Best Hatha Yoga DVDs

There are a lot of yoga styles and one of them is Hatha yoga. This is one of the most common yoga styles among beginners and a great way to begin your yoga journey.

However, many beginners may feel uncomfortable performing yoga in group environments or may have time constraints that limit their ability to attend in-person classes. Thankfully, yoga is widely available in the form of digital learning platforms and can be accessed through both online streaming services as well as through traditional DVDs.

Although the use of DVDs for yoga was popular throughout the early 2000s, online streaming services have become increasingly popular and enable people from all across the world to participate in yoga at any time, anywhere.

The following are some of the major reasons why adults over 50 have started to use online services and streaming for yoga over the traditional use of DVDs:

  • Online services are more cost-effective in the long-term when compared to single purchase
  • Online services provide greater flexibility and more options with respect to the types of classes available as well as their duration and difficulty
  • DVDs risk wear and tear unlike online services
  • Some online services provide live streaming which provides a more authentic experience
  • Streaming and online services provide access anytime, anywhere unlike DVDs which rely upon system requirements
  • Most online services provide a multi-faceted learning approach to yoga by providing access to articles, blogs, courses, and more

In this article, we’ll review the 5 best hatha yoga DVDs which include both online services and traditional DVDs. We’ll also discuss the numerous benefits of hatha yoga as well as some of the most common poses found within the practice.

What is Hatha Yoga?

Hatha yoga is a broad term. It means “yoga of force” but it focuses on the state of discipline in practicing asana (yoga poses) it is the foundation of the different asana practices which includes vinyasa flow and power. Hatha Yoga emphasizes on the breathing exercises done when holding a specific pose and usually last 5-10 breaths and then moving on to the next pose. Hatha Yoga spends time on each pose to practice the breath and this helps open up the specific pose and it also affects how the mind becomes aware during the periods of stillness.

Hatha yoga includes most of the yoga styles being practiced in the West. It is a system that includes the combination of the asanas and pranayama and this makes the mind and body at peace and this can be used for other spiritual practices such as meditation. There are different hatha classes and it is difficult to tell what kind of class it will be like. It is usually gentle, slow, and best for beginners who prefer a relaxed style wherein the poses are held longer.

Hatha yoga simply means a practice of physical yoga poses, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, and Power Yoga classes are all Hatha Yoga. Hatha yoga also means “ha” which means sun, and “tha” which means moon, also known as the yoga of balance. The different practices done in Hatha yoga are created to help calm and align the body, mind, and spirit.

Hatha Yoga Benefits

Hatha yoga provides numerous benefits that affect all areas of health. Some of its major benefits include reduced back pain, improved sleep quality, improvements in mood and cognition, reduction in depression and anxiety, and increased self-awareness.

Things To Expect When Attending a Hatha Yoga Class

Meditation and Pranayama (Breathing exercises)

Hatha classes usually begin with meditation and breathwork. The yoga teacher will lead you so you can focus the mind, perform proper breathing exercises and allow space for the movement.

Warm-ups

This is done after meditation. A series of sun salutations can be performed so it can help warm up the body. Sun Salutations are usually done in a slow manner or pace and does not follow the principle one breath one movement which is commonly practiced during vinyasa.

Hatha Yoga Poses

Hatha yoga continues with a series of different poses that are usually held for 5 to 10 breaths and these are organized according to the energy center of the body from root to crown. It is a combination of standing, supine, and seated poses and a series of rest. The yoga poses like Mountain Pose, Tree Pose, Eagle Pose, and Revolved Chair and other twists are commonly done. There are also challenging poses like Boat or Camel Pose but it depends on the level of expertise of the yoga students. The sequences of poses usually depend on the teacher as it varies from class to class.

Savasana

The class normally ends with a silent or guided savasana.

Room, Temperature, Lighting, and music or sound

Hatha yoga is usually taught in a room with soft lighting, room temperature with soft music. It focuses on a person’s meditative state and fewer distractions.

4 Best Hatha Yoga DVDs

Best Hatha Yoga DVD: Yoga International

Best Yoga DVDs

Yoga International is an incredibly diverse yoga website that offers both live-stream and pre-recorded yoga classes for yogis of all levels. It offers a community-based, multi-faceted digital learning platform where both yogis and practitioners can further their practice and gain a deeper knowledge of yoga, meditation, holistic health, and mindful living.

Yoga International currently serves over 300,000 members per day and offers a free 30 day trial for new members. Membership options are available for $19.99/month or $119.88/year.

Members of Yoga International will enjoy access to:

  • 500+ experts in yoga therapy, meditation, persona transformation, and more.
  • Video classes, digital workshops, in-depth articles covering a wide variety of yoga topics
  • 1000+ classes of various lengths, styles, and levels of difficulty
  • Monthly themed challenges and multi-day training sessions available
  • Live stream classes and offline classes
  • Yoga International app that’s accessible through the phone, tablet, TV

Class options are available for all levels of yoga practice and there are also specialized classes available for hatha, vinyasa, and other major forms of yoga. Some of its best hatha yoga classes include Sattva Hatha Beginner Flow and A Practice For Beginners.

Yoga International has received ratings of 4.7 and 4.0 on the Apple app store and Trustpilot respectively from among thousands of ratings and is held in high regard by the yoga community.

Pros:

  • 1900+ classes and 500+ expert teachers
  • Live-stream classes and offline classes available
  • Accessible anywhere, anytime through the Yoga International app

Cons:

  • Some customers have reported issues with customer service and billing
  • Some customers have noticed issues with audio or lagging on the app
  • Customers have mentioned that Yoga International has a small selection for its 60-min classes

Element: Hatha & Flow Yoga for Beginners

Element: Hatha and Flow Yoga for Beginners

This DVD is filmed in a tranquil and calm place that shows the Pacific Ocean beaches, it helps you relax and meditate during a hatha yoga session. This DVD is highly recommended for yogis who want to practice Hatha yoga and flow yoga. Flow yoga is a perfect complement for Hatha yoga. This DVD provides yoga sessions that will help you relax, reduce stress and it also helps improve muscle strength, tone, and flexibility. It consists of two 30 minutes sessions, Hatha, and Flow yoga. Hatha helps reduce and eliminate stress and increases the flexibility of an individual, while the Flow yoga helps build an individual’s muscle strength and stamina. This offers a wonderful way to release stress after a long hard work in the office, it will not only provide physical exercise but it will also help meditate and concentrate at the same time. It has a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

One main issue for this DVD is the difficulty level may be a bit extreme for yoga beginners. Hatha yoga session is soothing and relaxing and it will help you relax and help improve flexibility. It mentions using the strap as the instructor demonstrates and it will really help stretch your muscles in ways you have never felt before. The Flow session is a challenging workout that beginners may find it difficult to perform. This will help build strength, develop the body’s core and improve balance in just 30-minute session. It is important to know the basic yoga poses and how to properly execute the different forms.

When doing the 2 sessions, make sure to go easy on yourself and take breaks or rest if you need to. Do not push yourself too hard, focus on doing your best at the moment, practice regularly by encouraging yourself with your progress and you will be able to master it in no time. You can also use the hatha session as a reward for doing great and giving your best effort.

The instructor is effective in encouraging you and also helps motivate you and he has excellent focus and guidance on the breath.

The Power of Hatha Yoga – Beginner Series

The Power of Hatha Yoga - Beginner Series

This DVD features Naader Shagagi, he has been a student of famous Yoga Masters like Hazrat Inayat Khan, Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, and Murshen Hidayat. He has created a system of Yoga poses which is called the Yoga of Mystics. It is the mild and calm introduction for Hatha Yoga where he takes you through different poses without using excessive studio production. This DVD is simple and it will help and guide you through each asana and for you to be able to know Hatha yoga. It has a rating of 3.6 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

This DVD is great for yoga beginners. It is an excellent choice for individuals who prefer to do programs that can be done at home. If you are looking for true Hatha yoga instruction, this is for you because a lot of hatha classes nowadays just get you through the poses. Hatha yoga is not just focused on moving from one pose to another, it is supposed to be held for a few breaths and meditate at the same time. Hatha yoga is the practice of bringing the body, mind, and spirit by breathing, executing the poses and meditation as well. This DVD is a nice alternative for hatha yoga class. If you prefer a real hatha yoga experience even while at home, this one ‘s for you.

The Power of Hatha Yoga – Ultimate Series

The Power of Hatha Yoga - Ultimate Series

This DVD is an excellent follow up in the previous volumes of The Power of Hatha Yoga series. This DVD is for higher level or advanced level students. This includes 1.5 hours of the practice session, 40 minutes standing poses, a short rest period, and the remaining time will be done for floor postures. The poses are not explained in full detail which means yoga enthusiasts are expected to know them already. It also resembles Bikram yoga, so if you are looking to try this out, make sure to get it on Amazon. It has a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

This Hatha Yoga DVD features a hard and rewarding physical fitness activity. It has the 1980s feel to the way it looks, the teacher is calm and encourages the students. This yoga DVD is highly recommended for individuals who have practiced yoga before and is not considered as a beginner.  This DVD is great for trimming, firming the body and making the mind into a Zen state. Make sure to use it to make yourself feel better by using it regularly.

Conclusion

Hatha yoga is a slower pace than a Vinyasa yoga class. It is important to note that the sun salutations are used as a warm-up and performing the challenging poses depending on the level of experience. It is best to take a yoga class or if you prefer practicing at home you can follow the dvds on their own pace. You must know your own limitations before you attend a class. Hatha yoga is an excellent way to know the different poses and make sure to know yourself as well because it is a part of your yoga experience and journey. It is suitable for individuals on various levels and will work great with a vinyasa or flow yoga practice.

References

  1. Grabara M, et al. (2015). Effects of Hatha yoga exercises on spine flexibility in women over 50 years old.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339138/
  2. Huang FJ, et al. (2013). Effects of Hatha yoga on stress in middle-aged women. DOI:
    10.1097/jnr.0b013e3182829d6d
  3. Kumar S, et al. (2016). Effects of Isha Hatha yoga on core stability and standing balance.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27250211