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Rodney Yee's 'Yoga for Beginners' coaches newbies on what not to do

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Rodney Yee's "Yoga for Beginners" DVD

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Hawaii* is a beautiful place to see so the beginning of Rodney Yee's "Yoga for Beginners" should be calming enough just from the background visuals of Molokai, Hawaii. The 20-minute "Energizing Practice" workout with Yee and the 15-minute "Rejuvenating Practice" workout with instructor Colleen Saidman are both beneficial, but the strongest section of the 75-minute DVD is the 40-minute "Pose Training (Guide)" showing yoga beginners what not to do.

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National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) states that those who practice yoga have a low risk of injury. But "low" does not mean "none," and if you're not working out with a professional instructor, it helps to have a bit more advice on what not to do.

Hatha yoga, which is commonly done in the U.S., styles include Ananda, Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Kripalu, Kundalini and Viniyoga. Sometimes the poses are similar, but the conditions are different. For example, Bikram yoga involves working out at temperatures as high as 105 degrees. For this DVD, there's nothing too extreme going on besides light strength training and a lot of stretching.

The great thing about Yee's and Saidman's "Pose Training (Guide)" is they team up to show you how to do a yoga pose wrong, and then show you how to do it correctly. If you watch this first, subconsciously you'll do a better job during the "Energizing Practice" and "Rejuvenating Practice" routines.

Small things like where to place your feet, which side to lean on, how to avoid neck injuries, when to avoid sticking your butt out, what limbs should be parallel to others when doing balancing poses and showing ways to get a better stretch provide much needed "aha" moments for someone who isn't savvy with yoga already.

Outside of the tips, another perk of this fitness routine is both instructors speak when it's necessary to provide the next tip but don't do what entirely too many DVD (or YouTube) instructors do**: blab nonstop in a sing-song voice or tell random anecdotes that are initially amusing but repetitive by the second go-round. Instructors constantly saying "relaaaaax" and breathing hard into their mics is about as pleasant to hear as crickets hiding in a bedroom on day three. Yee fits neither category and is the type of instructor to purchase an entire yoga collection from.

* Interested in travel to Hawaii? Check out my blogs about visiting Hawaii on 11/11/11. "15 things I'm digging right now: Maui style" and "Back from Maui, 30th birthday, two videos"

** If you find a fitness routine that you really enjoy but the constant talking is a distraction to relaxation, find some of your own music (from your collection or online), press Play and mute the TV so you can see the instructors but not hear them.

Recommended Reading:

Gaiam YouTube channel

Rodney Yee's "Yoga for Beginners" DVD available for purchase on Gaiam

Rodney Yee's Web site

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all her latest Chicago nutrition and fitness entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Diet and Exercise channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her @BlackHealthNews. You can also follow her favorite cardio exercise routines, dance workout routines and stretch yoga routines on Pinterest.

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