Yoga for beginners: 7 DVDs to start practicing with

My road into yoga started by a detour while I was looking for peace, at first and once upon a time I would just listen to the cable channel that had new age music because it calmed me down, then I discovered yoga  dvds (back then through vhs) at the NY Public Library.  The peace I found in a dvd like "Yoga for Meditation" for example (see below), centered me and led me to more challenging ones.  Here is a list of the ones I still like to watch once in a while and that got me started on the path to deeper asana:

A.M. and P.M. YogaA.M. and P.M. Yoga - Yee/Walden:

When I first started practicing yoga I used to love the amazing focus obtained by doing the morning practice that Yee leads in this dvd, and relax to the short practice that Patricia Walden offers by night.  I was surprised that the night practice includes back bending but judging by the results and the fact that I am still practicing yoga it must have worked.

Relaxation & Breathing for MeditationRelaxation and breathing for meditation

This is my favorite dvd on yoga.  Rodney Yee uses wonderful imagery to open the body and lead it into a state of meditation.  I still play it once in a while when I want to soothe myself.

Ashtanga Yoga: The Primary SeriesAshtanga Yoga: The Primary Series

Richard is in my eyes the most advanced, yet humble, most accurate yet detached yoga teacher that the United States ever had.  A treasure to learn to, he has a wonderful way to his wording and way of teaching the sequence.  He is a poet as well as an ashtangi and provides detailed metaphors that lead to precise alignment.

Yoga for BeginnersYoga for Beginners

Patricia Walden is one of the most respected senior Iyengar teachers in the US, and it shows.  This DVD has been recommended to me, although I admit I have not watched it or practiced to it, I do add her to the list because she is a very effective communicator.

Yoga Journal's Yoga for Flexibility (Beginner's Practice)Yoga for flexibility (Beginner's practice)

This dvd was part of my repertoire when I got started and I was fascinated by the backbending sequence in it. Patricia goes into much detail to get us into the brige pose with right alignment.  It is a bit of a challenge, but very worth the practice.

Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series [DVD] Mark DarbyAshtanga Yoga Primary Series DVD, Mark Darby

I have written before about Darby's DVD and it continues to be my first recommendation for those who want to learn the primary series.  I particularly love that Nicole does variations for the most challenging asanas providing a clear relief for beginners.  It also has a French version, which is amazing considering not many dvds are available on the subject in other languages.


Bryan Kest has three levels of practice in this dvd and they are more and more challenging as you go along.  They guarantee a good sweat and a fantastic savasana.  I liked that he actually leads a class and you see students of all levels going through his sequences.

What did you start practicing to?

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16 comments:

  1. I started years ago with Patricia Walden's Yoga For Beginners. It was so long ago that it was a VCR tape. But I credit her with my triangle alignment and head stand and shoulder stand practice. I never had a class teach me those things (until recently) so I'm glad I learned from her and kept at it all these years.

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  2. Hi Laine, thanks for commenting, I am enjoying your blog, will add to blogroll, I am interested specifically on all the other activities you do on top of yoga, impressive. You are right about Patricia, she also gave some tips in those early vhs that I still use as well!

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  3. I used to read entire magazines looking for this kind of advice. Thanks once again! I've seen some Richard Freeman on youtube but want to listen to what he has to say, not just watch, based on what you have said before. And that Darby DVD does sound like the holy grail, not just here because other's who know what they're doing also say glowing things about it.

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  4. Nice list Claudia :)

    I've not used DVDs myself (am lucky enough to have teachers on hand) but on the subject of practice in other languages, Polish authorised teacher Basia Lipska has a lovely primary series DVD in English & Polish which features practitioners of different levels. If this is of interest to anyone reading you can see a trailer & buy it online at ashtanga.com (link is here: http://www.ashtanga.com/html/p.lasso?p=10217)

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  5. Hi FFT, welcome back! :-) and you are welcome, yes Richard Freeman is amazing, sometimes he comes over to the North East, and he is worth visiting, so humble, and so amazing... as per Darby, I am not surprised others talk about it, it has a lot to offer...

    DDGmel, thank you for posting that, I now remember that Basia Lipska does have that dvd, and although I have not seen it yet I think it is a great addition to the list for anyone who may want an introduction in Polish.

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  6. ...cheeky confession time, my friend made the film, but it *does* look great too!! And I like to think I was offering a double-public service: 1 to her, but also for anyone looking for a Polish DVD... or just one that looks fab! ;)

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  7. Great list! I'm another Patricia Walden fan. I found the 'Yoga for Beginners' video in the 'bargain' bin at Best Buy back in '95 and it was my very first experience of yoga. I'm also a fan of the a.m./p.m. yoga practices. Suzanne Deason's 'Yoga for Stress Relief' is also good - short, but a complete practice. Funny how I used to think that 25 minutes of yoga was a really long practice! :-D

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  8. DDGmel, love your "confession", and I totally agree, if i spoke Polish I would love to know there is a dvd that could help in my own language, totally!

    Kaivalya,thank you. hmm I had not heard of Suzanne Deason's, and I like short dvds wonder how it escaped me thanks for adding that suggestion... I also find it interesting that back then only a little yoga would do...

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  9. I know there are lots of DVDs of yoga are available in the market. You have mentioned are all good but i want to suggest that yoga’s very well known teacher Erich Schiffmann takes you through a nice and gentle sequences of postures which is specially designed for beginners.

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  10. fitfops, thank you so much for that mention, I have read Erich's books and found him very serious and thorough, he is a very good teacher. I have not seen his dvd but I am sure it is very good. Great addition!

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  11. This is a really useful post, thanks Claudia. Amazon UK doesn't list the Mark Darby title, but I think I can get hold of the Freeman. Thanks. I also like Suzanne Deason's stuff. I had a VHS "Yoga Conditioning for Weight-Loss" which I used to love doing!

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  12. Hmm. Never heard of Suzanne Deason, interesting, will have to check it out. Time to get on the mat now, glad to have something to look forward to after :-)

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  13. All spiritual roads are directed to how and why we need to lose our ego (our identification with body consciousness). As you already experiencing, yoga practice purifies mind (whatever that means) and by that it makes the ego more subtle – more suitable for investigation and study... yada... yada, yada... The meditation, concentration, dhyana and samadhi are next steps of the “road”... (and then it goes back).

    By reading your blog I see that, like many others, you are replacing old things (names and numbers) with new names and numbers. So I have to ask you what is your deep conviction… are you practicing yoga? or does yoga practice you?

    ...ah Yoga, yoga? ;)

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  14. Zee, I love it how you post a comment to my latest post in an older post, you are quite a trickster...

    I do not have a conviction, I prefer to have less of less of those as you very wisely point out :-)

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  15. Hi Claudia, Thanks for sharing this DVD's. I really want to take sometimes to practice yoga. Hopefully I could have time to watch and practice this resources that you provide.

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  16. YFB, glad you liked it, good luck, let me know if you do watch :-)

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