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Yoga to go
By Jennifer Lord/ Daily News Staff
Tuesday, February 7, 2006 - Updated: 01:21 AM EST

Janine Agoglia has heard the same refrain from her students for years: "I wish I could take you with me on vacation!"

Few are willing to actually shell out the money to drag Agoglia, a yoga teacher for the Longfellow Health Clubs in Natick and Wayland, to Walt Disney World or on a business trip. Agoglia opted for the next best thing: she recently released "Vinyasa Yoga for Regular People," an instructional DVD that brings Agoglia’s 78-minute class right to their living rooms.

"I’ve found that people really get attached to their yoga teacher," said Agoglia, 34, a Framingham resident. "When I had my baby, people were not happy with me -- three months maternity leave was too much -- and that’s what started talk of doing something like this."

Agoglia grew up in Brookline and moved to New York City to attend Barnard College, where she studied modern dance. During her dance career, she was encouraged to take up yoga and found it made a difference in how she was able to control her body.

She initially studied Inyengar yoga, which is meticulous in terms of body alignment and holding the poses. Vinyasa yoga, her preferred style, is more about the flow of poses and breathing.

"It seems more organic to me," she said. "It helps me stay in my body -- it’s very freeing. You hold the pose, but you hold it with your breath. I like to bring the benefits of Inyengar to my classes, but it’s not so much the search for the perfect pose."

Agoglia returned to the area to study acupuncture, which she now practices, and has been teaching yoga in MetroWest since 1999.

"There are so many different types of yoga and so many different types of teacher," Agoglia said. "People are attracted to the style first, then the teacher. A good teacher is not just leading the class -- most often I’m walking around, helping people with poses, helping them to feel what’s going on in their bodies.

"Yoga is about feeling better and being able to stay present and calm," she added. "Having that personal interaction is helpful. But it’s not MY class -- it’s their class. I’m getting them through a series of poses that will make them feel better in and out of class."

Translating her hands-on teaching style was a challenge when it came time to filming. She had to learn to play to the camera, to demonstrate proper body alignment on the students in the classroom while interacting with the DVD viewer.

"That is the one downside of doing a DVD," Agoglia admitted. "You can’t totally replicate the experience of being in the class, but when you’re on vacation, when your child is sick and you can’t get to class, the DVD is there -- it’s the next best thing to being in class."

The tape is meant for people with previous yoga experience. Unlike other yoga tapes, "Vinyasa Yoga for Regular People" is a full class, 78 minutes. Most yoga tapes she’s seen run 20 or 30 minutes.

"You can only do your own class so many times -- you want to see what else is out there," she said. "But I’ve found yoga tapes to be frustrating, because just as you get started, it’s over."