Thursday, November 24, 2011

Yoga Zone. Gentle Yoga for Beginners DVD

After a (too) long hiatus from practising hatha yoga on a regular basis, I recently purchased the DVD: Yoga Zone Gentle Yoga for Beginners as a way to help ease back into doing postures/poses at home. It sounded like just what I was looking for at this point.

For over 15 years, I practised yoga on a regular basis, at home and also in classes. I loved everything about what yoga added to my life: better breathing, improved flexibility, the ability to handle stress better...the list goes on and on. I don't know why I gradually stopped finding the time to incorporate yoga into my regular exercise regimes but I hope that I won't make that mistake again. It's just so worthwhile!

Maybe I was spoiled by having a couple of excellent yoga teachers, many years ago. To this day, I still remember and do many of the exercises/postures that we regularly practised in classes. But I thought it would be nice to try something new at this point and that's why I decided to give Yoga Zone, Gentle Yoga a try.

Well, I can't say I was impressed by anything about this DVD. It's obvious from the get-go that this DVD contains 2 rather rushed and not well thought-out routines. And routines that are supposedly geared for beginners. Short and rather hurried I'm assuming due to them being part of a TV series of the same name.

The negatives....Rushing through postures, with hardly a mention of breathing, let alone the proper breathing technique which is such a big part of why yoga "works" . This is not a given or an assumption that should be made, especially at a beginner's yoga level.

No relaxation techniques mentioned either, which for me is always the way a yoga session should conclude.

Instead of trying to "jam it all" into 2 -20 minute session, I think this DVD would have been much more beneficial by having one longer session (maybe 30-40 minutes) that DID include an explanation of proper yoga breathing, adequate stretches between postures and a relaxation session at the end, complete with some soothing music.

I found the instructor Charles Matki annoying, not engaging or interesting.  And Charles, please cover up that armpit hair, yuck! LOL  All kidding aside; yoga is all about de-stressing for me. Charles Matki doesn't have a particularly soothing voice (again, I guess I was spoiled by enjoying that in previous yoga classes) and the music used on this video is not appealing either. The volume ratio of the instructor's voice and the music is out of sync too. The music is rather loud, making it hard to focus on the instructions given along the way.

Having had a background doing yoga, I didn't find any of the postures too difficult to do, although as I've said above, they were all done rather quickly. Some of the comments I've read elsewhere online from people who have tried this DVD and who were complete yoga novices found the postures difficult and overly challenging.

The positives....the background scenery/setting was nice; that's about it!  ;<)

If a DVD for any type of exercise says "beginners" it should be just that. Not something that's only going to discourage first-timers before they even get started!

I think this is a poor choice for anyone looking for a good yoga DVD to get them started with this wonderful form of exercise. I'd still like to find the perfect yoga DVD for me to shake up my current routine a bit. And if I could, I'd be returning this DVD for a refund. As is the case with books, you can't tell a DVD by the cover. But it's opened so no-go for money back this time, unfortunately.

If you know of a good beginner or advanced beginner yoga DVD, do share. And if you are looking for one yourself right now: Yoga Zone Gentle Yoga is not a good place to begin. Don't give up on the search though; yoga is soooo worth finding the right instruction (on DVD, in a class or books)  and making it a regular and ongoing part of your life.  I'm glad I made that decision again!

Overall rating for this product: Unsatisfactory. 1 out of 5.


  1. I've tried but I just can't do sitting exercises what I do is a 45 minutes mix of Jogging and dancing to loosen the joints,that I can do, I just can't sit, but then again I'm weird, ps I've re-opened the majority of my blogs

  2. Geraldine,
    I've been wanting to take a yoga course as I think it would be excellent for me.
    Do you remember the tv program Karin's Yoga? I had her book and used to watch her show. I think she was an excellent instructor. But that was back 40 years ago.
    Sorry to hear this video didn't work out. I hope you find one that works better for you.
    Good luck with the yoga!

  3. Hi Lorraine, Yoga is different from any other form of exercise, in so many ways. As I've mentioned in the review, it's so much about the de-stressing aspect that appeals to me. I'm a hyper person for the most part (can you relate LOL!!! and I mean that in a good way) and usually like to move, move...I love to run for example or power walk. But yoga is so beneficial in that it helps me to slow down, chill, remember to breath (and properly) and stretch thoroughly. You really might enjoy it if you gave it a bit more of a try-out. I know I'm glad I got past my initial reservations about the "slow" and easy part of it! It works.

    Hi Brenda, Funny you should mention Karin. My mom did her routines while I sat on the sofa as a kid and I know my mom enjoyed these quite a bit. Although her real "love" exercise-wise was Mr. Ed LOL. I have a post over at My Poetic Path about Ed Allen and it's received about 10,000 hits since I wrote it. He was the exercise guru to follow on TV for a lot of years. I digress....You would love yoga I think. Let me know if you try it. And yes, I did order another DVD for yoga yesterday online. I'll let you know how that one works out. Has 10 routines and a lot of 5 star ratings on Amazon so here's hoping.

    Happy Black Friday and may the bargains abound!

  4. I wish I could like Yoga but it just makes me feel clutzy and uncoordinated. I know it's supposed to help with that.. but nope.. just don't care for it.

  5. Geraldine,
    Well of course I remember Mr. Ed, and I did read your post, back awhile, but I'll have to read it again, I think.
    That's so interesting to hear that your Mom liked Karin's Yoga. I loved it. She always had serene music playing in the background, and seemed a serene person herself. And I think she was good at teaching it. I wonder where she is now?
    Take care,

  6. P.S.
    Well, Geraldine,
    I have now finished reading through most of the comments you recieved on Ed Allen.
    Were you surprised to find so much interest?
    That was really something, and so interesting!
    And I notice you are still recieving comments.
    Way to go!

  7. As a beginner at yoga, in the past few years I didn't find this DVD encouraging or helpful at all. It was rather boring too. I agree, save your money and look elsewhere.

  8. Hi Hilary, You definitely need to feel comfortable with any kind of exercise regime, I agree. For example, I don't like pilates although I've heard some great things about it. Just couldn't get into it and found it boring. For myself, I'm very glad I got back to yoga now. The benefits are already showing up! Some of the more difficult poses might tend to make a person feel clutzy, but there are so many yoga postures, it's quite easy to tailor a regime that's just right. That's what I'm still working on myself.

    Hi Brenda, I'm glad you enjoyed the Ed Allen post over at Veggies... It was so surprizing to me how little was online about him, when I wrote this post. The comments are interesting, aren't they? So many stories and impressions of Ed Allen, some good, some bad. Let me know if you pursue yoga. As I said before, I think you'd really find it beneficial.

    Hi Joe, I'm so glad you were open to trying yoga and that you enjoy it too. Now to find that perfect DVD eh?

    Happy Weekend, G :<)

  9. I'd think you could learn yoga from Mr. Cheddar- cats are so good at this kinda stuff.

  10. Now there's an intelligent canine/human-typed comment if I ever read one. Thank you Rumpy Dog.

    So true! We felines (perhaps canines too?) are oh so flexible, not like so many humans I've seen. It's fun watching them trying to get themselves into pretzel-shapes though...I also enjoy pulling the mats out from under them, at just the right time. ;<)

    Snort....oh I am naughty, aren't I???

    Mr. Cheddar, Celebrity Feline Blogger

  11. I've tried Yoga Zone Gentle Yoga and you are right, the result is unsatisfactory. I am a little bit fanatic of Yoga DVD so I do not only try one but many DVDs. I want to recommend Yogalates DVD 7 Dynamic Weight Loss by Louise Solomon. Very simple to follow and give extraordinary results.

    You might want to check it out:


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