Yoga For Beginners with Patricia Walden:Format&ndsh;DVD — Join acclaimed yoga instructor in this popular DVD programPatricia Walden as she offers you a safe and contemporary approach to this classical discipline. This progr... more »am helps you develop strength and flexibility,reduce stress,increase energy,and enhance concentration. Yoga Practice for Beginners offers step&ndsh;by step instruction in the yoga basics:23 basic posesdemonstrated,Standing poses for flexibility and strength,Seated poses for a healthy back,inverted poses to soothe body and mind,gentle guidance indeep relaxation.« less
"I originally purchased this in VHS format. This is a very good program for absolute beginners, as I was when I started with it. However, even after using the program frequently enough that I have literally memorized it, I find that I enjoy it enough that I continue using it almost daily, although I now also have other sources of instruction. The program does progress slowly and does not focus much on the breathing, although there are breathing cues given at specific points. However, for someone who is just beginning to explore yoga, slowness is a benefit, not a drawback, and there is enough to worry about when trying to align the poses correctly without also worrying about trying to breathe in a specific manner, and the Iyengar yoga style in general reserves breath control beyond just trying to remember to breathe regularly and evenly for people above the raw beginner level. Patrica Walden does a very good job of explaining the basics for each pose, and if you read the booklet which comes with the DVD or the tape, you get a much more detailed description of each pose, as well as suggested modifications and suggested variations to try on your own. At first, if you are anything like I was (in pretty decent shape, relatively young - ok, 31 when I started with it - and not overweight but not the most flexible person on earth either), you will WANT the slowness, because you will be very tired, sore, and out-of-breath in between poses. Once you begin working more comfortably in the poses, you can use the fast-forward and skip buttons on the DVD remote in order to speed up the program and make things faster and more of a workout. Plus, the poses selected are a very good set of basic poses, primarily standing poses, and they quickly begin to build up your strength and flexibility, which makes the program a very good program to begin with. Also, almost all of the poses can be done entirely without props, although they will likely help, and the props which you will likely want can be fairly easily substituted with household items (i.e., blocks, a strap, and a chair), unlike some of the other beginner programs I have seen which utilize large bolsters in addition to blocks and a strap. In fact, I recommend this particular program so highly that I recently gave it to my own mother when she expressed an interest in exploring yoga, and I have recommended it to several friends. A complementary DVD is Yoga Basics, also by Patricia Walden, which gives more seated poses and twists. Although there is some overlap with this DVD, the two are worth having together. As for the bonus Yoga for Flexibility program, I thought it was made fairly clear that those poses are fairly advanced ones not intended for beginners, but I like having the program on the DVD because it gives me something else to work with once I have become more of a master of the other poses.I do recommend getting this program on DVD rather than VHS, especially with good single-disc DVD players down way under the $... mark and cheap adapters available at Radio Shack for those of us with elderly TVs. The DVD makes the program easier to fast-forward through when you are ready to work at a faster pace, and I wore the video tape just about out after using it nearly every day for months."
Enjoyable, but perhaps not for beginners
bugs2bugs | San Jose, CA, USA | 08/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've taken a few Iyengar yoga classes, so the material on this DVD wasn't new to me. If you are interested in getting started with yoga I would suggest taking an instructor-led class, as the instructor will be able to give you immediate feedback on your poses. Trying to copy what an expert is doing on TV is difficult at best, and you could end up hurting yourself.
Having said that, I found this to be the best DVD on yoga among the ones I've seen. Even the short opening sequence where Ms. Walden does a series of poses in Death Valley is worth watching on its own. I found her to be a good instructor, not too spacey but also warm and pleasant to watch. Don't miss the bonus interview with Patricia, as she gives some good pointers about maintaining a practice.
If you've never done yoga before, you might find some of her instructions bizarre, like "Soften the throat". In my Iyengar yoga class several years ago the instructor said the same things, so when I heard Patricia repeat them I realized that this is part of the Iyengar program. And I've also discovered that many of the seemingly odd comments are actually useful for making yourself aware of what your body is telling you, even after the session is over.
At first I was a little put off by the extended instruction given during the exercises, which others have pointed out makes this not a workout DVD at all. I disagree--you can either skip over those parts or continue holding the pose while the instruction is going on. This is something you would have to experience during a beginner class anyway, so get used to interruptions when you're first getting started.
Also, don't expect to be able to do the poses exactly the way the instructor does them (or even close). Find your own limits and don't push yourself too hard to go beyond them. This is not a competition; it's about relaxing and feeling good about yourself, no matter what your ability level.
In short, don't expect Patricia's DVD to answer all your questions about yoga, but it's a useful tool that you can use to increase your flexibility, calm your nerves, and improve your life. Namaste."
Thorough Introduction to Yoga at a Reasonable Price
bugs2bugs | 08/11/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD contains two yoga programs that have been reviewed in VHS format:
*Yoga Journal's Yoga for Beginners
*Yoga Journal's Yoga for Flexibility. The Yoga for Beginners DVD is loaded with over 3 hours of content. The DVD format provides flexibility in using the programs for practice - fixing one of the complaints reviewers had with the VHS format of the program. For example, the programs have sub-menus that allow you to skip the prologues (i.e. Patricia Walden practicing backbends in Death Valley) and there's a section of the DVD main menu that allows you to choose poses to practice without watching the entire program. Yoga for Flexibility and a nice interview with Patricia Walden are located in the "Bonus" menu of the DVD. There's also a booklet that describes each pose demonstrated in Yoga for beginners. All in all this is an excellent introduction to Yoga practice and a lot of programming at an extraordinarily reasonable price."
Sam Holcomb | New York | 04/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was surprise on the negative reviews. Actually, this will be my second time purchasing this video and I really enjoyed it. I have tried other programs on Yoga and none of them had showed such a soothing and simple way to enjoy the benefits of Yoga. I had to do a fashion show and was very self conscious and intimidated by the other models. I started using this video and I developed so much self confidence and energy that I thought I could never have. Sure it's at a slow pace, but I think the video was trying not to intimidate anyone who is trying Yoga for the first time. Just this morning, I was feeling really tired. I remembered a pose for rejuvenation of the body in the video and it still worked for me like the first time I did it. That is why I'm ordering this video again because it's simple and anyone can benefit from it."
A very nice introductory video
Robin K. | Hawaii | 08/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This video, from 1990, is an excellent introduction to many of the basic yoga poses. Those demonstrated on this video include:
Mountain Pose (tadasana) Triangle Pose Warrior II Pose (proud warrior) Side-Stretch Pose (a sort of combination of Triangle Pose and Proud Warrior) Downward Facing Dog Pose Standing Forward Bend Sitting Forward Bend Cobbler's Pose Staff Pose, etc.
Patricia Walden has a grace and patience to her demeanor which makes this video very therapeutic, and she is an excellent teacher. The focus is on relaxation and going inward, though many of the poses, such as Proud Warrior and Triangle Pose, will give you a good workout and test your endurance and stamina. Iyengar yoga is distinguished in part by its usage of props such as blocks, straps, and cushions for beginners, and Patricia utilizes these in some of the poses on this video; thus, if you are a true beginner -- or just not that flexible -- then these props (which you can make at home with a blanket, a belt, etc) will make some of the more challenging poses easier for you. If you are looking for a very upbeat workout which will wake you up and help you burn alot of calories, this is probably not the right video for you. However if you would like a challenging, yet soothing, introduction to Iyengar yoga from one of the best teachers out there, do not hesitate to buy this video."