Best Yoga DVDs for Different Kinds of Yoga Students

It's a tough job to name "the best" yoga DVDs because each person's yoga needs and tastes vary so wildly. What works best for you might be completely inappropriate, irritating, or boring to your co-worker, neighbor, or gym buddy. However, some videos are definitely superior by virtue of the quality of the instruction even though they might not be quite your style. Each of the recommended DVDs below suits a particular niche in the yoga student population. 

Do keep in mind that DVDs are no longer the only option for people who want to do yoga with a video at home. There are many options for online yoga video sites that allow you to vary your routine with a constant stream of new uploads. These may offer the best experience and value for you.

Best for Beginners: Yoga Journal Complete Beginner's Guide

Yoga Journal Complete Beginner's Guide DVD
Yoga Journal Complete Beginner's Guide DVD. Photo Courtesy of Yoga Journal

Many yoga DVDs that claim to be for beginners or all levels actually assume quite a bit of familiarity with yoga poses, making them inappropriate for true beginners. If you have never done yoga before, this DVD will help you build a safe practice from the ground up. The pose encyclopedia is also an invaluable resource. 

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Best Hybrid Workout: Yogalosophy

Review - Mandi Ingber's Yogalosophy Workout
Mandi Ingber's Yogalosophy Workout. Courtesy of

Yoga hybrids are really popular when it comes to home workouts. Celebrity trainer (Jennifer Aniston is her best-known client) Mandy Ingber incorporates dynamic toning exercises to traditional yoga poses for a workout that emphasizes strength training and raises your heart rate. Some familiarity with basic yoga poses is assumed.​

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Best Power Yoga: The Ultimate Yogi

The Ultimate Yogi DVD Review
The Ultimate Yogi. Courtesy of

Power yoga is an intense, flowing yoga workout. If you enjoy doing this kind of practice at home, The Ultimate Yogi offers a collection of 12 great vinyasa sequences. You don't have to follow the lifestyle makeover they prescribe in order to enjoy this top notch yoga instruction.

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Best East Coast: Transform Yourself with Jivamukti Yoga

Transform Yourself With Jivamukti Yoga DVD
Transform Yourself With Jivamukti Yoga DVD. Courtesy of

Jivamukti yoga founders and perennial downtowners David Life and Sharon Gannon lead this introduction to their popular yoga style. Like a true Jivamukti class, it's a challenging, creative flow of poses that will take you right back to your days in the East Village. Most appropriate for intermediate students and beyond who are comfortable with vinyasa flow.

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Best West Coast: Shiva Rea Flow Yoga for Beginners

Shiva Rea Flow Yoga for Beginners
Shiva Rea Flow Yoga for Beginners. Courtesy of

Shiva Rea's fluid dancey style seems right at home in its beachside setting as this California girl leads a gentle introduction to flow yoga. Although it says "no yoga experience necessary" right on the cover, this is really more of an advanced beginning/intermediate level sequence that assumes familiarity with basic yoga poses. If you like her teaching, Rea has numerous other DVDs for you to explore.

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Best Old School: Ali MacGraw's Yoga Mind and Body

Ali MacGraw - Yoga Mind and Body
Ali MacGraw - Yoga Mind and Body. Courtesy of

Ali MacGraw's Yoga Mind and Body, with instruction from Erich Shiffmann is a popular option for students nostalgic for the yoga of the mid-nineties. It's even available on VHS! Many folks fondly remember this video as their first introduction to yoga and the teaching still holds up.

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Best Rodney Yee: Power Yoga Total Body Workout

Rodney Yee Power Yoga Total Body
Rodney Yee Power Yoga Total Body. Courtesy of

How can we pick just one from Rodney Yee's voluminous body of work? There really is something for everyone in Yee's canon, but I'm going to go with Power Yoga Total Body Workout since it's a good introduction to his teaching style for intermediate students (It requires stamina and previous knowledge of the poses). If you are a real Yee fan, you can get access many of his videos with a subscription to Gaia (formerly Gaiam TV).

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Best Ashtanga: Richard Freeman The Primary Series

Richard Freeman Ashtanga Yoga The Primary Series
Richard Freeman Ashtanga Yoga The Primary Series. Courtesy of

This is a contentious issue since Ashtanga students tend to be very loyal to their individual teachers. In fact, most agree that building a relationship with a certified teacher is integral to the Ashtanga tradition. However, if you already know the basics and are looking for a video to lead you in the Primary series at home, you can't go wrong with respected teacher Richard Freeman's version.

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Best Online: YogaGlo

Yoga With a LapTop Nearby
Westend61/Getty Images

This is a crowded marketplace that is changing all the time but has distinguished themselves with their excellent roster of teachers, a variety of styles, and constant updates. Their videos feel like real yoga classes (thanks to a camera angle they tried, unsuccessfully, to patent). The breadth of choices this website offers is a real asset to a yoga home practice.

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