Living Yoga has created an exceptional yoga DVD with their three-in-one All-Day Yoga Workout
, which combines three of their most popular programs. The first workout is A.M. Yoga for Beginners
, a 15-minute morning set led by Rodney Yee. In the morning, Yee tells us, "the body is rested but stiff from inactivity." The stretches he demonstrates are designed to increase circulation, improve mobility, and bring clarity to your mind. The movements are easy to follow (they include a conscious relaxation, the a.m. workout, and a guided meditation), and the set is short enough that it can be squeezed into the most hectic of morning schedules.
The next set is Stress Relief Yoga for Beginners, led by Suzanne Deason. This 20-minute practice, during a sunset on the beach at Maui, will help relax your mind and muscles--especially those of the neck, shoulders, and lower back, where tension accumulates--and let stress drift away. The yoga practice includes 4 minutes of gentle stretch, a 13-minute stress-relief workout that increases circulation and flexibility, and 3 minutes of deep relaxation to leave you calmed and balanced.
The final workout is P.M. Yoga for Beginners, filmed at Death Valley and led by Patricia Walden. This 20-minute evening routine is designed to quiet the mind after the stress of the day and to help you make the transition from active to quiet. She uses a combination of a centering series, standing poses, forward bends, and restorative poses to help you ease into night. These workouts are perfect for the harried and the beginner, and you will need some props (a yoga strap, a brick, a mat, and some firm blankets).
The DVD format is ideal for a workout program--the chapter search makes it easy to skip the introduction and jump right into the body work. Or if you're short on time and just need to relax, you can move directly to the meditations. An extra feature, "Learning the Basics," has pictures of every pose with written instructions on how to do them, which is just the thing for beginners who feel befuddled when told to do a cow-face pose or gate pose. A section on props explains how to use straps, bricks, and mats in order to modify more difficult poses for less limber bodies. Finally, the interviews with Suzanne Deason, Patricia Walden, and Rodney Yee round out the DVD, making for a full program. This is the ultimate introduction to yoga; it's a workout regimen that's easy to incorporate into your daily life and fun enough to convince you to stick with it. --Jenny Brown