Recommendations or yoga DVD
April 1, 2005 7:15 PM   Subscribe

My 13 -yr old daughter is interested in basic yoga instruction via DVD. There are dozens of titles available from Amazon. Any recommendations for a secular, physical health centric DVD?
posted by Neiltupper to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
I really like the Living Arts/Gaim DVDs, particulary Power Yoga for Beginners (Stamina, Strength, and Flexibility) and the "Total Body Workout" (Lower Body, Upper Body, Abs). Each of those two DVDs includes 3 workouts, so they're good values.

I would use those as DVDs to work out to, but as for "instruction", if she can go to a class with a real live teacher, even just once or twice, that's infinitely better and she will benefit more from the DVDs if she does that first.

If classes aren't a possibility (or maybe in addition, even if they are) pick up a book that will explain the poses in words and with pictures.

Most DVDs will tell you which pose to move into, maybe how to move into it ("from the strength of the legs" or "pressing your hamstring into your thighbone") and provide some limted guidance on alignment ("you should be able to see your big toe"), but if she's not going to have a teacher to do adjustments, she'll probably have an easier time if she knows a little about each pose when she goes to do the DVD.

You can also get DVDs that explain the poses more fully, of course (e.g. Basic Yoga for Dummies), but the problem with that is that listening the the explanation is useful the first fiew times and maddening to sit through the next thousand times when you don't need it as much anymore.
posted by duck at 7:28 PM on April 1, 2005

A lot of video stores (including Netflix) have yoga dvds available- that's how I perused videos before making a purchase.
posted by elisabeth r at 9:21 PM on April 1, 2005

Videos/DVDs, I believe are the worst way to learn yoga. Try going into downward facing dog and looking at the TV set at the same time. It's unpossible, to quote Ralph Wiggum.
I strenuously third the recommendation of going to a yoga class or two or three, so that you learn how to do the poses properly, learn how they feel when done correctly.
THEN, once she has the basics down, she could move into yoga CD's/audio, which are better than DVD's because the cueing (verbal instructions) is suited for listening, not for viewing.
Here's a few good ones:
Shiva Rea's Yoga Sanctuary

Cyndi Lee's OM Yoga in a Box

Yoga With Ateeka

If you allow it, yoga can definitely change your life for the better. Have a great journey!
posted by willmize at 1:24 AM on April 2, 2005

I'll nth the comment that DVD's are a very bad way to learn yoga, and raise it to: DVD's can be a dangerous way to learn yoga. As with any exercise regimen, you can injure yourself if you do it improperly.

(expanding on willmize's points)

I don't know where you live, but I'd be willing to bet that if it's somewhere with a population of more than about 50K, there's going to be a yoga studio. Get her enrolled in classes--yes, more expensive, I know--and once she's comfortable (and more importantly, once her teacher says so), add DVD's into the mix. That way she will have at-home exercise coupled with the ongoing correction of an actual teacher.

Yoga's not something that can be learned without hands-on instruction. Someone has to be there, looking at your asanas, and correcting you as necessary. Otherwise you're going to be doing them wrong (given that nobody gets them perfect with in-person instruction for the first little while, there is no way that they can when that instruction is not present), and you can seriously damage your body. Yoga instructors (good ones; check credentials, look them up) know what a body can handle, and know what a growing body can handle. A DVD cannot provide that.

The suggestion for audio CD's is absolutely brilliant.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:29 AM on April 2, 2005

As for the secular part, keep in mind that most elite teachers that have videos do see yoga as a holistic, meditating, cleansing practice that is focused on the breath, not on an exercise regimin. Thus there are a set of beliefs that do go along with it that you'll be hardpressed to get away from. Hopefully your daughter won't mind.

I also vote for classes at least one a week. Poses are hard, she may push too hard in the wrong position and injure herself, there are a bunch of different styles that she may like to try (coming from someone who can't stand hatha, the most common type of yoga out there), and being 13 she may be very flexible and able to advance to intermediate rapidly enough.

As for audio, I have a really hard time following them. Put my foot where? I end up saying through the whole thing.
posted by scazza at 3:35 PM on April 2, 2005

I really enjoy the Yoga Zone videos with Alan Finger, especially Conditioning and Stress Release in the Green Case. I also really like the Crunch Candlelight Yoga tape.

Those are both gentle yoga routines with good cuing and instruction. But Video Fitness reviews are the best place to start. You can read a lot of really detailed reviews of all the tapes on the market. I never buy a new tape without going there first. Collage Video also has reviews.
posted by abbyladybug at 5:50 PM on April 2, 2005 [1 favorite]

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