Yoga for Beginners Review

Updated March 31, 2014
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Yoga for Beginners
Bottom Line

True yoga newbies should enjoy Barbara Benagh's gentle, thorough teachings in "Yoga for Beginners." Reviewers say the DVD does an admirable job of teaching the basics without moving too quickly from one pose to another. The large number of workouts and pose tutorials help students tailor their experience too. But if this isn't your first time on a yoga mat, some reviewers say the program may be too slow for you.

Instruction

'Meticulous' and calming teacher. "Yoga for Beginners" instructor Barbara Benagh has been practicing yoga since the 1970s and teaches at several Boston-area studios. Reviewers praise her calming, encouraging presence, saying she's especially thorough at explaining each pose -- one expert even calls the instruction "meticulous." Most also say she does a good job explaining breathing techniques and reminding students to breathe and focus during poses. Though most reviewers find Benagh's style appropriate for the program, a few say she's a little too sedate, with one saying she was "so slow it almost put me to sleep."

ProsClear, detailed instruction, High quality, Lots of modifications, Ample varietyConsMay be too slow, Workouts could flow better

Production

Tranquil scenery and music. Filmed on a beach in the Caribbean, "Yoga for Beginners" aims for a serene setting that doesn't distract from the workout. Reviewers agree the setting is beautiful and relaxing, although at least one calls the sound of the waves annoying. Music is kept to a minimum and "is not intrusive or repetitive," one user says. A few say the DVD could be more smoothly edited for better flow instead of transitioning in and out of each pose with shots of the scenery. Reviewers say the program provides ample variety by focusing on strength, flexibility and relaxation. There is an energizing workout suited for the morning and a "quieting" workout best practiced in the evening.

Ease of use

Best for true beginners. Several reviewers agree that "Yoga for Beginners" is ideal for those who have no prior experience. One expert praises the DVD for its gentle pace, tips on proper alignment and ample range of modifications. Most also agree Benagh's cues are easy to follow. On the flipside, holding poses for so long might be tough for some. Also, students with an athletic background or those who have practiced yoga may get bored quickly, and several reviewers complain the program was simply too slow. The DVD has eight routines and four tutorials on poses ranging from 10 to 70 minutes. They are divided into a "getting started" section that focuses on proper form and an "as you progress" section with longer workouts. No special equipment is required.

Buy from Amazon

Our Sources

1. Amazon.com

Yoga for Beginners, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014

"Yoga for Beginners" gets 4.2 out of 5 stars in more than 570 reviews. Reviewers praise the slow pace, easy-to-follow instructions and variety of routines. But some complain it's boring, too slow and poorly edited.

2. YogaDVDs.net

Yoga for Beginners by Barbara Benagh, Sarah Baldwin, Nov. 18, 2013

Baldwin says "Yoga for Beginners" lives up to its name, with a slow pace, modifications and alignment tips. She also likes the large number of routines that can be mixed up, but says some students with experience may want more of a challenge.

3. About.com

Review: Yoga for Beginners by Barbara Benagh, Paige Waehner, March 23, 2012

Waehner's thorough review praises "Yoga for Beginners" for its variety, slow pace, "meticulous instruction" and lovely scenery. But some beginners may struggle to hold movements, and the pace and instructions could be too slow after awhile, she says.