Customer Reviews: Element: Hatha & Flow Yoga for Beginners
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on December 2, 2011
I have many yoga dvds. For almost two years I have been exploring different types of yoga disciplines, such as Iyengar and Anusara. I previously tried two other Hatha yoga dvds, but they lacked modifications and moved too quickly. About one month ago, I purchased the Hatha & Flow YOGA for beginners by Tamal Dodge. I love this yoga practice! With the Hatha flow, Tamal uses a strap with many of the poses and guides you how to approach each pose at your own pace and ability level. The practice is challenging and I always finish feeling very relaxed. Tamal also has a soothing, calm voice and gives clear instruction so that I am able to focus on the pose and not on the screen. He also describes the benefits of each pose as you are doing it. I also like the Flow practice. Tamal doesn't go too quickly, but creates a repetitive flow. It is a great cardio workout. I have already experience results and challenge myself to go farther into each pose each time I practice. This is by far the best yoga instructional DVD that I have. His positive words and guided meditation always leaves me feeling more at peace.
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on January 6, 2012
Husband, teenage daughter and myself started practicing yoga at a studio. We found that we can accommodate all our schedules by doing it at home with dvd guidance. I have purchased a STACK of yoga dvds and Tamal Dodge's dvd is the only one we collectively enjoy. His voice is very relaxing and it brings your focus completely to the mat. There is the slight sound of his breathing that reminds you to breathe. Very important point - He uses descriptive terms of poses along with the Sanskrit name. Some dvds and even the studio we went to only use the Sanskrit terms...not very helpful for beginners. I found after numerous times practicing with his dvd that the Sanskrit terms came easily to me. The dvd has two sections. The first section is a great stretching routine that uses a strap. Big difference using a strap! The second section is more of a vinyasa routine -transitions between poses are smooth.It is a very well thought out dvd - scenery is nice, music is perfectly balanced with the flow. Love this dvd!!
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VINE VOICEon September 6, 2013
My main issue with this DVD is that the difficulty level of the two workouts is really quite extreme and some people might not be prepared for that.

The Hatha session is wonderful, soothing, and relaxing. It will definitely relax you at the end of a long day and help work on flexibility. I encourage everyone, beginners and advanced yogis alike, to use the strap as the instructor demonstrates. I didn't because I never use straps or blocks in my yoga practice but one day for the hell of it I did and it really adds a lot to this session. You feel and stretch your muscles in new ways.

The flow session is quite a power packed little workout that those new to yoga, overweight, or new to fitness in general will find very challenging. It is miles away from the ease of the Hatha session. There are some great strength building sequences, very good core and balance focus, and you will get a decent full body workout in 30 minutes. I would hesitate to call this a beginner workout though. You will need a beginning understanding of basic yoga poses and knowledge of proper form.

If you approach the flow session by going easy on yourself, taking breaks when you need to, and focusing on doing the best you can at that moment I think you may like this video and will be encouraged by your progress the more you do it. Use the Hatha session as your reward for putting in a good effort.

The instructor is encouraging and manages to strike a good balance between being motivating and babbling on and on to the point of distraction. His focus and guidance on breath, the essence of Yoga, is excellent.

For those brand spankin new to Yoga I recommend the beginner Yoga Zone dvds. They are, IMO, the best at explaining proper form, giving a good background on Yoga, and guiding you as you learn about this great form of exercise that nourishes your soul at the same time. For beginners with a basic knowledge of poses and alignment but wanting a little bit more challenge (not quite as difficult as the flow practice on this DVD) I recommend Baron Baptiste Power Yoga Level 1. Don't be scared by the title. You will work up a sweat and get a good workout that is very accessible and easy to follow.
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on December 8, 2012
I notice now that most of the great reviews on this video are from people who are already into yoga. I am very flexible and rather strong, but the pace and expectations here are not at a true beginner level...maybe an experienced beginner. After 15 minutes of the flow, I just gave up. The poses weren't hard, but there wasn't even time to get yourself into position and check if you were doing it right before he was on to the next.

Also, so much leaning on the hands so early on, my palms are still red and sore. He says to go at your own pace, but if you slow down to check your posture, you have just missed the next pose.

It's a shame...I really wanted to like this video, and the instructor is calm and pleasant. I want to be his friend. But he's focused on his own workout, not helping me figure out mine. I bet he's the best instructor in person, but this video is not an introduction to yoga.
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on February 26, 2012
I have had different Yoga tapes, things I like about this one:
1. I have very tight hamstrigs and like yoga that is more slow and controlled. This does slow deep stretches. To me this is very effective in loosening tightness. I think it is more beneficial than having a tape that you can't do the move and you feel like you are wasting time waitng for it to move to something you can do. It also makes it safer. I feel the muscles sore the next day in my back and I notice the discomfort in hip lessening significantly. I think people are not always aware of how much tight hamstrings cause misalignment and rotate hips externally.
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on December 25, 2011
I've been practising Yoga for six or so years now so didn't really buy this DVD because I was after a beginners practice, I actually bought it because I was after a Yoga DVD featuring a male instructor which is almost impossible to find (as much as I love Shiva Rea's DVDs).

Having said that I really enjoyed this DVD. The instructor sets a great pace and explains the physical and mental aspects or the practice very clearly which brings a new depth to each pose. Being an Intermediate practitioner I can see myself coming back to this DVD every now and then when I want a slower practice.

This DVD is definitely aimed for Beginners though and unlike most of the other "Beginnner" DVDs on Amazon, this one would actually be perfect for real first timers or those who have only taken a few classes. Actually think I'll buy this for my mother as all of the other Beginner DVDs I've got are way too advanced for most first timers.

If you're like me however, and you find "mirroring" confusing (i.e. instructor says raise your right hand and he's shown raising his left) be warned as this entire DVD is in this style. Personally I don't know why instructors feel the need to do mirroring as I don't think I've ever seen it work in class and almost always confuses people who are trying to mimic the instructor only to realise they're doing it backwards. I actually found myself choosing to avoid watching the screen as to not through myself off during the arm and leg raises in the FLOW practice.

This DVD is also rather short compared to some of the other Yoga DVDs (like Shiva Reas which fit 2-3 hours of footage).

If you're after a male instructor and/or a complete beginner though I do recommend picking this up. Here's hoping Tamal releases a future DVD that is longer and un-mirrored.
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on February 29, 2012
The Hatha program is easy for a beginner but I like the Flow even better. The second program is way more challenging and goes at a faster pace. Each take about 45 minutes to complete but it goes by so fast.
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on February 3, 2013
I have had minimal yoga training--only a few live classes--however, I have had a lot of dance training. I think that, without that training, I would have had a difficult time following these routines.

There is almost no guidance for the beginner in how to do the poses properly. This seems to be common with these yoga DVD's that claim to be for beginners. I think this can be dangerous, because a person could injure him/herself if they don't have adequate instruction.

However, if you do have some background, then I think you will enjoy these routines. Also, the instructor is very pleasant and the background is beautiful.
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on May 11, 2012
I bought this to try to get back into shape. I had no idea how really great it would be. I have a job that completely trashes my shoulders and arms on a daily basis ( I am in constant pain ). This DVD has EXCELLENT stretches for exactly that! My pain level has gone down exponentially and I would recommend this DVD to anyone with lower back, shoulder, or neck pain! I am very pleased, delivery was fast and it is an excellent product.
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on January 4, 2012
This is a great DVD! A very good workout. Tamal has a fantastic teaching style and makes the workout enjoyable. I highly recommend this DVD. I'm going to get another copy and send it to my friend who just moved to Alaska and is missing the abundance of yoga classes available in California. Hopefully it will help keep her warm during the long winter. I hope to see more DVD's by Tamal in the future.
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