Expectant mothers who want a relaxing workout that won't put them to sleep will enjoy Yoga for Your Pregnancy (Est. $12) , a joint production of Yoga Journal and Lamaze. Though it moves at a slightly faster clip than other prenatal yoga DVDs, the program remains calming, reviewers say, without being too New Age-y. Instructor Kristen Eykel is warm but not "cheesy," and the program includes modifications that help users make moves easier or more difficult too. Reviewers also appreciate bonuses that include a discussion of labor-room yoga techniques and a short postnatal workout. But a few say the quicker pace doesn't quite foster the relaxation they're looking for, while a handful of others warn that bouncing during some of the stretches can lead to injury.
Many reviewers say that Eykel's focus on breathing techniques helps them to relax, and that the program helps soothe some of the aches and pains of pregnancy. It's suitable for either morning or evening workouts. Some of the moves use a chair, blanket or pillow, but there is no special equipment to buy.
Women who want to move at a slower clip under the tutelage of one of yoga's biggest names may be attracted to Shiva Rea's Prenatal Yoga (Est. $13) . The program includes modifications based on trimester, and an extended meditation session truly helps users relax. They like her focus on encouraging breathing and focus. Reviewers also compliment the high-end production values and minimalist set. But some caution Rea's "earth mother" style can be polarizing, and coupled with the New Age-inspired music, the program may not be everyone's cup of tea. Some women with yoga experience say this DVD simply isn't challenging enough.
Reviewers say Prenatal Yoga with Desi Bartlett (Est. $9) offers the slower pace of Shiva Rea's program without a lot of spiritual chatter. Bartlett is "peaceful without being too crunchy and spacey," a reviewer notes, and the gentle program includes modifications. The calming set also receives high marks. But some women call the workout "boring," saying it barely even feels like a workout. Others wish Bartlett would speak directly to the camera instead of relying on voice-overs, saying this makes the program feel too impersonal. However, if you want your focus to be on relaxation, this is the video for you.