Let's Yoga
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2008-07-05 Nintendo DS Sports E (Everyone) Konami

Yoga was recommended to me by a doctor because of my supposed "anxiety". But really, who has the time to go to a gym and take some yoga classes when you have a busy life and more important things to take care of? The most I learned were a few relaxing and stretching poses from my mom - who has been practicing it for a while - to help with my back pain. So when I saw Let's Yoga for the DS, I figured, why not?

Let's Yoga is basically your portable personal yoga instructor, accessible to beginners and I assume a great complement for those who already practice yoga. You begin by choosing your gender and entering your name. You can then customize your avatar in the Settings menu, by picking top and bottom clothing options, a mat, background color and the breath meter indicator.

In the Guide menu, you can find a few basic tips for either the workout and the on-screen indicators during the game, as well as a little glossary of commonly used terms.

The Yoga Course menu offers five options: Short Set (quick and simple exercises), Random Yoga (you can pick your difficulty level and generate a workout), Chair Yoga (poses you practice sitting down, great for those with "desk jobs"), My Yoga (here you can customize your own workout) and Pose List.

The Pose List is something you should check out when you start, since it shows all the poses and what their effect is. You can rotate the image up, down left and right to visualize the avatar better, you can zoom in for a better view, and you can toggle the active muscles on to see which ones are being used during the exercise. The poses are always accompanied by voice instructions so that you can put your DS down, watch and accompany the movements. You can also rewind, fast forward and pause the image, and for each pose there is a little set of tips to help you out.

In the Master's Lesson menu you will advance through five different types of classes, which progress in difficulty, so you won't be able to access the next type class until you have completed the five lessons of the previous one. These lessons are taught in text and by a humorous instructor, and they teach you basic principles, some history and give you a workout.

The poses are classified under three categories, Body, Mind and Beauty. Each pose also has its own Energy, Flexibility and Balance indicators to let you know how easy or difficult the pose will be. These values are added up to your total score, and registered in the progress calendar.

On the presentation side, the game is very simple. The menus are easy to navigate, the avatar animates well and can be seen in full 3D from any camera angle you choose, and there is nothing going on in the background aside from the breathing meter which is fine since we really only need to concentrate on how the pose is done. The music is very soothing, as is the voice of the instructor. It's a shame the Master himself doesn't have his own voice.

What I really like about Let's Yoga is that it lets me pick the exercises I want according to their purpose, so I can practice the poses that are specific for whatever ails me. I also had no idea yoga poses could address and ease symptoms such as sleeping problems, headaches, digestion, menstrual cramps, allergies and menopause.

With exercises to help improve your balance, flexibility, overall well-being, correct pelvic alignment and relieve sore shoulders, this little and very handy personal yoga trainer is definitely a great find.

Special thanks to Konami for providing a copy of this title.