Yoga For Beginners

Body + Soul: Pilates for Yoga offers an introduction to this ancient form of spiritual and physical exercise. The disc contains a variety of starting poses designed to lead the viewer slowly and easily into this discipline. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi Yoga instructor Barbara Benagh has practiced and taught yoga for nearly 35 years. She discovered yoga while living in England and began teaching there. She moved to Boston and opened The Yoga Studio on Beacon Hill in 1980.

In addition to her local classes Barbara teaches yoga seminars throughout the US and internationally. She is a regular contributor of articles to Yoga Journal magazine. She has several audio CDs of live classes available as well as DVDs, the latest being Yoga for Beginners released by Body + Soul magazine, and Yoga for Stress Relief that includes a discussion on meditation from the Dalai Lama.

Barbara was kind enough to answer some questions from about this unique line of yoga DVDs.

How are these DVDs different from other yoga DVDs?

I was drawn to working with Bodywisdommedia because they produce DVDs they are interactive. Rather than a “one size fits all” single routine that is typical of most products, these DVDs offer choice, allowing the user to customize and change their yoga practice to suit their needs. No two persons are the same so the ability to change your practice – easing shoulder tension one day and an invigorating morning wake up the next – come as close as possible to allowing you to address your individual needs at home. Not only do people have different physical needs, but they have different time constraints as well. If you have only 20 minutes, there is a practice for you but there are longer practices as well (some as long as 90 minutes) that address the total body/mind connection. The sheer number of yoga sequences offered on each of these DVDs is a first. They are incredibly comprehensive.

How were you able to get the Dalai Lama involved?

This project dovetailed perfectly with the Dalai Lama’s message that modern stress is one of the greatest obstacles to our mental happiness and physical wellbeing. Because we are long-time sincere practitioners, having a 30-minute lecture of the Dalai Lama teaching how to meditate on the Yoga for Stress Relief DVD was a perfect fit. Bodywisdommedia also has a broader relationship with the Office of Tibet and are releasing historic lectures with “A Path to Happiness” being the first one.

How will potential buyers of these DVDs know which one is right for them?

The titles are very indicative of what appears on the DVD and therefore a good guide. I really enjoyed making Yoga for Stress Relief because it is incredibly relevant. We strove to make the sequences accessible to as many people as possible, whether they are a beginner or long time practitioner. Yoga for Beginners is a great, non-threatening place to get started and includes lots of sound technique developed over my 30 years as a yoga teacher. Power Yoga for Every Body is a bit more challenging taking you from the beginning level and gradually progressing to much more demanding routines.

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Tags: yoga sequences, New Health Ideas, yoga instructor, shoulder tension, yoga journal, yoga studio

3 comments for “Yoga For Beginners

  1. Beth Cholette "doctor_beth"
    September 9, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Excellent, verstatile DVD will help those new to their yoga journey I’ve been enjoying yoga instructor Barbara Benagh’s other recent DVD release, Yoga for Stress Relief, so I decided to take a look at this one as well. This DVD, released by Body+Soul magazine, is intended for those new to yoga. There are a total of 5 shorter (<30 minutes), targeted routines which provide detailed instruction in basic yoga postures. These sequences allow the beginning yoga practitioner to build a solid foundation by learning proper alignment and taking the time to focus on form. In the second part of the DVD, Barbara combines the targeted practices to form five extended routines. These longer (30-70 minutes) practices utilize mostly the same footage (warm-up and relaxation sequences are added) to provide a more comprehensive, in-depth yoga experience. Barbara uses a yoga mat and occasionally makes use of a blanket as well.A breakdown of the DVD is listed below; I’ve first listed the main menu items and then have broken down the two submenus, “Getting Started” and “As You Progress.” The times for each practice are given as they appear on-screen, but I’ve added adjusted times in parentheses based on my own review. I’ve also included brief summaries of the composition of each segment; these summaries are meant to provide an overview rather than to be all-inclusive.Main MenuContents* Learn: Interview (8)* Getting Started: Targeted Routines* As You Progress: Extended RoutinesAnd More…* About Body+Soul: Meet the Editor (2)* Articles: Articles and Advice – five PDF file reprints of Body+Soul magazine articles on yoga and related topics* CreditsGetting Started: Targeted Routines* Backbends, 10m (22.5)- locust, seated backbend/shoulder stretch, cobra, bow; slow but building intensity* Standing Poses, 20m (22.5) – tree, triangle (long, slow setup process), side angle, standing side stretch, warrior 1, wide leg standing forward bend* Strength and Balance, 20m (20.5) – teaches”core strength breathing” used with boat prep work, half boat, modified side plank, and plank pose; finish in child’s pose* Sun Salutations, 20m (22) – very slow flow; begins with 2 sun breaths, 2 half salutes, and then a total of only 2 rounds of sun salutations, the first more modified than the second* Seated Hip Openers, 30m (28) – performed entirely on the floor (seems to target hamstrings more than hips): reclined cobbler’s, lying shoulder stretch, reclined leg stretch, thread the needle, seated easy pose twist, cobbler’s, head-to-knee, wide legged seated forward bend, finish in cobbler’sAs You Progress: Extended RoutinesThere are three new sequences included in the below practices. The first is Breathing and Centering (12.5 minutes), which includes breathing deep and centering the mind while lying on your back, breathing in rhythm with pulling the knees in and out, and breathing during a simple lying twist (revolved stomach pose). The second is a Restorative sequence 11.5 minutes) made up of three separate segments: supported reclined cobbler’s pose, upper back opener reclining over bolster, and legs up the wall pose. Finally, there is a 5.5 closing Relaxation sequence.* Basics: Wonderful Place to Start, 70m (68.5) – Breathing and Centering (12.5), Standing Poses (22.5), Seated Hip Openers (28), and Relaxation (5.5)* Energizing: Wake Up Your Body and Mind, 40m (40) – Sun Salutations (22), Backbends (12), and Relaxation (5.5)* Strength: Challenging Extended Routine, 70m (71) – Sun Salutations (22), Standing Poses (22.5), Strength and Balance (20.5), Relaxation (5.5)* Rejuvenate: When You Need to Catch Your Breath, 30m (30) – Breathing and Centering (12.5), Restorative (11.5), Relaxation (5.5)* Quieting: Great for the Evening, 55m (56) – Standing Poses (22.5), Seated Hip Openers (28), Relaxation (5.5)Overall, this is an extremely well-done DVD. Although it’s definitely appropriate for those new to yoga, I’m not sure if I’d recommend it as a very first yoga video; because Barbara is practicing alone (on a beautiful beach at Half Moon Bay Resort in Antigua), she is unable to show modifications, although she certainly does offer plenty of suggestions for going at your own pace. I am not new to yoga myself: I started dabbling about 6 years ago, have been practicing regularly for the past 3, and would rate myself at about an intermediate level. While Barbara’s detailed teaching certainly provides me with an excellent opportunity to achieve a greater level of proficiency, I do find that the practices move a bit slow for where I am at present. In addition, given that I usually have less than an hour at a time to devote to yoga, I’m not sure I’ll get much use from the extended sequences. Regardless, I can see myself mixing and matching to create my own practices, and thus I believe that most beginning and intermediate yogis…

  2. readereader "readereader"
    September 9, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Really really great I am a little confused by the folks who say that there isn’t enough instruction and that there are not enough cautions at the beginning of the program. If you watch the first section, you get a clear overview of ways to focus, and the instructor says very clearly that as a beginner, a person should only challenge themselves as far as they feel a stretch, but that this should not be painful, and that beginners should not expect to be able to fully achieve the poses yet. Furthermore, as you watch, she continually suggests modifications for beginners, and gives instructions that are so clear and explicit that yesterday I found myself altering the position of my big toe. It is THAT clear.I love the short workouts that isolate areas to strengthen as supplements to the longer workouts. As a beginner, having those short chunks has really helped me, and with several weeks of this program, and doing the backbend segment every other day, I have noticed that my lower back doesn’t hurt in the morning anymore. I can’t wait for the evening each day so that I can go home and do my yoga! I tried taking yoga classes at my gym, and disliked how fast and advanced the programs were. This really is perfect for beginners!

  3. Vicky S.
    September 9, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Who knew I could do it? I had never done Yoga before and I was afraid to go to the gym and look like an idiot. I picked up this DVD and it is awesome. There are a ton of workouts and I haven’t even gotten to all the routines yet. I’m never going to get bored and I even think at some point I will do a class at the gym. Definitely a good one.

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