Beginning yoga...help!

My "new years resolution" is of course something to do with my body, but instead of just saying I want to lose weight, I'd really rather focus on loving my body more. I have been thinking a lot about getting into yoga or pilates, but honestly I have no idea where to begin. I've had a lot of back and neck discomfort lately, I think mainly due to lack of exercise/healthy eating and family stress, so I'm hoping that this major stretching will do me some good.

I'd like to find a dvd I can do because I can't afford taking a class right now...any suggestions for a beginner, but not something TOO easy?

thanks!
Started CG on 8/19/2011
Currently using:
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Gel- HE Set Me Up Spray Gel and HE Totally Twisted Gel
You'll love yoga; it can be addicting. Yoga has been effective in releasing my neck tension.

I don't have any video recs (others might), because I attend classes or do it on my own. However, if you could attend maybe one or two classes to begin, I think it would be valuable. Once you learn the correct form for the poses--with an instructor present--you could do a video on your own. Incorrect form can cause injury.
definitely get to a studio when you can, it really is beneficial to your practice, and you can make sure you are doing the poses well, aren't doing yourself damage, etc.

the living arts video series from gaiam are very good. i like the ones with suzanne deason, like 'yoga conditioning for weight loss' - it shows the poses with three different modifications, and is challenging, but do-able for a beginner.

another good investment is a book like yin yoga by paul grilley.

have fun! yoga is wonderful!

m
coarse, thick 3a
modified cg







I agree that if you can manage to take a few live classes to start with, it will make a huge difference. There are things you just can't figure out from a video, but an instructor can gently adjust your pose and suddenly it all makes sense. YMCAs, community centers and so on often have inexpensive beginner classes.

The Living Arts/ Gaiam videos are very throrough and good for beginners. There are a couple of very basic ones by Patricia Walden that I would suggest for someone just starting yoga, though if you keep at it, you will be beyone those in no time. Don't try anything called Power Yoga at this stage!

I also like the Yoga Zone Premiere Series with Alan Finger. (The other Yoga Zone videos are clips from their TV show and are pretty uneven in quality.)

Yoga for Dummies has two videos that are excellent in terms of instruction quality.
Yoga Journal has a beginner series. I myself have never gone to a studio, the nearest one is a 45 min away, and is just not practical for me to go on any kind of a regular basis.

I do have one piece of advice about videos I would like to add. If possible I would borrow/rent the videos at first. The beginner videos should really be split into 2 groups, the "this is my first time" and "i have a general idea on what to do" Some of the videos they do more talking then yoga, and much of that talking is in mid-pose. Which is fine and dandy if you dont know what to do, but if you already know how to do a triangle pose, and you've been standing there with legs apart, arms perpendicular to the floor and 5 min later she's still talking and your arms are hurting it gets very annoying very quick. I have several of those videos now gathering dust on my shelf, only watched once (some I never even finished) as I type.

If you can find it at walmart/kmart type store it is probably geared for beginners. I did see a video at Borders once called "Yoga for the inflexible" that might be less intimidating then most.
That "Yoga for Inflexible People" is geared toward people with mobility problems as far as I could tell. I thought it would be boring even for beginners.

I think any video that's at the total beginner level will have too much instruction and move too slowly once you know what you're doing. So yes, either rent, or be prepared to let those videos gather dust. (Or pass them on to another beginner.)

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