Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies

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Product Description

Studio: Starz/sphe Release Date: 09/11/2001 Rating: Nr

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

Customer Reviews:

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
    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
  • 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
  • Basic Yoga For Dummies / Sara Ivanhoe
    I found this DVD to be extremely useful and informative. After having been a yoga practitioner in my youth, I decided to return to yoga at my retirement and found this to be an excellent and well presented program.

    I recommend the Yoga For Dummies series with Sara Ivanhoe to anyone starting, or re-starting yoga exercise, as well as the experienced yogi....more info

  • Finally, a Yoga DVD I'm not turned-off by!
    Normally I can't stand Yoga DVDs because they have that hokey serene music and the instructors are way too New Age for me. This Yoga DVD is ideal in my opinion because you can relate to the instructor, she makes you feel comfortable and describes the movements well. She's not on the beach in Jamaica, but her environment is just right. I highly recommend this Yoga DVD to newbies like myself....more info
  • Great Yoga Video for Beginners
    I was very satisfied with this video. It was my first try at Yoga. Sara Ivanhoe did a great job of explaining the correct form of each position and kept reminding the viewer to breathe, which if very important to get the full benefit of Yoga. She has a calming, soothing voice that encourages relaxation. Because of this video, I signed up for a Yoga class and have also bought another video by Ms. Ivanhoe.

    The only thing I have a complaint for was that after watching the video only a couple of times, I was ready for a faster pace video that didn't have as much explaination. But, I think the positives outweigh this one negative. I mean, you have to have a good basis to learn things from, right?...more info

  • Learn to do yoga with optimal effort
    Sara Ivanhoe is a beautiful practicioner and gives clear, easy to understand instructions on the basic foundations of yoga. This is a staple for your video library....more info
  • Suprisingly Good!
    I have been doing Yoga for about 3 months now and have had incredible results. I have been mainly using Bryan Kest's Power Yoga series.

    I wanted to get my sister involved, but felt Bryan may be too fast and aggressive for her.

    I could not believe how good this video is!

    Also, the host is very pleasing to the eye. I would love to take a class with her - I wouldn't take my eyes off her. (yes, I am a guy).

    Get this if you want an introduction to Yoga and learn about basic poses.

    I really couldn't believe it when she explained Namaste! Good background learning here as well.

    Enjoy!...more info

  • Good Introduction to Yoga
    This tape is a great video for a beginner to yoga who has not been formally introduced to some of the poses. It is helpful because it points out common mistakes to help you do the poses correctly and safely. I would recommend, however, borrowing this from a friend or your local library as it is a good reference but does not really form a cohesive workout. Try also the Crunch Fat Burning yoga video that has the same upbeat instructor and provides a full workout....more info
  • Another great workout video
    I lack flexibility and this video was a great buy. It's a great video for beginners. I've improved my flexibility and I feel peaceful and serene. The instructor isn't annnoying at all; in fact she really helps make the inner peace come out. Great video....more info
  • Yoga for Dummies
    I tried a yoga class a couple of years ago and didn't like it. I thought it was just sitting in uncomfortable positions for as long as you could stand it. With this DVD, I've learned to love it. In just a few weeks of doing the workout every other day I can see improvement. I find myself looking forward to my yoga time. I'm alternating it with the Pilates for Dummies workout which is a great combination for me - someone who hates to workout but knows the health benefits....more info
  • Great for Beginners!
    I recently began exercising regularly to lose weight and get fit. I was curious about yoga for a while, but never got around to trying it. I purchased the Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies thinking this would be perfect for me, because I had never done Yoga and was totally clueless as to where to start. Sara Ivanhoe is a great instructor. She starts off slowly and shows you how to do each move. She takes time to set up each pose correctly so that you get the most out of each one. Although the video is basically for beginners, there are also modifications you can work up to. I have to say, after using the video for about a month I feel more flexible and strong. I wasn't planning on using this video to lose weight, but I think it has helped me achieve my goal of becoming more flexible, which has been beneficial to my exercise routine. The reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars is because after a few weeks I started fast forwarding the first part of the video where she explains breathing and how to set up each pose. Other than that, I think its a great start for beginners, and those who have never done Yoga in their life. I can't wait until I am able to work up to Sara's next Yoga video...more info
  • Good Beginning For A Novice
    I am new to yoga and found this DVD very helpful in starting a practice....more info
  • Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies
    I really like this workout. It helps me to reach my goals when doing yoga: stretch, flexibility, relaxation. What I like best about this workout is that it is very informative and is not overly "spiritual." I am a Christian, and I did not want to be practicing guided meditation. There is a final relaxation pose, but she lets you focus on what you want to, instead of telling you what relaxes you. The only thing that keeps me from giving this dvd 5 stars is the "dummies" format itself can get annoying. It's not very relaxing to have icons pop up and make a silly noise when you are trying to relax. Yet, it does have a "begin" cue, so if you want to mute the dvd and do the workout to your own music, that is an option. Overall, this seems to be an excellent program and Sarah Ivanhoe is very professional and a good instructor....more info
  • Excellent for first time yoga students
    I am pleased with my purchase and the tape has made yoga easy for me! I am a new yoga practician....more info
  • Great Video for Beginners!
    I was very impressed with this video. I have purchased other yoga videos for beginners, and this one is by far the best. Sara Ivanhoe is a wonderful instructor and makes you feel very comfortable. She is upbeat and personable unlike some other instructors I have viewed. This video is just the right amount of relaxtion without feeling tiresome. I am hooked on this video, and this is coming from someone that has about 10 other workout tapes collecting dust in the closet. This yoga practice will MAKE you want to find the time to do it daily!...more info
  • Great for beginners
    This is an excellent DVD to get you started in the basics of yoga. It shows you each pose in detail so you can do it correctly and not injure yourself. The only downside is that once you master it, you need another program to move on. But if you're just learning it's the way to go....more info
  • Best beginner yoga intro
    If you are like me, new to yoga and fairly inflexible, then this is your best intro video. The others I have tried don't seem to understand the term "beginner" and try to plunge you into difficult postures and concepts to quickly. The instructor frequently reminds you that you should only move as deeply into the postures as is comfortable for you and that you shouldn't view the practice as competitive. Excellent use of video technology: modifications are offered in pop-up windows, either to increase the difficulty of certain postures or to make them easier.

    Hey, one of these days I might be able to touch my toes without bending at the knee. Well maybe.......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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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
  • 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 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
  • A Yogi's Dozen.
    In my opinion this DVD is about as good as it gets for the beginner. 12 Basic postures and the Sun Salutation thrown in for good measure. I found the pace spot on for the beginner. Found myself sweating and breathing a little hard, Sara anticipates this with the beginner and so waited for me. As I started getting a little more capable I just hit the "next frame" button on my DVD player and took over the pace for myself. But as time went on I found myself doing this less and less, unless I simply needed to get through because of other pressing matters. I like the pace that Sara sets more and more, I get into the postures more and more. Time is relative. Yoga is not aerobics. Though it has aerobic benefits. Nothing advanced here, but, I am convinced that if a person never does anything more than just the Daily Dozen and the Sun Salutation, and over time becomes even just fairly proficient at them, then that person has become a yogi or yogini, in my opinion. As Sara says, "Yoga is not a competition", it is not about being perfect, it is about being whole. Yoga is about uniting the body/mind complex into an integrated whole. Good for stress, good for the heart, good for the mind, good for sex, good for life. I just wish I had started doing yoga a long time ago. I am 56. After nearly a year of doing yoga with her, I simply cannot praise her or yoga enough. My golf game thanks her too....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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Basic Yogas for Dummies
    The instructions were simple but there were many positions to learn and that made it difficult for beginners to understand and follow....more info
  • the sun salutation
    Just commenting on the sun-salute --

    Sara Ivanhoe does a great job. She does more of a modified sun-salutation, but fine. I think she enriches it.

    She models it for you, and you follow her. My only pet-peeve, is that she doesn't explain, at all, what it is. If it were more clear, perhaps it would be more meaningful.

    The book, Yoga for Dummies, by the way, is great. They explain, that the sun-salutation is a 'dynamic posture,' meaning, as I understand it, a series of moving stretches, like, a flowing stretch routine.

    Flowing stretch routines are really good if you want to build strength and flexibility. The Sun Salutation really helps me with that. This workout is really good for your spine and lungs.

    Back to the yoga book, (bear with me here) we benefit from the sun's life-giving powers. (Like, no sun, no life) Feuerstein and Payne say Ӥremember that your body is condensed sunlight!Ӥ So, from a spiritual viewpoint, the light in you (your spirit) salutes its own provider, the sun itself.

    As far as the ''workout'' goes, it is 5 min. of warm-up, that she flows into the sun-salute. She presents the sun salute, adding the components, piece by piece. It is about 15 min of more strenuous reps. She does about 10 minutes of cool-down, including spine-twist seated-stretches (you have to see it).

    Great video. I do use it all the time. It is applicable to all levels. For a beginner, this is a total workout. For the expert, it is an interesting variation of a very established set of postures. ...more info
  • I just don't reach for this one
    I'm fairly new to yoga, and this was one of the first DVDs I tried. The format is fairly simple--Sara Ivanhoe introduces 12 yoga poses, which you hold for six (deep) breaths each. The poses are easy in the beginning and end, and hardest in the middle.

    I can't say enough great things about Sara--she's encouraging and soothing, not grating. Her explanations are thorough and easy to understand. This DVD made me want to check out her other DVDs, which I also like. But I find that I just don't want to do this DVD anymore. At 46 minutes, it's a long workout, yet you only do 12 yoga poses in that time period. That's just too slow for me, and fast-forwarding through all the instruction is not practical. For daily practice, you really need something that flows better than this. Basic Yoga for Dummies is a good introduction to yoga, but you will outgrow it quickly. Look into Sara's Crunch: Candlelight Yoga for a relaxing, flowing practice, with a similar difficulty level.

    There's also a bonus 30 minute workout on the DVD. It basically teaches you sun salutations, a basic flowing routine of yoga poses. It moves at a much faster pace than the regular workout and gets my heart rate up a bit. However, I find 30 minutes of sun salutations to be extremely boring, so I don't find myself using this one either. ...more info
  • Compose A Song Of Your Own
    Are you looking to learn yoga, but you can't get to or can't afford classes? While classes are the best way to learn, I believe that this video might be a good second. The title is a bit of a misnomer, in that this really isn't much of a workout. A yoga workout, or a series, is a sequence of poses strung together in a certain way, being done without pausing between. Imagine musical notes being put together to form a song. What this video does, in a very thorough way, is gently teach you a majority of the poses that other yoga videos will use. Each pose is explained thoroughly, but held for only six in-and-out breaths. Another key to correct yoga is the synchronization between breath and movement, and in this, the instructor's cueing is excellent. My advice to you would be to rent this video to learn the asanas (poses) then when you feel comfortable with each pose, grab some of the Yoga Zone beginner videos to string those poses together and make a song of your own.

    - William Mize
    PWA Shamus Award nominee, the Denton Ward and Monty Crocetti mystery series...more info
  • Great for Beginners
    I am a beginner, sort of. I used to do yoga about 5 years ago, but I did it in a class environment and I am really a individual exercise enthusiast. I borrowed several yoga tapes from the public library and this was the one I liked most. I bought this DVD in the 2 pack with beyond basic yoga for dummies, so I hope it will last me awhile.
    Some people had said that it gets old after awhile of having the instructor talk you through each one, and I can see that even after a few times of playing it, but I still think it's a great yoga DVD. Plus with the 2nd audio track, I think that makes it easier since you don't have to listen to her talk you through each move....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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Excellent for beginners
    Sara does a great job of introducing Yoga to you. She takes her time to show you everything a couple of times before you hold for the 6 breaths. The only bad thing about the video is that once you learn everything it gets kinda annoying to keep having to hear her go over everything each time you use the video. Also the popups can be distracting when your concentrating. Overall great for beginners! ...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
  • 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
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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