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Yoga Journal's Yoga Practice Introduction with Patricia Walden

What is it?
An hour-long introduction to Yoga taught by instructor Patricia Walden.
Who is it for?
Yoga newbies who are really serious about starting - and continuing - a Yoga practice. This video requires a strap, two blocks and a bolster in addition to the requisite Yoga mat. This is quite an investment for someone who doesn't plan to dedicate herself to a regular practice. In addition to the props, you will also need some empty wall space.
What to expect:
If you want a thorough and well-thought-out introduction to Yoga basics, this video is the place to go. Instructor Walden not only teaches how to do a variety of poses, she also offers up thoughts on Yoga's philosophy and spirituality as you go along. Walden is trained in the Iyengar style of Yoga, so her focus on details is exacting and her form is excellent. Keep in mind that this is not a class-style Yoga session - it is literally instruction. A lot of time is spent getting into each asana - it doesn't flow seamlessly from pose to pose (that's for after you learn the ropes). The program is divided into four parts: Quieting the Mind, to help mentally ease into the poses; Moving Into Action, which introduces some warm-up poses; Connecting to Yourself, bringing you into more bodily awareness through more Asanas; and Surrendering to Relaxation, a series of calming floor poses. The biggest drawback of this video is its use of so many props - you really do need them to get the most out of this tape. If you can manage to either buy or borrow them, however, you will get a great foundation for your practice that is second only to what you would get from an in-person teacher.

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