Vinyasa Yoga DVDs for Beginnersby Nina Makofsky
Vinyasa yoga is one of the more animated forms of yoga, so it gives you a chance to stretch and strengthen, plus get a good cardiovascular workout. Beginners might be intimidated by Vinyasa yoga's emphasis on positions and flow but, once you get the basic positions down, its an accessible, enjoyable workout. Fortunately, Vinyasa yoga DVDs can help beginners set up their practice.
There are several types of Vinyasa yoga DVDs targeted for beginners. "Sacred Yoga Practice: Vinyasa Flow" is a more athletic, dance-oriented style of workout, set in Maui. Doula and yoga instructor Jennifer Wolfe designed "Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga" to provide safe alternatives for pregnant women. Marala Hadidi's "Yoga: Beginner's Flow For Everyone" features two versions of a Vinyasa routine, one slowed down for absolute beginners. Ishwari Gonnot's "Heart Flow Vinyasa Yoga (Anusara)" allows users to pick a soundtrack to accompany the routine.
Most Vinyasa yoga DVDs for beginners offer an introductory lecture on the purpose, positions and proper breathing for yoga. These introductions are useful for the first few times you practice the routine. Baron Baptiste's "Foundations of Power Vinyasa Yoga" is a 90-minute DVD that spends ample time modeling proper alignment of the body and flow between positions. Baptiste teaches 36 different poses, including the fundamental sun salutations.
The benefits of practicing Vinyasa yoga are diverse. The focus on breathing functions like meditative practice and can be healing. The positions can improve balance, strength and coordination. The athletic nature of Vinyasa builds stamina. The mindfulness of regular yoga practice can transfer to other aspects of your life.
The ideal features of a Vinyasa Yoga DVD for beginners include an introduction, voice-over instruction (some yoga DVDs are silent), multiple camera angles to show positions and, ideally, a demonstration of variations for beginners and people with injuries. In "Fluid Power," teacher Shiva Rea offers a yoga matrix in which users can customize their yoga practice or choose from one of six routines.
There is one caveat for beginners in Vinyasa yoga. It can be difficult to correctly hold postures and transition between positions without an instructor's aid. Many beginners will benefit from trying some classes in a yoga studio before embarking on a solo practice with only DVDs to guide them. Because of the vigorous nature of Vinyasa yoga, beginners with medical conditions or injuries should consult with a physician before implementing a yoga practice. "Yoga: Gentle Vinyasa Flow" might be a good option in this case.