If you’re anything like me, December is synonymous with thirty-one days of slothdom. It’s one month of chocolate, hot chocolate, See’s Candies, hazelnut lattes, and entire boxes of peppermint bark. It’s one month of using “It’s cold!” “It’s dark!” and “Dolly Parton’s made-for-TV biopic is about to come on!” as excuses not to drag my ass off the couch and do anything that makes me sweat.
Which is why I lean on these YouTube channels for luring me out of my couch fort and getting me onto my mat. Staying active -- whether that's by gentle stretching or becoming a stronger and more advanced yogi -- over the holidays is essential, what with forced family interactions, constant snacking, or hours of stagnant traveling.
De-stress, break a sweat, and be kind to yourself this month with these six lady yogis, here to give you the gift of you-time. And remember - yogis come in every size.
Ellen’s YouTube channel may be new, but you’ll want to subscribe to it ASAP. She’s created a series of videos that vary by level of intensity: green circle, blue square, black diamond. A natural healer, experienced instructor, and calming presence, Ellen’s videos range from intense vinyasa for the advanced yogi to gentle stretches and flows for those of you recovering from injuries. There’s something for everyone in Chakrapod, no matter where you are in your yoga journey – and Ellen’s who you want to start it with.
Self-described “yoga enthusiast and fat femme” Jessamyn Stanley’s playful yoga channel will welcome you with open arms, featuring short but sweet videos that show you what a nontraditional yoga body looks like. The videos are bite-size pieces meant to show you how to get in and out of a specific pose or flow, like her Bridge to Wheel Transition, Downdog to High Plank, or Headstand Tuck Prep.
Blogilates with Cassey Ho
Seasonal videos, focused workouts for specific areas of the body, and always-awesome playlists, Cassey Ho’s Blogilates workouts will keep you active and fit. Her infectious positivity and enthusiasm will get even the Scroogiest of us in the mood to sweat, and there are hundreds of videos to choose from, from her squat and plank challenges to her feel-good yoga stretch series.
Yoga with Adriene
Nervous about your first yoga class? Don’t want to pay a ton of money to see if you even like it? This Texas-based yoga darling will get you up and at ‘em with her 30 Days of Yoga series, meant to introduce you to the physical and mental benefits of yoga from the comfort of your own bedroom. Once you’ve done her series, you can poke around her other videos – yoga at your desk, travel yoga, and yoga for healing are just a few – and build upon the flows she’s already set you up with.
If she’s good enough for Deepak Chopra, she’s good enough for us! The Tara Stiles YouTube channel features videos for focus, energy, and core strength. For the more advanced or experienced yogi, she often posts short videos aimed at instructing for one specific pose. Don’t miss her healthy cooking video tips, either – in case you’re tired of red and green M&M’s for dinner, she always features healthy post-workout meal prep on her channel.
Yoga by Candace
Lose yourself to Candace’s sixty-minute Slow Flow Power Yoga, and let her give you the specifics for more advanced poses, like transitioning from Tripod Headstand to Crow. Only have a few minutes of solitude between family and friends visiting for the holidays? Try her 10 Minute Power Yoga Vinyasa, or her 12 Minute Yoga in Bed to Unwind after a long day of entertaining guests.
Photos via Ellen Walters; Jessamyn Stanley; Instagram/Blogilates, Yoga with Adrienne, and Tara Stiles; Yoga By Candace
More from BUST