Renowned yoga instructor Shiva Rea's Daily Energy is the top pick for intermediate-level yoga practitioners who want a challenging workout to fit their lifestyle. Viewers can create a custom routine by mixing and matching any of the seven 20-minute segments. If you need a yoga video designed for beginners, reviewers recommend Tara Stiles: This is Yoga (*Est. $20) .
Spiritual instruction isn't for everyone. Shiva Rea is one of the best-known yoga instructors in the country, and her videos consistently earn high marks from users and professionals. However, her DVDs aren't typically for yoga beginners. Designed for intermediate and advanced practitioners, the poses in Daily Energy can be challenging, and Rea's cuing is sometimes too sparse for those looking for detailed instruction. Plus, she moves quickly between poses and doesn't demonstrate easier variations. "It would've been nice to have someone in the background doing the easier poses so I didn't feel like such a failure during this DVD," complains one viewer.
Along with Rea's other offerings, Daily Energy features a good deal of the spiritual and mind commentary that can turn off some viewers; some say they find it uncomfortable and cheesy. Those who enjoy the body/mind/spirit style of yoga should like Daily Energy just fine.
Mix-and-match routines. Based on the flowing Vinyasa style, Shiva Rea's Daily Energy is one of her most popular videos. Its seven 20-minute sessions can be done in any order to create a customized yoga routine. In addition, the DVD includes two warm-up sections -- Lunar and Solar -- and five-minute core, relaxation and forward bends sessions. Reviewers say the short core routine is so effective that it alone makes the DVD worth the cost. Others say Shiva Rea Daily Energy is perfect for individuals who don't have time for an hour-long practice, and its inherent variety keeps things interesting long term.
Excellent menu, easy DVD navigation. One highlight of Shiva Rea's Daily Energy is the easy-to-use DVD menu. Participants can either select one of the 20-minute segments for a shorter session or use the menu "matrix" to create a custom routine. This option is great for when you need a time-saving workout, and keeps the DVD interesting and compelling after several uses. Daily Energy is filmed indoors in a colorful studio, and the music and voiceover are calm and soothing. Once you become familiar with the poses you can turn the voiceover off, which is particularly nice for those who aren't as fond of Rea's spiritually focused commentary.
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Review Credibility: Very Good Health editors at More magazine's website name Shiva Rea Daily Energy one of the best yoga DVDs for intermediate users. They call the routines "extremely fluid," and say they like that some of the seven sessions focus on relaxation. Editors select 11 DVDs in total.
Review: The Best Yoga DVDs, Editors of More.com, Not dated
2. Woman's Day magazine
Review Credibility: Very Good Woman's Day magazine also lists Shiva Rea Daily Energy as a top yoga video. Cuffey loves that the seven sessions can be used alone or in combination to build a customized workout.
Review: 10 Best Fitness DVDs, Abigail L. Cuffey, March 3, 2010
Review Credibility: Very Good Shiva Rea's Daily Energy earns 4.4 stars out of 5 after more than 150 reviews at Amazon.com. Most users love the mix-and-match nature of the video, which includes seven 20-minute sessions. Some of the poses are quite challenging, even for those with yoga experience, and beginners are often disappointed that Rea moves too quickly with not enough instruction.
Review: Shiva Rea: Daily Energy - Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2013
Review Credibility: Good Neilson gives Shiva Rea's Daily Energy a Highly Recommended label. Although he says some viewers may be put off by Rea's spiritual talk, the "diversity and quality" of the workout is top-notch.
Review: Shiva Rea: Daily Energy - Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Chris Neilson, April 19, 2010
Review Credibility: Good Editors at FitSugar.com praise the variety and flexibility of Shiva Rea's Daily Energy. "I love that the video includes short yoga workouts, so you can always fit in a quick, yet complete practice," they write.
Review: DVD Review: Daily Energy - Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Editors of FitSugar.com, Nov. 6, 2009
Review Credibility: Good Holecko, the family fitness guide at About.com, recommends Shiva Rea's Daily Energy for intermediate and advanced practitioners. Like most reviewers, she likes that you can customize the workout. She enjoys the video, but cautions that some users may be put off by the spiritual elements.
Review: Shiva Rea Daily Energy Vinyasa Flow Yoga DVD, Catherine Holecko, Not dated