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.