My Fitness Favorites: Yoga & Pilates

In Lifestyle, Yoga & Fitness by Caroline Ra

Enjoy this personal look into my fitness favorites as I share my life-long love for Yoga and Pilates!

Yoga has been a big part of my life since I was fifteen which was back in 1972! My first gym teacher in high school was fresh out of college and taught our class yoga, which was very unusual back then. I was hooked for life and often think about my first time doing a yoga pose. I fell in love with yoga in that moment and also discovered a new part of myself. Magical!

Yoga for me has always been a very personal, private time and I look forward to my special date with my yoga mat each morning. Though I chose not to go to yoga classes through the years, I did at one point work with a private trainer who was wonderful in teaching me proper form. But mostly I learned from books and then VHS tapes and DVD's as it was the years before YouTube and online instruction. My first video yoga teacher was Jennifer Kries and my daughter fondly remembers growing up watching her videos. Jennifer's background was as a dancer and she incorporated yoga with pilates and dance. I learned an enormous amount from her, but was ready for new. Then I worked with Rodney Yee videos, learned what I could, but his style was very linear and not right for me. And then I discovered Shiva Rea. I bought everything I could of hers and did her videos each day. I love her powerful, flowing, style. Her love of music and dance taught me to flow with my body, to listen inside, and ultimately, to move from within. If you love to flow as I do, visit Shiva Rea's gorgeous new website.

While doing a search for yoga to improve posture, I discovered Sarah Beth Yoga on YouTube. Sarah Beth is amazing and everyone I recommend her YouTube channel to enjoys a renewed interest in yoga. Sarah Beth has faced some serious health issues and yoga has helped her to manage her conditions. She also recently had a baby and took her audience through the entire process. Sarah Beth's baby is now a toddler and Sarah Beth Yoga has become a wonderful resource for yoginis enjoying that chapter of their journeys. Check out Sarah Beth Yoga on YouTube.

It was time for some excitement. I craved a deep workout that would get me in the best shape of my life. It was time for pilates to enter my world again. I soon discovered the very beautiful Julianna Semenova of Boho Beautiful. Julianna is a former world-class gymnast. After suffering a career-ending spinal cord injury at age 17, she rebuilt herself through yoga and pilates. Julianna and her husband Mark have created Boho Beautiful - a vegan, yoga lifestyle brand. They travel all over the world to exotic locations to film Julianna's yoga and pilates videos. Mark is the cinematographer and he captures Julianna's beauty and the essence of her work in a sexy and abundant style. The workouts vary from 5 to 20 minutes. Some are more yoga than pilates and some more pilates than yoga. All are transformational, challenging, enlivening, and just what I have been craving. And my body has taken on a much more fit, strong, and curvy shape. I am not the only one - Boho Beautiful has a huge following. Check out the Boho Beautiful YouTube Channel.

My daily yoga and pilates practice is always evolving, always alive - a compilation of all that I have learned from all of my amazing teachers and all that they have learned from their teachers and all that I will continue to learn. And I feel gratitude each day for that moment when I was fifteen in gym class, that moment that changed my life.

Do you enjoy Share your fitness favorites in the comments below!

Copyright © 2017 Caroline Ra. All rights reserved.