The Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga, Kathryn Budig

This week has totally gotten away from me. I think I knew, in the back of my mind, that one of my best friends was coming to stay for a week in August, but the entire concept of “August” was so far removed from my reality that when she arrived yesterday, I was honestly caught off-guard. On top of that, one of my other best friends (I have three – this was the one who I moved from NY to DC a few weeks ago) had to come out here for work on Monday and Tuesday. Even though she and I do a passably good job working from home together, when she got here, it was sunny and we wanted to get smoothies and it turns out the best place is a forty minute drive…and one thing led to another and zero reading was accomplished. To be fair, I prioritized other deadlines, but still, I’m a slacker and should be admonished accordingly.

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t want to leave you hanging, not when we’re tantalizingly close to the weekend. Instead of working, you need an excuse to stare slack-jawed at your computer screen, and those lists at Buzzfeed look suspiciously un-work-like. It’s fine. I get it. Sit back, relax, and consider when your last “doctor’s appointment” or “car trouble” occurred; if it was more than a month ago, I think you’re due for a day off tomorrow. If it was Monday (and God bless those untenable Mondays), then read on because you’re going to need some serious decompression after everyone else starts faking a cough around 4pm.

The Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga is what I force on all the people I love when they complain about tension from work or travel or just, you know, life.  I own two copies of it myself (the giant paperback for home and the ibook for travel), and since I got it last Christmas from my sister-in-law, a top-notch yoga instructor – and instructor of instructors – I have yet to get tired of Budig’s style of teaching.

She has a wonderful sense of humor and a frankness I crave in my own practice. I love a teacher who is comfortable with the fact that audibly creaking knees, unexpected gas, and pitiful groans happen. When I’m in class, one of my friends, a woman who recently had knee surgery, often gasps aloud what I’m desperately trying to hold back (“Sweet Jesus I’m on fire,” “Please God no,” and “Kill me now” have all been heard in our lunchtime sessions), and our teacher doesn’t blink an eye. She just smiles and reminds us to breathe into the stretch.

When I’m at home though, I can moan to my heart’s content, and I know Budig won’t judge me a bit. Even after seven months, I find that I can flip this book open anywhere and learn something new and totally doable in about fifteen minutes. She doesn’t ask for a ninety minute commitment or insist that I follow an entire sequence through; instead, she has designed a book that is perfectly suited for a wide range of ability and availability – both key factors to keep me coming back for more.

Most of the time, I use this when I need a good stretch while I’m watching tv (to justify that extra episode, obviously), and Budig’s instructions and images are so clear that I can study them during commercial break and be ready to go when the show starts again. I personally can’t ask more of a body book than that – my brain could be melting out of my ears, but my hips will be infinitely more open when I’m done.

 

To find out more about Kathryn Budig, reach on over…………here.

2 thoughts on “The Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga, Kathryn Budig

  1. Awesome, Maria! I love that you’re getting so much mileage out of this…Budig’s Big Book will definitely convert anyone into a big Budig fan and but quick ;)… Her approach to practice is so super manageable and – like you indicate, Maria – a gateway into practicing some yoga at home. Getting off the ground (errr… off the couch?!) with a home practice can be a massive – even, insurmountable – obstacle for a lot of folks. Offering short sequences, with clear and understandable photos, and nibblets of helpful tips n’ info., this book is a wealth of motivation and inspiration for anyone looking to get started on some at home mat time. I too am a big fan of tele-asana. I’ve watched more episodes of Buffy while laid out in a pose than I should really admit in a public forum… But, hey, yoga’s yoga and mo’ yoga = mo’ better. Keep on rockin’ those hip-openers, Maria!

  2. Nothing, absolutely nothing, affects me and makes me happy in the same way yoga does. My husband and I used to go do yoga dates. They were the best. Truly. I love yoga. I love this post. I love the universe.

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