While yoga is an excellent total-body and mind workout, taking a class can be overwhelming and intimidating. If you're new to the practice, the instructor's terms may sound like another language and the poses may be too advanced for you. If you're shying away from yoga for fear of that uncomfortable session, say, "Namaste" at home and try using one of these DVDs to get familiar with yoga before hitting the studio.
>> Read more: Your Ultimate Guide to Yoga Lingo
Advanced yogis aren't embarrassed or uneasy in class, but you may be looking for an added challenge your studio instructor can't provide to a large group. For you, check out some of the advanced options below to continue learning at your own pace.
1. For beginners: If you’re new to yoga and would like to give it a try at home, check out Body Wisdom’s Yoga For Beginners. Yoga instructor Barbara Benagh takes you through simple sequences with sound technique. This disk offers nearly 400 minutes of activity with eight different sequences that can be customized to your desired workout time and body targets.
2. For advanced: Even yoga veterans need to be led and challenged sometimes. For an extra push and a unique twist on some classic poses, try Tripsichore Yoga: Uniquely Advanced Vinyasa with Edward Clark. This 2-DVD set offers 330 minutes of material with six on-stage Tripsichore Yoga performances. This gives even the most advanced yogis some new acrobatic positions to strive to achieve.
3. For flexibility: If you’re looking to get flexy, you need Scott Cole’s Millennium Stretch. This DVD packs 120 minutes of stretching in a variety of workout options; it includes standing and seated stretches as well as a full partner routine. You’ll also learn Scott’s tried and true 8 Poses of Empowerment.
4. For weight loss: If running or high impact cardio isn’t for you, try shedding the pounds using Colleen Saidman’s Yoga for Weight Loss. This disc includes three result-oriented routines for a total of 60 minutes. It also comes with a downloadable eating guide, and Saidman shares eating and mental awareness tips during the sessions.
5. For strength: If you’re more interested in the physical aspect of yoga instead of the spiritual, Yoga Tone is for you! Celebrity yoga instructor Kristin McGee leads you through two circuits for a total-body, 30-minute workout. Her sessions combine circuit training, strength training and yoga to help you sculpt a strong, lean body.
6. For stress relief: For morning energy and nighttime relaxation, you need Yoga Journal’s Yoga For Morning, Noon & Night with Jason Crandell. This disc contains three 20-minute practices to keep you healthy throughout your entire day as the morning flow wakes your body, the noon gives you strength and the evening cool-down soothes your body for better sleep.
7. For pregnancy: If you’re expecting, practicing yoga throughout your pregnancy can help you stay healthy and strong; it can also induce labor. For this, check out Jennifer Wolfe’s Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga to get sweaty while catering to your body. The full version of this DVD includes a 75-minute practice, but the short forms are available with 15-, 30- and 45-minute sessions. It also includes a partner routine and bonus labor poses!
>> Read more: Yoga for Two Prenatal Flow