The Bottom Line
- A variety of yoga routines for energy, strength and rejuvenation
- The movements are slow and controlled with great cueing for learning proper form
- Meticulous instruction helps beginners understand each pose
- The scenery is beautiful and the instructor is very good at providing background for each pose
- Movements are very slow and held for extended periods of time, which may be tough for very beginners
- Detailed instructions for each move could get tiresome over time
- This yoga DVD includes 8 routines focusing on different areas of yoga such as standing poses, backbends and hip openers
- The Getting Started section includes targeted routines that help beginners learn proper positioning for standard yoga poses
- The As You Progress section includes longer routines focused on energy, rejuvenation, strength and relaxation.
Guide Review - Review: Yoga for Beginners by Barbara Benagh
Yoga for Beginners, taught by Barbara Benagh, is a beautifully filmed video based in Half Moon Bay, Antigua with scenery much more interesting than where most of us are doing yoga (e.g., in our own living rooms). The focus is on techniques and tips for beginning yoga exercisers, with an emphasis on learning the poses and perfecting good form. The DVD is divided into two sections, 'Getting Started' and 'As You Progress.' The Getting Started section includes routines focused on:
- Standing poses
- Strength and balance
- Sun salutations, and
- Seated hip openers
The idea here is to learn the building blocks of a yoga practice, perfect your form and prepare for more vigorous practice. For example, the Backbends section offers techniques for strengthening and stretching the body in preparation for more difficult backbending poses in yoga practice. Some the moves include cobras, back extensions and seated backbends. For each move, Barbara meticulously cues you into perfect position and you hold each for several breaths, which can get a little intense.
The exercises taught in the 'Getting Started' section are then put together into routines in the 'As You Progress' section. Most routines last from 30-70 minutes and focus on energizing, strength, rejuvenation and quieting. Because the cueing and instruction is included, these workouts seemed long to me at, at times, didn't flow very well. In fact, some beginners may find these routines hard simply because of the length of time you hold many of the poses.
By far the best part of the video is the 'Getting Started' Section where beginners can learn the basics of standard poses like warriors I and II, triangle pose, tree pose, sun salutations and more. The cueing is excellent and the scenery is gorgeous. Barbara has a lovely, soothing voice and explains everything you ever wanted to know (and more) about yoga. If the routines in the As You Progress flowed better and didn't include the endless instruction, this would be a video that would grow with your practice. As it is, it's great for beginners, but you may move on quickly.