Help a yoga novice find the perfect yoga DVD.
February 9, 2010 9:17 AM   Subscribe

What is a good beginning yoga DVD?

I hate hate hate exercising, but I like yoga. I love the stretching and the mental calmness it can give. Money is VERY tight right now so classes are not an option. I'm very out of shape but relatively flexible (I'm 37). I've tried different DVDs but have yet to find one that makes me want to keep with it.

I would like a DVD that has 30-minute sessions and is a beginner level. I'm not picky as to what kind of yoga it is (kundalini, etc), but don't want Bikram-- which I'd think is rare to find on DVD anyway, given that it's done in a hot room.
posted by miltoncat to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
There were some really good suggestions in this thread a few days ago. I'll say it again, though -- it's important to take at least a few classes with a teacher (group or private) before trying it at home, since there is a big potential for injury in some poses.
posted by OLechat at 9:39 AM on February 9, 2010

I am a real beginner and use yoga to calm me down and keep me healthy in my 30s. In post-college life, I've had a real hard time committing and keeping to a physical routine, just not enough time, tuckered out, etc.

However, this year has to be different. Besides the Wii Fit Plus which I'm loving, I use two DVDs which I find soothing and have what I think you might be looking for. Nothing too difficult, I am not interested in being able to stand on one hand with my legs wrapped around my torso, but need something beginners can follow the form of and just de-stress while getting healthy. The ones I enjoy are:

Yoga Zone: Gentle Yoga for Beginners
Yoga Zone - Fat Burning .. which you'd think was more intense but actually not at all.

They each have 2 - 20 minute sessions so you can switch it up depending on what routine you chose, and lots of slow but steady movements. I have no idea what time of yoga they are, I'm not that well versed, but know that I've kept to them on and off for 6 months now and enjoy them. I also know how deceptively easy they are and how much I feel them the day after if I lapse for a while. :)
posted by eatdonuts at 9:43 AM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

I secretly really like Rodney Yee. His DVDs can seem a bit silly at first, but I just think they're great.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:49 AM on February 9, 2010

Check out All their yoga DVDs seem to run very easy. They are big on the spiritual side of yoga, too, which is a nice way to get introduced to it.
posted by bearwife at 10:06 AM on February 9, 2010

This is going to sound really corny and dumb, but I've been doing yoga for over a decade and my favorite beginner-level DVD is Geri-Body Yoga by, yes, Geri Halliwell. The class is actually lead by a real yoga instructor (Katy Appleton) and is really both an "easy" class in terms of poses and a good workout.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:13 AM on February 9, 2010

Another vote for Rodney Yee. I like his Power Yoga series - it has a few 20 minute routines that are just lovely!
posted by Gor-ella at 10:35 AM on February 9, 2010

Many libraries have yoga dvds in their collections, so that would be one way to try some out without buying.

I recommend Yoga Zone's Conditioning and Stress Release video. I've had it for 6 or 7 years now, and still do it regularly. Matter of fact, I used it yesterday morning! It runs for longer than 20 minutes, but you can skip over the 'Now we come to some real strong conditioning...' section on days when you have less time.
posted by toodles at 10:42 AM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

I reccommend My Yoga Online, which for $10 a month gives you unlimited access to tons of yoga classes at many levels, including beginner. They also have videos for a variety of types of yoga (also pilates I think) you so you experiment to see what's right for you.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 11:10 AM on February 9, 2010

Diane Bruni's Breathing Space Yoga is lovely. She's a wonderful teacher and has a large and dedicated following.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:24 AM on February 9, 2010

Its hard to recommend anything without knowing your current activity level or tastes. Nope, "I'm very out of shape but relatively flexible" doesn't quite help. "Relatively" could be very relative.

Personally, I started with books. One is less likely to get injured practicing from books! The people you watch in DVDs have been doing it for years and for all we know, you could try to attain poses just the way they do it in the DVDs. While still working with books, I got a DVD (not beginners but I was also, relatively, very flexible), which I really enjoyed. No, I didn't start out being able to do all the poses intially but that wasn't my aim either.

I guess my point is, you really should get a couple of DVDs from the library or netflix, if you are a member and then see what you like. Which ones make you feel like you can't wait to start? I enjoyed the DVD linked above, I bought another one by Baptiste and absolutely detested the background score (too distracting). I have two by Rodney Yee (not beginners level) and I LOVE it. I have seen some of his other DVDs (I got netflix just for this purpose) but I didn't like all of them. I have seen some by Lana and I can't look past her outfits. Not that any of these people are better than others, its just I like some DVDs and not others.

Try before you buy.
posted by xm at 12:27 PM on February 9, 2010

I recommend Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies. But you should provide more information about what has turned you off from previous instruction videos.

If money is really tight, print out, memorize and then practice the positions/movements/breathing/timing of the sun salutation. There are lots of free pictures/videos and different versions of sun salutations on the web. Pick out the positions/movements that work for you. Listen to your body and recognize the difference between pain and strain. I found that designing my own version of the sun salutation was empowering.

2nding your local library- it is your friend for exactly this sort of thing.
posted by surfgator at 3:28 PM on February 9, 2010

Kundalini Yoga for Beginners and Beyond is pretty good, and the option of stopping early is built in -- there's the "full" set versus the short set. I believe the short set is 45 minutes.
posted by brina at 8:58 PM on February 9, 2010

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