Complete Beginner's Guide DVD by Yoga Journal Review

Finally, a Great DVD for Yoga Beginners

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

I get a lot of requests for yoga video recommendations from people who have never done yoga before. While I still strongly believe that the best way to learn yoga is from a good instructor, either in a group class or privately, I have finally found a DVD I feel comfortable offering new beginners. Other videos may claim that they are for beginners, or for all levels, but in reality most of them are inappropriate for someone with no yoga experience.

The Complete Beginner's Guide fills this gaping hole in the yoga DVD market. That it comes from Yoga Journal, a trusted source for comprehensive yoga information, is no surprise.

The Pose Encyclopedia

The pose encyclopedia alone makes this DVD an invaluable resource for anyone who does yoga at any level. The encyclopedia presents video instruction for 35 essential yoga poses. Each pose is filmed in 360 degrees and is accompanied by voice-over instruction by yoga teacher Jason Crandell. Every alignment point is meticulously covered as you are shown a detailed version of each pose. Have you ever been in a class where you weren't able to stop the teacher for a thorough explanation of how to do a particular pose? That's what you are getting here. It's a great reference for beginners. It would also be amazing for anyone training to be a yoga teacher to have access to an expert's instruction cues for all these key poses.

The Sequences

In addition to the pose encyclopedia, this DVD includes three yoga sequences, also taught by Jason Crandell. The 60-minute practice includes a nice seated warm-up and a sun salutation modified for beginners. This is a realistic practice for a beginners' class. There is also the option to do two shorter 15-minute sequences, one designed for awakening and the other for quieting.

These are nice little routines to do at the beginning or end of the day, respectively. Put together, the three sequences make a very well-rounded set of practices that a yoga beginner or intermediate student can do at home.

The only possible critique I can come up with is the setting for the videos. It feels like Crandall is practicing in some kind of digitized, virtual yoga studio, but this is only a problem if you must have your yoga videos set under a waterfall or in a Tuscan villa. Otherwise, welcome to my new go-to recommendation for a beginner's yoga DVD.

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Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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