Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies [VHS]

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Product Description

This unintimidating Basic Yoga Workout For Dummies Video from Hot Records explains yoga in an easy-to-understand language. Not only can you change your body with this video, you may even change your mind about yoga. Anyone can do yoga, regardless of age or fitness level. This video will demystify the mystical so that you can experience the fabulous benefits of yoga

A workout that balances both the body and the mind can be found in the Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies. Fundamental postures are explained and demonstrated slowly with an emphasis on breathing and motion. Sara Ivanhoe teaches 12 basic poses that are termed the "daily dozen" and offers challenges and modifications to each of these moves. Ivanhoe presents these concepts in an approachable and calming manner that adds to the overall relaxed feeling that this session exudes. Newcomers to the practice of yoga will learn jargon, essential postures, and focusing techniques. Experienced participants may find some information redundant, but Ivanhoe offers such thorough explanations about each posture that you can't help but expand your existing knowledge of yoga. As the mountain pose, standing forward bend, and downward facing dog are explained (not to mention the nine other poses within the "daily dozen"), proper body alignment becomes the focus. Meticulous attention is given to the connection between breathing and body movement with several reminders to keep the spine in "neutral alignment." This session ranks great for safety and content and makes yoga accessible to anyone who "always wanted to, but never did." This is a substantial program that can introduce the basics and build your understanding of yoga. --Olivia Voigts

  • Yoga can help alleviate back pain, reduce stress, and increase flexibility
  • Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies offers step-by-step instruction of the 12 essential yoga postures and makes it easy to practice at your own level
  • Incorporates standing, seated, and lying poses to increase muscle tone, enhance flexibility, and provide relaxation

Customer Reviews:

  • Very Good Introduction To Yoga
    Sara presents a series of poses on this DVD which help form a basis of starting a yoga practice with very through and precise instruction and alignment, which is important and then provides some additional more challenging material - challenging in the sense that it really is for beginners but a bit of a step up.

    It is a good reference DVD to form a nice groundwork and one of a couple I refer to now for my practice....more info
  • Maybe better for just viewing
    The constant instruction during the moves was irritating. There was a good bit of talking. I was more tense after my session than before I started. For a beginner who just wants to see the moves and study correct position, maybe this is helpful. Personally, it made me so hyper-aware of form, I couldn't concentrate on relaxing. ...more info
  • Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies
    The program is nice the first time through, but the demonstrator adds so much commentary that you have to fastforward extensively whenever you use the dvd to perform the program. ...more info
  • Annoying
    The instructions are clear and thorough, but of the 55 minutes only about 25-30 seem to be postures. The rest is explanation. That's fine to learn, but becomes annoying when you want to just do the workout. Also, the whole "X for Dummies" motif includes tips, jargon, and other points. The problem is that they pop this stuff up while you are doing the postures and use annoying sounds to get your attention. I could not achieve any serenity or maintain concentration, which is kinda the point of yoga. I used it a couple times and then went to another tape. The book was better....more info
  • Excellent Introduction to Yoga But Too Much Talking
    I give this DVD 5 stars for content and 2 stars for format.

    It's an excellent introduction to anyone who's interested in starting yoga. It's not too intimidating, too mystical, or too contorted. What it is, though, is too talky. Sara Ivanhoe does a fine job of instruction for anyone's first or second time through the workout, but after that, the workout is maddeningly slow for subsequent repetitions because of the extensive description given for each pose. Considering how much usable space is on a DVD, I see no reason why they didn't have one track for the initial instruction and then a second track for the actual workout.

    Also, as this is a "for Dummies" series, there are lots of the trademark cartoon figures and sound effects, complete with whirling sirens and buzzers. Kinda ruins the inner peace you're trying to achieve with yoga!

    I'm hoping they fix these problems and release a new version of this DVD. It would be a hands-down, 5-star yoga if they did....more info

  • Good for getting started with Yoga
    I purchased this DVD to try and understand what all the Yoga hype was about. I found the instructions easy to follow, a little slow at times, but overall presented very well. For anyone with back injuries, this is a great way to relax your muscles and mind....more info
  • The ONLY way to start yoga! Easy to learn!
    My husband has wanted to start yoga for a long time. We took out videos from the library, got books, even got a set of "yoga cards." The problem with all the videos was that they went way too fast, even if the poses were easy ones, you need some time to figure out where to put what, and get used to it. And watching someone do it is much better than reading about it in a book.

    I just bought this for my husband for Christmas, and now we're both doing it! It shows you 12 do-able poses, not all easy by any means, but easy enough for beginners to do without collapsing. She goes through them slowly and you really have time to figure out what you're doing. You feel like you could do it again by yourself.

    I highly recommend this DVD. We're finally into yoga thanks to it!...more info

  • Very Helpful
    It seems that some people missed the point in their low evaluations of this video. Yes, she talks quite a bit, but that is to explain the poses and the breathing. Some of the off-camera comments may be a bit intrusive but they dispel myths or focus on problems that might arise in the performance of the exercises. I take a class in yoga and use this at home to guide me through some exercises. The Daily Dozen is a nice, basic exercise routine to perform at home. One may always add poses as they are learned in a class. One reviewer asked if we really need to be taught to stand. The answer is yes. In yoga, the Mountain Pose is not just about standing but about standing in such a way as to provide a firm foundation for poses and also to promote proper posture. Yoga is about breathing, Yoga is about posture, Yoga is about relaxation, and much more. Even if you never take a Yoga class, this video will teach you a basic routine to employ daily and might even inspire you to take a class. My advice is to watch and listen to the tape at least once without trying any of the exercises. Just hear what she has to say and note the off-camera comments. Once you have absorbed the basic tenets of the routine, then try the poses. You can start by learning the first pose and work on it all weeek, then add a new pose each week until you know the entire dozen. By then, you should be able to perform them without the aid of the tape and eliminate what some feel is too much talking. Give it a try. I am not a young, fit person, but an older, overweight, out of shape one working on getting in shape. If I can do it, just about anyone can. It just means trying and not giving up. Yoga is a very rewarding form of exercise and path to inproving well-being, mentally and physically. This is a good, basic guide. Give it a shot. Namaste!...more info
  • Best for beginners
    I borrowed this from the library because of the reviews stating it was so basic that you might only watch it a few times. I plan to buy it now though because it is so helpful to an absolute beginner like myself and the slower pace is more relaxing to me. I believe the Yoga for Dummies will better prepare me for the Yoga Journal DVDs which I also enjoy, but am not quite ready for yet.

    I'd also mention that my eight year old loves to do this with me and asked me to purchase more of Sara Ivanhoe's DVDs. ...more info
  • Great for beginners! Highly recommended!
    This is a great DVD if you're just getting started. The instructor adds light humor to keep you going thru the yoga practice (without being cheesy). She also adds alternative stretches for non-flexible people and for people with back problems. It's also set up so you can just do a few stretches at a time for hectic lifestyles, or you can do all of the stretches at once(about 1/2 hour). This DVD is fun and DO-ABLE!
    ...more info
  • Basic Yoga for dummies
    I have been using this product for several years. It had been really helpful for me; because I have a back injury and this has alleviated some of my pain. The poses that Sara Ivanhoe demostrates can be modified for those of us who have little or no experience with yoga. Sara's instructions are not condescending or demeaning to the beginner. I highly recommend these poses to anyone who is starting out in yoga. ...more info
  • Good Intro
    We didn't know much about yoga and didn't want to go to a class. This is a good introduction and she teaches clearly. However, after you learn them - you wish the directions weren't explained so slowly. ...more info
  • Great for beginniners...
    As a beginning student, I needed something that explained the postures in some detail. Sara's video does a great job of explaining the postures and how to breathe during your workout. I found it much easier to understand than other videos I had tried. I did find that after going through the video a few times, that there was a bit more patter than I needed. I now use the video as a reference. I skip to the beginning of each pose, do the pose for 6 or more breaths and then skip to the next chapter. It works great for me....more info
  • Wonderful for a True Beginner; Helpful Review for Others
    Having purchased various videos and attended numerous yoga classes for "beginners" that move too fast and explain too little, I was delighted with this one. Yoga is not a race. Doing the asanas quickly does not mean doing them correctly. Although I am not a beginner, I wanted a chance to really study the poses and to make sure that I am doing them correctly.
    My husband, who is muscle bound from athletics, started refusing to attend classes with me at our health club because he didn't find the classes for beginners being conducted as if they were being taught to beginners. Repeatedly, I see people who wish to move on who haven't nailed down the basics. This is a chance to really nail down the basics....more info
  • very good instructional DVD
    Basic Yoga Workout For Dummies is a fine instructional DVD with a yoga expert, Sara Ivanhoe, who patiently and respectfully teaches basic yoga and even some intermediate yoga exercises to help people get fit. Sara Ivanhoe presents the material in a non-threatening way to entice you to do the workouts; and the exercises move along at a good pace without ever being boring. Of course if you miss a point or two here and there you can always just re-watch that video clip as many more times as you like. The quality of the sound is excellent.

    Sara Ivanhoe starts the workout by giving you basic advice about getting set-up for the basic yoga workout: wear comfortable clothes; don't eat before exercising; drink water; exercise in your bare feet if at all possible; use a chair if you need one and much more. Excellent.

    The bulk of the DVD video is the basic yoga workout. Sara breaks this down into twelve smaller exercises which she calls "postures," "poses" or "the daily dozen." The video makes it so easy for you to follow along; you simply just watch how she uses a floor mat or a chair to do these twelve exercises. Watch and follow along and you'll learn the "cat pose;" the "mountain pose;" the "standing forward pose" (which helps to stretch); the "lunge pose" and other exercises including the "seated forward bend." The exercises become somewhat more demanding as you go along; this is very well organized. Moreover, Sara Ivanhoe gives excellent instructions that are extremely detailed. Great!

    One thing that seems to turn some people off is the use of the "icons" that come popping up on the screen; I think that this is a hallmark of the "...For Dummies" series. Personally, I think that sometimes they matter and sometimes they don't. The icons didn't bother me much but I can see and understand why some people would definitely find them annoying. There are four types of icons along the way: the "tip" icon; the "jargon alert" icon; the "remember" icon and the "myth buster" icon. If you find them distracting, rest assured that you can always watch the exercise again as many times as you want to get it down pat.

    In addition, there's another roughly 30 minute segment of intermediary yoga exercises. Sara Ivanhoe runs through these exercises faster because at this point she assumes you've mastered basic yoga; so don't start with these! The exercise Sara teaches is "the sun salute;" and she breaks this down into several steps to make the exercise manageable and easier to master. The sun salute uses a combination of breathing and movement together, just like basic yoga.

    Overall, I highly recommend this DVD for anyone who wants a relatively tame approach to exercise. According to Sara Ivanhoe, yoga can be done by just about anyone regardless of their situation. Naturally, if you have any concerns speak to your doctor first before trying these exercises.
    ...more info
  • Just what I needed!
    Perfect for me b/c I wanted something low impact. I love it and feel so much better after doing the excercises. The explanations are great and I have no trouble following along. ...more info
  • Gives the Tiny Details, but Lacking in Routine
    This tape is -- as everyone else has mentioned -- a good tape for the beginner. What also needs to be mentioned is that it is a technical tape. Not technical as in jargony and difficult to understand, but that it gives the details of how to do and not to do a pose. The upside to this is that it explains to beginners the poses. The downside is there really isn't any flow, so the tape isn't meant to be used for daily practice. It should be seen of as an adjunct and complement to your daily yoga tape, not your routine. A book could fill these shoes just as easily, and there are lots of excellent books out there. Try something by Rodney Yee for beginners instead....more info
  • LONG and lots of Commentary -- but good descriptions
    I am just starting out yoga. I'm new at the breathing, the asanas, etc... so I thought this may be a great dvd to watch the first time, then try the second time. I rented it through the local library, so I knew even if it didn't work out for me, I didn't spend any money to buy ((great idea if you have a local library that rents these dvds)). I really liked the explanations, etc...but as others mentioned, doing it with the dvd is excruciatingly painful -- it's just too much talking...and too long. So the good thing about the dvd is you can skip to certain poses yourself to remember what it is that you are supposed to do, but other than that...ugh...

    I would recommend ONLY if it can be rented, not purchased!!...more info
  • Perfect do it yourself Yoga!
    I bought this after trying 5 other yoga videos/dvds. Not only does this spell it out for your very simply, it makes it easy. I love doing this tape. I honestly only do the yoga with the DvD once a week. The rest of the week I use the list in the Dvd case and do the positions myself. Included on the Dvd is the beginner 12 yoga positions and the intermeddiate yoga. I am not that far along yet, but I have already bought this Dvd for friends. I HIGHLY reccomend this Dvd....more info
  • great way to start
    I used this video to learn the poses and get into the yoga atmosphere. It is a great dvd. No need to do the watch it first then do it practice, it provides enough time to be able to do it the very first time you watch it. Plus, once you get good they also have a few intermediate excercises on this dvd so you can work on those and not get bored. :-) ...more info
  • great for begining
    Its a great video to learn some of the posses of Yoga. I would recommend getting another video as well or schedule a class as this video doesn't do much beyond teach you the poses. I find it hard to continually do yoga to it but I do go back to the video to make sure I am doing things right. It is a relaxing and informative video. I highly recommend it to anyone starting yoga or thinking of doing it....more info
  • great place to start with yoga
    This is a great yoga practice that anyone can do without expert help. You really feel great after doing yoga and this is easy breezy to do. You don't have to be perfect at yoga to benefit from it, just the focus for a few minutes can make you feel so good. Absolutely worth trying....more info
  • A good start
    I checked this DVD out from the local library, and am glad that I did. It offers a good introduction to the subject and is easy to follow. I would not, however, recommend buying it. The lengthy explanations--so helpful the first time around--rapidly become tedious. It doesn't strike me as something I would want to hang on to....more info
  • Particularly recommended for belly dancers
    I would have given the video 5 stars except for the fact that it moves too slowly to be used regularly as a yoga workout (as the title implies). Judging from other reviews, the DVD edition takes care of this problem by including a more concise run-through of the poses.

    I think it's important to point out that if something is "basic" or "simple", that does NOT imply that it is "easy". Walking is simple, but it takes years to do it smoothly and without falling down. Writing is simple, but it takes years to develop the dexterity to do it neatly. I will reserve judgment on the efficacy as an overall workout until I have a chance to take a private lesson with a local instructor to make absolutely sure that I am doing it right.

    Here is the impact this video has had on my dancing: my back feels fantastic after I follow the workout on the video, and I stand straighter without even trying. Mountain and Tree are two great poses to learn to take seriously if you want to work on your grounding and balance. Even when I do not follow the video, I practice 10 of the 12 poses (or a variation) regularly because they really help. I have to add extra hip-openers, but since this tape was not geared towards a dancer's needs, I can hardly complain about that.

    All standard disclaimers apply: no video is a substitute for a live instructor, so if you're not good at watching yourself, you might do something wrong. No one with injuries or medical issues should attempt this or any other video without asking their doctor or PT whether certain motions could aggrevate their condition.

    The workout is mostly stretching: there is some strengthening, but it is not at all aerobic. I know there are several different styles of yoga, and I was not sure whether this tape followed any particular tradition. It is not for everybody, but it was everything I wanted it to be....more info

  • Good for beginners
    I've just started the practice of yoga. This DVD is easy to follow and I really like the instructor's sense of humor and her relaxing and encouraging manner. This may be too basic for someone who has taken a class, but for those who want a simple home-instruction DVD, this is a good one....more info
  • A basic Introduction to Yoga
    This DVD was recommended to me because I was way into Pilates and Weight lifting at the time. It introduced me to Yoga and I eventually gave up Pilates completely. Sara is a very gentle instructor, wisely guiding you to listen to your body. I have since this introduction adopted daily practice, develved into the spiritual practice of yoga, and included it as part of my program for addiction recovery. Its a gentle, kind, place to start....more info
    My husband and I wanted to start doing yoga and knew absolutely nothing about it. "Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies" is great! It takes you through twelve basic yoga poses and describes your posture and breathing technique for each pose. It's slow enough so it doesn't leave you behind. The instructor give you tips along the way to modify your poses too, if your too restricted to comfortably do some of the poses. This workout may get boring after you've practiced through it several times, but for a beginner, still a great one to start with....more info
  • Too slow
    Sara Ivanhoe does an excellent job of explaining and demonstrating poses. She points out common mistakes and gives helpful advice on how to correct them. The twelve poses are a good foundation for a beginner doing yoga for the first time. It is worth watching - but only once.

    The problem is that she spends over a minute between each pose talking about them. Rather than telling the viewer what to do as they are doing it, she demonstrates, talks, talks some more, then she tells you to begin (each pose is held for 6 breaths). I'd much rather that she explained things as she was doing them. Sure, then you may not get everything the first time, but at least the program would not drag on as it does.

    The other thing I didn't like about this was the "boing" sound effects of the For Dummies tips. If I'm doing yoga to relax, I want to hear soothing music, not annoying popup sound effects.

    If you have never done any yoga before, this may be worth renting to watch once. However, I would not recommend buying it. You won't care to watch it again....more info
  • Basic yet slow-moving yoga workout for beginners
    I am a neophyte when it comes to yoga, and in many respects this DVD was an excellent resource. Instructor Sara Ivanhoe, who is clearly an accomplished yoga instructor, walks the viewer through the most basic "daily dozen" yoga moves in about 45 minutes. Each move is explained carefully and is held for six breaths as Ms. Ivanhoe demonstrates the move. From this foundation, Ms. Ivanhoe explains slightly more advanced poses and techniques, but we're definitely talking approachable, manageable stuff for beginners.

    All this is supplemented by the usual "For Dummies" learning aids, like mythbusters and jargon translators. All in all, this is a helpful introduction to the world of yoga.

    Why only four stars? Because the workout moves so slowly. After the second time through the DVD, I didn't need the detailed explanation of each move and simply wanted Ms. Ivanhoe to guide me through the workout without exposition. Unfortunately, there is no "efficient workout" option on the menu, so once you're familiar with the poses, you're going to need to keep the remote handy so you can fastforward through her speeches.

    This is nothing against Ms. Ivanhoe as an instructor - she's both knowledgeable and, admittedly, very easy on the eyes. I'm not getting dirty here - it's essential for a beginner to watch how to do these poses correctly, so it helps to have an attractive, proficient instructor when you're watching the same thing over and over again.

    So while a yoga DVD is preferable to a yoga book in that you get to watch an actual person do the entire pose - as opposed to a mere snapshot contained in a book - the inability to excise the lengthy exposition of each pose is a bit of a problem. Therefore, the DVD isn't excellent and isn't worth five stars. But it's clearly worth four, and any beginner should give it a try before spending money on an expensive yoga class....more info
  • Great for Learning Basic Poses
    For those of you looking for a clear, calm, and nurturing introduction to yoga poses, this is an excellent DVD. Sara Ivanhoe is soothing and straightforward in how she teaches and enlightens.

    Beware, however, of the sound effects for the "Dummies" series icons that pop up and seem to go against the grain of yoga being this peaceful mind, body spirit meld. For example, you'll be getting into a pose when suddenly you hear "doinnnnggggg" alerting you to the "myths surrounding" yoga and other tips. It's something I just endured since this is part of the "yadda, yadda for Dummies," way. If that freaks you out, then this isn't the starter tape for you...just be forewarned. I didn't find it as hateful as some because I knew I was learning poses, not hoping to levitate.

    Also, if you're interested in a non-stop yoga fitness regime, buy an alternative DVD to have on hand once you have a better idea of what yoga is all about. In that case, the title should maybe be changed to reflect what it really is "Basic Yoga POSES for Dummies.

    That having been said, I was relatively new to yoga and I didn't mind the pace of this introductory DVD at all, but I have since purchased a different DVD that puts all of the moves together.

    Peace....more info
  • Fantasitic!
    This DVD is great, and Sara Ivanhoe is a great instructor. The basic 12 poses are well taught, and the intermediate section really kicks it up a notch. Its nice that there are 'easy' alternatives to most of the poses for those who have health issues, or are uncomfortable in the beginning. I highly recommend this DVD!...more info
  • Have fun getting in shape!
    Excellent exercise/yoga dvd. I bought 2 more for my sister and daughter in law. After sitting at a desk for years, I retired, and needed to "limber" up. I am having fun while getting into shape! Highly recommended!...more info
  • Ummm... Dummies.. No, VERY beginner? YES
    This is a great addtion to the beginners library of yoga... however, after you've watched it more than 2 or 3 times you're going to be ready for something new. The teacher does an excellent job discribing the postures, however this may become TOO much once you're ready to start flowing in your postures. Being able to choose from the chapters what postures you want to work on at any given time is a great also. ASIN:B001DDY6RG TAMARA'S YOGA FUSION]]...more info
  • OK DVD - Yoga is not for me
    I tried this DVD because I hear so much about yoga and I wanted to try it. It was definitely a good instruction video and stuck to it's name of being "For Dummies". If you've done yoga before and are looking for a new workout - don't do this one. It would even get pretty old after doing it a few times as a beginner. I would definitely rent it as an introduction to yoga and if you like it, buy a better yoga DVD. As for me - I discovered I just don't care for yoga. So even though the instruction is good and it is very basic for dummies like me, I just plain didn't care for yoga....more info
  • Deeply Relaxing Daily Dozen
    "Yoga is a marathon, not a sprint; slow and safe persistence gives you the best results. The main thing is to have fun and keep your sense of humor. Enjoy and you're more likely to stick to it." ~Sarah Ivanhoe

    You may be pleasantly surprised to see Sarah Ivanhoe as the yoga Instructor in this video. She is a certified yoga instructor who presents exercise in a caring, cute way. I love her teaching style because it is nurturing and she never makes me feel rushed.

    If you have read any of the "Dummies" books you will recognize the quirky little icons. This video is a bit like a book because pages turn and there are little icons that appear with additional information. The bong, bang, zip of the little icons appearing on the screen do get your attention but might not amuse everyone. I was actually not overly enthusiastic about that situation at first, but my mind seemed to start to ignore the zing, zang, zip of the little icons. Jargon Alerts, Myth Buster Icon, Remember Icon and Alerts appear more at the start of the workout than at the end.

    The modification sections appear in a split-screen format and can be helpful for beginners. The slower pace and extended time for poses present possibilities for beginners. If you are new to Yoga, this might be a great place to start.

    Intermediate and Advanced users may enjoy the extended time for deeper stretching. Each pose is held for six breaths, but even more time is given due to the explanations. Each yoga instructor has a unique perspective and you pick up new tricks and tips when exercising with a good variety of instructors. Sarah presents a non-intimidating program and explains yoga in easy-to-understand language.

    Sarah teaches you twelve poses/exercises:

    1. Cat Pose
    2. Mountain Pose
    3. Standing Forward Bend
    4. Lunge
    5. Tree
    6. Standing Side Stretch Pose
    7. Downward Facing Dog
    8. Cobra
    9. Child's Pose
    10. Seated Spinal Twist
    11. Seated Forward Bend
    12. Final Relaxation Pose

    You may want to use a yoga mat, strap, chair, pillow during various poses. Sarah gives you as much time as you need to complete and partially master each pose. It takes years to master some poses and after a few years you will be amazed at your progress. The reason yoga never gets boring is because there is so much to learn about each pose.

    Since Yoga is not a religion and it is not competitive, it is really perfect for everyone. Not only will yoga give you inner peace, you will find that the exercise help you develop your inner strength all while your body starts to look younger and definitely more toned. You might notice increased blood flow and a relaxed state that lasts for hours and hours.

    Also Quite Relaxing:

    Crunch Candlelight Yoga - Candles, sweeping curtains and Sarah is the instructor.

    Karen Voight YogaSculpt - Modern and healing

    Hemalaya Behl's Yoga For Urban Living Series - Authentic and deeply relaxing. I love them all.

    alimacgraw Yogamind&body - My first experience with yoga, it is yoga in a desert, which is an exotic, authentic and healing workout. Definitely must be done in the dark with candles.

    Yoga Zone Intermediate Flexibility and Stress release - one of my all-time favorites for stretching and I learn so much from this video, each and every time.

    OM Yoga - For the more curious who want to learn all the original names for the poses. This is not a video workout and you use flash cards. Perfect for anyone who is advanced or intermediate and wants a system that is highly portable.

    ~The Rebecca Review ...more info
  • excellent beginner yoga video - just the facts
    I have been physically active for many years and have been doing cardio kickboxing as my main exercise for a few years. I'm in my mid-40's and decided to try yoga to complement the high-intensity workouts I'm used to. I wanted a no-nonsense approach to learn the correct technique, and I believe this video fit the bill perfectly. Sara Ivanhoe presents yoga in such a way as to make it accessible to everyone, from her knowledgeable, friendly advice to modifications for individuals of different levels. There's nothing mystical or meditative here, just 12 basic poses (the "daily dozen") and breathing techniques. Recommended for the "newbie" or rank beginner....more info
  • Great Introduction to Yoga
    I have been wanting to get into Yoga for years, but it wasn't until an extremely stressful situation in my family arose (Mom in ICU) that I actually bit the bullet and bought this DVD. Sara Ivanhoe is an incredible teacher, wholesome, friendly, funny, not at all the hard-bodied scary domanatrix figure I had been afraid of. I am the MOST non-flexible person, very hyperactive and easily excitable. After doing this DVD one time, I had a sense of relaxation I have never had before. And to those who say, "You are just stretching. How could you get a workout?", let me tell you, you sweat! I have been following this DVD for about a month now and the sense of peace and relaxation I have at the end of each session is worth its weight in gold. Once you have mastered the 12 positions, I would recommend buying her Beyond Basic Workout for Dummies. I have just bought that and while it is a bit more challenging, it is also worth its weight in gold. When I started doing Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies, I couldn't bend over and touch my toes. Now I can. Easily. =)...more info
  • Yoga for anyone!
    I am more than 100 pounds overweight. In my desire to get into shape, I was searching for a gentle program to help me stretch and maintain flexibility. This DVD is perfect - the basic workout is slow paced, with plenty of instruction. If I can do it, anyone can! There is also an intermediate program that will challenge you and get the sweat going, as it is faster paced. I love it!...more info
  • Great tool for beginners
    The best way to learn yoga would be in a class setting with an instructor there to guide you. This is second best! Sara does a great job of explaining what to do and what not to do. The tone remains light - you don't feel like you have to be perfect. One complaint would be that after you get comfortable with the poses in the first practice, you will likely find the detailed instructions slow the practice down too much. ...more info
  • Good explanations, easy to follow
    I was hunting for yoga DVDs for persons with various disabilities, for older, fatter people, for people with knee problems, that sort of thing. This DVD is not advertised to be that DVD but I was able to do most of the poses. In it the instruction goes through 12 yoga poses. She emphasizes you can do all or one or a few, your choice. Her explanations are excellent and she offers occasional suggestions if you find them difficult. It wasn't exactly what I needed but I can see working it into my regular routine as one option, adjusting as needed....more info
  • Great for beginners-- even burns calories
    I had wanted to try Yoga, even tried another tape at one time and just didn't care for it. My hamstrings are really tight, and I've always felt that I just could not do the exercises-- the other tape I did confirmed that opinion because it just jumped into major stretching without much warm up, and did not show any modifications. It also was a little irritatingly "new age"-- and though I know that meditation is a crucial part of Yoga, I was not interested in turning it into a religion-- which the other tape seemed intent on doing.

    So this tape, with it's no nonsense approach, coaxed me into liking it. Some of the stretching is hard-- I can certainly see why people like Madonna are so buff in the arm muscles-- it takes effort to do the poses for the 6 breaths you have to hold them. The instructor is not too "simperingly" sweet, but clear, precise, and friendly. No annoying giggling, or over coaching like a cheeerleader ("come on, you can do it, you deserve to be fit cause you're a great person" blech) I feel I can continue doing this workout for a while, learn the basics, and maybe move into more complex work, which the later half of the DVD provides.

    You should have a chair handy when you start, and maybe one of those easy to find yoga mats (I got mine half price at a discount store). Also, maybe a towel, and some sort of band (a belt might work, but they sell special yoga bands too) for one of the poses. Try to clear your head as much as possible-- since you have to breathe through your nose, if you have any allergies (which I do) try to control the stuffiness if you can. (I know that sounds weird, but it will make it more pleasant if you can do the breathing). There is an option on the DVD for instructor cuing only-- so you can play your own music and still get the cues.

    Finally, for people worried about calorie burning. According to a website that I use to monitor calories burned vs. activities (it's free-- write to me if you want to learn the URL) the 51 minutes of stretching yoga that this DVD/video gives you burns a total of 165 calories. You burn approx. 3 calories per minute. It's not exactly boot camp, and it is not cardio, but combined with a cross-training sort of program, this is a good light calorie burning day stretch. It's important, when you're trying to sculpt those muscles, to stretch them out. This video/DVD will be a crucial step to doing that. This may not be the DVD/video for people who are into the more spiritual aspects of Yoga, but she does address them some, enough for those of us who don't want to go too far into it. But it's a great one for getting started.

    Good luck!...more info

  • Easy, Simple, Fun
    This is a great selection for those who are beginners. The host is fun, easy to follow, and very nice in personality. You won't be left behind or in the dark. She explains everything and you will know what you're doing before you begin. Very relaxing. ...more info
  • Great beginner tape
    This was my first yoga tape, and my introduction to yoga. I loved it, and still use it occasionlly, though I've moved onto a more challenging workout. The instructor is fantastic, and the other videos I own are hers as well. She is very easy to follow (a little slow once you learn the workout), and very pleasant. I began to see changes almost immediately in my flexibility, figure and stress level....more info
  • Great place to start if you are new to yoga...
    I am fairly new to yoga, and thought this DVD would be useful for all the basics on yoga and it is. It is based on 12 common yoga poses which is referred to as the "Daily Dozen" which are cat pose, mountain pose, standing forward bend, lunge stretch, tree pose, standing side stretch, downward facing dog, cobra, child's pose, seated spinal twist, seated forward bend and final relaxation pose. Sara Ivanhoe leads you through each pose, carefully explaining where you need to be and then you hold each pose for 6 breaths. Sara emphasizes the importance of breathing, which is technically more important that getting the pose perfect.

    Throughout the routine, there are icons that pop up, tips (helpful hints), myth busters, bewares (red flags), jargon (which helps make yoga terminology easier to understand), plus key things that you need to remember. These are nice but can be a bit annoying when they come up as a funny sound effect accompanies it, which can be distracting when you are trying to concentrate on holding a pose and breathing.

    This DVD also includes a short intermediate routine which leads you through some of the poses seen in the beginner program, but they are used in a flowing series also called a sun salute. This is usually the next step in a yoga practice once you are familiar with the postures. This segment introduces planks, which are done in the flowing series along with cobras, downward facing dogs, standing forward bends, lunges, etc. You will perform all of these poses at a little faster pace one after another and then they all come together for 3 sun salutes. After this you will do some spinal twists, more stretching and then the final poses.

    Though I don't own many yoga videos, Sara Ivanhoe is one of my favorite instructors, she is not intimidating and has a light, friendly approach toward yoga, which is helpful for those new to it. She says that if you don't have fun doing it and have a sense of humor along the way then you won't stick to it. This is a great video for beginners and those needing a refresher on the basics....more info
  • Good introduction to yoga
    Twelve basic yoga postures are presented here in non-intimidating language. Ivanhoe calmly goes over the fundamentals of each posture as well as the importance of breathing. Anyone who thinks that they need to be initiated into a secret philosophical organization before they can do their first yoga posture will be relieved by this video.

    Throughout, a narrator makes points about common misconceptions, "Bewares" (or common mistakes) and helpful tips and tricks.

    The big downside to this tape is that it takes quite some time to get through the twelve postures (just a little over 45 minutes). While most absolute beginners would do well to spend that much time listening to all of the tips on alignment and breathing, slightly more advanced beginners (e.g., they've read a book or even gone to a class) may not derive as much benefit. Even the brand new beginner will probably outgrow this tape sooner rather than later.

    Having said that, Ivanhoe is a very good instructor on this video, balancing calm and humor. Again, no one will be intimidated by her approach....more info

  • Only exercise routine that has ever worked for this uncoordinated couch potato!
    I admit it, I am a couch potato who spends most of her time on the computer, reading books, watching movies, or eating at restaurants with friends. I've hated exercising since childhood, since my nightmare days at gym class, where I simply could never keep up with what the other kids were doing.

    In the back of my mind, I always knew I had to get in better shape, so I've tried a few things over the years: sports, running, working out at the gym, and other tapes (Taebo, Pilates, etc) but nothing ever worked. I would try them the a few times, and but quit soon because I could never do the moves properly, and/or I would just get tired but see no real benefit.

    Over time, I realized that part of the problem is that I'm quite thin, so the real point of an exercise workout for me is not to loose weight (which many exercises today are geared towards) but gain strength. My sister suggested I try Yoga, as she says it had helped her tremendously with her strength.

    I was quite skeptical, and put it her suggestion off for more than a year. Part of my fear was that yoga poses seemed very complicated, and I'd just never be able to do them. But after I started getting low back aches a few months ago (and I'm only in my 30s!) I knew I had to do something before my body started deteriorating! After careful research, I decided to go with Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies. After all, when it comes to workouts, I am definitely very much a dummy.

    After working out with it for about a month, I must say, WOW! I can't be happier. Sara Ivanhoe presents in this video 12 beginner yoga poses designed to increase strength, flexibility, and improve relaxation, which was just what I wanted.

    She starts with a detailed introduction on how to sit, and how to breathe, and then starts the routine. The poses are:

    Cat Pose
    Mountain Pose (basically a detailed explanation of standing!)
    Standing Forward Bend
    Tree Pose
    Standing Side Stretch Pose
    Downward Facing Dog Pose
    Cobra Pose
    Child Pose
    Seated Spinal Twist
    Seated Forward Bend
    Final Relaxation Pose

    The best part for me is the slow, calm detailed way Ivanhoe explains the poses, in a non-condescending manner. I really get the message that I'm really working out my own pace.

    Those who have more experience with Yoga, (or those who are not dummies when it comes to workouts and can pick up moves quickly) may find her detailed explanations boring, and wished the workout moved more quickly. However, I'm still struggling with the moves, and I am constantly learning new things from her detailed explanations. For example, in Mountain Pose, I just found out yesterday what it really means to stand with my weight centered on my feet, with thighs tight and drawn-up, belly in and tail bone down All these years, I've beens standing with my weight centered way back on my heels, belly out- a very unstable way to stand.

    Even though I know I am not doing each pose perfectly, I know I am still gaining a tremendous amount of benefit in terms of strength and flexibility. I love that my body is learning every day (shall we say its actually getting smarter?) and is now starting to tell me when I am doing the positions wrong! As an added bonus, I feel calm, relaxed, and clear after the workout, which often continues into the next day.

    As the other reviewers mentioned, the 'dummy' icons popping up in the middle of the performance are a tad annoying- the video would be better if they were not there. But I find I can tune them out, and its a small price to pay for having an workout routine that actually works for me.

    I knew this tape was a winner when actually I WANTED to work out with it. This was a new experience for me - actually wanting to exercise? Regularly?! Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies has made it happen.


    April 30th 2009:

    Its over two years later and I'm still using this video - I do the intermediate routine - its about 30 minutes, so very short, but still a nice work out! So, it really works :)....more info
  • Good introduction
    I practised Yoga for a few months before buying this DVD. I like it because all 12 postures are very well presented. My 4-year daugther likes it even more and can do most postures. It is a little bit long (40 minutes), haven't got time to watch it everyday. ...more info


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