Thursday, October 25, 2012

Helpful Yoga Videos for Beginners

With hundreds of yoga videos now on the market, you can imagine the diversity among them - you can find everything from nude yoga to postnatal yoga, and everything in between!

Here are a couple of generally good and helpful yoga videos for beginners or those relatively new to the practice. 

Healing Yoga for Common Conditions

This video promises to improve circulation, promote weight loss and manage the symptoms of diabetes and high cholesterol - all through reaping the health benefits of yoga. Without a medical study it's hard to say if it can really deliver, but the hosts, Lisa and Charles Matkin, come with good credentials.

They have taught therapeutic yoga programs at Beth Israel Hospital in New York and New York Presbyterian Medical Center, working with physicians in using yoga to help people with chronic injuries and illnesses.

The 35-minute video is designed to help you increase your metabolism, according to the Matkins. The couple begin the workout with Lisa demonstrating the moves next to a pool with an ocean in the background while Charles does the voice-over, then they switch, then switch again. Both have soothing voices and good form.

The workout is divided into three sections. The first deals with learning to control your breath. It's a pretty basic segment, teaching you breathing techniques and stretching out the body.

The second is for strength, and involves poses that are a bit more difficult, such as the warrior and downward-facing dog poses.

In the third section, you work on releasing tension and relaxation.

This is a good video for all fitness levels. The moves are explained well, as are the benefits and purposes of yoga. None of the poses is very difficult, and the instructors give you modifications to make the moves easier if needed.

Rodney Yee's Yoga for Beginners

Rodney Yee is known for his calm and relaxed tone, and his vigorous and challenging yoga workout DVDs. This one does offer challenges, but it also includes a great 40-minute segment explaining each pose and how to do it in more thorough detail than most of Yee's videos.

If you are a beginner, or just looking to brush up or get some more instruction, this is a great place to start.

The pose training segment is accompanied by two full-length workouts so you can put what you've learned into practice.  The 20-minute Morning Workout helps wake up your muscles, loosen any morning stiffness, and energize you to begin your day. The 15-minute Evening Workout stretches, soothes, and relaxes tired muscles, and puts you in a relaxed and peaceful state of mind.

For each workout, you can choose full audio instructional guidance through each pose, or simply prompts for the pose changes once you get more familiar with the workout.

Filmed in beautiful Molokai, Hawaii, this is a great introduction to the practice of yoga, and the two workout sessions are likely ones you will want to continue even as a more advanced student of yoga.

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