I get a lot of requests for yoga video recommendations from people who have never done yoga before. While I still strongly believe that the best way to learn yoga is from a good instructor, either in a group class or privately, I have finally found a DVD I feel comfortable offering to new beginners. Other videos may claim that they are for beginners, or for all levels, but in reality most of them are inappropriate for someone with no yoga experience. The Complete Beginner's Guide fills this gaping hole in the yoga DVD cannon. That it comes from Yoga Journal is no surprise.
The Pose Encyclopedia
The pose encyclopedia alone makes this DVD an invaluable resource for anyone who does yoga at any level. The encyclopedia presents video instruction for 35 essential yoga poses. Each pose is filmed in 360 degrees and is accompanied by voice-over instruction by yoga teacher Jason Crandell. Every alignment point is meticulously covered as you are shown a lovely version of each pose. I really wish this resource had been available when I first started yoga. It would also be amazing for anyone training to be a yoga teacher.
In addition to the pose encyclopedia, this DVD also includes three yoga sequences, also instructed by Jason Crandell. The 60-minute practice includes a nice seated warm-up and a sun salutation sequence modified for beginners. This is a realistic practice for a beginners' class. There is also the option to do two shorter 15-minute sequences. The only possible critique I can see is of the setting for the videos. It feels like Crandall is practicing in some kind of digitized, virtual yoga studio, but this is only a problem if you must have your yoga videos set under a waterfall or in a Tuscan villa. Otherwise, welcome to my new go-to recommendation for a beginner's yoga DVD.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.