Recently, a friend asked for some recommendations for yoga DVDs.
These are some of my personal favorite yoga DVDs. My criteria are: 1) can I understand the instructions, 2) are they using language I can understand instead of arcane “yogaspeak”, 3) do I actually enjoy doing the sequences?
If you are inflexible I recommend starting with a slower-paced practice that will give you some time to get into the poses correctly and spend a few moments maximizing the stretch. Look for words like “gentle,” “hatha,” or “Kripalu.”
Ashtanga and Power Yoga may be too fast-paced to allow enough time for a real stretch if you are inflexible. They’d be better after you develop some flexibility.
I love this one – Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss – I think it’s a great beginner tape. You can ignore the “weight loss” part. I has 4 people doing the sequence with different levels of modifications. You can watch them as a group or just the one who is closest to your level of flexibility.
I also like the 2 DVDs of Kripalu Yoga. Kripalu Yoga is sometimes called meditation-in-motion because it combines the poses with breathing and relaxation.
“Two complete and distinct gentle yoga experiences: first flow 32 minutes, second flow 28 minutes. Includes warm-ups, a variety of floor postures, basic standing postures, a meditation-in-motion posture flow, and relaxation. A well-rounded experience-great for increasing flexibility, releasing tension, opening the spine, back care, and gentle strengthening. Appropriate for all levels. There’s no need to be especially strong or flexible to receive the full benefits of Kripalu Yoga.”
“A dynamic sequence designed to awaken the wisdom of your body as you build strength, endurance, focus, and concentration. A classical series of 30 asanas including warm-ups, standing postures, salutations, balancing postures, floor postures, twists, and inversions, ending with a meditation-in-motion posture flow and relaxation. Postures familiar to most intermediate-level practitioners. There’s no need to be especially strong or flexible to receive the full benefits of Kripalu Yoga.”
Lots of Sun Salutations – but at a comfortable pace. It’s both good cardio exercise and a comprehensive series of standing poses. Doing 10-20 minutes of Sun Saluations every morning totally changes my perspective on the day.