[Review] My 3 Favorite Kundalini Yoga DVDs
Check out my 3 favorite Kundalini yoga DVDs below, and learn how I discovered Kundalini yoga – and why I love it so much!
My first real introduction to yoga came in the middle of my home cardio workouts phase when I regularly did workouts in my apartment living room with titles like like “Tahitian Hip Hop,” “Hip Hop Abs,” and “Bollywood Booty.”
While shopping for a new addition to my growing workout DVD collection, I ran across a Jillian Michaels DVD called “Yoga Meltdown,” and thought I would give it a try. I was hooked for a while, even though every session left me sweating, cursing, and trembling on the floor trying to make it through the last two minutes (“you can do it! Almost there!”) of the 30-minute class.
I did the Yoga Meltdown workouts regularly for a couple of years, until I injured my shoulder (quite possibly doing this workout), and even worse, had a particularly bad episode of back pain (which I had been dealing with for nearly 10 years to some degree).
Unable to do any remotely strenuous activity for at least 6 months, my cardio workout addiction ended, and my real yoga journey began…
Looking for a gentler form of exercise that would still be fun, I stumbled across a yoga DVD entitled “Dance the Chakras,” which sounded intriguing to me, and the happy, fit-but-natural-looking girl dancing on the cover appealed to me. Little did I know that I would one day own almost the entire collection of DVDs featuring this “girl.” 🙂
Ironically enough, the dance portion of the DVD (which is what had initially appealed to me) was pretty weird and cheesy, and I think I only did it once or twice.
However, the yoga part was kind of…life-changing.
I had never seen or done yoga like this. It involved chanting, panting, breathing and moving powerfully and rhythmically (but not in a way that left me feeling exhausted, drained, or in pain for days), and frequent short meditation breaks. Rather than ending a workout feeling sick, weak and trembling from exertion, I found myself uplifted, energized, and, well, HAPPY!
This form of yoga actually made me feel peaceful, calm, centered, and ready to deal with my daily stressors in a more productive way.
I wanted more!
I found the names of the DVD’s instructors (and discovered that this unique form of yoga is called Kundalini yoga) and added all the Kundalini yoga DVDs featuring Ana Brett and Ravi Singh that I could find to my Amazon wish list. I currently own about 12 of them, and though I have not done every workout on every DVD (most of them are conveniently divided into separate timed segments so you can create your own workout), I have done enough to pick a few favorites to recommend to you. 🙂
1.) Yoga Beauty Body
This is my favorite of the Kundalini yoga DVDs that I have tried so far, although I don’t do it as often as some of the others because it is a longer workout and I don’t always have time for the whole thing, but doing only one segment never feels like enough…
Like many of the other Kundalini yoga DVDs from Ana and Ravi, it is conveniently chaptered using the “Matrix” format, which allows you to pick any sequence of timed segments from the DVD in any order that you wish to create your own “customized” session to suit your schedule. This is one of my favorite features of these DVDs, and I wish more workout DVDs offered this feature!
Every DVD starts with an introduction to the breathing techniques, an introductory chant or “tune-in,” a brief meditation, and a warmup sequence. The workout segments are followed by a Savasana relaxation session/meditation, and a closing prayer. Many DVDs also include a special meditation (usually with mudras or hand and arm movements and chanting) to be done after Savasana if desired. This one has an “inner beauty” meditation which I find very relaxing and enjoy quite a bit.
The main workout on this DVD involves the “Magnificent Seven” – a series of exercises the jacket claims that “according to yoga, a woman should do daily for vibrant health and beauty.” I wouldn’t say that it is an easier workout than some of the others, but it is perhaps more relaxing and involves quite a bit of meditation and “Breath of Fire” within the 45-minute full workout session.
This workout combines stretching and strengthening poses with meditation and breath practices, and with regular practice, you are supposed to “achieve glandular balance, calm nerves, and inner peace.”
I can’t speak for everyone, but I can certainly say that for me, I definitely feel a lot more calm and inner peace after doing this workout! It feels challenging enough for my body without making me too sore afterward, and it is definitely refreshing and calming at the same time.
2. Kundalini Yoga for Beginners & Beyond
This DVD consists of two main 25-minute parts which can each be done as stand-alone workouts (and that’s usually how I do them). The first one is a spinal series that focuses mostly on the back and uses energetic movements and breath techniques to boost your energy and increase blood flow to the spine.
The second set is more of an intermediate level (in fact, I find it more challenging than a lot of Ana and Ravi’s other workouts), and it consists of “The Five Tibetans,” a classic yoga sequence of 5 poses designed to “keep you supple, youthful, and vital for life.”
This DVD also includes the Matrix menu option and has the usual introductory and closing segments.
I enjoy the second set more than the first, even though it is more challenging. This one usually makes me sore from head to toe the next day, and I often break a sweat, too, as it is also more cardiovascular than some of the other workouts. However, it still leaves me feeling great afterward, rather than drained.
Here is a quick introduction where you can see a few of the exercises that are performed in this workout:
3. Yoga Quick Fixes
This DVD, subtitled “Feel Fabulous Fast Workouts,” is probably the one I have done the most, simply because it has a number of really short workouts that I can fit in even when I only have 15 or 20 minutes to do yoga.
This DVD has a number of different sets of exercises including a number of “quick fixes” – Kundalini yoga sequences of exercises designed to help alleviate certain health issues or concerns such as sciatica, insomnia, digestive issues, headaches, anxiety, PMS, and more – and “quick sets,” whole-body workouts with different focuses such as “Energy to Burn,” or “Strength and Flexibility”, ranging in length from 11 to 22 minutes.
I enjoy some of these segments more than others, as some have kind of weird meditation and chanting sessions that take up too much of the time, in my opinion. Others, like “Strength & Flexibility,” provide a lovely stretch and a quick pick-me-up that is great for the end of a rushed, stressful day.
The DVD also includes the usual introduction to breathing techniques, “Tune-In,” and a 14-minute warmup session that can be done on its own or before any of the other segments. There is also the usual “Deep Relaxation” segment and 4 different meditations that you can choose to add after your workout – or skip straight to the closing prayer.
This one is the only one of my favorites that does not have the Matrix option, which I feel is sorely lacking. It would be nice to be able to program different short segments into one longer workout or set it to add a specific meditation to your session.
If you would like to try Kundalini yoga for the first time, I would probably start with this DVD, which will give you a number of different options and workouts to choose from, and give you a good little taste of what this series of Kundalini yoga DVDs are all about.
There are quite a few other excellent classes included in these DVDs, and besides my favorite three listed above, I also really like the DVDs titled “Yoga Bliss Hips,” the “Ultimate Stretch Workout,” and the “Warrior Workout.” (The last one is a full 75-minute workout and it’s fairly strenuous, so be forewarned.)
In my opinion, you can’t really go wrong with any of these Kundalini yoga DVDs, so feel free to start with whichever one most appeals to you and give it a try! You may find yourself with a whole collection like me one day…. 🙂