contortions were comfortable, my surrounds were not. A lack of mats (at home or the office) left me putting my boney knees down on hard floors, and I was unwilling to purchase a mat for this two week experiment. I soon found this discomfort more than distracting while performing the Downward Dog, and fact that saw me finding excuses to skip a day (Not-so-Daily Yoga).
When I was in the mood, Daily Yoga was fantastic despite the limitations of my set up. Everything was explained clearly and executed at a good pace, with fitting background music. As with all such fitness apps, I did occasionally question whether I was performing the motions accurately, but at least my mistakes were unlikely to cause lasting harm.
As for my weight it still seems unchanged, though thanks for those following me on Twitter who suggested this could be due to the yoga adding muscle to that 125 kg total. More importantly, I feel better – and stretchier – about myself, which is a good start.
Next week I will be looking at how MyPlate is working out for me, while switching my exercise regime over to Fitivity’s Home Exercise Program (Android, iOS) – which I anticipate will build up more of a sweat (so, less training in the office).
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