Yoga is one of the best ways to cultivate a connection between your mind and body. It tones muscles, increases flexibility, calms the mind and can improve overall health. Filmed on a lush, tranquil location overlooking the... more » Pacific Ocean, this unique beginner yoga sequence will teach you yoga breathing, and take you step by step through a full range of yoga poses that will strengthen, stretch, and revitalize your body. You will notice results from your very first practice, and as you become familiar with the postures, both your yoga practice and your body will evolve in an uplifting and truly empowering way.
Elena Brower is a Certified Anusara Yoga instructor and has been teaching for over 10 years. She is the founder of Virayoga in Soho and has been featured in such prestigious publications as The New York Times, Yoga Journal and In Style magazine. Named one of New York City's top yoga teachers by Fit Yoga magazine, Elena's clients include Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts, Minnie Driver, Eva Mendes, Carla Gugino, Christy Turlington and Rebecca Romijn. Her teaching encourages observation, connection, empowerment and healing.
Element is proud to support the Arbor Day Foundation. For every four Element DVDs purchased a tree will be planted*. In addition to generating oxygen, trees provide air pollution control and decrease atmospheric carbon dioxide levels thereby reducing global warming.
"I enjoyed this DVD. The instructors voice and presence are soothing, the background (hanging gardens overlooking the Pacific) are breathtaking and the music is serene and effective. The practics starts with: 1. Breathwork and Warm-up. This includes sitting while practicing Ujjayi breathing and warming up the legs with light lunging and standing forward bend. 2. Standing Poses and Sun Salutations. The series starts with 2 modified Sun Salutations and then a series of standing poses including, Warrior 1 & 2, Triangle, Side Angle Pose and a Side Angle Twist 3. Hip Openers. The Hip Openers started with Pigeon Pose which I think is a bit difficult for a true beginners with no training from a teacher.. 4. Backbends. I like the Backbend series here for beginners. It starts with a light cobra, then moves on to a modified locust pose series. It ends with a counterpose to release the backbends which feels nice. 5. Forward Bends/Stretch/Relaxation. This is all a nice calming series ending with a short meditation. Overall, I give this DVD 4 and 1/2 stars taking off 1/2 star because I think this is really for an advanced beginner. There is not enough mention of foot, knee, and/or hip alignment and I think it would be very easy to injure your joints without this knowledge. A tutorial in the beginning of the DVd would have been perfect. Maybe with a lined mat showing beginners where to place their feet."
Not for beginners
Sophia Dembling | Dallas, TX USA | 12/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While this is not a bad DVD, it is far too strenuous and, in places, complex for real beginners. Only try this if you have at least some experience in a yoga class."
The title is a bit misleading
M. J. Walters | Chicago, IL USA | 02/12/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"For a while now, a friend has been urging me to consider practicing yoga. With that in mind, I've been looking into various books and videos, and finding them generally either too physically demanding or too involved in the spiritual side of yoga practice. I'm sorry to say that "Yoga for Beginners" is no exception, in spite of the name. In fact it might be more properly titled "Yoga for Beginners Who are Otherwise Quite Strong and Flexible."
In an approximately 50 minute workout, Elena Brower demonstrates a beautiful, flowing workout which looks like it must feel wonderful, if you can manage to follow it. Unfortunately I have neither the strength nor the flexibility to do so. I'm guessing that most of my friends don't either, so it does seem to me that it might be a good idea to offer hints for modifications of the poses to suit older, heavier or simply out-of-shape students. But Brower offers very little in the way of such modifications. I'd guess that about two-thirds of the workout is simply not do-able for me without substantial modification.
At the same time, the poses themselves look quite wonderful, and if you've ever done stretching and/or deep breathing exercises, the pleasure of these poses will be almost palpable to you. Brower's voice is calming. She doesn't rush you through the poses, but at the same time she doesn't spend a lot of time explaining them. Because the practice is slow and deliberate, this isn't as big a problem as it might be during an aerobics video, but as a beginner, I'd have appreciated a bit more information.
Right at the beginning, Brower suggests that the deep breathing is far more important than a deep pose. I think it would be helpful if she reiterated that during the actual workout.
Over all, it's a pretty, calming video as long as you don't allow yourself to get too torqued if you can't do the moves, or you fall out of them frequently. If you can make the necessary modifications for your own fitness level, you may well get something out of this video. Otherwise, keep looking for a good beginning yoga workout. There must be one out there."
Highs and Lows
Cherise Everhard | Michigan, USA | 04/11/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
There are elements of this yoga video that I absolutely love; there are also elements that I do not like at all.
The Highs: The scenery is absolutely gorgeous and the music is perfect for both the activity and the setting. The beginning of the DVD is relaxing; with the breathing and the stretching it does wonders for your tension and stress. The ending of the DVD is the same as the beginning. Very relaxing, both the breathing and the stretching are as relaxing as it is invigorating.
The Lows: The middle of the DVD she gets into some Yoga positioning and really doesn't take the time for the newbie to follow along. Also she switches positions and what not without telling you so if you are not watching the TV screen the whole time you miss some very vital stuff.
I am not a beginner at Yoga, but most of my Yoga experience has been integrated with a Pilates based workout. I watched the DVD twice before actually doing the exercises as when I do Yoga there are times I like to have my eyes closed. That's next to impossible to do on the majority of the middle of the DVD. A lot of the time you have to move fast and watch the whole time; I didn't like that at all. I prefer to listen to the voice guide me through the exercises.
The good definitely outweighs the bad, but I can already tell it's not going to be one of my favorite exercise DVD's.
Cherise Everhard, April 2008 "
Beautiful DVD but not for first timers...
ThreePeas | 03/20/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Having had prior Yoga experience, I really enjoyed this DVD, the setting is beautiful, extremely relaxing, the instructor a very calming voice but it's really a shame that she chose to title this Yoga for Beginners. Ive done yoga in a studio and own a few other Yoga DVD's that I really enjoy so I already know the poses and know what to expect and my other DVD's have instructors that cater to all levels; one DVD I own has three instructor each dressed in a different color and they tell you at the beginning that the instructor in blue is for a beginner and red is for an intermediate and green for the expert so you can watch the person who's level you are at and as you have more experience you don't need to run out and buy another DVD, you just watch the instructor on the next level. Another video I own gives you suggested modifications depending on your level and flexibility. Yoga for Beginners does none of these things. So, what I meant when I said it was a shame that this DVD was not properly titled is that it is a great DVD for someone who already has experience doing yoga NOT the beginner and I feel that a lot of people who have no experience with yoga are going to be unhappy with their purchase. What I love about yoga is it's the type of discipline where you should always go at your own pace but that being said what is lacking on this DVD is suggested ways to modify a pose to meet a physical limitation or just getting the basic poses down you. So, I think that an absolute beginner is going to get pretty frustrated pretty quickly and most likely never pick it up again. The title is very misleading, I would not recommend this for a true beginner."