In the land of virtual fitness, no longer does yoga share the spotlight with other sports performed on the balance board in the land of the Nintendo Wii. Now, yoga has a “game” of its own. Like the earlier version of yoga on the Wii, but with the distinction of standing on its own feet, Yoga for Wii is storming the markets just in time for Mother’s Day.
The upgraded version of yoga for the interactive Nintendo Wii includes three levels of play, a training mode, a routine mode, and a story mode. In training mode, you can learn new “poses,” and in routine mode you create your daily yoga practice. Not a bad tool for the person who is ready to make a commitment, but just isn’t sure how to do it. Then there is the “story” mode, where you climb the proverbial path from initiate to guru, or not.
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Yoga is fun, and to recreate it in video game land seems only appropriate, but to downplay its deeper significance and effort leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe you can elevate your level of fitness through a dedicated routine of “yoga-like” postures with the aid of Wii apparatus, but can you really ascend to the heights that this ancient practice has been taking its practitioners for millennia? I don’t deny that the level of technology that is applied in the monitoring of the “yoga practice” is quite impressive. The Wii balance board does a great deal of assessment; measuring balance, tracking progress, and planning and updating physical goals. All of which sound like a very impressive personal training program.
For probably comparable money, you could also buy a yoga novice a gift certificate to a local yoga studio. There a real live teacher would access their physical abilities, introduce the principles of yoga asana, offer suggestions, tips and modifications when necessary, and maybe even impart some jewels of wisdom in the process. I know it’s not the same as playing a video game in the comfort of your own living room, which may be all that is needed for an intended physical goal. But for those who step on the path of yoga for deeper, though maybe not totally understood, reasons, I will venture a guess that even in “story” mode, the Yoga for Wii may not provide the insights that an actual yoga class might.
So if it is a “game” that your looking for the Yoga for Wii might just be the answer, but if you’re life is leading you down the path of deeper meaning, your money might be better spent at your neighborhood yoga studio.