I get this question quite a lot. The best way to learn yoga is in the presence of an experienced teacher. However, this is not always possible. There may not be a yoga studio nearby, you may not have the money to spend on expensive lessons, you may be embarrassed to practice in front of other students, or you might not have time to go to class. For these situations and more, a yoga DVD can be an excellent alternative. And even if you do go to a yoga class, a good DVD can be a great supplement for days when class is not held.
Yoga For Beginners: STRETCH (click to buy from Amazon)
I found that many “beginner” yoga DVD’s were still too difficult for the average beginning practitioner. I also found that many people could not devote 90 minutes of their day to practicing yoga. As a result, I designed my DVD to be split into 10-minute segments, each focusing on stretching an important part of the body. The DVD can be practiced in 10 minute increments – depending on what you’d like to work – or it can be done in it’s 70 minute entirety.
- The DVD contains the option of working on several parts of the body in just 10 minutes. As a result – if you only have 20 minutes to practice on Monday, or 40 minutes on Thursday, the video can work for you. But it’s also a full workout (if you want it to be). One can practice the entire 70 minute workout from start to finish!
- It really is made for beginners. These poses can be done by the majority of beginning yoga practitioners. They’ve been tested on several different people – all of whom have never done yoga a day in their life!
- This DVD is designed for the absolute beginner. Some more advanced yoga practitioners may not find it challenging enough.
If you’d like to try something different, my favorite yoga DVD’s are by Ana Brett and Ravi Singh. And their beginners DVDs are no exception. This dynamic duo have two DVD’s aimed at beginners, and I’d like to give you a brief review of each and let you know why I highly recommend them.
Yoga For Beginners and Beyond (click to buy from Amazon)
This is one of Ana/Ravi’s older videos, but it’s just as good (if not better) than the newer ones. This video was actually the very first yoga video I ever purchased. And it’s the video that I must credit for falling madly in love with yoga!
- Ana Brett is a great teacher. She demonstrates all poses perfectly, but shows you how to modify a pose if necessary. Her smile is contagious and I often finished my practice smiling too. Ana and Ravi teach Kundalini yoga, which is a bit different from more traditional styles such as Hatha or Iyengar. But don’t be discouraged if you are unfamiliar with the poses. Ana and Ravi do an excellent job of explaining and demonstrating each pose to the beginning practitioner.
- I enjoy the plain, non distracting background and love the choice of music. It’s relaxing and goes along perfectly with the poses.
- In my personal opinion, Kundalini Yoga is the best way to start practicing yoga. The poses are not quite as physically intense as other forms of yoga, so it’s an excellent way to ease your body into yoga.
- If you are looking for traditional postures, this video is not for you. Although Kundalini Yoga shares postures with Hatha and traditional forms of yoga, it is quite different overall. But don’t let this discourage you. Kundalini yoga is amazing for opening the body, increasing flexibility and building muscle strength. It’s definitely worth a try.
- Ana/Ravi can get a bit “spiritual” at times. There are mantra chants and breathing exercises that some may feel uncomfortable with. When I first began practicing with this video, I skipped passed this mantra sessions. However, after giving the mantras a try I found they made me feel great. And today mantra chanting is an integral part of my yoga practice.
- Although this DVD is for beginners, there are some poses that may be a bit difficult for the beginner. However, they can easily be modified by slowing down the speed of the exercise, or holding a pose for a shorter length of time than Ana does in the video.
Yoga For Beginners & Beyond Stretch Strengthen Be Stress Free by Ana Brett and Ravi Singh (click to buy from Amazon)
This is a later version of Ana/Ravi’s videos – notice her hair has turned from brown to blond. Although I do not use this video regularly (it’s not challenging enough for me), I do own it and I definitely recommend it for beginners.
- It’s quite a bit easier than the older Yoga For Beginners video described above.
- Although it’s a tiny bit easier, it’s still an excellent workout and introduction to yoga.
- Ana/Ravi do a great job of demonstrating and explaining the poses.
- The music and background are a bit distracting for my taste. Although I know many people have indicated they prefer this over the previous video (above) which had a simple background and music. I think this just comes down to personal preference.
- If you are already active and physically conditioned, I’d recommend buying the video above instead of this one. You may not find this video challenging enough, even if you are a beginner to yoga.
So a quick wrap up:
If you are a TOTAL beginner to yoga and you are TOTALLY physically unfit, I’d recommend Yoga For Beginners & Beyond Stretch Strengthen Be Stress Free
If you are a TOTAL beginner to yoga BUT you are somewhat active and physically conditioned, I’d recommend Kundalini Yoga For Beginners and Beyond
And what if you are totally not into Kundalini Yoga?
If you don’t want to take a chance on Kundalini yoga and prefer a more “traditional” style, I’d recommended Element: Yoga For Beginners. (click to purchase on Amazon). This video is nice because it’s totally customizable. You can customize your workout poses, time, and order of exercise.
My one complaint about this video is it’s slow pace. I do believe it’s good to go slow when practicing yoga, especially for beginners, but some people may find the pace to be a problem.
But if you are willing to remain patient through this video, I highly recommend it for beginners.