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4.1 out of 5 stars
Total Yoga Collection - 4 Disc Box Set [DVD]
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297 of 302 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2010
Review 2013..Just a little update 3 yrs on..still doing this set regularly & can't find another yoga DVD I like as much. In fact, all seem pretty naff/unprofessional or even posturally incorrect after the precision of this & the classes I've recently attended. The review below is about the Original disk of the set, which I did first, not realising it was harder than the Earth disk-no wonder I had a shock to the system! I should've done it in order of; Earth, Water, Original, Fire if I was to work up to them in difficulty. I now do the Water & Original disks the most due to the difficulty & the length but the Earth one is great when I don't have as much time (it's only 3/4 of an hr but I substitute in modifications from the other DVD's to make it harder) & the Fire when I have lots of time (1.5hrs) & energy as that is hard work! Fab though & I feel great after them all. It's sorted out my stubborn to heal foot & ankle (the ligaments were a nightmare after a Shire horse decided to use me as a doormat-it took 2 yrs before I could sit cross legged with any comfort) & it keeps my bad back under control (old riding accident & occupational strain) which flares up after about 5 or so non yoga days. I feel old (I'm 35) if I go a week without it & literally crave the practice for my mind & my body! Love, love, love this set & have bought it for 4 other people with issues since & replaced a scratched disk for myself so I really cannot recommend it highly enough. 25 stars! :-D PS: Tracy, Ganga, WHEN are you going to do some more?? ;-) x

Review 2010..I've been doing a beginners yoga video for years and found it easy, thinking I was pretty supple & flexible. Got this set for a change and to stretch (excuse the pun!) myself a bit & wow! I'm still on the 1st DVD (they go up in difficulty) and already I'm hooked. The first time I did it I was shocked at how challenging I found it! It's getting easier each time but I still can't do all the advanced options (some of the postures have more advanced alternatives). I'm determined to get good at this before moving onto the next DVD. After each work out my body feels great, like it's had a massage & a good all over stretch & my mind is calm & still. I find I'm craving it daily now-it's fantastic. I like the way you are taught correct breathing at the beginning & the clear way the postures are explained means I can now follow the practice without having to look at the screen-I have my eyes closed a lot of the time. I also like that it has a 15 min bonus workout for those busy days when I don't have time to do the full practice. The instructors are toned and graceful and are a pleasure to watch. I cannot recommend this set highly enough. I've been doing it almost every day for about a month now and my body is noticeably more toned and I feel stronger & more balanced both mentally & physically. 5 stars all round. :-)
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129 of 132 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2010
I was a yoga newbie when I bought this DVD set so I watched Earth once before doing it and it didn't look too complicated or difficult. However I stumbled through my first attempt at it, frustrated that I kept having to look up to check the TV, and I wanted to linger more on the poses so I could learn how to do them correctly. No fault of the DVD though, just my lack of yoga experience. So I went off and bought AM/PM Yoga for Beginners (by Barbara Benagh) which I found perfect for learning basic yoga poses thoroughly. The pace was slower and Barbara's instruction detailed and reassuring. I did segments from Barbara's DVD every day for a couple of weeks, learning the basics, then went back to Earth and felt much more confident and able to move through all the poses without having to check the screen every few seconds.

After a couple of weeks of Earth I was hooked and loving it. The production quality of these DVD's is excellent with different camera angles used for poses. The class is instructed by a calm clear female voice-over who I assume to be Tracey Rich (but I guess it could be someone else!) who is on screen with her husband, the very flexible Ganga White. They move through the poses side by side in graceful unison. Sometimes one will do the more advanced version of a pose while the other does the beginner or intermediate one, very handy.

I did Earth four or five times a week for a month then moved onto Water. Each DVD program is approx 50 minutes long but the pace gets a bit faster in each one, incorporating more poses into the timeframe. I believe the order of difficulty from easiest to most advanced is:

Earth (green) - great for beginners and days you're feeling a bit low on energy. This DVD is the reason I rarely feel I can't do yoga no matter how I poorly I might feel. I might have struggled with it to begin with but now it's a joy to perform (and much of it with my eyes closed in a blissful meditative state)

Water (blue) - a great all rounder

Original (purple) - lots of poses not in the above two and a bit more challenging than Water

Fire (red) - almost like one long 50 minute sun salutation with most poses gracefully linked. Haven't tried it yet but it looks the most rigorous and challenging.

I've been doing Earth, Water and Original for about five months now, doing 4 or 5 sessions each week. I'm saving Fire and think I'll probably feel ready for that in a few months. Can't wait!

Well priced, great DVDs, fantastic instructors. Well worth 5 stars.
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123 of 134 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2009
122 of 123 people found the following review helpful - from Amazon.com Total Yoga go visit the Total Yoga Original title, as below, to see the comments from the people that really know this range of programmes....

I originally reviewed this wonderful program (VHS version)in June of 2002. Since then I have continued to practice daily and because I like variety in my practice, I've gradually amassed over 80 yoga DVD's and VHS's (which is not as insane or expensive as it sounds since a lot of them came in packs of 3 or 5 :)). That being said, I just did this program this morning and thought I'd share my updated point of view. Well, even after all these years it still stands up as a fabulous and well rounded practice! In fact, I bought it on DVD today.

If I was to compare it to the "Flow Series" programs in terms of difficulty, I'd say it's perhaps similar in terms of level to the "Water" program, though it does have a more intense inversion section with a long "Plow" and "Shoulderstand".

Someone brand new to yoga would probably be better off starting with something like Yoga Zone's "Yoga Basics" (in fact I would recommend getting either their "Yoga Basics Five Pack" or "Ultimate Collection" which is a six DVD set. Each of the DVD's in either collection have two-twenty minute self contained programs.

At that point you can easily move into Total Yoga's Flow Series "Earth" program and then maybe the "Water" program before this one because it has a half shoulderstand rather than a full version of that pose, that would be a good preparation for this.

Either way, I've written out the sequence and thought this might help those interested in seeing exactly how this program is put together.

Total Yoga: Overview of Sequence.

Ujayi Breathing/Three Part Breath

Half Spinal Rolls/Full Back Rolls/Bent legs spinal twist

Clasped forward fold then come up to Tadasana

"D" Series Salutation (5 x's) (which contains rolls and leg raises)

"C" Series Salutation w variations (12 position Sun Salutation w/lunges "Sivananda style")

Modified "A" Series Salutation (without Chaturanga (low pushup position)

Triangle

Pyramid Pose (parsvottanasana)

Standing Knee Balance to King Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)

Down Dog w/ extended leg to Pigeon Pose

Bow sequence (Hands clasped behind back, chest lifted/Bow with head down and legs up/Full Bow pose)

Embryo (child's pose)/Neck Release

Pose of Nobility (Gomukhasana: "Cow Face" Pose with arm clasp variation)/Spinal Twist

Half Spinal Rolls

Janu Sirsasana (One leg forward bend)

Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

Lying Spinal Twist

Knees into chest to Back Release Position

Plow/Shoulderstand Sequence

Fish Position

Seated Breathing

Savasana

Seated Meditation..... Namaste
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2014
I bought this DVD about 3 months ago and I had never exercised before. There are four discs but according to the authors the levels are 3 - Earth, Water and Fire. The fourth one is Original. I could not understand why it is included but I am not that worried. I started with Earth. It concentrates on flexibility. Poses are quite easy for me because I am naturally very flexible. I did it for a few weeks only and moved to Water. This level is focused both on flexibility and strength. The poses employ every single muscle in the body, even the muscles in the face. What I like about the sequence of poses is that if the backbone is bended forward, the next pose bends it backwards and it is not sore.

I am both writing a review and sharing experience. I am female, smoker, 44. 165 cm/5`5" 54 kg/8 stones 7.05 lb. I am not looking for a date...
Although it takes a lot of breathing, the poses can easily be done by smokers. Some of the poses require strength but you can build it with the time. I still have issues with the balance. I need to "empty" my mind before each session or I cannot concentrate. I exersice every day for 40 min - this is the duration of a disc. There is a bonus workout in each DVD but it is from the next, upper level and you need to see if it is suitable for you if you don't have time for the full practice.

I have not tried FIRE but it seems to be more dynamic and I don't think I am ready for it.

Some of the reviews say that the instructions follow very quickly. It is not an issue at all. I watched the full DVD ( I want to add that the voice is very soothing, relaxing and timbre is very soft), then I googled all posed and tried to remember their names in English. The instructor clearly says what pose follows and how to move from the current one to the next one. I was slightly confused the first and second time. Now I remember it.

Only a few weeks after I had started, I noticed that the muscles on my arms were getting more prominent; about another few weeks later I saw that my buttocks are getting shape. Recently I felt my stomach was quite hard and I thought it was a digestive issue but not at all - my stomach has tightened. Today I could clearly see the muscles on my stomach - all 4 of them so far...

Until a few years ago I loved my full fat food and if someone had told me that I would get up 45 mim earlier to be able to do my yoga I would have laughed. After I turned 40 I had started to put on weight and my heels were sore if I had to walk longer than usual. Now I have no issues. my body is getting shaped, I have a good posture and I do not slouch any more when I wait for the bus ( and not ony for it ;))) ) and this is all thanks to that DVD. The transition from one pose to the next is slow and smooth and the female instructior is vey gracious. I think we can all do with some more grace.

English is not my first language but I hope I could convey my experience with you. Good luck
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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2010
I bought this set because it seemed like such good value for 4 seperate DVDs, and I wasn't sure what level I ought to buy (I went to yoga classes for about a year, but haven't practiced in about 5 months). I found that all 4 are doable providing you have some yoga experince (enough to be able to simplify to trickier poses), but even in "Fire" a simple version is shown to you first. I have found myself using the different DVDs depending on what mood I'm in- if I just want to relax and stretch out a bit, I'll use "Earth", for an average session, I'll use "Water" and to really work hard I'll use "Fire". This means that I've not gotten bored by doing the same practice everyday- which is a worry if you're always working from a DVD.

I've done the "Water" DVD with a friend, who is a complete novice, and she was absolutely fine with it. I gave her a little help, by telling her when a block or strap might be handy, and the odd point about form. Because of that, I would say that if you have never done any yoga before, you'd benefit from going to a class or two, or just asking a more experienced friend for help before you start. If you don't want to do that, then at least look up the basic poses online first to make sure you don't hurt yourself. I think you'd have that trouble with and DVD or book though.

All in all, a very good collection for anyone to try and at a great price.
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58 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2011
I was looking for a Yoga DVD for beginners and after much browsing, chose this one as it seemed to cover beginners up to more advanced. I have attended a couple of courses on Yoga before so not a complete beginner but I felt like one when trying to do the 'Total Yoga - The Original' which was the first (and only) one I tried as it sounded like it as most suitable for begginers! It goes soooooo quickly and is virtually impossible to do whilst trying to have one eye on the TV and the teachers didn't give enough guidance about how to ensure your postures were correct etc. so it seemed like there was an expected level of understanding that was way above me. The DVD is also from 1994 so is incredibly dated and not very inspiring so I don't think I'll bother trying it again. I'm sure it's much more fun for more advanced Yoga practitioners however so don't discount it if you know what you are doing and don't need much guidance!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2013
Me and my partner - we go to the gym regularly and we attend yoga classes there as well. This DVD set is perfect for practicing yoga at home. My partner is a beginner and he uses the 1st DVD - I saw it myself and it is not too complicated. I am intermediate user so the 1st DVD is way too easy for me. I like this set because it contains 4 different DVDs for different levels - so we don't need to buy many various products. If you are a complete beginner, the 1st DVD is easy enough to follow as it is slow but it doesn't really teach you how to do the postures - it is more like a routine for those who have tried yoga already. If you expect a step by step guide for beginners - this is not for you. This is more like a workout routine set for different levels of yogi.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2010
As I am a keen yoga enthusiast and have been for over 5 years, I found this DVD very easy to follow for all levels.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2010
Bought this product as there is no Yoga class in my area and I missed the exercise. Have completed the first and second disks and they are just the right standard for myself, however, for a beginner they would need to be sure of the first disk before continuing. Would certainly recommend these to anyone who enjoys yoga.
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53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2010
Ok - I know that disclaimers have to be voiced but every time you put on this DVD you have to sit through many minutes of disclaimers, adverts, credits and many other things before you are eventually taken to the main menu - and I mean every time. You can't fast-forward/skip so the only way to deal with this is to put on the DVD, go get the mat straight and yourself sorted, and then hopefully the main menu will be ready. It is such a shame because it really spoilt my enjoyment in using the set.

That said (and I am amazed that no one else has commented on this so maybe they have found a way around it???) the DVDs are very well done and put together, and easy to follow. I have been going to classes now for 9 months so I use these mainly to put together some workouts between classes. As one reviewer said, it is best to attend a couple of classes or so, but I think a novice could slowly get to know yoga using these.
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