How to Choose a Yoga DVD
Yoga has become an extremely popular form of exercise and is well known for its ability to help with weight loss, relieving tension and stress, and increasing flexibility. It has been practiced for over 5,000 years, with more than 11 million American currently enjoying its health benefits. Yoga can be used in conjunction with your weight loss program or it can be part of a spiritual journey for those who wish to explore that facet of it.
Most yoga classes and DVDs will focus on learning various poses and will usually include some breathing techniques and possibly some meditation as well.
To begin Yoga, you will need comfortable workout clothes, a yoga mat and some form of instruction. You can get excellent yoga instruction either by attending yoga classes, or by using a Yoga workout DVD.
A yoga DVD can be extremely valuable in helping you gain confidence before attending your first yoga class, or it can be used in place of classes if you prefer to practice in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
When choosing which exercise or Yoga DVD to buy, your choices are numerous. You can choose a Pilates Yoga DVD, a Prenatal Yoga DVD and a range of DVDs specializing in different yoga disciplines. However, there are several things you should take into consideration before making your final decision.
What am I looking for?
Many people, especially beginners, think that yoga is simply a bunch of positions, or poses. There’s no doubt that asanas, or yoga poses, are an integral part of yoga, but there is much more involved. Some yoga DVDs will focus only on the poses, and the value they bring to your physical fitness or weight loss plans. Other Yoga DVDs will reflect on supplementary aspects, such as relaxation techniques and meditation. When choosing which Yoga DVD is right for you, you’ll need to consider if you want one that covers the spiritual as well as physical aspects of yoga.
What level do I need?
There are DVD’s designed specifically for different levels of yoga. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced student, the poses in each level will have the appropriate level of difficulty. If you are just starting yoga, don’t be tempted to buy a DVD based on reviews alone, it may be a great Yoga DVD, but if it’s not an appropriate level for you, you’ll be wasting your time and money. Be sure to stick to your level and you’ll reduce the risk of injuring yourself or losing interest in yoga altogether.
What Does a Yoga Session Involve?
A basic yoga session does not need to take very long. It will usually follow this order:
Warm-up Exercises – this will be the time to warm your muscles and get it ready to safely transition into the various asanas. Beginners may use the warm-up poses for their entire practice. These warm up exercises will open the spine, hips, lower back, groin and shoulders.
Standing Poses – these poses are used for alignment of the body. They open the hips, stretch the legs, strengthen the back and increase range of motion. Standing poses also help digestion, blood circulation and weight loss.
Sitting Poses – sitting poses allow you to use breath and prana to revitalize from a pose by providing a quiet and calm feeling. These poses are also very helpful in shaping your legs and buttocks and add suppleness and vitality to the spine.
Twists – twisting exercises release tension in your spine, relieves backaches and gives your shoulders more flexibility. Twists also help with circulation of blood and nutrients throughout the body.
Supine and Prone Poses – These poses release tension in your abdomen and increase the flexibility and range of motion in your spine. They also help to strengthen your back, arms and legs.
Inverted and Balance Poses – Inverted and balance poses defy gravity and help to develop coordination, strength, increased stamina and improve agility and poise.
Backbends – These poses greatly benefit the adrenal glands and kidney. They also release tension and improve flexibility in the spine.
Finishing Poses – these are the cool down exercises.
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