Chair Yoga DVD Review


One of the problems with books about exercise is that you can’t read them while you try to do the exercises. One of the problems with exercise DVDs is that it’s not always possible to do the exercises correctly just by following what you see on the screen. I’ve found it best to use both: a book that explains the exercises in detail, and a DVD to follow along with for correct pacing and key reminders. I think of books as guides to the “inside” of exercise, and DVDs as guides to its “outside.” DVDs are also essential for people like me who tend to hurry—hurry and exercise don’t go together!

Rohnfeld’s Chair Yoga DVD is an excellent companion to her book. There are two 40 minute sessions on the DVD. Rohnfeld demonstrates the exercises in a softly-lit, simply-furnished room, with very quiet background music. The voice-over is easy to follow, giving enough time to get into position and do the pose in an unhurried manner. Fatigued users will welcome the little rest after each exercise. As with all exercise DVDs, watch it first, without trying to follow along—this allows you to get a feel for the pace, and to recognize exercises that require you to do more than the simplest movements. I did both sessions, one after another, and I was so relaxed when I was done that I was sorry I hadn’t brushed my teeth and put on my pajamas before I started—I felt I could get into bed and fall sound asleep as soon as my head hit my pillow. However, I got up and followed my usual evening routine instead, and felt relaxed and refreshed for hours.

Used separately, both book and DVD versions of Chair Yoga provide good information and instructions. But when used together, they provide an ideal introduction to a very low-stress, low intensity form of yoga. It truly is an excellent form of exercise for anyone who has limited opportunities to exercise, because of either health and/or mobility problems, or because of constraints of time or space. For sedentary people who feel unable to tackle vigorous exercise, Chair Yoga can provide an enjoyable, doable—and beneficial—entry into regular activity. It may foster the desire to be more active, and provide the physical conditioning to make any activity more enjoyable.

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