Yoga DVD's are great tools for helping you do your yoga practice at home or for getting familiar with yoga before going to a class. However sometimes it is hard to make a DVD of a yoga practice because the time people like to be in postures differs and the pace that a yoga instructor is using can be too slow or too fast for you.
This can be particularly true for Yoga approaches like Yin Yoga. In this style of yoga the idea is to stay in a posture that is specifically designed to work with the joints and connective tissue. As we get older the connective tissue in our bodies gets tighter and 'drier'; aching and cracking as we move. Therefore the length of time we may want to be in a posture will vary hugely depending on which joints we are working with, how we feel that day and what your body history is in that part of our body.
A way round this for people who want to do this form of Yoga is to have a series of pictures of the postures you want to use in front of you. It is best if a Yin Yoga teacher helps you work out the best routine but you can do it yourself if you are sensible and pay close attention to your body as you try them out. It is NEVER OK to have pain! You will then need a timer and with the picture in front of you for your first posture you can press the starter button on the timer and wait in position as the time passes.
Aim for only one or two minutes at first. They will seem like forever! Once you get used to your chosen flow of postures you can then extend the time you spend in each and also relax about getting it 'right'. Just keep easing yourself until you are comfortably working with the position and then breath gently and quietly in a semi-meditative state. Your body will relax and yield as you do this and your breathing will become more profound in its impact as your body moves into a relaxed yet alert state.
You can see from what i have written above that having a DVD where the pace is dictated would not work for this kind of practice. Having said that I make one exception which is the excellent DVD on Yin Yoga by Paul Grilley. This is a good one to watch to really understand the practice in some depth however once you have done this I do think it is best to use yourself and your body as your guides and pace your practice according to your needs. Enjoy your Yin Yoga. Your body will thank you for it so much!
Find out about Restorative Yoga by attending workshops such as the 'Rising of the Phoenix' and then use it yourself at home as part of your self help regime. You will find it quite amazing in its effects.