Video Fitness

Upper Body Yoga for Beginners

Rodney Yee

Although Living Arts has various tapes labelled "for Beginners," none of them should be your starting point if you've never done yoga before. Each beginners tape requires some pre-existing familiarity with the basic yoga poses; in fact, there is a recommendation at the start of each "for Beginners" tape that beginners should learn the basic poses through the "Yoga Practice for Beginners" tape prior to moving on to other tapes in the series.

That being said, this workout certainly can be performed by those who are new to yoga. I have been doing yoga for almost two years now, but I still consider myself a beginner given that I have limited flexibility. This tape provides a strong workout for the upper body that is challenging but doable. On my first few attempts, I was unable to lift into the backbends done at the end of the routine; although I thought I would never be able to do them, with practice, I cound, and now I can hold them for even longer. Otherwise, I was able to do all of the poses my very first time through the video. I turn to this tape when I want a challenging workout for my upper body but don't want to do traditional strength moves. The instructor, Rodney Yee, is extremely calm and soothing; he explains the moves well while only occasionally becoming a bit new age-y and hard to follow.

Most of the tapes in the "for Beginners" series are labelled as being 20 minutes long; I've found that that can vary a bit, and this tape in fact is approximately 26 minutes long. This workout would be a great choice for either a yoga beginner looking to go to the next level or someone more experienced with yoga who is looking for a short, intense practice. Highly recommended!

Instructor comments: As always, Rodney is an excellent instructor: he has a calm, soothing voice, and he gently guides you into the more challenging poses. One minor issue is that he does not provide mirrored instruction, but given his otherwise excellent cue, this does not distract from the workout

Beth

September 8, 2003

Although Living Arts has various tapes labelled "for Beginners," none of them should be your starting point if you've never done yoga before. Each beginners tape requires some pre-existing familiarity with the basic yoga poses; in fact, there is a recommendation at the start of each "for Beginners" tape that beginners should learn the basic poses through the "Yoga Practice for Beginners" tape prior to moving on to other tapes in the series.

That being said, this workout certainly can be performed by those who are new to yoga. I have been doing yoga for almost two years now, but I still consider myself a beginner given that I have limited flexibility. This tape provides a strong workout for the upper body that is challenging but doable. On my first few attempts, I was unable to lift into the backbends done at the end of the routine; although I thought I would never be able to do them, with practice, I cound, and now I can hold them for even longer. Otherwise, I was able to do all of the poses my very first time through the video. I turn to this tape when I want a challenging workout for my upper body but don't want to do traditional strength moves.

Most of the tapes in the "for Beginners" series are labelled as being 20 minutes long; I've found that that can vary a bit, and this tape in fact is approximately 26 minutes long. This workout would be a great choice for either a yoga beginner looking to go to the next level or someone more experienced with yoga who is looking for a short, intense practice. Highly recommended!

Instructor comments: Rodney Yee is one of my favorite yoga instructors. He is extremely calm and soothing; he explains the moves well while only occasionally becoming a bit new age-y and hard to follow.

Beth (aka toaster)

December 15, 2003

Although this video is labelled as "for beginners," it is important to remember that ALL of the videos in the Living Arts series recommend that you start with "Yoga Practice for Beginners" if you are not familiar with yoga poses. That being said, this is a relatively fast-paced tape that can be a little hard to follow at first, so I'd highly recommend watching the tape before attempting to follow along. Furthermore, this practice includes some more challenging poses, so I think at least some prior experience with yoga is necessary.

When I first started using this workout, I considered myself to be a yoga beginner with limited flexibility, and I was able to perform the majority of the poses on this tape. The first time I tried it, I thought that there was no way I would EVER be able to lift myself into a backbend, but on my second time through, I was able to briefly raise myself off the ground (I can now do the full backbend). This video is definitely challenging, especially given the fast pace, and I would recommend being well-rested before giving it a try. However, with some practice, it is certainly doable for advanced beginners.

Instructor comments: Rodney Yee provides expert voiceover yoga instruction. He performs the poses with beautiful form, and his cuing is excellent (although mirrored cuing would be nice).

Beth (aka toaster)

February 2, 2004



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