Saturday, August 11, 2012

Yoga Video Workout Review

Like many women, I've now joined the gym twice promising myself I'd take up yoga by attending the group classes. Also like many women, my membership fees went unused because I attended 2 or 3 classes before letting my inner yogie fall to the wayside. 

Why? Many reasons; inconvenient class times, lack of motivation to go all the way there for a sub par workout, weird instructors, smelly classmates... the list goes on. Now, I've admitted to myself that gym yoga just isn't for me, but I don't want to give up on inner peace just yet. Instead, I've turned yoga dvds to be my spiritual guide into the posture enhancing world of yoga.

Of course choosing the right DVD is one of the most difficult parts so I've tried quite a few. Here's my first hand review of the yoga dvds I've tried. 

Gym yoga is never this serene...

1. Denise Austin JH Pilates- Ok so I know this one isn't advertised as a yoga dvd, but the second 20 minute workout is yoga based. As you may already know, I love Denise Austin and I already own this dvd, so it was first on my list to try. 

Her 20 minute yoga and pilates infused workout (the 2nd on the dvd) is good and definitely makes you break a sweat. It is a bit dificult to follow the first few times through, because it is a fast paced workout. Personally, I prefer the first workout which is solely pilates.

All in all , if you've got 20 minutes to do yoga it's an ok workout. It doesn't give you the peace, serenity and center that some of the other workouts do though.

2. Denise Austin Yoga Body Burn- Obviously I had to try out DA's yoga only video. The whole workout is about 50 minutes, and includes a harder "Vinyasa" segment and then moves into some slower moves to target specific body parts. 

The workout is good and definitely challenges you, but like her other video, I found it very difficult to follow with her cues. By the time I got myself into the pose she had moved on to something else. If you are an experienced yogie you may find it a bit easier, but I found myself feeling more stressed about trying to figure out what to do before she changed than relaxed.

3. The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga- This 1 hour workout is far from serene. It is a difficult workout that won't be the classic yoga you're used to. While the dvd starts out with some yoga moves, it moves into many "yoga inspired" strength poses, and even incorporates dumbells.

I didn't love it for what I'm looking for (relaxation, stretching and meditation) but I did love it as a work out. I love Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser and his coaching was spot on. It isn't difficult to follow, and unlike most videos, includes a few participants who aren't in shape yet. 

I wouldn't do this for daily serenity, but it's a nice alternative to kickboxing or another cardio workout.

3. P90X YogaX- Firstly, you can't just buy the yoga part of this DVD set, so you may have to seek out a past P90Xer who will let you borrow it. But if you do get your hands on this hour and a half workout, be prepared to burn.

This is by far the hardest workout of all the dvds I tried, and like the Biggest Loser dvd, I wouldn't do it for serenity. The P90X workout doesn't require any extra stuff (except a yoga mat), and allows you to choose whether or not you want to listen to Tony Horton's encouragement (which becomes a bit annoying) and also gives you the option to turn off the music and play your own, something I really liked.

4. Bethenny's Skinnygirl Workout- I heard mixed reviews about her first video "Body by Bethenny" and never tried it, but her second video, which consists of 3 20 minute yoga workouts was pretty good. Firstly, I love Bethenny from the Real Housewives of New York and so I was psyched to try her yoga workouts.

The routines are difficult, but not impossible and for me, 15-20 minutes is the perfect length for a yoga routine. She targets different body parts in each segment, so it saves you from a repetitive sun salutations and boring routines. 

It was easy to follow and at just 20 minutes a segment, I am happy to knock one out in the morning to get 
centered and get on with my day.

5. Element AM & PM Yoga for Beginners- This video includes 2 segments one for the morning and one for the evening, each about 30 minutes long. The poses are basic and easy to follow and there isn't a lot of extra encouragement, which I liked.

The main difference between this video and the others I tried, is that it encourages you to make affirmations, think about your day and recharge your energy during different poses. Though I'll admit I thought it was a bit hokey, I have found that actually making these affirmations has really enhanced the yoga experience. I found both segments to be relaxing and enjoyable. It's not going to get you in shape or burn calories, but it will help you relax and center. I found that the AM workout really energized me for the day and the PM workout was a good way to unwind after a long day. All in all, it is exactly what it claims to be.

Have you got a favorite yoga workout I should try? 


  1. I love working out to my DVDs. I work every morning before work and take a break on weekends. I like Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Miles, I have a couple of Biggest Loser DVD's one is weight training and one is walking. I also bought a Bob Harper DVD for beginners which is tough.

    1. I love Bob Harper! I will have to try that one out!
      xx Sarah

  2. I agree about signing up for classes, but I'm always too lazy with workout DVD's. If you find one you like please share because I'm always interested!


    Leopard and Lillies

    1. Although it's not yoga I love any kind of dance video! The pussycat dolls workout video is really fun! xx