Sunday, November 09, 2008

And the Question of the Day Is...

Yoga or tai chi?

Consider the potential practitioner: A fitness-challenged, ungraceful middle-aged person without access to a flesh-and-blood teacher, who will be dependent upon DVDs for guidance.

My thoughts:

Yoga: Pros: A vast array of instruction materials; recommendations from friends and coworkers; the relaxation angle. Cons: I'm fat and inflexible.

Tai chi: Pros: Seems at face value to be a more accessible discipline; don't have to do floor exercises; looks cool. Cons: There don't seem to be as many instructional resources; when I attempted to teach myself tai chi using a DVD for older adults, it was still too fast for me to keep up -- which tells you something about my kinetic aptitude.

Those of you with experience in either or both practices -- what do you recommend?


Teri said...

I personally prefer yoga, probably because my experience with Tai Chi (also via video for young adults) suggested it was more difficult and also involved buying into the whole Chi thing in a much more wholehearted way than I was willing to do. The "spiritual" aspects of yoga were much more open and accessible to me as a Christian, I thought.

Plus it is relaxing--not while you're doing it, but when it's over...such relief and melted away tension.

If you decide on yoga, I would get some blocks, maybe a strap, and have a blanket handy. Then you can do things much easier (sit on the edge of a folded blanket to relieve hip pressure for seated poses; use a block instead of reaching all the way to floor--you'll be much more stable/less likely to fall over; use a strap when you can't reach for those leg stretches.). Also, if there's a yoga class at your gym or somewhere nearby, I suggest taking one class before going on your own via video--it will really help you to know what's going on and whether you're doing it right.

That's all I've got...

LutheranChik said...

I'm thinking of getting (or requesting for Christmas!) the WiiFit yoga program and mat...for that feedback element; getting some affirmation if I'm doing the poses correctly/correction if I'm not. I've been reading user reviews and am not quite sold, though.

Mary Sue said...

I've dinked about with the WiiFit yoga program--- it sucks. Really, really badly.

I really like the Kripalu Yoga DVD ( I've used the Gentle practice for about six years now, and it is both challenging and yet easy on the joints. After 15 years of competitive dance and martial arts, I need to be gentle on my joints!

kmom said...

We have the basic Wii fit program.
It is fun, can be challenging.
Really focuses on balance, and
having equal weight distribution over both feet.
But it is real easy to skip a day,
and then another!

Mary Beth said...