Videos & Music for Workouts

Archived Responses: 

DVD for Core Workout; Also good yoga DVD

June 2009

After two kids and a diastisis recti (separation of the abdominal wall), I am left with a poochy belly. Any recommendations for an effective core DVD that I can do at home to try to re-build some strength? Also, I'd like to try to renew my yoga practice, which will unfortunately have to be done at home. Any updated recommendations for a great yoga DVD that can kick-start my fitness routine? Mommy needs to get healthy

Try to start out easy--no twisting/jack knifing moves. Melanie at Berkeley Yoga near Strawberry Creek is great for post-partum work. So is Jonothon Gross at Berkeley Yoga on 4th St. At home, the Gaiam yoga videos are very good, and get the Intermediate Pilates (Anna Caban) when you've got a good foundation. You may be able to check them out of the library, too, to see if you like them. Good luck! S. Carter

Although not specifically a core workout, the Jari Love ''Ripped'' series are really great because she has a lot of combination strength exercises during which you have to engage all your core muscles, and it really does work them. Plus she reminds you about proper form throughout. Also I want to recommend which is a great website where you can browse pretty much every fitness DVD (including Yoga) in existence. You can view clips of almost all the DVDs and they have extensive customer reviews, and you can search for what you are looking for in a number of ways. Of course you don't have to actually make your purchase from them, but they have a generous return policy if you don't like what you get. fitness DVD junkie

Great workout music needed!

Dec 2008

I know of a great podcast service - They post free weekly podcasts with music at consistent tempos so that you don't have to break your pace if you're on an exercise machine. And they have a variety of music at different tempos, depending on whether you're running, spinning, etc. All you have to do is subscribe to the podcast, and it will automatically download new mixes when you launch iTunes. They also post MP3s on their website (if you have a different brand of MP3 player). I like it because, rather than listening to your same music week after week, you get some variety. jeff

I listen to house music to work out. I love it because there is usually a slow part in the beginning, then it starts to rev up, then there is the climax, then the cool down, just like in a workout! I prefer Latin house myself but any house music will do as long as it is not trance. oakland mama

The whole soundtrack to the film ''Slumdog Millionaire'' is my current workout anthem!! It features several songs by rapper M.I.A. and a ton of music by Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman. I love it (loved the movie too). Check out clips on iTunes. Lisa in Oakland

iTunes has a fun feature called Smart Playlist (under the ''File'' menu). The first option will come up ''Artist'' but you can change that from the pull down menu to ''bpm,'' which stands for beats per minute. You can then let iTunes create a playlist based on the tempo that you want. It could be a fun way to see what it comes up with.

Other than that it is hard for me to recommend music when you don't state your general tastes. Here are artists and genres that seem to have recurring roles on my iPod workout playlists:

  -- 1960's and 70's R & B and Soul (Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, the Isley  Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, etc.) -- The Clash -- Beastie Boys -- Weezer -- ABBA -- The Who -- The Kinks -- Elvis Costello -- Earth, Wind and Fire -- The White Stripes    

Good cardio workout DVD?

Jan 2007

Can anyone recommend some good workout DVDs? I go to a beginning yoga class twice a week but need a cardio workout for home. I'd like something that's not too long - 30-45 minutes would be great. I am interested in cardio and also possibly a yoga video as well. I'm beginning to exercise again after a hiatus but am up for a challenge! Thanks for your recommendations.

I don't have a specific recommendation, but I love the catalogues that Collage puts out. Each DVD is reviewed and broken down into specific sections (for example: length of warm up and cardio and strengthening) and level. They have tons of choices and even inspiring weight loss stories. Here is their website: Tami

Home ab workouts

Aug 2005

As I sit hear and stare at my post-baby belly I am wondering if anyone can recommend or not recommend anything that has worked for them. I plan to eventually get a tummy tuck (after 4 kids, the first 2 twins, it is the only true answer) but in the mean time wanted to know if anyone has liked any of the at home ab workouts on the market. thanks
jelly belly

Hi there, I just got the Denise Austin Personal Workout DVD and it has a great ab workout. I really like the arm and leg workouts too. Jen

Yoga Videos

Oct 2004

When pregnant, I used to do the Shiva Rae\\222s Yoga Workout daily. I loved it!!! But now that I have not done yoga in two years, I really miss it. I would love to get back into my old routine. Can anyone recommend a good tape for a beginner? I am looking for a light 30 (or so)-minute workout, but mostly I am interested in the relaxation aspect of yoga. tatiana

anything by Rodney Yee. I particularly like the ''power yoga''. it's been awhile since i've pulled them out myself, but his tapes are still kicking around here somewhere. maybe it's time i dusted them off myself! it's perfect for beginners like you and me. I particularly look forward to the ''cool down'' at the end of the workout. his voice almost puts me to sleep and I can actually get into the ''clearing of the mind'' segment. if you can get past him doing the video in what looks like a black cloth diaper (?). the other tapes of his i have are yoga for abs and back care yoga, but i always go back to the power yoga tape because it's a more comprehensive workout. namaste

Sept 2004

I am hoping that someone can recommend a great yoga video or video series for an absolute beginner. Thank you.

You will learn so much more by attending an introduction to yoga class rather than using a video. The teacher will be able to help you understand poses in a way that a video can not. There are so many good yoga studios and teachers in the bay area. Feel free to contact me if you want more information. Betsy

My absolute favorite video for beginners is an older one (1993). It is Jane Fonda's Yoga Exercise Workout. You might not be able to do it all at first but I feel she explains things really well. I found good reviews and availability on where you can get a used copy. Karen

March 2003

hi there, can any one recommend a yoga video for beginners? thanks, janet

I really like my Yoga For Weight Loss video. The teacher is Suzanne Deason, and there are 4 women doing 4 different levels. It's a great workout and the teacher gives lots of good instruction on how to do the poses carefully. Irene

I bought ''A.M and P.M. Yoga for Beginners'' by Rodney Yee & Patricia Walden for my first go at Yoga and I really like it lisa

Yoga Videos for Kids

March 2008

I'm looking for a yoga DVD I can do at home with my 2 yr-old. Any recommendations? Yoga Mom

I just bought a mom and toddler yoga/pilates DVD at Target, of all places. It's distributed by Parents magazine and is located at the end of an aisle near the paper supplies/crayons section. It's not the most challenging series of poses in the world, but it's fun and my son really seems to enjoy it. Every morning now he wakes up and says ''baby yoga?'' And I've been in a much better, more relaxed mood, I think in part because of this little DVD.

There's also a new toddler yoga class starting up in Piedmont. You might want to check it out: 'Itsy Bitsy Yoga' for Tykes, 22mos-5yrs 9-9:45am,4125 Piedmont Ave,Oak yoga4baby [at] anon

Jan 2008

Can anyone recommend a good Yoga DVD for children in the age range of 6-10? My children are interested, but we've only found some for younger kids. Thanks! Yoga Mom

My daughter (age 7) uses the DVD for adults that came free with her mat. She thinks it is cool that she is just as good as the adults. -- mom of yoga kid

Nov 2007

I'm looking for recommendations for a good yoga video for my 3 and 5 year old children. By ''good'' I mean something fun for this age which helps them focus on body awareness and provides some exercise. I don't do yoga myself so I'm clueless here. This is for my 5 year old in particular who has some mild sensory processing difficulties. He loves to stretch his body, which helps him to be calm, relaxed and more focused so I thought yoga would be good. Thanks. yogi kids' mommy

Check out Shana Banana Yoga from the Contra Costa or Alameda County libraries.Good Luck. Namaste. Rebecca

My kids love ''Yoga Kids: For Ages 3-6'' with Marsha Weinig. We also have ''Yoga Kids, Vol. 3: Silly to Calm''. Both are wonderful introductions to yoga. You can find them at yoga mom

May 2003

Re: Preschooler Yoga Class
My 3 year old neice has a great kid's yoga video, it's by a company called ''Gaiam'' (they produce a lot of yoga videos and have a line of yoga props). I've seen their stuff for sale at Blockbusters, Discovery Store and on the internet. She will sit there and watch the video sometimes as if she was watching cartoons, and other times she'll get up and do it along with the video. Sometimes my sister does it along with her. Or out of the blue she will show you the yoga poses she knows. The video is great as shows kids doing the poses and also compares the poses to animals etc. which make it easier to remember. For example, for tree pose, which they call flamingo pose, they show a flamingo. anon

Can anyone recommend a good yoga video? Also, I heard mention of a kid's yoga video - anyone have recommendations? Finally, do you know of a good yoga video I can do with my 3-year old? (I checked the website - no yoga video recommendations there.) Thanks - ~Rebecca

My daughter (now 4 and 1/2) has enjoyed a video called Yoga Kids. She usually just watches it, though. The Yoga Garden game and books have been more useful in motivating her to actually move. Of course I am interacting with her more, too. I find it hard to engage her at all if the TV is on. I've seen the video for sale at The Yoga Room on College (before or after a class). Sienna

Prenatal Yoga DVDs

Jan 2009

Looking for recommendations of prenatal yoga DVDs - preferably short routines and relaxing but good overall stretching, strengthening, etc. Thank you. anon

I loved the ''Zen Mama'' prenatal yoga DVD. You can do the entire practice (about an hour) or it is broken into chapters to just focus on areas that might be sore or need focused stretching. There are modifications for each trimester of your pregnancy. A yoga mom

Aug 2006

I could only find one mention of a prenatal yoga video on the BPN web site (Shiva Rae's), and was wondering if there are others that mothers have particularly liked. Thanks -Kara

I like Dr. Christine Anderson's Dynamic Prenatal Yoga. It's challenging (in good way I think) even for someone who had a yoga practice before becoming pregnant, and has some nice focus on the pregnancy as well. Here's the Amazon link:

I enjoyed Yoga Mama Prenatal Yoga. The instructor is Sue Elkind. It featured a short enough (about 40 minutes) workout that I would actually do it - didn't feel like it took too much of a time commitment, if you know what I mean. The level is pretty gentle, and I found her to be fairly non-annoying, which is apparently hard to find in prenatal yoga dvds! And the women doing the workout with her were at all different stages of pregnancy, which was nice too - and she shows options for how to do some of the poses differently for when you're more pregnant. - another yoga mama

Pilates Videos

April 2003

Hi everyone, It's been six months since my baby got outta my tummy and I'd like to get back into shape! My body has totally changed since birth. Anyhow, I would like recommendations on Yoga or Pilates DVD's - I figure these are much cheaper than paying for $10-$15 a class, plus it's easier if i just have my baby w/ me in our rec room, than getting us all together, in the car, etc. I have a background in dance and gymnastics so i'm not looking for anything too easy, but i'm also still a beginner! I'll probably buy 2 or 3 to start and then build my library. Thanks in advance! stacy

Hi Stacy, About pilates dvd's- I reccommend Stott pilates highly. I am a pilates teacher and have seen a lot of videos by different companies and Stott's are high quality and very clear and concise. As a former dancer myself I really appreciate their precision of movement- and they should be excellent for someone postpartum. You can order these online at You will want to start with beginning matwork and eventually progress upwards. There are also some yoga infused pilates titles now. These have all been out on video for a long time but should be becoming available on dvd this month. I also reccommend that you take a few pilates classes as when done properly pilates is a very precise form of exercise and it is good to make sure you have good form to get the ultimate benefit. I teach a couple mat classes a week- which are small so I have lots of opportunity to correct. You could even bring your baby along. If you have any other questions you are welcome to phone me at 510-508-1408 or check out my website at Good luck. Andrea

The Stott Pilates series of exercise videos are by far the most well-respected by professionals in the fitness industry. Moira Stott has adapted, updated, and expanded the standard (and previously very limited) Pilates exercises to comform with current thinking about exercise physiology. Helene

I recently lost 55 lbs in 6 months through the consistent use of Pilates and Yoga DVD's at home. I know exactly how you feel-you want to lose weight and firm up without going to the gym. I have two toddlers (born in 2000 & 2001) and workout DVD's have been the perfect solution for me. My husband commented that we own more exercise DVD's than regular films, but he loves the results. I set my alarm for 4:30am and get my daily excercise in before my children wake up. My two favorite DVD's which have really made a difference in my body are: Classical Pilates Technique-Complete Matwork, and Bryan Kest's Power Yoga-Intensive Body Sculpting Both DVD's are available on and they are well worth the price. They both also feature modifications for everyone from beginners through advanced(and what Classical Pilates calls ''super advanced''), so these are two DVD's that you can grow with at your own pace. twounderthree

i went the video route with pilates, and then yoga, after pregnancy, and it was very helpful--but i also recommend taking a series of classes and/or goign to a few drop in pilates classes. even the best videos are not goign to measure up to a teacher who can direct you. that said, i think moira stott's pialtes tapes are some of the best out there--she explains well, tells you what you're supposed to be doing and what muscles/joints/ etc. you're working. if you've got dance experience i'd go for her intermediate tape, but you might try the beginner for info/pointers (or buy a book, like mari winsor's 'the pilates powerhouse,' to get the little details). i also like grace lazenby's 'all the right moves,' a combination yoga & pilates (more yoga) intense workout! Jennifer Kries' 'the method' series offers good workouts, i think, but only if you know what's going on--imho, she offers little in the way of explicit instruction for too many poses. you can also read the reviews of these videos/dvds at are quite helpful. good luck & have fun! jessica