This week in my classes I’m trying to encourage my students to do their yoga practice at home in preparation for the Christmas break. Many people think that in order to do a yoga practice at home, you need to get your mat out and do a 90 minute sequence of poses and relaxation. In a perfect world, yes, that is the ideal way to practice yoga every day. But you can also practice yoga everyday by just doing one or two poses as and when you need them, turn that into a habit and before you know it you will have a daily practice that fits in with your schedule. Another great way to get started with a home practice is to get yourself a yoga DVD, even as a teacher I still use yoga DVDs, especially when I just want to switch off go inwards and freshen up my practice.
In my next post I’ll be showing you links to my favourite online yoga video practices . But if you have some space for a yoga mat near your TV then DVDs are great. My only problem is that Banjo quite often wants to join me on my yoga mat in the lounge, so I end up trying to push a 40kg Greyhound off of my mat when I practice. I have a whole drawer full of yoga DVDs, and I have learnt much from them all, so here is my top 6 and why I recommend them.
1 – AM Yoga for your week – Rodney Yee
This DVD comes in at number one because this is the one I recommend to my students when they want to start a practice at home. It consists of 5 x 20 minute practices, each with a different focus. Because the practices are just 20 minutes long, I found this really helpful to start me off on a regular morning practice, and then if I feel I need to do more I pause before relaxation I do a few more poses and then do the relaxation. I find Rodney Yee’s style very concise and clear, and even though this is faster than the Iyengar based style I teach, this remains at the top of my list because of the fact that you can do a different 20 minute practice every day of the week.
2 – Claire Missingham – Vinyasa Flow Yoga DVD
This is my personal favourite to practice to, and has been for the past year and a half now. Seeing as this is a Vinyasa Flow DVD, I recommend this to either intermediate students or students who have practiced Vinyasa before because it is a strong practice that gets your heart rate up. I love it because there are 3 practices, one 30 morning practice, a full 90 minute Vinyasa class and a 30 minute evening practice. The morning practice is great for when I am short on time, but want to get a quick practice in. I like doing the full 90 minute class on a Saturday morning to give me lots of energy for the weekend. Claire’s voice over is soothing and her instructions are clear, and it’s beautifully filmed. A really great DVD for those wishing to take their practice up a notch since it includes the splits, wheel pose, headstand and handstand practices. These all can seem daunting, but variations are given so that you can work up to it.
4- The pursuit of happy Hips – Eoin Finn
A brilliant DVD if you want to increase your alignment awareness and up your stamina. This DVD is packed with 4 different practices varying from 43 minutes up to 79 minutes for the longest practice and some are challenging whilst others are more relaxed . Because of these longer times I prefer to do this DVD at the weekends or if I have time in the evenings. I love the focus on alignment, Eoin’s friendly and cool approach makes this fun too. But it’s not just Eoin who features on this DVD, he is filmed alongside his wife and a number of Canadian winter Olympic athletes. Once again beautifully filmed and has a lighthearted happy approach. My favourite at the weekends. You can buy it from the Amazon websites or download it via the internet from the Blissology website where you can even download the individual practices instead of the full DVD.
5- Shiva Rea – Fluid Power Yoga
I think every yoga DVD collection ought to have at least one Shiva Rea DVD, and this one is my favourite. This DVD is quite creative, and those of you who prefer a very traditional style of yoga might not enjoy this as much. I enjoy this one because it is so different to other yoga DVDs and allows me to get out of my comfort zone to re-explore movement. Another reason why I like it is the menu option of the ‘Yoga Matrix’ where you can choose from a menu of all the different sequences provided on the DVD to make up your own full practice to include the sequences you like. The drumming music is intense , and this DVD feels almost more dance-like at times. A great addition to a more traditional practice if you enjoy different more contemporary styles of yoga, and exploring fun poses like handstands.
6 – Advanced yoga – Rodney Yee
Another Rodney Yee DVD, and as the name indicates, this is an advanced yoga practice aimed at those who can do or are working up to headstands, arm balances and other inversions. The sequencing is relatively fast paced, but also put together in a very natural flowing manner. The main practice, total body arm balances, is the longer practice and it is rare that I ever feel quite so engaged and focused on a practice from a DVD like I do with this one. I always complete the full practice without temptation to switch off and do my own thing. The DVD also includes a 25 minute hip opening sequence and the bonus DVD includes a pranayama practice. I highly recommend this to students who are capable of performing arm balances as the sequencing is just so natural that t has really taught me how to include them in my daily practice.
All of these DVDs can be found on Amazon or you can go to the websites when you click on the images.
Have you got a favourite dvd? Leave me a comment and let me know.
Hanri & Banjo xx