Downward dog! Child pose! Sun salutations! If you know what those are you probably have at least a beginner’s understanding of yoga. Donna Farhi gets into how to pull off a variety of poses safely and without hurting yourself. It’s very beginner-friendly and rather slow-moving.
I took the Donna Farhi MasterClass in its entirety and I want to share with you my thoughts so you can determine if it’s right for you.
Who Is Donna Farhi
Donna Farhi is a renowned yoga instructor and the author of five books on yoga. She has been practicing yoga for 40 years and began her teaching career in 1982. She is considered a “teacher of teachers” and runs a practice to train future yoga instructors.
What Donna Farhi’s MasterClass Covers
Farhi’s MasterClass covers the very basic principles of yoga.
Farhi’s MasterClass is 1 hour and 58 minutes in length and is broken into 10 lessons. This makes it a bite-sized lesson by MasterClass standards. You can easily sit down and watch this in one sitting (like I did) and that is even easier if you bump up the speed slightly.
These are the lessons you’ll find in Farhi’s class on yoga foundations:
- Meet Your Instructor: Donna Farhi
- What Is Yoga?
- Essential Breath
- Yoga Warm-up Practices
- Building Your Foundation
- Moving From the Inside Out
- Sun Salutations
- Finding Your Center
- Mobilizing Your Back
- Restoring Your Mind
You can’t purchase this course individually. It comes with the annual MasterClass membership. The prices for memberships are currently as follows:
- Individual – $15/mo or $180
- Duo – $20/mo or $240
- Family – $23/mo or $276
This class comes with a 36-page guidebook. I highly recommend you download and refer to this guidebook. There are many things you have to remember when learning yoga foundations. Having a resource book to reference for visuals and vocab is highly beneficial to your progress.
The book covers the basic poses and the gear you’ll need. It also breaks down the vocabulary you’ll find in yoga practice. You’ll also get a look at the history of yoga in the west.
What We Liked
There were a few clear factors that made this MasterClass useful and worth your time investment.
This guidebook that comes alongside this course is simply awesome. It gives illustrations for poses and provides a wealth of information. You’ll definitely want to review the guidebook to solidify some of the information covered in the video course.
Clear Explanation of Poses
It can be hard to understand exactly what you’re doing when an instructor uses veiled information or explains poses in an unclear manner. In yoga, so much of what you are doing is complicated motions you have to replicate. Farhi does a good job to simplify this and explain what your body should feel like and how you can modify the poses based on your experience and limitations.
Skilled Instructor & Teaching Method
Farhi is an excellent instructor. She knows how to explain one concept in a few different ways and convey complicated information in easily comprehensible summaries. I find that MasterClass is hit or miss based on their selected instructors much of the time. Farhi is a trained yoga instructor and, therefore, naturally, she does well as a MasterClass instructor.
What We Didn’t Like
This wasn’t my favorite MasterClass if I’m being honest. I have an interest in doing yoga but I may have been more interesting in the course if I was someone incredibly passionate about yoga. However, if I was already passionate about yoga then I imagine I would know most of the covered content.
Be More Beneficial With Workouts
I have a hard time with some of MasterClass’ use for what should just be workout videos. I feel the same about much of their cooking MasterClasses. If this focused more on how to become a yoga instructor I might find it more useful. However, much of this course is similar to what you might find in a beginner yoga course. It’s a nice supplement to the other wellness courses MasterClass offers but I don’t find it something I would purchase a membership specifically to view.
Yoga Teacher Voice & Speech Pattern
If you know, you know. I had to bump up to 1.5x speed to get to a normal speech speed. I know yoga is supposed to focus on relaxation but as a chronically anxious human with an inpatient demeanor, there’s only how much I can focus when the speech is so slow.
How to Get the Most Out of This Class
This class is one you want to physically follow along with. You also may find yourself returning to it to be reminded of the poses. I find the resource—a 36-page guidebook—to be the most valuable part of this MasterClass. I highly recommend you download it and reference it as you begin your journey into yoga.
Best Lesson: Building Your Foundation
This lesson really gets you started in yoga foundations. You’ll learn basic poses and how to accomplish them properly. You’ll get the basics of yoga in this lesson and may find yourself more comfortable when you go to yoga classes in-person or online.
Worst Lesson: Essential Breath
Focused only on breathing, which while I understand is important, for those who want to get into the action of yoga more quickly, can be skipped. It’s also a rather long lesson. If you do want to get the gist of what Farhi speaks about in this lesson I’d recommend bumping up the speed to digest the information more quickly.
Who Is This MasterClass Best For?
This class is perfect for the person who is a complete beginner to yoga but wants to begin their yoga journey. I’d recommend you work through this MasterClass before you go to your first yoga class. It is perfect for beginners and was really designed with true beginners in mind, hence the name ‘Yoga Foundations’.
Who Is This MasterClass Not For?
If you’re a yoga pro or at least a higher-level yoga participant, this isn’t the course for you as it focuses more on the foundations. If you don’t have any interest in doing yoga, you’ll probably want to skip this class as well. Unless you have at least a moderate interest you’ll likely find this class boring and that it provides little applicable information outside of practicing yoga.
Similar MasterClasses You Might Like
If you like Donna Farhi’s MasterClass, you’ll likely enjoy the following:
- Jon Kabat-Zinn – Mindfulness and Meditation
- Joe Holder – Fitness and Wellness Fundamentals
- Robin Arzón – Mental Strength
Final Takeaway – 2.5/5
This is a class you definitely want to physically follow along with. Perhaps part of why I didn’t like it was because I was on rest from a hip injury while I was working through the course.
I recommend you either follow along physically or use this MasterClass as a sort of pre-game for your first yoga class. I also find that if you aren’t using this while actively doing yoga, you should be okay to pump up the speed to 1.5x to 2x.