Essential Yoga for Inflexible People

Maggie Rhoades
Year Released: 2007

Categories: Yoga

Essential Yoga for Inflexible People is a DVD which offers a variety of beginning-level yoga practices. These practices are designed for inflexible people in particular by providing various modifications of traditional yoga poses, including use of props such as a chair and a blanket. The Main Menu of the DVD offers the following options:

Short Routines--Learn the Basics
Short Routines--Continued
Extended Routines--As You Progress

Each of the above options is broken up into practice sub-menus as described below. The times are as listed on the DVD, but I have added my own comments.

*Sun Salutations with Chair (6m)--2 rounds of sun salutations performed at a slow, modified pace using a chair
*Sun Salutations without Chair (7m)--2 rounds of slow sun salutations, still modified but without the chair
*Standing Poses with Chair (25m)--despite the title, these postures DO NOT use a chair; rather, they are modified standing postures including mountain, triangle, warrior 2, and side stretch
*Standing Poses with Chair II (14m)--this segment actually does use a chair, but only for a few postures; consists mainly of variations on intense side stretch pose

Seated Poses (9m)--held seated postures including staff pose, cross-leg, cobbler's pose, and hero; a blanket is used
Forward Bends with Chair (15m)--chair is used to support hands/arms for both standing and seated forward bends; ends with reclined leg stretch using a strap
Beginning Back Bends (8m)--gentle variations of cobra pose
Yoga Twists with Chair (11m)--starts with twists seated on chair, then moves to floor for additional seated twists and reclined twists

All of the practices in the final segment, Extended Routines, are made up of the the shorter segments from above; most of the practices add a 5-minute relaxation segment as well.

Extended Standing Postures (30m)--both standing segments from above
Legs (40m)--seated segment, forward bends, seated twists, and relaxation
AM Wake Up (45m)--seated segment, sun salutations w/chair, 1st standing segment, and relaxation
Spinal Work in 3 Dimensions (40m)--sun salutations w/o chair, forward bends, back bends, and twists
Stubborn Hamstrings (65m)--sun salutations w/chair, both standing segments, forward bends, relaxation
Full Routine (90m)--combines all of the above

Overall, these practices are definitely appropriate for those with little pre-existing flexibility who are new to yoga. Instructor Maggie Rhoades general provides good voiceover cues. However, she moves VERY slowly, often taking several minutes to set up a single pose. Therefore, anyone with prior yoga experience may become easily bored by these practices, even those with limited flexibility. Furthermore, although the practices are filmed against the beautiful backdrop of Half-Moon Bay in Antigua, the camera sometimes focuses too much on the scenery and not enough on Maggie, which may make this video challenging for those just starting out with yoga. For a true beginner who is very flexible and looking for short, modified yoga practices, this DVD might work very well; I would recommended, but it would not be my first choice for either someone new to yoga or someone who is inflexible.

Instructor Comments:
I thought Maggie's instruction was fine, though as mentioned above, she moves VERY slowly.

Beth C (aka toaster)