What the best yoga videos have

  • Knowledgeable instructor with superb form: Whichever style you prefer -- traditional or modern -- the best yoga instructors will provide effective cuing or voiceovers, display a solid knowledge of placement and breathing patterns, and clearly demonstrate or suggest pose modifications.
  • Engaging workouts: No matter the style or focus, the best yoga videos should offer enough variety in movement and routines to ensure the program is still entertaining and effective after several uses. Top-rated DVDs often feature multiple shorter routines that can be mixed and matched for a custom session depending on the level of difficulty and length of workout you seek.
  • Non-distracting setting: While the background for the video should be serene and pleasant to look at, it shouldn't be so incredible that it detracts from the instructor.
  • Voiceover/cuing options: Some yoga DVDs have voiceovers; in others, the instructor talks directly to the camera. Reviewers appreciate the ability to turn off a voiceover and just listen to background music, which is especially nice when you're familiar with a video and have the instruction memorized.
  • Difficulty modifications: In yoga videos designed for beginners, the instructor should thoroughly explain pose modifications, and ideally have another student demonstrate those variations on camera.
  • Clear, professional production: The best yoga DVDs should contain a high video production quality, and feel modern and professional.

Know before you go

What type of video do you want? If you're looking to yoga to reduce stress or to recover from your normal workout routine, consider a restorative yoga program. If you want an intense session, power yoga may be for you. If increasing strength and flexibility is your goal, many of the yoga DVDs reviewed here can help.

What's your current fitness level? If you're already very fit, consider intermediate- to advanced-level videos so you get the most from your practice and don't get bored. Those who are just starting yoga will want a DVD that leads you through poses in more detail.

How much time do you have and how quickly do you bore? If you're often short on time, look for a yoga video with a variety of short sessions. These titles also keep you interested longer because you can mix and match them to create a customized routine. If you bore easily or are looking for lots of variety, consider a program with several different routines.

Buying tips and strategies

You can find short clips of most yoga videos on publisher websites or at online retailers. These can give you a sense of the setting, instructor and routine. Some users may find an instructor annoying for one reason or another, so previewing a DVD can help you determine if an instructor's style matches your own.

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