I am a true beginner, 100% new to yoga, wanting to give it a try to see if it's for me. I read several reviews for several video's and wish I would have tried this one first. Although, it's only my 2nd video, and 2nd day of doing yoga, it's EXACTLY what I was looking for.
Ms. Barrios moves at a beginners pace, allowing you to set up for each pose correctly, explaining every move, and allowing you to feel the true effects of each pose. I only did the first 35 min's (warm-up and 1st routine), because I am wanting to take it slow. I'm not completely out of shape, but I am physically weak and not that flexible (yet!). I feel this is challenging enough for a beginner to feel like you won't just rush thru it and be scrambling to find the next video. I find that I will be coming back to this for weeks if not months ~ possibly being the only video I need. I am adding it to my exercise routine ~ I do cardio 3 times a week, and was hoping to add a yoga routine 2-3 times a week.
As previous reviewers have stated, the setting is real and the instructor is real. She's not a size zero with make up and hair perfectly done. The setting is peaceful and simple. After trying the first routine, I feel truely relaxed and did not find myself comparing myself negatively to her, instead I found she inspired me and allowed me to view myself positively because I was looking at a real person enjoying yoga for what it is.
If you're like me, trying yoga for the 1st time, this video is truely the one to try first! (If you're looking for a quick workout, this is not for you.)
Yoga For Beginners: Poses for Strength, Flexibility and Relaxation with Kanta Barrios is one hour, fourteen minutes and thirty seconds and was released on DVD on April 2, 2010. The DVD is broken down into four parts: Warm-Up Sequence, Standing Poses, Sitting Poses and Restorative Yoga. You will need a yoga mat, pillow or blanket, belt or towel and a stuffed duffle bag or something similar. It uses most of the basic moves like downward dog, triangle, mountain pose, tree pose and a few more. There are no complex moves and no loud background noise. The video moves at a nice slow pace, maybe too slow for the advance people, and the instructor is easy to follow along. You will not have to constantly raise you head up or turn around. There are only one or two moves that some beginners might have a problem with, but after a month doing this DVD you have no problem. Unlike other yoga videos I have owned in the past, this is a true beginners one. Yoga For Beginners: Poses for Strength, Flexibility and Relaxation with Kanta Barrios gets an AAAAA+++++.
As others have noted, this is a simple, low-budget production. It doesn't feature fancy or expensive outfits, settings, or props. Instead, a skilled teacher models poses on a wooden platform in front of a body of calm water. While the setting isn't remarkable or gimmicky, the audio is just fine, the instructions clear, and the music unobtrusive.
More importantly, the warm-up and three yoga routines are excellently timed and clearly explained and demonstrated by Ms. Barrios. Each pose is held for an adequate period and, while *I* enjoy the time set aside for relaxation/meditation between each segment, it's easy enough to fast-forward if that's not your jam. This isn't a demanding "workout," necessarily -- but if, like me, you are physically weak and fairly inflexible, it IS a wonderful introduction to yoga practice. I've tried multiple classes and videos before, but always felt like I was just going through the motions, and nothing ever stuck. After one week doing Yoga for Beginners each day, my balance, strength and flexibility are already improving. I look forward to it when I wake up in the morning. And, frankly, I'm also a more relaxed and happy person.
It's also not just for beginners. A friend who has been practicing yoga for more than a decade enjoyed it as well -- for her, it made for a relaxing, gentle, mindful practice. Even after I'm no longer a "beginner," I can see myself returning to this video on a regular basis.
Finally, I appreciate that, while Ms. Barrios is clearly very strong and flexible (as well as being a skilled and effective teacher), she doesn't have the so-called "yoga body" that's idealized in so many publications and videos lately. Three cheers for that.
If you truly are a novice as I am, I found her a little difficult to understand. Her directions are easily understood however. It is a good program and a very good place to start. By the third run through all was good.
I consider myself an advanced beginner, but I still liked this video. It was nice and mellow, with a focus on mindful breathing and relaxation.
The first segment included standing poses -- mountain, tree, downward dog, warrior, side angle, triangle -- and concluded with a meditation. The second segment consisted of floor poses (leg lifts, bridge, legs-to-chest, forward stretches, twists) and ended with corpse pose. The last segment was also done on the floor. It consisted of forward bends and a very simple variation on the back bend, before ending with corpse pose.
Pros: simple routine, concentrates on breath and relaxation. The second and third segments abound in subtle, effective movements that stretch a stiff back and neck. Also, the instructor is very good at explaining exactly how to move in and out of the pose. Last but not least, there is no unnecessary talk -- just nice, simple explanations and relaxing music.
Cons: Could use more movements that stretch and massage the back: the bow, maybe the cobra, some back rolls (lying flat on the back and rolling forward and back)...
Overall: Mindful, relaxed stretching that concentrates on breath.
Maybe I'm just in the right time of my life to process yoga but this DVD focuses on the mental aspect rather than holding and stretching for so long that you want to give up. I'm physically fit but not flexible and could use more core strength. It's going to give me a great foundation when I'm ready to move on.