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Michael George

Professional Fitness Expert

How to Yoga & Best Yoga DVDs

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Are you looking for a workout DVD that requires little to no equipment; that will help you lose weight, tone your body and strengthen your cardiovascular system? Have you tried the practice of YOGA? Whether you answer is Yes or No, keep reading.

If you are already a Yoga practitioner, then you are probably aware of the wonderful benefits of this practice. So I recommend that you peruse through the list of DVDs that I have chosen as some of the best Yoga DVDs on the market.

If you are a novice to the Yoga practice, then you are about to embark on what could possibly be one of your most profound life changing experiences. Not only does the practice of Yoga have tremendous benefits for your body, but it is also known to soothe the soul and clear the mind.

What Is Yoga?

Is it a hot new trend? Quite the opposite; yoga actually began more than 3,000 years ago in India. The word yoga comes from Sanskrit, and it means to “yoke,” or bring together the mind, body, and spirit.

While there is the physical component of yoga, yoga encompasses so much more. The practice of yoga is an art and science dedicated to creating union between body, mind, and spirit. It is about making balance and creating poise, to live in peace, good health, and harmony with the greater whole.

There are actually eight “limbs” of yoga, which include:

1. Yama: Universal morality
2. Niyama: Personal observances
3. Asanas: Body postures
4. Pranayama: Breathing exercises
5. Pratyahara: Control of the senses
6. Dharana: Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
7. Dhyana: Devotion, meditation on the Divine
8. Samadhi : Union with the Divine

Therefore, for the serious yoga practitioner, yoga is truly more than exercising; it is a lifestyle. However, for the sake of this article, we will focus on the physical aspect of yoga.

The physical component of the yoga lifestyle is called Hatha Yoga. Hatha yoga focuses on asanas, which is Sanskrit and refers to the practice of physical postures or poses. There are different forms of Hatha Yoga, some of which are:

- Ashtanga Yoga is a vigorous, fast-paced yoga that helps to build flexibility, strength, concentration, and stamina. Movements are performed quickly through a set of predetermined poses while remaining focused on deep breathing.

- Power Yoga is also a very active form of yoga that improves flexibility and stamina by completing poses. This form of yoga is rapidly rising in popularity.

- Iyengar Yoga focuses on precise poses and participants use benches, ropes, mats, blocks, and chairs as props.

- Kundalini Yoga uses poses, deep breathing and other breathing techniques, chanting, and meditation.

- Gentle Yoga focuses on slow stretches, flexibility, and deep breathing.

Yoga has tons of physical benefits. It can improve flexibility, strength, balance, and stamina. Many people who practice only the physical component of yoga also find that it reduces anxiety and stress and improves mental clarity. Recent studies have shown that most current practitioners started practicing yoga to improve their overall health. Many say that a doctor or therapist has recommended yoga to them.

Fortunately, yoga can be as vigorous or as gentle as you want it to be, so just about everyone can do it. The Yoga practice is constantly evolving and changing. While the poses themselves do not change, your relationship to them will. Always listen to your body. It knows what it can do. Yoga is not competitive. If you push too hard, you probably won't enjoy it, and you could possibly hurt yourself. One of the most difficult aspects of yoga, yet ultimately the most liberating, is letting go of the ego.

If you are a beginner in the practice of yoga, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider, especially if you have a health challenge.

A lot of people think that yoga is mainly stretching. Yes, stretching is definitely involved, however, the focus is mainly about creating balance in the body through developing strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. The poses can be done quickly and in succession, creating heat in the body through movement or more slowly to perfect the alignment of the pose and to increase stamina.

I have chosen a variety of Yoga DVDs to help you find the one that is right for you.

Learn how to yoga DVDs are must-have to tone up and stretch out your body. For the best yoga DVDs, our experts find the perfect workout videos for beginners to advanced students looking for how to yoga DVDs.

Best Yoga DVDs by Michael George

The Best You Can Get

  • Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga

    Michael says: Bryan Kest has been practicing yoga for more than 26 years. He initially studied in Hawaii with David Williams, noted to be the first person to bring Ashtanga yoga to America. He then studied in India with K. Pattabhi Jois, one of the main promoters of Ashtanga yoga. Kest has been teaching yoga for approximately 21 years. “My primary objective,” says Kest, "besides turning more and more people on to a healthier, more peaceful lifestyle that continually challenges them to grow, is to teach a system of exercise that fully integrates the body, mind, and spirit.” Teachings have deep roots in Eastern philosophy.

    • Basic instructions and an emphasis on yoga's benefits
    • A series of postures that focus on achieving balance and poise, muscle elasticity, and a peaceful mental state
    • Top-notch instruction makes the rigorous poses and routines accessible and highly effective
    • This is a somewhat strenuous routine and is more suitable for advanced levels
    • An introduction to techniques for proper breathing and concentration
  • Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss - Instructor Suzanne Deason

    Michael says: Winner 2005 Self Magazine Fitness DVD Award for Best Yoga DVD. A holistic way to engage mind and body to help you effectively lose and maintain weight.

    DVD details:

    - Chapter search
    - Relaxing scenery and music
    - Available in Spanish and English
    - Total Running Time: Four hours

    • Four different levels of yoga and stretching workouts
    • On-screen symbol alerts you to poses that offer more detailed instruction
    • The workouts are appropriate for all fitness levels
    • Detailed instruction on more challenging poses
    • Bonus 16-page full-color “Exercise, Nutrition, and Weight Management Guide”
  • Yoga For Beginners DVD – Instructor Patricia Walden

    Michael says: Patricia Walden is a classical Iyengar yoga teacher who has studied regularly with B.K.S. Iyengar. Once honored by Yoga Journal as one of the “25 American Yoga Originals who are shaping yoga today” and featured in Time magazine for her work with yoga and healing. Patricia takes special interest in yoga for women and yoga for depression. It's a way of sharing the experience of yoga that she says literally saved her life during a dark period of depression, addiction, and plummeting self-esteem.

    • Patricia Walden is excellent at introducing the basic asanas (poses) for beginners
    • The instructor demonstrates 23 basic poses step by step, gently introducing you to a full range of poses for strength, flexibility, and relaxation
    • Present-day approach to this discipline
    • Award-winning program includes an on-screen pose guide and instructor interviews
    • Recommended props: mat, strap, and brick
  • Kundalini: Fountain Of Youth Yoga – Instructor Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

    Michael says: This instructor has been featured in the New York Times, Vogue, W, InStyle, Spin, and Rolling Stone as Hollywood's most celebrated yogi, who has reportedly taught Madonna, Cindy Crawford, Al Pacino, David Duchovny, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and R.E.M, just to name a few. Students in Los Angeles and around the world have sought her classes in Kundalini yoga, meditation, and pre- and post-natal care for nearly three decades.

    • Learn postures that awaken, energize, strengthen, and relax your body and soul
    • A series of invigorating, self-paced yoga sets
    • Focus on strengthening your stamina and endurance
  • Kripalu Yoga Gentle DVD - Instructor Sudha Carolyn Lundeen

    Michael says: Sudha Carolyn Lundeen is certified as an Advanced Kripalu Yoga Instructor, Holistic Health Nurse, and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist. She is the former Director of Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association, has been leading programs on yoga, health, and healing for more than twenty years. The programs are divided into seven main chapters so one can go to a particular set of exercises using the DVD control.

    • The practices are gentle and most of the time the movement is relatively slow
    • The postures are mostly standing and sitting positions in a flow
    • Many of the positions have the potential to be challenging
    • There is a rest period at the end of each half of the practice
    • Good DVD for people who have some yoga experience but want to follow along with a class

You will be happy with any of these

  • Back Care Yoga for Beginners with Rodney Yee

    Michael says: Rodney Yee takes you through a complete yoga conditioning program for your back which will help strengthen your back and help minimize the effects of stress, poor posture, and weak muscles.

    • Move more freely with two 20-minute yoga workouts designed to help your back get stronger and more flexible
    • The DVD begins with breathing exercises to release tension
    • Deal with and prevent back pain the natural way
    • Practice strengthening exercises to build powerful and elastic abs
    • End with deep relaxation to integrate the vital energy you've created
  • Fat Free Yoga : Lose Weight and Feel Great – Instructors Ravi Singh and Ana Brett

    Michael says: Learn how to boost your metabolism naturally and permanently.

    • Easy to follow
    • Conveniently chaptered
    • Features four 19 min. workouts (Start Your Engines, Fight Fire With Fire, No Impact Aerobics, Your Life is in Your Own Glands)
    • Two powerful meditations
    • Comprehensive workout geared to all levels
  • Ageless Yoga For Seniors (Series) - John Schlorholtz

    Michael says: John Schlorholtz is a principal Yoga instructor at the Harvard University Center for Wellness and Health Communication for over fifteen years. John has many years of experience both in adapting Yoga for seniors, including creative Chair Yoga, and in adapting Yoga for disabilities, injuries, and illnesses, including arthritis.

    The two DVDs in John Schlorholtz’s Ageless Yoga series, “Chair and Standing Routines” and “Floor and Standing Routines,” offer a wide variety of Yoga options for people of all sizes, shapes, and ages. “Floor and Standing Routines” is designed for people who can get down on the ground. “Chair and Standing Routines” is designed for people who find it difficult to get down on the ground and includes sixteen chair-only Yoga sequences for those who find it difficult or impossible to stand. It also includes a number of chair and standing routines that involve some chair exercises and some exercises that are done while standing while keeping a chair handy for safety.

    • Dozens of exercise and relaxation segments
    • Each DVD contains 2 hours of material
    • Offers gentle and gently challenging routines from as short as 5 or 6 minutes to as long as 90 minutes
    • Provides opportunity for progress and improvement
    • DVDs can be purchased separately
  • Denise Austin: Yoga Body Burn

    Michael says: Denise Austin is one of the most accomplished and popular of all contemporary fitness trainers.

    • Three successive routines that use yoga techniques to vigorously work different regions of the body - thus accelerating fat-burning and prompting weight loss in each area
    • One routine targets the legs, a second targets the abdominal muscles, and the third is designed to tone, shape, and firm one's overall physique
  • Element: Yoga for Beginners – Instructor Elena Brower

    Michael says: Yoga for Beginners is a great DVD for those who are looking to start a yoga practice while being challenged and engaged.

    There is a good mix of floor poses and it ends with relaxation techniques.

    • Great emphasis on breath control to heat and energize the body
    • Gradual movement into more challenging poses
    • Instructor has a calm and soothing voice
    • Clear and descriptive instructions
    • More advanced practitioners may find this workout invigorating and enjoyable

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Learning how to yoga DVDs are more than exercise. These best yoga DVDs help you learn how to create balance in your body and in life. Always the best price, our workout videos also include modern takes on how to yoga with power yoga DVDs that intensify the workout.