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element hatha flow yoga for beginners

There was always a big disconnect between what I’d do when following along with yoga DVDs at home compared to what I’d do in an actual yoga class.

The yoga DVDs I’ve used have typically been good workouts that also improved my flexibility and helped me relax. So I certainly benefited from them.

But they still felt like a standard workout – they didn’t flow like a real yoga class.

Then I tried Element: Hatha & Flow Yoga For Beginners. Now, it’s the only yoga DVD I use consistently!

Don’t let the title fool you! Unless you’ve been taking classes at a yoga studio for years, you can probably classify yourself as a “beginner” here.

If you’re an athlete that just does yoga on the side or in the off-season for cross-training, you’re a beginner when it comes to yoga!

The “beginner” designation doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Far from it! It means that it consists of the basic, fundamental poses at a pace that doesn’t make your head spin. You’re going to need a basic level of fitness (or at least some determination) to make it through!

If you’re not familiar with yoga, you’ll probably need to pause and rewind it on multiple occasions to figure out how to contort your body into these positions smoothly and gracefully!

I actually found this by total accident in my friend’s DVD collection last year and it has basically become mine. It’s a good thing, because otherwise I would have passed it up thanks to the “for beginners” name!

element hatha flow yoga dvd

I’m really glad I found it. If you want your own copy, the list price is $14.98, but it’s usually only $8 on Amazon.com. (It’s $7.49 as I write this.)

I only had to do it once to get hooked. I’ve been using it all year, and whenever I find anyone thinking about trying yoga, I tell them to get this! All my friends have loved it. It’s no secret though – it has a 4.6 star rating from 100+ reviews on Amazon.

Let me tell you about the experience…

As soon as it started, I knew it would be good!

For one, it was filmed on a sunny day in a lush, outdoor setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Probably Hawaii. The location was a perfect match for the yoga practice, and I enjoyed the scenery. I think it helped me both relax and to concentrate. It was so much better than something filmed in the same old studio setting with brick walls, wood floors, and artificial light.

For another, Tamal Dodge is the real deal. He leads the practice with a pleasant, calming voice and gives instruction perfectly. He gives lots of tips and explanations of each pose, both the how and the why. The pace is just right to where you can follow along easily but not get bored.

He’s the best instructor I’ve seen on video. It’s no surprise that he grew up surrounded by yoga. It’s in his blood.

And I have to give a shout out to the video production team. The audio track syncs up perfectly with the video. When Tamal gives an instruction, he immediately moves to that position. And it’s consistent.

Another popular DVD, Rodney Yee’s Power Up Yoga, was terrible in this regard. Sometimes you got the audio cues in advance, and sometimes he’d be in a new position before the audio caught up. It’s bad enough just following along – it’s extremely confusing if you’re trying to learn something at the same time.

You can do one workout, or both.

The DVD contains two separate sessions. It starts with 30 minutes of Hatha yoga, followed by 30 minutes of Flow yoga.

If you just want to stretch out and relax, you can do the Hatha yoga. That’s going to relieve stress, help you calm down and recharge your mind, and improve circulation. It’s excellent for cyclists because it helps you recover, so it’s easy to add into your routine.

I give it an A+. I always feel amazing after I do it! It’s one of the few easier routines I can do without getting bored.

element hatha flow yoga screen

If you also want to get your blood pumping and get a core workout, follow that with the Flow yoga. This moves faster and requires a lot more muscle activation. It’s very similar to what you’ll encounter during a vinyasa flow yoga practice in a studio (sometimes referred to as “power yoga.”)

You’ll be taxing your core with downward dog crunches, then activating what feels like every muscle in your lower body when you have to hold crescent pose. It’s tough. Tamal refers to it as getting ‘deep into the cardiovascular.’ I call it breathing heavily and straining to keep your balance!

It’s fun though and the intense part doesn’t seem to last that long. (At least not compared to a tough 90 minute class at Amazing Yoga.)

I either do the Hatha, or I do the Hatha followed by Flow. I never skip the Hatha since it makes for a good warmup. That gives me a 60 minute yoga session, (albeit with a significant break in the middle.)

Warning: You do have to put the work in.

Like I said, if you have no idea what yoga is, you probably won’t just jump right in and breeze through this. It’s going to be a new experience. You’ll want to watch the video first, or watch and pause often, to practice the techniques.

Fortunately, you don’t need a whole lot of experience to just jump right in, because Tamal will be explaining exactly what you’re supposed to do. And at home, there’s not a big crowd watching, waiting for you to fall over.

Especially with the Flow yoga, it will take time, and you might get frustrated. If you don’t have decent fitness, you’ll get really frustrated, since it’s both physically difficult and fast paced, new movements.

It’s worth it though! And it will get easier with time.

My final verdict is…

There are cheap DVDs that often give you a poor yoga experience. Not this one! You get a good yoga experience, probably as good as you can find outside of a studio, and you get it in the comfort of your own home. All for half the price of a single class. You can’t go wrong with this!

Even if you’re planning to attend yoga classes, you should watch this and practice it at home before ever taking a class at a studio. With the preparation, you’ll have much more fun at the studio and get more out of the experience.

Official website: www.TamalYoga.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Element
Product: Element: Hatha & Flow Yoga For Beginners DVD
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2014-12-06
Obtained Product: Gift from friend.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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