If you told me a year ago that I would crave yoga, I would have laughed out loud.  Crave a Real Housewives marathon on Bravo?  Definitely.  Exercise?  Never.  Even when working with a personal trainer several times a week, I never caught the fitness bug.  And yoga?  No thank you.  Focusing on breath and becoming centered?  Not in my lifetime.  Besides, what kind of workout could yoga be anyway?

Enter Kristin McGee.

Photo from Kristin McGee's pose gallery on www.kristinmcgee.com Photo from Kristin McGee’s pose gallery on http://www.kristinmcgee.com[/caption%5D

I bought Body by Bethenny (BbB) out of loyalty to the Skinnygirl brand.  If Bethenny creates it, I’ll try it.  BbB is led by Kristin McGee, a celebrity yoga and pilates instructor.  I instantly felt at ease with Kristin’s style.  She explained each pose and provided variations (“yogi’s choice”) depending on your level.  Kristin made yoga accessible, challenging, and fun.  I couldn’t complete the full BbB workout the first time through but I was bitten by the bug and actually wanted to come back to it.  I love Kristin’s focus on health and fitness for your real life.  She stresses balance and her positive attitude is infectious.

I visited Kristin’s website shortly after trying BbB and a new world was opened up to me: BendiWorld.  Kristin offers a plethora of health, fitness, and wellness resources on her site.  Here are some of my faves:

Pose gallery: I found myself looking at her pose gallery and asking Andrew to compare my version to Kristin’s.

How-To videos: I was thrilled to discover her “How-To” videos where she breaks down common yoga poses and focuses on correct form.  If you are new to yoga, I highly recommend this video series to get the basics down before your first class.  I continue to return to it for a refresher.

iPhone/iPad app: Thanks to Kristin I can no longer use the excuse that I’m not home so I can’t possibly workout.  You can download short workouts to do on the go.  There is also a pose gallery with written steps that is really helpful.

Body by Bethenny:  This is still my favorite yoga DVD.  I love the interaction between Bethenny and Kristin.  The workout flies by because you feel like you’re working out with girlfriends.  I’ve also found that I see the greatest results from this DVD because Kristin focuses on holding each pose.  My legs and arms definitely shake in this one!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jXWdcel0xE%5D

S3: Strong, Sexy + Svelte:  One word: challenging.  This DVD is divided into three sections: Strong – yoga tone with weights, Sexy – pilates core work and Svelte – yoga flow.  I usually pair Strong and Svelte together for an intense workout.

Yoga Slim:  This is my newest yoga DVD.  I felt great (and tired) after this workout even though I wasn’t able to complete some of the advanced poses.  Yoga Slim is a fast-paced workout and I worked up a sweat quickly.  I felt like I was getting a serious cardio workout with the calming and strengthening benefits of yoga.

I also have Kristin’s blog to thank for introducing me to some of my favorite things:
HINT water
Kevita
Tiny Devotions
NuttZo (I was lucky to win a free jar of NuttZo from Kristin!)
Gabrielle Bernstein

My bucket list includes attending Kristin’s yoga classes the next time I’m in NYC.  Kristin’s DVDs and online guides have allowed me to push myself and taught me not to get frustrated or give up if I’m not perfect.  I’ve been able to take these lessons off the mat and tap into my increased confidence and inner peace on a daily basis.

I hope to see you in BendiWorld!  To find out more about Kristin McGee, click here.  You can follow Kristen on Twitter or like her on Facebook.