Why 26 Minutes?
I love yoga. I am a lifetime yoga devotee. I am even opening a yoga studio to turn my love of yoga into a business. I love what yoga does for my body, for my focus, and I love how I feel after a challenging practice. People know me as a yogi, someone who does yoga regularly. Joanna, yeah, that yoga lady. So guess what? I don’t actually do yoga! Shocking but true! I just don’t have time to commit to these long yoga classes – 60 minutes minimum and many that are 75 or even 90 minutes long! Plus, there’s a huge portion of the class devoted to resting, meditation, chanting, and/or restoration. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I prefer the movement and the flow parts of class over the zen parts. I love a good savasana (final resting pose) as much as the next person, but mostly I would rather leave and get on with my day. I need a mindful, challenging yoga practice that I can actually fit into my busy life. I want all the mind-body benefits of yoga in less time! I want to actually do yoga again!
I researched shorter yoga classes. They don’t exist, except on-line. And all the on-line options are either focused on morning stretches or beginner yoga. I want a workout. I want to be challenged. I want real yoga, at a real yoga studio, but I want shorter classes!
Using myself as my market research, I set out to start a business and open a yoga studio. My studio, I decided, will have short yoga classes – 26 minutes each. My studio will have challenging and inspiring instructors who push me to stretch my limits. My studio will be perfectly heated to 98 degrees – not too hot, not too cold. My studio will cater to exactly what I want in my yoga practice. And if it resonates with me, I’m betting it will resonate with lots and lots of other busy, stressed, 21st century human beings. It’s about time!
Can you get the all benefits of yoga in just 26 minutes? I say yes! Isn’t it better to do 26 minutes of yoga than to not do 90 minutes of yoga, because you don’t have time? Yoga is so good for your body and your mind, and really any yoga is good yoga. One of the beautiful things about yoga is that there are so many options. From Bikram to Ashtanga to Iyengar to Yin, there are literally hundreds of styles and thousands of studios to choose from. If you find an option that you love, go for it! I believe every body benefits from yoga, so find a yoga practice you like and commit to it – even once or twice a week is enough to feel the benefits.
For me, 26 minutes is just the right amount of time to warm up my body, flow through 12-15 postures linking breath to movement, and wind down with some stretches. I can get everything I love about yoga and even a shower after class – all on my lunch break! The heat in the studio is important to optimize my time in class because my body warms up quickly and I can get right into the flow, safely and with maximum flexibility and fluidity. Not only that, I find that I actually push myself further in the shorter class because I have this mindset that it’s already almost over. Why not go for it?
Even though my studio is not open yet, I have been practicing my 26 minute sequences two-to-three times a week, and I have to say, I feel great! I am so happy to be able to call myself a yogi again and actually do yoga! It’s a beautiful thing. I am more productive, more open-minded, more centered, and definitely stronger, more flexible, and more balanced since I started doing yoga – again.
If just 26 minutes of yoga can exhaust your body and open your mind, I think a whole lot more people will want to get in on this amazing practice we call yoga!
About the Author:
Joanna Meiseles is the founder of Turbo 26 Studio, a new concept in yoga coming to the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California this fall. Turbo 26 offers fast-flow heated yoga classes in 26-minute stackable intervals. Designed to deliver inspiring fitness-focused classes, Turbo 26 is demystifying yoga and making the benefits accessible to anyone willing to challenge their body and open their mind.
Prior to Turbo 26, Joanna created Snip-its, a franchised chain of hair salons for children. After building Snip-its to more than 60 locations in the US, Joanna put her skill and franchise expertise to work as a strategy consultant at iFranchise Group, the world's premier franchise consulting firm. A lifelong avid yogi, Joanna is now putting her energy into Turbo 26, a concept that she hopes to grow into a successful franchise across Northern California and then across the country.