Video Fitness

AM PM Yoga for Beginners

Barbara Benagh

This DVD by renowned yoga instructor Barbara Benagh is similar in format to her previous DVD, Yoga for Stress Relief. However, whereas the latter offers practices for different conditions (back pain, headaches, digestive issues, etc.), in the AM/PM DVD, Barbara offers practices designed for morning or evening. These practices, which are slow-moving and quite gentle overall, range in length from 15 to 45 minutes, making it easy to fit yoga into even your busiest days. Barbara frequently uses props: in addition to a yoga mat, I would recommend that you have at least one blanket on hand (preferably 2-3), with pillows and an eye bag being optional.

A breakdown of the DVD is listed below. The headings are the items found on the main menu, and the bullets indicate submenu items (the times for each practice are given as they appear on-screen). I've included brief notes describing each of the practices.

Discussion of Meditation by HH The Dalai Lama

AM Routines
*Get Up and Go (15m)--a simple flow of upper back openers, including down dog and cobra
*Sun Salutation Centering (15m)--a single slow lunge salutation combined with seated forward bends
*Breath Work (30m)--an all-lying/seated practice that twists, supported poses, and seated meditation
*Gentle Wake Up (35m)--consists almost entirely of reclined postures plus two seated twists; would be a nice evening practice as well
*Extended Morning (45m)--one of the most active practices; begins on the floor but then moves on to standing postures including side stretch, tree, triangle, side angle, and warrior 1, but then returns to the floor for relaxing poses
*Wake Up the Spine (35m)

PM Routines
*Short Rest (10m)--this brief practice offers a reclined twist, pursed lip breathing, and legs-up-the-wall pose
*Breath Work (20m)--starts with two poses to stretch the shoulders then moves on to seated meditation and savasana
*Unwinding Muscle Tension (30m)--this practice features mainly twisting postures in reclined, seated, and a standing position
*Good Nights Sleep (25m)--another simple practice with crocodile pose, pursed lip breathing, seated meditation, and reclined postures
*Energizing Evening (40m)--this more active evening opens with the sun salutation series from above, features simple locust and cobra backbends, includes seated postures (half lord of the fishes and open half lotus), and ends with reclined postures and legs-up-the-wall


As in her previous videos, Barbara is practicing alone against the backdrop of a beautiful beach at Half Moon Bay Resort in Antigua. This DVD does feature some of the same posture sequences as in Barbara's prior Yoga for Stress Relief, but the footage appears to be new. Overall, this is an excellent yoga DVD well-suited to a wide range of practitioners, from those fairly new to yoga to more experienced yoginis like myself--definitely recommended.

Instructor comments: Barbara speaks with a warm southern accent. She is very slow-moving, which might get on some people's nervous, but her manner is perfect for these gentle practices.

Beth C (aka toaster)

November 9, 2007

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