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I Love Yoga at Home
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December 28, 2010 - 7:50 pm
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Home Based Yoga

By Susan Pokorny

Exercising at home has many advantages. You can do it on your own time, you can save travel time, save membership and class fees and the hassles of sweaty gym rats. Even with these advantages, it is still easy to spend a lot of money on expensive home equipment. The treadmill, elliptical trainer or exercise bike you might spend thousands on may just end up gathering dust in the corner.

A great, low-cost, convenient alternative is to use equipment you probably already have in your home, a DVD player and TV. There are many types of home exercise DVDs, to lead you through aerobic training, weight training and even stationary cycling. However, in this article, I will focus on doing yoga at home. There are many quality yoga DVDs available to lead you through a workout. They are readily available from Amazon, your local library or many stores or web sites that offer exercise videos.

There are wide ranges of yoga DVDs available, so it is important to select one that meets your needs. You should choose based on your fitness goals, yoga experience level and style preference. Many of the most common fitness goals can be achieved through yoga, including:

1. Stress Management

2. Weight Loss

3. Increased Flexibility

4. Increased Strength

5. Improved Stamina

These goals often overlap or complement each other. The key for choosing the right video is determining which of these your primary goal is.

Yoga experience and general fitness level are also important factors. These can be broken down into the following categories:

1. Limited Beginner - No fitness experience, recovering from injury or limited flexibility/mobility.

2. Beginner - Good health but little or no experience with yoga or group exercise.

3. Intermediate - Has some yoga experience or other fitness experience, fairly active and mobile with average amount of flexibility and strength.

4. Advanced - Have a regular yoga practice, fitness experience or seasoned athlete with reasonable amount of flexibility.

Do not feel bad if you are at the limited beginner level. Everyone needs to start somewhere and beginning at a level too difficult will only discourage you from continuing.

You should also use common sense when assessing your experience and fitness level. For example, if you are fairly active and limber- able to climb stairs, walk regularly and participate in normal daily activities but have never participated in a group exercise program at a studio or health club, you still may do fine with a Beginner or Intermediate yoga video. If you are limited in your range of motion or have knee, wrist or back issues you may do better with a slower paced video for a limited beginner where you will have time to make adjustments to suit your needs. Alternatively, a marathon runner might be in great aerobic shape, but have tight limbs and no yoga experience, in which case a Beginner video may be the best place to start.

No matter what your fitness level, yoga is very personal. One of the main advantages of yoga is that you can adjust your own approach and effort level to best meet your needs. If you are limited in flexibility or strength, you still can adjust to a simpler posture to participate in a routine. A seasoned athlete should have the skills necessary to adjust any class to challenge themselves, whether through tightening up muscles in any area or strengthening the mind in focusing on the yoga positions, breath and body alignment. A good yoga instructor, whether in person or on a DVD, will encourage the class to adjust as needed for their individual ability.

Whether you are a seasoned yoga student, or brand new to yoga, finding the right yoga video starts with determining your needs, then matching a video that suits. Some things to consider are what type of yoga you would like to practice, versatility of the workout, instructor style, options offered for varying levels, scenery and music. With the right selection, you can establish a rewarding and sustainable exercise program to help you achieve your goals.

As a certified yoga instructor with over 20 year of experience teaching yoga and other group fitness classes, I have seen many teaching styles and reviewed many exercise videos. For more help in deciding the best home yoga video for your particular needs, consult Yoga DVD Reviews for a comprehensive review of a wide variety of yoga DVDs.

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