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Shiva Rea - Flow Yoga for Beginners
Shiva Rea - Flow Yoga for Beginners
Actor: Shiva Rea
Director: James Wvinner
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
NR     2008     1hr 10min

A superb introduction to one of the most beneficial and rewarding forms of yoga Flow yoga, also called vinyasa yoga, combines flowing movement with rhythmic breathing for a dynamic mind-body workout. Like a moving meditat...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Shiva Rea
Director: James Wvinner
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
Sub-Genres: Yoga
Studio: Acacia
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 04/15/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 10min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Good, but NOT for beginners
Jon Norris | Oregon, USA | 05/03/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is a good yoga video. It is well shot with good production values and clear narration. If one is already familiar with hatha yoga, one will not have trouble following along and doing Shiva Rea's routines. It is good for a "video workout partner," and gives you the choice of watching the set without narration.

Ms. Rea is obviously competent, talented, and very adept at yoga. She is quite attractive and demonstrates the overall forms and their "flow" well. The routines are modifications or variations of more traditional forms of yoga, but not drastically so. Some of the forms reminded me of qigong.

The set of exercises on this DVD would constitute a healthy program for someone already in fairly good shape, but I seriously doubt that a couch potato with no understanding of yoga could benefit from it. If you are elderly or have any kind of physical issue, there is no instruction aimed at helping you do the forms or modify them for your needs.

I have to take issue with the marketing of this DVD with the clear statement on the cover that it is for beginners with no yoga experience. I strongly disagree with that. Ms. Rea uses sanskrit terminology frequently without explaining or defining it, and assumes a fair amount of familiarity with yogic techniques/philosophy in her narration. Someone who knows nothing about yoga would not be able to understand all of what is going on, even though they might be able to mimic most of the physical movements after studying the DVD. They will miss some of the more important parts of the process, which are internal/energy-based, and therefore not obvious to a beginner.

For example, telling someone to "move into Downward Facing Dog" is NOT teaching them how to do Downward Facing Dog, which is what beginners need. It loses one star for that serious defect in teaching and misleading cover.

It would also be more helpful to show closeups of the various body parts and have her explain more clearly how they are moving. Some of the movements are far too subtle to be captured in a wide shot, no matter how beautiful that shot is. The breathing exercises at the beginning are a clear case in point. It is virtually impossible to see the subtle movements she narrates as she does them. Not very helpful if one is trying to learn something unfamiliar.

If she would add another (equally well done) section where she explains in much more detail how each posture is done, along with onscreen text and multiple views, this could easily be a solid 5 star DVD. She also needs to add more instruction on esoteric ideas like "opening your heart" and "moving your energy," as well as to explain the sanskrit terminology, before demonstrating the actual flow of forms.

If you are already familiar with yoga or other energy/movement forms such as qigong or Taiji, then you will probably be able to learn from this DVD, although it will require more effort on your part than it should. If you already know the forms, it is a great "workout partner" to exercise along with.

I would definitely not recommend this for absolute beginners.

Flow Yoga For Everyone
Yoni | Israel | 04/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was so glad to get another new Shiva DVD less than 5 months since her last one. This DVD was filmed in Kauai , Hawaii as well as her next DVD's to be released this year and next year. This practice is aimed for beginners but everyone can enjoy it , the whole DVD is 70 minutes and has 4 segments (and savasana) that can be done seperately:
1. Foundation Flow - approx 14 min, Shiva starts with some breathing exercises on a rock near a beautiful waterfall and continues with simple poses like cat , cobra and some variations.
2. Beginner's Backbend Flow -approx. 20 min, there is a change of scenery and Shiva is in a beautiful garden with a lot of trees near a lake.
It is actually mainly standing poses - she prepares you for backbends in this practice with some lunge variations , chair with twists ,side bends, half splits and cobra variations and finally bow and camel. This segment might be quite challenging for true beginners but she shows easier modifications for most of the poses so it's definitely doable.
3.Relaxing Flexibility Flow - approx. 10 min , Shiva does simple stretches on the back , very similar to "supine poses" segment in Yoga Shakti it ends with a forward bend (badhakonasana) , it was very relaxing.
4. Beginner's Standing Pose Flow - approx 23 min . now she's at the beach , the clip from Amazon is taken from this segment and it is dark here too not just in the clip , it was probably shot at dusk. This is really a seperate practice cuz there is no sense of getting up for another energizing practice after the relaxing segment. It is a more challenging vinyasa that includes warrior 2 variations and some more backbends.
Too bad there is no matrix , because this segment is just stuck between the previous segments and the savasana ,it would be nice to do it before or after the second segment but since there are only a few chapters I guess it's not such a big deal to skip between them with the remote.
This segment also ends with a very short savasana , barely 2 minutes, which is another minor complaint but all in all I really enjoyed this practice and felt really stretched out , I can't wait for her next DVD's to come out."
Great Moving Yoga with Lovely Scenery
Lisa Shea | 04/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I have another hatha yoga DVD that was filmed in Hawaii, and it is just so nice to have the soothing sounds, beautiful backgrounds and gentle lighting of Hawaii helping you relax into your yoga poses. Shiva Rea's voice is smooth and encouraging, and while she is extremely flexible, she gives you hope as you go that, while you might not be limber right now, you can get that way with practice.

This tape only has four real parts. You can either watch them chapter by chapter, or all in a row. You can also choose to watch them with music only, or with her verbal prompts.

The sections each have their own location. Each is quite lovely! You get 15 minutes of basic poses, 20 minutes of a lot of standing backbends, 10 minutes of more relaxing stretches, and the 25 minutes of a long repetitive sequence. Then there is a VERY super-short relaxation at the end.

I think I was spoiled by my other DVD, because with the other one there are multiple hour-long sessions put together, each with its own theme - strengthening, relaxing, etc. With this one, you get just over an hour if you do the whole thing from start to end. But really you wouldn't want to do that - because that last set is a standalone rhythm set that you wouldn't really want to do after relaxing. I wish this one was much more laid out for multiple uses - do set 1 if you have aim A, do set 2 if you have aim B. Also, the sessions should be labeled with how long they will take, so you can plan out your activity. There isn't even any note on the back of the case or in the insert with any times.

I realize you can't control nature, but their timing was off on the filming of some of the segments. The final beach segment got REALLY dark in some parts so you couldn't see what she was doing. Also, the camera work would show her from her top half only while she talked about doing something with her bottom half. I'm not quite that psychic yet :)

I think as far as it went, it was awesome. If I want to do a 25 minute rhythm exercise, I can do that fourth chapter. But if I want to do more than that, I'd have to go jumping around from chapter to chapter chaining together things that didn't really flow well. I would have given this five stars if it had much more content, even if some was repeated. If she had presented perhaps 4 full "workouts" with each one having a warm up, a main section (whatever she wanted to do for that) and then a wind down, that would have been great. You can always fast forward if you want to shorten it up a bit. But the way it is now, you can't really do an hour long workout. You can barely do just over a half hour workout. I would like something longer than that.

Also, the sound at the very beginning was very intrusive. There are different music selections as you go and the later ones were lovely, background and non-interfering. It was just that first set that seemed to interrupt what she was trying to say. It was ironic to me that they had a soundtrack option of music-only, or music-and-voice. I would have preferred a voice-only option for that first segment!

As a final minor complaint, she likes renaming poses into her own terms :) I think for a DVD being marketed to people who are using several DVDs and books and such, she should probably go with the standard names for poses so that things don't get confusing.

Still, it's a nice addition to a library. I wouldn't suggest this as the only DVD on yoga to own, but if you have good staples in your collection already, this makes a nice alternative for when you want a quick half hour of moving stretch."
For Beginners? Well, that depends.
Sheri in Reho | Rehoboth Beach, DE | 05/15/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I have only done the Flow Yoga once, so I will be back to edit this review when I have done the workout several times. For now, here are my initial thoughts on it:

Visually, it is beautiful (filmed on Kauai, Hawaii, my favorite of the Hawaiian islands).

Production values seem very good on what I've seen so far.

The instructor has a calming, pleasant voice and seems very experienced.

*I* would not consider this a beginner's workout. I was not even able to get into many of the poses in this workout much less to hold them for an extended period of time as is illustrated. So that you can make a comparison, here is a little about me. I'm 55 years old. I'm about 40 pounds overweight. My flexibility level is poor (I have osteoarthritis in my spine), but my fitness level is good. For the past several years, I have been working out an average of 3-5 times per week and my workouts include cardio kickboxing, fast walking, tai chi, weight training and Pilates. I have only taken 1 Yoga class and 1 Qijong class (both several years ago) previous to doing this DVD.

A DVD workout that I have used many times (and love) that I WOULD consider appropriate for a beginner (though in Pilates, not yoga) is Pilates Conditioning for Weight Loss. It shows 3 different women doing the same workout at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, so that you can follow whichever one suits your fitness level and experience best."