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Let's Yoga: Mat recommended

My second day with Let's Yoga taught me two things:
  • forget what the game says! Sure, maybe you don't need any sort of a mat, but it really does make things easier, because carpet is rough (suddenly glad I don't have hardwood), and
  • definitely remember the breathing, because it helps tremendously
Overall, day two with the DS yoga trainer was a resounding success. There are still certain poses with which I have some trouble (but hey, it's only day two), but I can already see definite progress, and that's exciting. But let's start with the basics. Lesson two of the Naga class began with an explanation of just what yoga is, and it's useful knowledge that I'll pass on here.

According to Let's Yoga, the term "yoga" itself basically means "to bind." This doens't mean it's binding you up; instead, it's about melding -- or binding, if you will -- the mind and body into one strong unit. The poses are known as Asanas, or "positions of the body." I'll typically refer to them here by their English names, because they're easier to remember and also easier to spell. There is one exception, however, though I'll get to that later.

Gallery: Let's Yoga

Let's Yoga
makes the point again and again that yoga is about discovering your "true self," and that, combined with the reminders about working at your own pace, is the only thing close to a word of caution I've seen so far from the title. One of our commenters yesterday said something worth mentioning here: yoga isn't difficult to attempt, but it's easy to get wrong, and that can be risky. It's important not to cheat by bending a little differently or finding an easier way to stretch. Do as much as you can properly, and if you can't touch your toes or balance for very long without twisting or wavering from side to side, then do only as much as you can and stop. The point is working through the movements that your body will allow, doing so at a slow and measured pace, and breathing. Focus on learning what your body can do, and don't sweat it if you can't lick your knees while bent over.

Alignment is key in doing yoga correctly, so if you're using Let's Yoga as a trainer, listen very carefully to the instructions about lining up various parts of your body. Don't be afraid to pause -- that's why we're keeping the DS nearby during lessons -- and focus on matching that alignment. Since you have no one to correct you as you would in a class, you have to be responsible for your own health!

But enough with the dire warnings. Lesson two of the Naga class starts off with an explanation of the basic sitting position, which is defined only as sitting with your legs crossed and back straight. Easy enough! But our cartoon yogi says this is not meant to be a relaxing position; when in the basic sitting position, you need to be focused on stabilizing your posture and keeping your pelvis tight.

Naga Class 2: Full activity list
  • basic sitting position
  • neck rotation
  • extended child's pose (Utthita Balasana)
  • eye relief pose
  • mermaid pose
  • butterfly pose (Baddha Konasana)
  • egg pose
  • Shavasana
I found all of the poses in this lesson to be very easy to follow and perform. After some of the day one struggles, it was nice to run through the whole set without any "whaaaats" at the instructions. It makes me think I might try two sets tomorrow. Also, Shavasana is quickly becoming the best two minutes of my day; it's a really nice way to end the sets.

The DS has a lot more to offer besides just traditional games, and we love to test the efficacy of training titles! Keep up with our yogathon as it happens, or for more features like this, check out our week with My French Coach.

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