The University of Toronto’s Student Newspaper Since 1880

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Testing UTrain: Yoga 09

Do the workouts really work?
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Nothing about this class was what I had expected. MAHIKA JAIN/THE VARSITY
Nothing about this class was what I had expected. MAHIKA JAIN/THE VARSITY

I have never been very into yoga, which is why it took me all year to try out U of T’s virtual yoga class. Last year, I tried out a few in-person yoga classes that were either boring or way too difficult. With the gift of the beautiful weather we had last week, I finally got back into running, and my body was feeling it. 

My roommate had asked if I wanted to do yoga with her and I thought this was the perfect moment to try out the yoga classes offered by Hart House. 

We ended up choosing the “Hart House Fitness ONLINE Yoga 09” video from the YouTube playlist. We chose the video because we were a bit limited on time, and this class was 45 minutes as opposed to the “Yoga – 01” video, which was an hour. As a piece of advice going forward, I would recommend starting with the “Yoga – 01” class, as it was clear that the second video was done later in the semester and was not an introductory class. 

Amanda instructed the class, which was recorded from the Hart House studio, meaning that it was more of a seminar style such that Amanda could not see the participants. She introduced the class and mentioned that we would be building on poses learned in previous sessions with a focus on hip opening and balancing poses. My hips were excited for some stretches after getting back into running. 

We would not need any props, so to prepare for the workout, my roommate and I set up our personal yoga studio with our yoga mats next to the couch in the living room. It wasn’t exactly the zen I expected from this class, but nothing about this class was what I had expected. 

We began with a downward facing dog pose sequence, interspersed with planks and up-dogs. We worked through traditional yoga moves like warrior poses, lunges, side angles, and half-moon poses. Halfway through the class, my roommate and I both attempted and failed to do a crow pose. 

Amanda, on screen, was balancing all of her body weight on her arms, with her knees positioned on the back of her arms. Back in our home yoga studio, each time we took our feet off the ground, we fell back. Other difficult moves had us holding our legs out to the side, wrapped up like a pretzel, and in a full bridge. The full bridge was the only move I could do thanks to my gymnastics background. 

Overall, the class was much more difficult than I had expected, but it still had me feeling stretched and excited about the possibility of improving. I will definitely be working on my crow pose this week. The weather was still beautiful, and we did the class with the doors and windows open, which along with the class, elevated my mood.