Sunday, April 12, 2009


I'm having a total Yoga Geek moment with my iPod Touch.

First of all, let me say about the Touch: I've never had as much fun with any gadget as I've had with this one. Ever. It's awesome. I bought it at Christmas and it's been nothing but fun since then. My life pretty much revolves around it: music (I love music and use it mainly as an MP3 player), apps (for general entertainment) GTD (for tracking goals and tasks), games (sometimes; I'm not a big game player but I have a few favourites).

So it was only a matter of time before I found a way to merge my Yoga obsession with my iPod Touch obsession. I tried out the various 'yoga apps' that I could find for free and none of them inspired any excitement. I don't need to be shown what Triangle Pose looks like and I don't really care to do someone else's idea of a perfect Hatha sequence (boring!). Mainly, I wanted a way to create my own sequences and time them.

I found my app! It's called 'Routine' and is intended for multi-use: sports, GTD, meditation, interval training, whatever. I discovered it when I realised that the countdown timer on my Touch didn't count down to seconds. 'Routine' allows countdown to seconds (so I can hold poses for a minute and a half, ie: 90 seconds), but it also allows the creation of custom yoga sequences with different hold times for each pose. This is handy for those of us who don't need to be told what a pose looks like, we just need it timed.

This afternoon, I quickly created a 31 minute Yin Yoga sequence that looks like this (poses mostly in English just to make things easy):
Lay over blocks, medium height - 90 sec
Lay over blocks, low height - 90 sec
Downward Dog - 90 sec
Deep lunge right side - 60 sec
Deep lunge left side - 60 sec
Supta Padangusthasana right side, leg up - 90 sec
Supta Padangusthasana right side, leg to side - 90 sec
Supta Padangusthasana left side, leg up - 90 sec
Supta Padangusthasana left side, leg to side - 90 sec
Downward Dog - 60 sec
Pigeon right side - 90 sec
Pigeon left side - 90 sec
Downward dog - 60 sec
Modified Tortoise w/ block - 90 sec
Reclined Hero - 60 sec
Child's Pose - 90 sec
Supine twist right - 90 sec
Supine twist left - 90 sec
Savasana - 5 minutes

The application prompts you with a 'ding' after each hold is complete (you can disable this feature if you just want to flow through it - I will do this for Vinyasa/Astanga sequences).

I just finished doing the Yin sequence above and the application worked great! I can't wait to create some more sequences. This is a great tool to keep me on track for days when I'm distracted or want to hold poses for longer periods. Or I just want to geek out with my iPod and do some magical geeky yoga.


Gumbomum said...

I love my iPhone as well. Right now I'm using an app to help with running -- I am doing run/walk intervals (that change every week) and I can listen to whatever playlist I want, and the app gives me cues to run/walk. It's SO awesome. I am going to go look at the "Routine" app -- that sounds great. Truly these iThingies are the best gadgets EVER.

Kaivalya said...

Cool! What app are you using for running?

Gumbomum said...

It's called C25K -- based on the "Couch to 5K" running program over at I like it!

roselil said...

Just wonder about why you call this sequence yin yoga? As I have understood (and been taught in a workshop with Paul Grilley) the idea of yin yoga is to stay long (say 3-5 mins) in each asana. No effort should be used and the long time is necessary to be able to sink into the asana and let gravity work in order to get beyond the muscle tissue and access the deeper layers of connective tissues ... ?

Kaivalya said...

roselil: I spoke at length with a Yin Yoga teacher at a recent yoga conference and he told me that poses can be held for as little as a minute-and-a-half to two minutes to facilitate deep tissue release. As I'm new to this form, I decided to hold for a shorter duration. I may hold for longer periods in time.