Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Beryl Bender Birch Power Yoga The Practice|
Actor: Beryl Bender Birch
Director: Beryl Bender Birch
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
Demonstrates Astanga and Yoga Chikitsa, ancient forms of yoga and yoga therapy that feature a series of choreographed gymnastic stretching, strengthening and relaxation forms.
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Beryl is amazing!
Pym9 | California | 04/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've owned this book for a while, since I started practicing yoga 7 years ago, but I recently took a three day workshop with Beryl and was inspired to reread it. I couldn't have appreciated the layers of wisdom in this book back when I was a beginner ashtangi. I no longer primarily practice asthanga, preferring heated power yoga instead, but this is the best general introduction to that form and the basics of yoga philosophy. I feel that Baron Baptiste's _Journey into Power_ is the best place for beginners because his sequence is more accessible, for nonyogis and westerners in general (let's face it, vrkasana is far more safe and accessible than ardha baddha padmottanasana) .
Beryl writes much better than Baron, however, and introduces much of the important history and philosophy, so I think this book would be an ideal second book to read. Beryl is the best, I think, at explaining the mental side of yoga, the breath, and so forth. The first chapter is filled with extremely valuable insight after insight on how the mind/body reacts, resists, focuses, and surrenders. What she has to say here is eloquent, beautiful, profound, and true.
I find her instructions for the poses to be full of valuable information, but the book is somewhat awkward to use while practicing. While Baron's book has nice color photos, different colored headings, to make it easy to follow, the layout editors or designers did not do nearly so well with this book.
For actually doing the practice Beryl describes (the primary series), I *highly* recommend that you also buy a copy of David Swenson's _Asthanga Yoga: The Practice Manual_. It has great, clear, high quality photos, is spiral bound so that it lays flat next to your mat, has one pose per facing pages or so, and the essential instructions. But, on its own, it won't do, because it has no introduction to speak of and the instructions are too minimal--one must refer back to Beryl. The two books need each other. Plus, Swenson covers the entire intermediate series, which Beryl just introduces.
After this, one should move on to Beyond Power Yoga, to go further down the rabbit hole of the topics raised in the introduction to this book. But the photos in it are awful--they are all jagged and pixellated like jpeg thumbnails displayed full screen, so bad that you can't see the details of the poses, like hand position, etc. If the design on the first book was mediocre, the design of the second is appalling. I can't believe they sell it that way. The person in charge should be fired and they should send replacement copies to all owners, along with an apology fruit basket. Seriously. Beryl's text in the second book is, however, great. I also recommend her meditation CD."
A very good Ashtanga Yoga DVD
LuckyV | USA | 02/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an Ashtanga Yoga DVD. For those who are not familiar with Ashtanga (or Astanga) yoga, it includes lots of Sun Salutations. If you don't want to do lots of Sun Salutations do not purchase this DVD or any other Ashtanga DVD. I think this is an excellent DVD. I attend live Ashtanga classes when I can, but love the convenience of yoga DVDs. I own several other Ashtanga DVDs and love them all. I love that she adds a few extra asanas to the routine that are not normally in the primary series (such as crane pose). The class consists of students in a variety of shapes, sizes and abilities. Therefore, modifications are shown. This is a great DVD to add to your collection."
Korona | Michigan, USA | 10/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been doing yoga on and off for years (mostly during the winter). Every year I seem to be getting more advanced and was having trouble finding more advanced videos that I like. I can't get into Yodney Yee as many DVD's as I have. His style is a bit to rigid and seems just physical. I love Bryan Kest and have recommended that one to many of my friends who just love his DVD (the Power Yoga one). Both guys and girls love Bryan Kest, even beginners and friends who teach yoga as well. Beryl Bender Birch's DVD is awesome as well. The style is very similar to Bryan Kest, but she does sun salutations really fast (for warming up the body) and her asanas are really, really advanced. No music, which I love because I can put on my own music. Her voice and words are matter of fact, no trying to sooth you, which is fine when you are concentrating on your form.
After going through so many DVD instructors, I really find her to be the best for advanced students. Highly recommended."