Yoga and TV: A Losing Combination

I have a confession. Every night I try to do some basic yoga poses while watching TV, and every night: I do not do so. I swear I have the best intentions, but while catching up on Jessica Jones and Agents of Shield… I lose focus. The idea of watching my favourite TV shows while being somewhat productive is so appealing. Feeling like a bum on my couch is similarly tempting, but sitting on my yoga mat is also an excellent use of time (maybe).

Start out with the basics. Picture yourself sitting on your yoga mat facing your laptop or television (wearing your favourite leggings). The TV show begins, and I’ve written down Seated Bound Angle. The opening scenes aren’t particularly riveting so I set my feet facing one another and get comfy. So far, so good. Admittedly it doe feel nice to stretch a bit. After a couple of minutes, I shift into a Seated Wide-Angle Forward Bend. But here’s the issue… my head is not longer facing the laptop.

If we’re being honest with each other, I can’t help but look up! I want to see what’s happening. So I arch my neck in a surely-not-yogi way and stare at the screen until the strain causes me to shift to the next pose. What do you mean I have to go into a a Reclined Spinal Twist!? The good part is just about the start! It’s easy enough to bow out of one pose, and move onto the next one, and this post is not to say that you can’t do the postures while watching tv. You absolutely can.

My confession has to do with not feeling like I’m doing yoga, because I’m not paying attention to what I’m doing at all. Sure I’ll shift myself into the appropriate motion (sometimes), but I’m not paying attention to my breathing or thinking about whether or not I’m aligned. Oops? I don’t really think you need to feel “namaste” to get the benefits of yoga, but it does help.

Usually, when practice (a.k.a. the TV show) is finished, I don’t feel particularly stretched out or rested. I just sort of feel like… the couch bum like I do most days. Maybe doing the poses is helping out my muscles in some way, but it feels like yoga and TV are a match made in hell.

Yogis, does TV interfere with your yoga practice? Be honest!

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  1. Avatar

    Nicole Ascher

    March 11, 2017 at 11:45 am

    I have a hard time doing some yoga poses in front of the tv, because I get distracted. The only pose I do when watching television is easy pose on the couch. If I am lying down on the couch, I will put my legs up and do a variation of legs up the wall. Hey, it helps a little, right?

  2. Amanda Sides

    Amanda Sides

    March 11, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    We can only really do one thing at a time if we want to do it well. I don’t even like to watch tv or listen to music when I’m exercising — even running on the treadmill! I agree, it’s not really a yoga practice if you’re mentally invested in it, as well. I totally understand the desire to multi-task, and to think, well, doing yoga while watching tv is better than just watching tv! And that might be true. But still, that yoga practice deserves its own devoted time….and then if we want to do some EXTRA stretches while watching, we can. 🙂

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    April 13, 2017 at 1:24 am

    I agree with Amanda. If we really want to reap the benefits of practicing yoga, we need to be focused in what we’re doing. Having the TV on while trying to relax or gain self-awareness sounds counterproductive, especially for someone like me who gets easily distracted.

  4. Pála Margrét

    Pála Margrét

    October 20, 2017 at 9:12 am

    I love this! Yes, yoga and TV are truly a match made in hell! There are so many yoga poses used as stretches in other kind of fitness classes and I feel that if you do not have the yoga attitude and mindfulness to go with it, the benefits aren´t there either. Yoga needs to be yoga all the way!

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