Back Care Yoga for Beginners

Rodney Yee
Year Released: 1998

Categories: Special Health Conditions , Yoga

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I can rarely pass up any video for $6.99, and I'm even happier when it's a great workout. This one is just that. I don't have back problems (knock on wood), but I still enjoy this video. It really is good for anyone who wants some really good stretches for the lower back, hamstrings and hips. You will need some props for this video; at the very least, a stool or chair (I use a 17" step pushed against a wall for stability). Rodney also uses a strap and a yoga block. If you are very flexible, you probably won't need the block but the strap (or a tie, belt or dynaband) will do quite nicely. I do agree with the other reviewers that the upward dog against the stool is a little awkward, but if you don't like this variation of the pose you could modify it. IMHO, this is an excellent video to do on its own, or following a cardio workout. One of my "best video value" purchases of 1999!

Instructor Comments:
Rodney Yee has the perfect voice to narrate a yoga video--it's very soothing and relaxing. He really attempts to help the exerciser integrate the mind and the body, and help use the breath to release tension. He does assume that you are aware of proper form for many of the poses, so I do suggest at the very least watching his videos before attempting them.

Kristin Aziz


I love this tape! I had previously bought 2 other yoga videos, one was the original Yoga Journal's "Yoga For beginners" which was very good, but very long, and the other was Jane Fonda's Yoga but it was too repetive, boring and was once again, too long. On both tapes there were poses I simply couldn't do, even with modifications. This video is 30 minutes long, though before the workout begins Rodney Yee briefly explains the importance of a healthy spine. I am a beginner with back and neck problems and I was looking for some gentle back exercises to cool me down after my regular workouts. I found a great video for me. This may be too easy for advanced exercisers who have already been doing yoga for years, but is a great relaxation video for anyone who just needs to slow down, as well as for beginners who suffer from mild back pain. The video has 3 different parts: Hip opening/Standing postures with a chair, abdominal and back strengthening poses on the floor, and a guided relaxation. It starts out with a beautiful beach as a setting with just Rodney, a chair, a mat and a yoga strap (though you could use a towel or a belt). Rodney takes us through the poses sitting in a chair first, stretching up, then over forward. Make sure you are in a chair that is short enough so you can put your feet flat on the floor, its uncomfortable to be on your tiptoes and probably isnt good form (though he doesn't make any suggestions in regard to the chair.) I use my Firm 14" step box instead of a chair now. Next he does postures standing facing the chair, using it has a prop. The chair modifies poses that I've seen in the more advanced tapes that would normally be difficult for someone who is not very flexible (like me). I did have a problem doing upward facing dog. My chair wouldn't stay still unless I pushed it against the wall and I found it difficult to put all my weight on my hands during this pose, but with practice, I'm sure I will be able to do it. Down to the floor, doing back extensions, then hamstrings stretches. Half-boat pose was also challenging for me but definately a gut buster. At the end your feet are up on the chair and you relax back on the mat, and if you are like me, you want to stay there and just veg out for another half an hour! The tape is great for beginners, though if someone has a serious back or neck problem they should bring it to their doctor to check out first.I give it an "A"

Instructor Comments:
Rodney Yee has a very soothing voice, gives very clear directions, telling you when to breathe in and when to breathe out. I love it when he says "relax your brain", I know my brain could use a little relaxing. He reminds you to soften your throat and your belly, telling you where on your body to experience the work and where you should be relaxed. His form is incredible and he's very easy to follow. I'd give the instructor of this video a solid "A".



This cost $6.99 at Target. I got this because my back was sore from too much high impact. The setting is a peaceful beach. You'll need a strap or belt and a chair. It is only about 20 minutes long and goes through the usual back stretches: side and forward bends, spinal twist, cobra, bridge, etc. It helps that many of the poses use the chair for support. Then floor poses for stretching and strengthening the back. I found one pose kind of awkward, the "upward facing dog". It is a fairly deep backward bend supported by a chair. It didn't hurt, just felt very odd. I don't think I'll use this on a regular basis as my back is fine now and I have other stretch tapes I like

Instructor Comments:
He is very flexible and has a nice relaxing voice.