Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Duncan Wong Yogic Arts - Source Power|
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
Created by Duncan Wong, Yogic Arts? blends science, spirit, and artócelebrating tenets of the ancient systems of Korean Buddhist Gung Fu, Ashtanga yoga, and Thai bodywork. It will move you towards higher levels of consciou... more »
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Fernando | Seattle, WA USA | 05/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I originally borrowed a copy of Source Power to try it out. I've done martial arts since I was a child and yoga for about nine years, the idea of a fusion of both is fascinating to a fanatic of both disciplines like me. I had tried Budokon with good results but it is simply a good yoga session followed by a basic karate session. (Budokon is highly recommended but hardly the fusion it promises to be).
Source Power is the most advanced yoga DVD I've ever done. As preface I'll say that the very first time I tried it I had just had a hurtful conversation with a friend and needed to get "my body moving" lest I fell into a sad stupor. By the time I finished I felt better than I had all day. I jumped into the full workout without having first watched it (something I recommend people do). The video is shot in black and white and is aesthetically pleasing. Intermingled with the workout are a series of close-up footage shot in 9mm (not something I've ever seen in a yoga video) to better show the poses. The work-out is also shot in a diagonal angle to the viewer, which if different, it's also a little frustrating when trying to figure out some of the moves that are first done opposite the viewer. After the first couple of sections (Energy, wrist stretches, etc.) I felt good and thought I was on easy street. Then the real fun began!
The following sessions included a series of hip-openers, kicking and handstands woven into a challenging series of sun salutations. Wong keeps a certain amount tension in his body, reminiscent of some Chinese martial arts, something I am not used to and don't really like but time will tell if there is something to be learned from that. One does not perform this workout to learn how to fight, but the influence of martial arts is well developed; one does not feel the gears grinding from going from yoga to kicking/punching, they are part of a workout that flows extremely well, very seamless. Wong performs them flawlessly and his mastery is something worth shooting for. I felt "fight ready" when I finished.
I expected the session to last the usual 45 minutes (like every other "long" yoga video/DVD I own) but this thing went for almost two hours! There are however, two other shorter workouts to choose from which are basically the long workout broken into particular segments. Wong finds a way to take the more generic salutations a step further and make them more challenging than anything I've done outside a class. He keeps this in mind and often reminds the viewer "Something to work towards" or "This is intense"... Yeah, no kidding, Duncan!
There are several poses, such as handstands that I never thought I'd see on a DVD. Most inspiring is that Wong directs you in such a way that with practice (albeit a lot of practice) one can achieve the same mastery; this DVD gets you moving along toward that goal.
Like most things well done, there are several layers to Source Power. The workout is decisively physical while the mudras help you (supposedly) to connect to more subtle energies. I don't buy that stuff as much as I used to as a teenager but knowing what the mudras mean and putting one's intention on the attribute they represent helps the mind strive for it. There's nothing metaphysical about that, it's just how the mind works.
The end of the workout is a little halting. Wong leads the viewer to a small meditation (twice) and then goes on to a Crow pose and some other poses, before finally ending with Shabasana (sp). I thought this was a little askew; going from one extraneous workout to meditation to a few more poses (which at that point don't add to much) seems a bit unfocused. Then again, the fact that so much care went into this video makes me think there might be something to that strange sequence and I'll be sure to edit these comments when I've had a chance to become more familiar with the workout.
Power Source gets big points for conceptual originality in presentation and in the workout. This is not the cookie-cutter Yoga DVD/video Gaiam kept putting out years ago (although I still recommend those, in spite of some outrageous flaws). Wong is pushing the paradigm here and hopefully others will take notice.
The only thing I can think of that could have improved the DVD is the camera work. The angle works for me but a second camera shooting from the opposite angle would help better understand some of the poses. Also, the cover mentions, "massage" as one of the ingredients in the fusion, but it only appears once in the entire workout. A fact I'm willing to overlook since I didn't like it.
For my money, Power Source is the best and most advanced yoga DVD I've ever done. Kudos to Acacia for putting out this series, which along with Shiva Rea's, are the most original, well thought-out workout DVDs in the market right now.
I'm updating this review as I said I would after working with the DVD some more. I have to admit the session felt better before; my personal style is trying to achieve full relaxation while performing poses and Wong's approach seems to use too much tension for my taste. It should be said one does not have to follow all his movements to the "T" but at least I like to be "in sync" while I'm being taught something.
The ending (meditation/Crow pose/meditation again) did not feel right to me then and nor does it now. It is disjointed from the rest of the video and Wong seems to be following his own personal preferences rather than something people watching would benefit from. I personally don't.
For fairness' sake, the tally for this review says 20 people have found it helpful. If "not helpful" votes appear they're likely from people who don't agree with the update. : )"
Empowering, energizing, yoga/martial arts, strengthening wor
Lena, LMT | Nassau, NY | 04/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just like his first in production, beautiful quality & content, the workout feel, pace, etc. is the same, just goes a little harder then the first. Just like his first, this is foremost stretching, body awareness, yoga & some martial art poses.
The entire DVD is played in B&W in a beautiful studio w/Eastern sculptures & art. Duncan is on a simple hardwood floor with a natural mat & narrating the movements with simple, beautiful Eastern fused music. It has an artsy feel, beautiful use of lighting, very beautiful. The menu selections are: Full Workout, Source Flow Workout, Source Force Workout, Chapter Index, Bonus Fatures, Audio Setup (w/ or w/o narration).
Intro, Prana Prep, Energy Practice, Wrist Therapy, (Gluteal Ground Work missing here), Shoulder Session, Warrior Salute, Kicking Sequence, Standing Set, Hip Openers, Core Floor Flow, Back Bends & Finishing Poses, Savasana/meditation, Credits.
Source Flow: Prana Prep, Bandha Basics, Warrior Salute, Hip Opening, Core Floor Flow, Gluteal Ground Work, Back Bends & Finishing Poses.
Source Force: Energy Practice, Warrior Salute, Standing Set, Back Bends & Finishing Poses, Savasana.
Gung Fu Demonstration: awesome kicks, balance & strength with him talking over about philosophy, community, what martial arts gives you for 2 & 1/2 min.
Mudras: 5 min of showing hand poses & explaining: Intention, dragon claw, grounding, awakening, contemplation, mind cleansing, yogic seal, cupping palms, golden ball, jnana, yin yang & master mind.
Adjustments: Same studio, him helping a woman into poses such as downward scorpion, cobra roll prep, standing cobra roll, swan pose, double pigeon pose & giving additional detailed instruction.
Beautiful pictures seperating each portion, he is great w/body awareness, knowing muscles to stretch & best way before moving on. There are many stretches I've never seen before that felt great.
This second DVD is much more physically demanding then the first in terms of both flexibility & physical strength (a lot of crow/holding body up with just hands, some handstands, etc.) This is best for people who are at pretty flexible or very, at least a beg/itnermediate or better yoga practitioner & almost no or no joint limitations. Other then muscle tiredness, I had no trouble keeping up or doing the positions or exercises (skipped over any handstands though & only doing 2-3 portions at a time).
I felt much more energized, calm, centered & grounded whenever doing even part of this workout.
You can get idea of this DVD with very beautiful video clips on his site at yogicarts for wrist therapy, warrior series building, etc. that look similar, but not exactly to this dvd."
Ultimate power yoga
John L. Ziegler | pasadena, CA | 03/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the next step from power yoga. If you're fairly athletic and enjoy Ashtanga yoga you'll really appreciate Wong's form."
P. J. Heffernan | 11/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Duncan has created a challenging yet possible path to superhuman integration of mind and body. I heard about Duncan in India and ordered his DVD's soon after I returned. This guy is the real deal. If you are tired of watered-down, generic yoga which has been filtered into an excercise fad, and have the courage to step into the "real" this DVD is for you."