Abi Carver launched Yoga 15 in 2015. The site currently gives members access to 130 videos and that number is continually growing. She also writes weekly articles on the subject of Yoga For Athletes that are a free resource for those wanting to learn the benefits of this activity.
Explaining that Yoga 15 is her profession and to a certain extent, her life Abi teaches almost exclusively through video which allows her to reach a wider audience and to focus on specific topics at a time. This gives her viewers the opportunity to rewind and watch a move as many times as needed until they get it just right.
With tens of thousands of students across her website, YouTube and her courses on Daily OM, Udemy and Vimeo she also reaches them via her other vocation of writing. Her words have graced a number of publications and she is quite sought after.
With subscribers having doubled since March, her format is a little different to others. She doesn’t live stream her classes as she uses highly-detailed transcripts for each piece of content that she creates.
“One aspect that sets Yoga 15 apart is that it is highly detailed with each breath and alignment cue being pre-planned and recorded so that ideally, the student doesn’t even need to look at the screen,” she explains.
PIECE OF MIND
While the imposed home arrest that the globe has been under seems to be opening up, people are still having to wait before they can visit their favourite sites of training. While gyms, studios and sport fields are still closed, yoga does have the benefit of being perfect for training at home and requiring very little space, but she believes it has played another important role of the last few months to help relieve stress and anxiety.
“Harvard Medical School actually recommended daily yoga sessions during the COVID-19 Lockdown and recognised the great support that it can offer people for their health,” she says, “It gives you a focal point to relax, breathe and calm your bodies.”
Even with the best intentions, the majority of people would have slipped up on their training regimes during Lockdown. Those who are used to visiting gyms and having access to specialised equipment, or even just heavy weights, may have found the need to train at home simply boring. Additionally, many would have spent the Lockdown taking a break from training with the intention of returning to training with vengeance when the gyms open. However, whatever way you look at it, after a long period of no exercise, everyone needs a period of re-introduction to get back into training.
“Yoga can offer a solid foundation for any other training,” Abi explains, “Ask anyone who tries it for the first time, it is really hard work and stars from the core muscles first- whereas callisthenics tend to focus on the skeletal muscles predominantly. Training in yoga gives you the chance to find your level of fitness and prepare your body while you’re at home and waiting for the gyms to open.”
Abi’s personal health ethos is all about balance. She understands the benefits of incorporating practices for cardio, strength, endurance, mobility, mental stability and fun play into her daily life.
Her audience are pretty well-motivated. Some because they experience pain and stiffness without yoga and others notice dramatic improvements in their athletic passions as a result of a consistent practice—whether that is cycling, running, swimming, rowing, surfing, golfing, motocross, mountain biking or whatever their chosen sport.
Content, especially the kind where you’re guiding viewers of different levels and strengths, has to be done to the highest possible standard so that it can meet scrutiny. Therefore, Abi’s content is very time-consuming to produce.
“The videos take months to research, design, shoot and edit,” she explains, “And each article takes around a week. I write long-form content so it’s not something that I can turnaround quickly.”
Abi works out every day. Running five kilometres followed by resistance training. She also practises yoga every day for an hour, split into shorter sessions and she likes to go for long walks. An avid traveller, the filmed pieces change according to her location and access to equipment.
“At-home training is just getting bigger and bigger,” she says, “Apps, membership sites and live streaming. For me personally, the challenge is going to be creating content that is so detailed that it is audio only. All you need is your wireless earphones.”
POST LOCKDOWN TRAINING
To keep training as varied and effective as possible Abi suggest mixing things up. Taking gymnastics classes or martial arts or order some kettlebells and an online program. Break up your day with 3 or 4 short sessions. See how you can come out of this crisis fitter, stronger and more resilient than you were before.
“That is the challenge for all of us,” she says, “How can you transform this dead time into alive time?”
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