Since becoming a certified yoga instructor, I’ve really not relied on the DVDs that once built the entire foundation of my practice for a couple of reasons. One being I can build my own sequence now, having been YogaWorks trained, and flow on my own – safely and soundly. That was a large factor in my deciding to do teacher training in the first place, to fortify and stabilize a home practice for life. Secondly, I not only belong to the incredible and world-renowned YogaWorks studios, but I have also discovered the gorgeous universe that is online yoga classes.
Let’s slow down.
I adore my practice DVDs. I need you to know that (as I’m about to recommend to you my favorites!) and count them as highly valuable tools in my yoga library. In fact, just the other day I was met with a grand morning internet flub and my planned practice (that I was to stream offline) was made impossible. GASP! What to do?! Other than practice vairagya, that is 😉 Well, I reached into the cabinet and grabbed one of my favorite DVDs and boom, practice a la living room. You know which one it was? A certain bubbly blonde who’s getting married this year to a certain dude who jumps out of airplanes…any guesses?
Okay, without further ado, I will share my list (in no particular order)!
- Kathryn Budig – Aim True is Kathryn Budig’s two-part yoga DVD. One practice is geared towards beginners and the other towards intermediate practitioners. There’s also an instructional and interview portion of the DVD. KB is one of my favorite teachers, writers and, frankly, women in general. I had the honor or practicing with her at this past summer’s Wanderlust and will be practicing with her spunky fabulous Self again this coming Yoga Journal Conference. Can you tell I’m exited?! When you’re picking up her great DVD, don’t miss her book, The Big Book of Yoga. It’s frigging epic. Also, she’s currently writing a follow-up book, happy dance!
- YogaWorks – there are three DVDs, all of which come highly recommended by yours truly. I’ve actually not tried the Beginner’s Practice but own and love the other two DVDs. Fit Abs has a 40 minute practice led by Billy, and a separate 10 minute core work sequence led by Jesse. You can play them separately or together, which is awesome, depending on what kind of time you have. The other DVD is Body Slim and, my lovebursts, please do not underestimate the amazing Jesse Schein. She may be little but she is mighty! Jesse is one of the best teachers I’ve “encountered” (I’ve not yet had the opportunity to practice with her in person – although she is directly trained by Maty Ezraty, the founder of YogaWorks about whom I just wrote the other day). The sequence kicks your butt, builds strength and endurance and is all around awesome.
- Ashley Turner – Ashley’s three DVDs are just too wonderful for words. First of all, Ashley has an M.A. and is a registered MFTI, she is an Ordained Priestess (is that not the frigging COOLEST thing EVER?!), she’s the queen of essential oils, AND she’s a yoga/meditation teacher. Talk about a jack of all trades. This woman is a huge inspiration of mine and the work she does in the world of wellness is simply beautiful. There’s some seriously inspiring stuff in Ashley’s DVDs (the gorgeous bridge of therapist and yoga teacher) and I never get tired of hearing her wisdom. One of my favorite quotes from her DVDs is, “seeing the body as an instrument rather than an ornament.” Just beautiful.
- Tara Stiles – Tara’s DVD not only has a beautiful practice, led outdoors in Tara’s super chill, laid back manner, but there is also a guided Deepak Chopra meditation. I have the strength and energy DVD. Also, Tara too has a great book out, Yoga Cures. Both it and The Big Book of Yoga are great, fun tools in my yoga library.
- Jennifer Galardi – Flowetry is awesome. I love that you can build your own sequence! There’s a menu where you can pick and choose which aspects of the practice you’re in the mood for, or you can select all. It’s great. Plus Jennifer has a background in dance and so “flowetry” is an apt title for this DVD. Even the way that the parts of the practice blend together with watery imagery is lovely.
I own other yoga DVDs but these are the cream of the crop. As for streaming online yoga classes, these are my recommendations.
- MyYogaWorksOnline – I just have to say, I luuuuurve Jesse Schein. I may have a yoga girl crush on her. Her teaching style, personality, wealth of knowledge and approach to yoga and life are infectious, inspiring and just plain awesome. She kicks my BUTT, too! Which I love. Even though I’m safe in my living room, when she says, “squeeze the heel to the butt I know you’ve got more squeeze in ya,” I actually listen. Like she’s going to pop out of my laptop screen and smack my tuckus as Maty Ezraty would.
- YogaGlo – Practice with the likes of Kathryn Budig, Tiffany Cruikshank and Jason Crandell on this epic $18/month site.
- YogisAnonymous – Practice with the amazing Jennifer Pastiloff for only $15/month.Just think, if you live someplace where you don’t have access to a studio (many of which cost about $60-100/month in membership fees, plus transportation), invest in a couple of DVDs and/or perhaps subscribe to all three of these online classes (for under $60/month!).
Alright, my loves, there you are!
*Important note: as a teacher and longtime yoga practitioner, I cannot emphasize enough the value of having an experienced instructor to guide your practice. Especially as a beginner. Yoga is the total package, yes, but as with any physical activity it can result in injury. Attending a studio with a good teacher, whether it’s sporadically or regularly, will ensure your practice is safe and stable, and will foster longevity.