"I would consider myself a begining yoga student, but an avid exerciser. I have trained and run marathons, which was brutal on my knees. Thus, I have been in the market for an exercise regime that would be effective, yet gentle. I am also interested in connecting my inner and spiritual life to my physical self and losing the duality of modern life. I have taken several yoga classes, as well as tried several yoga videos. So far, the Total Yoga 4 pack has been my hands down favorite. The workout is challenging, which leaves room to grow in your practice. However the instruction and guidance is so clear, that literally anyone could follow the directions. Beyond this, the atmosphere of the practice is very calming and soothing. There is little music or over zealous verbal cueing to distract, or take the focus away from 1) breathing fully and consistently and 2) concentrating on being fully in the pose. The 4 dvds cover a full range of engagement, from the most soothing and gentle to completely involved and active. I have recommended these dvd's to anyone I know already involved in yoga or interested in starting a practice. If I could give them 10 stars, I would without any hesitation. Seriously, what at find!!!"
A well presented, well rounded beginner's intro to yoga ...
Vou's Reviews | 09/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"... incorporating four practices progressing from a basic first lesson to a more mentally and physically challenging routine.
Earth: a 40 minute intro to a variety of basic poses and flows. Water: similar to Earth, a little longer with the addition of a few more poses and a slightly increased tempo. Fire: a challenge for the beginner ready to progress to intermediate; about 60 minutes with a more vigorous, continuous flow and more challenging asanas and variations. Total Yoga Original: about the same level as Water, with interesting variations in terms of sequencing and some poses.
Each class flows beautifully and smoothly; each is soothing and yet promotes focus and challenge (especially Fire).
Each disc also includes a fifteen minute bonus practice, which I've not yet tried.
Visually, quality is high, simple and clear, with two obviously experienced but in no way intimidating yogis practicing on a plain floor against a simple background and with smooth camera work that allows the viewer to see the entire posture clearly.
Sound is great, instruction clear and precise; snippets of information are offered about the benefits of certain poses - succinctly and without emotional or spiritual content (no judgment there, just fact). More information about placement and alignment would have been useful considering it is an absolute beginner series.
Some other yoga DVDs are one lesson with a number of yogis demonstrating various levels of difficulty for each asana/pose. That 'multi-level' DVD may serve as a reminder of the basics for more advanced yogis and a source of inspiration for newbies. Some beginners may prefer Total Yoga's four stage method as more specific to them. It may prove less confusing for a beginner who is easily distracted (or possibly disheartened) by seeing mega-flexible and strong yogis undertaking advanced postures in a non-stop flow (for a more lengthy practice) that appear impossible to someone completely new to yoga.
Highly recommended for a beginner; experienced yogis will find it more meditative than physically challenging. "
Catherine Goddard | oakland, ca | 11/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just over a year ago I bought Total Yoga and began practicing at home and have not stopped since! The practice has completely changed my life! I adore it. I love Tracey Rich, the discipline of the practice, and the way that it has changed my body and my approach to breathing. I do the Fire Bonus Workout twice at the beginning of the Total Yoga DVD and then I integrate crunches into my practice independently. I swith off with Shiva Rea's sun salutations. I just love yoga!!!"
Practices are too similar to each other
RunnerGirl | New Mexico | 10/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this 4 pack DVD set because it was such a good deal and I thought that I would rotate between the four DVDs through the week. The instruction on this video is awesome, some of the best I have seen on yoga DVDs. The other aspects of the DVD (set, music, etc) are also very appealing. My only complaint about this (and why I didn't rate 5 stars) is that I feel the videos are too similar to each other. They are the same poses, but in a different order. The Fire DVD is the best, it gives a great cardio work-out as well as a great yoga session. But, how can you not buy all 4 DVDs when it is so cheap? But just be warned, they are pretty similar to each other."
Great value for the money!
Gale in Ohio | 05/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this yoga DVD set because my yoga instrutor at college recommended it. The set comes with four DVDs. There is a DVD for complete beginners, an intermediate level DVD, an advanced DVD, and a fourth DVD the instructors call their original workout. I have only used the beginner DVD so far. It provides a gentle, relaxing workout that still works my muscles, and I am very pleased with it. I like this set because it is so complete that I don't think that I will ever need to buy another yoga DVD. I strongly recommend this DVD set for people who want to do yoga practice at home."