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Tested: Yoga for Beginners DVD

I have been curious about yoga for years now, but it wasn’t until I got a yoga DVD for cyclists that I actually did any regular yoga routines. Because of that, I may have missed some of the basics of yoga, so I’m thrilled to test out this DVD called Yoga for Beginners.

yoga for beginners screenshot

The first thing I noticed (aside from host Patricia Walden’s picture on the cover) was the little guidebook that came with the DVD. It provides about 38 pages of instruction for the yoga poses. For each pose, you’ll learn what parts of your body to drop and which to lift, what you should be feeling, and what to watch out for. It even tells you the benefits of each pose.

Let me stress that this guide was great. Maybe you can get good instruction online for free, but I thoroughly enjoyed this pocket-size guide.

After studying the guide, I moved on to the DVD. Let me start out by saying that this DVD can be a terrible experience or a great one. It depends on what you use to watch it. If you are watching on your TV with a normal DVD player, you should be fine – just be sure you know how to work your remote control. If you are using a computer, DO NOT use Windows Media Player to watch this. Somehow it manages to ruin every single menu and send you to places you don’t want to go! Download VLC media player instead. It works very well, and it’s free.

First off, there were six minutes of ads at the beginning of the DVD for the company that produced it. You’ll have to fast-forward through that every single time you watch it. (Although VLC media player magically skips the ads on its own!)

After skipping the ads, I was presented with a nice desert scene where the instructor was doing various yoga poses. That is just an introduction and then you are taken to the main menu. The main menu is pretty clear, but getting into the routines requires clicking a few more buttons than I would have liked.

yoga for beginners dvd menu

Let’s look at each menu option…

yoga for beginners screenshot

Yoga For Beginners Practice. This is a basic practice routine that takes you through a variety of yoga poses. It’s a nice routine with a good deal of instruction, making this a very good DVD for beginners. It’s even a good complement to more advanced DVDs (like Cyclo-Zen) because it provides clear instructions that others DVDs leave out.

What I didn’t like was their use of a green screen background to do a crazy blue and purple background. It’s like being in outer space or a time warp, not in a peaceful yoga setting. There were also a few camera angle switches at inopportune times, hindering my ability to fully understand each pose.

Beginner’s Pose Guide. This section is like the print manual, but with video instructions for each pose. It’s probably best to start with this section and learn each pose before getting into one of the routines.

yoga for beginners screenshot

Workout Guidelines. This is just one of those screens warning you to be careful when starting an exercise routine.

Special Features. There are two basic features here. One is an interview with Patricia Walden, and the other is a nice yoga routine that takes place outdoors on a sunny day. It’s a good routine, especially when you’re stuck inside on cold winter day!

To finish up on a positive vibe…

This DVD is certainly for beginners, as the title states. It serves as an introduction to yoga (it has plenty of advice for getting into certain poses) and it has a couple routines that will get you comfortable moving between poses. It is also much cheaper than hiring a personal trainer to teach you the moves!

[Update: I paid about $10 for this back in 2008. Now in 2014, I see it is only $6 – a steal!]

My final verdict is…

yoga for beginners dvd

For just $6, this DVD is hard to beat. I can recommend it if you are totally new to yoga, but if you are not a beginner, this DVD will be pretty boring.

Start with the booklet and then the DVD, and you’ll be well on your way to advanced yoga routines.

Just remember, do not view it with Windows Media Player! (And do be careful if you are new at this. All those health warnings are on there for a reason.)

Official website: www.Gaiam.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Gaiam
Product: Yoga for Beginners DVD
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2014-03-05
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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5 Comments
  1. I’m in. I’ve never been very flexible and I think Yoga would really help. That would make me more comfortable on and off the bike.

  2. Yoga has really helped my flexibility and balance, I highly recommend it.

  3. I have never been the one to get into a sport or activity that isn’t fast paced or has a lot of quick movement, but after trying yoga and pilates it’s actually made me change my mind about these women who go to classes everyday. It really does help center you and help you focus. I recommend trying it and I’m so glad you did levi! I feel more balanced afterwords and it’s a great activity to do with friends. something to get your mind off the work week. Try a beginner dvd it takes time to build up to the hard stuff, but i look forward to getting there.

  4. Gaiam’s “AM/PM Yoga with Rodney Yee & Patricia Walden” was a DVD my mom purchased by accident. Nevertheless, it changed my life. I practiced it daily for 3 yrs, and eventually decided to leave my entire life in high fashion behind in NYC and move west. After time at an ashram didn’t work out, I moved back home. One day as I was walking into my parents building in Boston the doorman overheard me talking about how I detest doing yoga in classes. He said I should try a class with his boyfriend, who was one of Patricia Walden’s assistants! I went nervously, and it was truly a Divine Appointment. She had been here with me all along. I’ve studied with Patricia now in person for over 3 yrs – and she is the REAL DEAL! Nobody embodies yoga or compassion more so than her. On my 27th birthday this past year, at an intensive retreat with her in Louisianna, she agreed to mentor me. So, any chance I can have to disseminate the True, rare wisdom that is Patricia Walden is a true blessing!

  5. @Elijah

    Wow that is an experience! All because of a DVD purchased by accident. Life is crazy sometimes isn’t it? Thanks for sharing the story!

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coach levi
Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

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Coach Levi is my favorite child and favorite cycling coach. I'd choose him over Christoper McCarmikael even. Did I mention that Levi can coach you to a healthier lifestyle where you look and feel your best?
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