Jennifer Wilber holds a B.A. in English and an Associate's in Computer Game and Simulation Design. She is a life-long gamer.
What Is Let’s Yoga?
Let’s Yoga is a fitness game for the Nintendo DS handheld system published by Konami. It was released in North America on April 28, 2008.
It was released as Doko Demo Yoga in Japan in 2007 before being translated to English and released in North America.
Let’s Yoga was released alongside its sister title, Let’s Pilates. This portable yoga program makes yoga practice accessible anywhere.
Who Can Benefit From This Game?
Let’s Yoga is an excellent game for anyone who wants to broaden their yoga practice. It is also ideal for beginners who want to find out what yoga is all about before committing to more expensive traditional yoga classes or DVD programs. The yoga sets are short, so they are ideal for people who are new to yoga or who don’t have time for a full yoga session.
The “Short Sets” menu features different yoga sets, each under 5 minutes and organized by how they can help your health. This feature is useful for people who want to try yoga for specific health concerns, such as headaches or menstrual pain. You will find many different short sets that are ideal for helping with specific health issues.
Let’s Yoga isn’t really a game in the traditional sense. The game doesn’t track your performance to score you or provide feedback on your form the way Xbox 360 and Xbox One Kinect fitness games do. The experience is more similar to following along with an instructional video than playing a fitness video game. It is still a good program for practicing yoga in short bursts, however.
Let’s Yoga is geared more toward women, but men can play it as well. When you start the game, you are asked if you are a “yogini” or “yoggy,” the game’s terms for “woman” and “man.” The gender you choose makes no difference.
There are only female character models to choose from, and you get the same yoga poses and sets regardless of which gender you select. For example, if you choose “yoggy,” you will still be offered yoga sets to help with menstrual cramps and to “become more feminine.”
There are several different modes in Let’s Yoga, which allow you to customize your yoga practice. In each mode, you earn “energy points,” “flexibility points,” and “balance points,” depending on which poses are included in the sets you perform.
The Master Lessons are a series of five classes, which are each broken up into 5 lessons. These lessons are a little longer than the “short set” programs but are still shorter than a traditional yoga class or DVD program. For example, the first class contains five lessons, each 13 minutes or under.
As you progress through the Master Lessons, you will learn more about the basics of yoga, including many different yoga poses and the basic teachings and theory behind yoga practice. These lessons each start off with a brief text lesson presented by a character referred to as the “Yoga Master.” These lessons include information about various yoga ideas, such as the goals of yoga, chakras, breathing methods used in yoga, meditation, and yoga history. When the yoga part of the lesson begins, the screen will shift back to your yoga instructor character that you created. At the end of each lesson, you are asked a question to self-report whether you believe you have mastered the lesson before allowing you to move on to the next lesson.
The short sets are a collection of super-short yoga sets, which can each be completed in 5 minutes or less. These sets are organized into three categories: Body, mind, and beauty. Each set gives you a description of what the set can be used to accomplish, such as “Restful Sleep,” “Good for Headaches,” “Have Self-Confidence,” ‘Get Focused,” “A Slim Waist,” or “Combat Aging.”
These short sets are useful if you don’t have time to do a complete yoga workout, but still want to get some practice in before work or on your lunch break. This is the mode I use most often, as I use longer, more in-depth yoga programs when I want a longer workout.
Random yoga allows you to create a yoga lesson featuring random yoga poses. You can choose the difficulty level between 1 and 5, and the time you want to do yoga, from 10 to 60 minutes. It also lets you choose if you’d like to focus primarily on flexibility, balance, or energy. This mode is useful if you want a longer workout, but don’t want to manually choose every pose.
Chair yoga is a collection of six different yoga poses that can be done while sitting in a chair. This mode is ideal for people who have disabilities or mobility issues. It is also useful if you just want to take a quick yoga break from working or studying.
This mode doesn’t have a lot of content, with only 6 different chair yoga poses, so this game might not be suitable for people who are looking for a longer chair yoga program.
The My Yoga section allows you to create your own yoga workouts and save them so that you can do them again. You can choose from any of the poses available in the game and combine them to create your own custom workout.
This mode is ideal for more advanced users who know exactly what they want to achieve from their yoga practice but still like having a video with which to follow along.
Let's Yoga received mostly positive reviews from game critics. Critics were impressed by the detailed yoga instructions presented in the game. It received a 76.67% score overall from GameRankings.com.
Daemond Hatfield from IGN stated that Let’s Yoga would appeal most to people who already have some experience with yoga because it lacks traditional game mechanics.
Evan from PAL Gaming Network stated that Let’s Yoga is an outstanding compliment to the fitness game, Wii Fit, although he claimed that it "isn't going to appeal to everyone."
Let’s Yoga can’t replace regular yoga classes or even yoga video programs, but it is an excellent addition to my yoga practice. This game is great for times when I don’t have enough time to do a full yoga DVD workout before work, or if I just want to get in a few minutes of yoga. I also enjoy doing the short sets as a warm-up before doing other types of exercise.
It is a bit difficult to see the screen sometimes, however, as the DS screen is so small. The DS does have the benefit of being able to be moved as I move into different poses so that I can see the screen when facing different directions.
Overall, this game is an excellent yoga program for people who own a Nintendo DS and like to do yoga or who are interested in trying yoga.
© 2018 Jennifer Wilber