Top 10 Yoga Videos + Bonus Pilates Too
Yoga Class vs. Yoga Video
Personally, I prefer a yoga class to a yoga video, because of the personal instruction and the community of like-minded people moving in the same direction. But, I haven’t been to a yoga class in years! Why? No time! I know, I know, I should make time. It’s on my list. 🙂 But in the meantime, I have amassed a good collection of yoga (and pilates) videos which have many benefits over going to a class: no drive time to the class, only have to pay for them once (usually about the price of a class or 2), no need to look your best, you can practice any time of day, you can choose which style you feel like that day, and more.
Last Saturday I shared with you some Free Yoga website resources. This week I am going to share with you my Top 10 Yoga Videos plus a bonus of 4 pilates and other videos I like too. The videos are in no particular order. Enjoy!
Shiva Rea – Yoga Shakti (above photo)
My Top 10 Yoga Videos
Ali MacGraw – Yoga Mind & Body This is an older video, but there’s nothing old about it. It is filmed on a very pleasing scene: white sands and blue blue sky. All the yogis are interesting. The narration is done by yoga master Erich Schiffman who is famous for not wanting to be famous. The music is very upbeat and kind of tribal. 50 minutes. Not aimed at beginners, but doesn’t exclude them either.
Total Yoga – This is another older video, but it is good. It is a hatha vinyasa flow series which means multiple poses are connected in continuous routines. It will get your heart rate up, but it is also good for the beginner. This one is narrated. There is just one person performing the poses. 60 minutes.
Baron Baptiste Live!: Core Power This live video takes place in the Baptiste Power Yoga Studio in Boston. Baron is a yogi born of parent yogis! He’s very good. His yoga is a real workout. It will get you sweating. At the same time Baron gets you to relax your inner self while your body is working so hard. This is power vinyasa yoga which means the poses flow from one to the next more quickly than say Inyengar yoga where poses are held longer. Music by Krishna Das. 30 minutes. All levels.
Baron Baptiste: Journey Into Power, Level 1 More of Baptiste Yoga. This one takes place at one of his offsite retreats in a tropical environment. You are right there with his yoga retreat, sweating with his many students of all levels. 30 minutes.
Baron Baptiste – Journey Into Power Level 2 Same tropical retreat as above, except this class is longer and more strenuous. “Sculpt your ideal body, create a deep inner calm, and transform your life.” I like Baron’s because I feel like I not only stretched my body and calmed my mind, but I also got a good workout. 45 minutes.
Shiva Rea – Yoga Shakti If you can only afford one video, this might be the one to get. Excellent instruction, very intuitive approach, by yogini Shiva Rea. She is amazing to watch. The video is filmed in Kerala India on this very beautiful and unique beach at sunset and at dawn. The music is amazing. The video has a matrix of different sequences which you can choose from to create a custom workout. Or you can choose from 4 different preset programs. Shiva’s program is vinyasa flows which focus on being lead by the breath. Modifications are provided for beginners, but this is strenuous yoga. There are many cool extras. This is an A+ video! Multiple time lengths from 30 minutes to 90 minutes and more if using the customized matrix.
Kripalu Yoga Dynamic DVD Classical series of 30 asanas in Kripalu’s meditative approach. Poses are held longer than in vinyasa flow style. This is a more quiet type of yoga. Not aimed at the beginner, but doesn’t exclude either. Poster with all the asanas comes with this DVD. Narrated by Stephen Cope while several diverse yogis perform the asanas. Good for when you want a slower approach. 85 minutes.
Insight Yoga with Sarah Powers This is a slower more meditative yoga too like Kripalu, except there is a more intimate feel with this. Sarah Powers is talking to you and her small class inside her studio, whereas Kripalu is narrated, giving a more distant feel. Sarah has a unique blend of Yin yoga, vinyasa yoga and meditation in this video. There are over 4 hours of practices that you can mix and match from the matrix provided. There are also preset programs ranging from 10 minute guided relaxation up to 1 hour vigorous vinyasa sequence. Buddhism and Chinese medicine are integrated into her approach. All levels. Very unique. Very healing feeling. Very close to the feeling you get from a real class.
Kundalini Yoga for Beginners & Beyond If you’ve never done Kundalini yoga, it’s really worth trying. It’s very different from what most people have experienced with yoga. So what is it? Well it’s multiple sequences of 2 opposing poses or sort of yoga in action at a pretty fast pace. An example is going from downward dog to upward dog many time in a row. There’s some strange breathing techniques. Let’s put it this way, whenever someone in my family sees me doing this video they say, “What the heck is that!” Visually you are watching Ana Brett perform these exercises in an ultra modern all white space on a non-traditional mat. Narrated by Ravi Singh. Up tempo music. If you want something different, try it. If you don’t like doing silly things, stick with traditional. I like rotating it in for variety. And the silliness factor can’t be beat. It makes you laugh at yourself! Two 25 minues sets. All levels.
Ashtanga Yoga the Primary Series I don’t use this one as often, because it is very mechanical and some of it is quite difficult. Richard Freeman presents the “primary series” of poses as taught by K. Patabhi Jois. Richard is amazing to watch. He is very athletic and unbelievably flexible. He instructs in the classical Ashtanga yoga which is “a precise union of breath, alignment, and flowing sequence of postures.” It give you a lot to aspire to, although my guess is most students of this video won’t come close to where this master is. If you want a challenge and/or precise instruction on yoga poses, this is a classic to own. 120 minutes.
Bonus Pilates Yoga Combo Videos and More
Crunch – Super SlimDown: Pilates Yoga Blend This is a fun, moderate workout to do when you want yoga, but you want something new or different. Yoga and pilates are combined nicely with upbeat music. The instructor Ellen Barrett leads a class of fit women of all shapes and sizes. She is very upbeat. This 42 minute program flies by. I like it a lot.
Mat Workout Based on the Work of J.H. Pilates Denise Austen can’t be beat for her positive, upbeat, and encouraging instruction. This pilates workout has a small amount of yoga in it. It has two 20 minute workouts. A lot of the work is on the “core” which is basically the tummy. Boy does this work your middle! This is great for if you don’t have a lot of time to work out. It’s not very aerobic but if you do this a few times a week you will definitely see a difference in your stomach muscles!
Hit the Spot – Pilates Also Denise Austen. This one has seven 10 minute segment pilates workouts that target different areas which you can mix and match for a customized workout. Three segments are abs related. There’s one segment each for: hips, thighs, buttocks. And the seventh segment is a combo of the three lower body areas. Again this is great because you can break up your workout throughout the day if you need to. And 10 minute segments make it seem so quick and easy. Great one to own.
Shiva Rea – Yoga Trance Dance This is something very different by yogini Shiva Rea. If you’ve been doing yoga for a while and want something new, try this. It combines traditional vinyasa yoga with yoga trance dance which is a very unstructured movement exercize of tribal like dance. You might feel a little silly at first, but it is cool. The music is great. The film location is beautiful (desert, white sands, different times of day) and the dancers are all very visually interesting. If you only like structure, then skip this one. But if you want to explore, give it a try. It’s cool. Also has a Matrix menu like her Yoga Shakti (above) where you can customize or choose from 6 preset programs from 28-41 minutes.
So there you have it. I hope you have an opportunity to check these out and enjoy them like I do.
Please share your favorite yoga and/or pilates workout videos! All comments big and small are very welcomed!
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