Many new yoga students get their first taste of yoga from a video. Other yoga practitioners do not have a yoga teacher nearby and must rely on videos to help them through their workouts. Yoga Movement constantly adds to its video library. Check here for the latest videos designed to enhance your understanding and practice of yoga and meditation. If we have personal experience with a video we'll share our feelings about it. Other times, we'll just tip you off to what's out there and encourage you to explore. If you'd like to share some of your favorites, please contact us.
Ali MacGraw - Yoga Mind & Body. This 1994 video features actress MacGraw, stunning photography and production, an upbeat New Age soundtrack, and an excellent, well-balanced workout. The 50-minute routine, overseen by yoga master Erich Schiffman, leads you through a complete practice of shoulder stretches, sun salutations, back bends and twists, and standing poses. No equipment is required, but a sticky mat is recommended. Unlike other videos targeted for beginners, Yoga Mind & Body does not offer modifications for difficult poses and does not go into extensive instructions regarding poses - so it is best suited for practitioners with some previous experience. Still this video is one we go back to again and again - it always leaves us energized and calm and wishing we were practicing amid the breathtaking White Sands desert landscape in New Mexico.
Buns of Steel - Yoga. If you can get past the Buns of Steel tag, you will find a gentle and relaxing video with instructor Marguerite Baca. This workout is easy to follow and doesn't rush you. Perfect for beginners. This video remains one of our favorites for its inviting presentations of sun salutation, standing poses, and relaxation poses. (1994)
Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss. According to my yoga teacher, no yoga program is a cure-all for weight loss. If you want to look like a yogi, you have to practice like one and eat like one. In other words, yoga practice (like any exercise program) is only part of the picture. With that said, Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss is a good offering from Living Arts. Instructor Suzanne Deason and her fellow instructors take you through standing asanas, back and forward bends, twists, and other poses. The four instructors simultaneously demonstrate a single program with each providing different modifications of the same pose. So anyone can participate: yogis with tight hips, hamstrings, or shoulders; moderately flexible yogis; yogis wishing to build strength and stamina; and those looking for a challenging workout. Despite the title, there is no magic pill or practice or asana that will automatically carve off the pounds. This practice is much like any other practice you might find in a yoga studio near you. Deason emphasizes that yoga promotes weight loss by helping you balance mind, body, and spirit. By offering modifications for yogis at various levels of fitness and flexibility, it doesn't allow yogis to make excuses -- and that may be the biggest reason to include it in your weight management program. (2000)
Lilias! Flowing Postures Series. Lilias Folan, public television's first lady of yoga, has been introducing viewers to yoga for more than 30 years. Her new boxed set of flowing yoga postures for beginners includes four 35-minute yoga videos that are also sold separately: Lilias: Arms & Abs, Lilias: Cardio Challenge, Lilias: Serenity Now, and Lilias: Legs & Buns. You can alternate or combine the workouts, mixing and matching according to your goals or how you feel on a particular day. Lilias is known for her gentle, patient, and clear instruction. Her style is inviting, and she doesn't demand that you get into impossible postures. She starts where you are, explaining how to get into a posture (modified is fine), how to tell if you're doing it right, what your body should feel and look like as you do it, and what's happening in your body. (1999)
Total Yoga: The Flow Series. Tracey Rich and Ganga White, respected teachers of the White Lotus Foundation, are your guides in this three-level series that offers a solid foundation for classical yoga postures and ujjayi breathing. Asanas are connected in a flowing manner, and instruction is specific. Modifications and variations are offered in all three videos. All videos include sun salutations, standing poses, seated poses, forward bends, twists, and inverted poses. Level 1 (Earth) offers a steady and complete 45-minute daily hatha yoga practice that will be a welcome to the first-time student as well as the intermediate practitioner. Level 2 (Water) kicks it up a notch focusing on strength and refinement as body, mind, and breath become a moving meditation. Level 3 (Fire) is the most dynamic session and a challenging workout with a higher level of aerobic activity and three types of sun salutations. The intensity level of Fire increases vigorously with the length that each asana is held and the repetition of each vinyasa (series of poses). All three programs end with meditations. Videos are sold separately or in a boxed set. Rich and White know their stuff and are poetry in motion; this is textbook yoga that will enhance the practice of longtime practitioners as well as beginners. While the yoga is fantastic, the video production is a yawn. The music is uninspiring, and the photography static. While many exciting videos use natural backgrounds and scenes to keep the returning yogi interested and to reinforce yoga's connection with nature, all three videos are shot in a studio that has a claustrophobic feel. It is unfortunate that such excellent information is imprisoned in such a boring package.
Yoga Practice for Flexibility. Yoga Journal's more advanced offering of yoga stretching exercises presents two routines for flexibility: back stretches and front stretches. Each routine begins with a short warm-up, though if one is not already well-practiced in yoga stretching techniques, not to mention already flexible, some of these stretches should not be attempted. Even the so-called "moderate" poses for those with less strength and flexibility are difficult to achieve. Patricia Walden encourages the viewer to practice often and work toward the stretching goals, and conscientiously demonstrates the stretches in a methodical manner.
New Yoga Challenge. Fitness queen Kathy Smith teams up with yoga master Rod Stryker to offer a rigorous, intermediate-to-advanced yoga routine. This workout is more vigorous than you would expect from yoga; you move from one challenging pose to another without stopping, building strength and stamina as well as flexibility. This 1995 video is for experienced yoga students looking for a new challenge.
Yoga Zone: Conditioning & Stress Release. Some people take up yoga to build strength and flexibility; others are primarily looking to reduce stress and tension. This 55-minute program, while purporting to address both groups, is actually much more appropriate for the latter. Yoga Zone founder Alan Finger does an excellent job of explaining yoga breathing techniques, followed by a series of easy stretches (for the neck, shoulders, arms, and such) and a variety of standing, sitting, and lying poses beneficial to yogis of all levels. The pace is gentle, the sequence of poses logical, the instruction clear and constant. Beginners will be challenged but not intimidated, while more advanced types might find it a welcome alternative to sweaty, aerobic yoga workouts.
Living Yoga: A.M./P.M. Yoga for Beginners Set with Free Music Cassette. This yoga set is perfect for those with busy schedules who need to work in a way to relax. On the a.m. tape, Rodney Yee takes you through a 15-minute morning yoga set, while Patricia Walden leads a 20-minute evening routine on the p.m. tape. The stretches Yee demonstrates are designed to increase circulation, improve mobility, and bring clarity to your mind. The movements are easy to follow (they include a conscious relaxation, the a.m. workout, and a guided meditation), and the set is short enough that it can be squeezed into the most hectic of morning schedules. Walden's yoga set is designed to quiet the mind after the stress of the day and to help you make the transition from active to quiet. She uses a combination of a centering series, standing poses, forward bends, and restorative poses to help you ease into night. Also includes The Adagio Music Collection, a free cassette featuring music for yoga.
Living Yoga: Power Yoga for Beginners. This yoga practice will make you sweat - and that's the idea! Power yoga is the rage among athletes such as runners, cyclists, and climbers, who find that it protects them from injury, promotes flexibility, and increases muscle strength and endurance. In only 20 minutes, instructor Rodney Yee takes you through several sun salutations, standing strength poses, and even four minutes of conscious relaxation, leaving you feeling strong, energized, and centered. A word of caution: though this tape says it's 'for beginners,' it's most helpful for those who know some basic yoga positions already. (1998)
Bryan Kest's Power Yoga Series, V. 1: Energize. Kest teaches wildly popular yoga classes in Santa Monica, California - so popular that stars such as Rhea Perlman, David Duchovny, and Elisabeth Shue take his packed classes. Volume 1: Energize is a beginner level class that nonetheless is smartly designed to provide challenges for all levels of users. Stretches and strengthening moves are alternated with just enough repose to keep even first timers on track. After mastering Vol. 1, practitioners can go on to Volume 2: Tone or Volume 3: Sweat to further challenge themselves. Remember Kest's personal mantra: "If you're doing the best you can, you're doing this class perfectly." (1995)
prenatal yoga & yoga for children
Baby & Mom-Pre Natal Yoga. Instructor Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa guides you in a gentle exercise workout for pregnant women of all fitness levels. Prior to the 45-minute routine, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa discusses the role of yoga in helping with pregnancy - the calm and security that develop through guided breathing and gentle movement are transferred from the mother's body to her growing baby. The nonimpact routine itself provides ample warm-up, toning, and conditioning portions, as well as a deep, head-to-toe relaxation and visualization segment. Ten pregnant students stretch, bend, and learn along with the viewer, to the peaceful sounds of a live band consisting of wood flute, bass, quiet drum, and shimmering bells. (1999)
yoga for older adults
Tai Chi for Older Adults. Paul Lamm, who has produced several tai chi videos, introduces seniors to this flowing form of exercise. (1998)
tai chi & qigong
Qi-netics. Respected bodyworker Lydia Wong offers a fusion of tai chi, qigong, and yoga that is suitable for all ages and all levels of fitness. This delightful video, filmed on scenic Key West and combining the natural sounds of ocean and nature with Japanese flutes, is relaxing just to watch. Wong's voice is soothing as she encourages you to massage, stretch, and move your way to health and vitality. Exercises do more than just tone muscles; they work on the body's subtle qi energy channels to improve circulation, metabolism, digestion, and other vital functions. First, Wong introduces you to tao or the way of harmony then she leads you in two self-massage sessions: a meridian dance massage based on simple rhythmic dance exercises and a session of sitting massage and stretches to help you release everyday stress and tension. The heart of the video is called qi-centering breathing and movement meditation, which is a 10-part form harmonizing breath, movement, and meditation. Wong says with qi-netics "your body, mind, and spirit are slowly falling in love with each other," which is an impressive goal for any video. Jack Nicholson, Angelica Huston, Dolph Lundgren, and a host of other stars have sought Wong's skills to relax and reenergize after busy schedules. This video is not available through Amazon.com. For more information, call 305-745-2811.
golf & yoga
TakeFlight: Yoga for Better Golf. This 20-minute stretching video is designed to help golfers rise above their current game and soar to new heights by improving their swing, concentration, and score. Yoga prepares the body and mind for better play. This is the perfect gift for the golfer in the family.
Meditation for Starters. This award-winning video interweaves instruction for the beginning meditator and has a beautiful and deep guided visualization meditation. Learn to withdraw your energies from the stress of daily life and return to your calm center where inspiration, divine intuition, calmness, peace, and joy can be experienced. The guided meditation has uplifting musical accompaniment to footage from the Caribbean and Sierra foothills.
Practice for Meditation. "Meditation is awareness
of posture, ease of breath, and attentiveness of the mind," says instructor
Rodney Yee. In this beautiful video, Yee quietly and expertly leads you through
five yoga practices that release bodily tension, improve posture, and open up
breathing. The setting is grand and gorgeous Yosemite National Park, where Yee
demonstrates poses in a meadow flanked by trees and cliffs, or at the edge of a
lake or waterfall. The practice is divided into five segments: Mountain,
a series that moves from pose to pose, used for making the transition from daily
activities to a sitting meditation (12 minutes); Garden, gentle movements
done in a chair that open the hips and stretch the back (10 minutes); Tree,
four sitting poses, using props to modify the poses to your personal flexibility
level (10 minutes); Wind, with the focus on the movement of breath,
releasing tension, and relaxing deeply (10 minutes); and Sky, a
meditation focusing on posture and breath, and "inviting the mind into the
present moment, time and time again" (8 minutes).