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Yoga Journal: Shiva Rea - Free Flow Best Live Vinyasa Workout
Yoga Journal Shiva Rea - Free Flow Best Live Vinyasa Workout
Actor: Shiva Rea
Director: n/a
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
NR     2007     1hr 40min

Shiva Rea: Free Flow VinyassaUnleash your creative spirit in this improvisational, open practice. Shiva Rea's Free Flow Yoga will tune and tone you while showing you how to navigate life's challenges with grace, power, and...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Shiva Rea
Director: n/a
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
Sub-Genres: Yoga
Studio: Bayview Entertainment/Widowmaker
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/06/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A very non-traditional take on vinyasa flow yoga
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 12/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Free Flow Yoga" is part of Yoga Journal's Great Instructors series, a series of DVDs filmed at the annual Yoga Journal Conference in San Francisco. It features Shiva Rea, a internationally known yoga instructor who incorporates more creative, dynamic movement into her vinyasa flow practice. Here she presents a 90-minute class which is quite non-traditional in nature; there are certainly some classic yoga postures included, but Shiva focuses more on fluid movement rather than static holds of the poses. Many sequences take the form of mandalas and involve a flow of poses which revolve in a circle, sometimes causing you to face the back of the room; Shiva maintains that this is a positive thing for moving out of your comfort zone. Throughout the practice, Shiva also emphasizes the bandhas, namely mula bandha and uddiyana bandha.

For the most part, Shiva practices along with the class, but she sometimes moves around the room along with her assistants. Shiva uses mainly Sanskrit names for the postures, but there is also a "yoga demonstrator" on a dais at the head of the class for easy reference. This DVD is well-chaptered, and the introduction suggests that each chapter can stand alone as a shorter practice if necessary. The chapters are as listed below; I have added in approximate times as well as brief descriptive information.

Movement Meditation (14m)--Much of the warm-up here consists of standing in mountain pose while raising and lowering the arms in a flow. Shiva encourages the class to step off their mats to "get out of the box" and then continues with arm flows in a warrior stance as well as some more free form movements. Shiva also incorporates lion's breath and chanting OM.
Mandala Namaskar Prep (9m)--This segment consists of traditional postures such as down dog, lunge, and squat, but each are performed as flowing movements.
Mandala Namaskar (9m)--This sequence begins in down dog and incorporates some lunging side turns which help to open the hips in unique ways.
Jala Namaskar (14m)--Shiva notes that this series honors the water element. It incorporates spinal waves into down dog and returns to the flowing arm movements in warrior stance. Lying face down in a cobra position, there are also some shoulder-opening flows as well as fluid hip movements.
Core Cultivation (7m)--Moving to a back-lying position, Shiva first has the class perform some flowing arm and leg movements. She then does some crunch-type work with the legs in a raised supta baddha konasana position; she finishes this section with some knee circles as well as brief work with the legs straight.
Rock 'n' Roll (1.5m)--This is a short transitional segment in which Shiva instructs those who are able to roll from their backs smoothly into a squat position and continuing forward to balance on their hands briefly.
Mini Vinyasa (7m)--This segment consists of some continued standing flows as well as an arm balance (bhujapidasana) and a standing forward bend (hasta padangusthasana).
Backbend Mandala (11m)--Here Shiva performs some more traditional standing postures for the first time, flowing from warrior 2 to reverse warrior to triangle. In a wide-legged standing position, she also does a forward bend with eagle arms (adding lion's breath), and she finishes with a wide-legged bekasana.
Open Practice (5m)--In this section, Shiva encourages the class to listen to their bodies and spend 5 minutes performing their own flow. She suggests that beginners might want to simply repeat some of the earlier moves while others might want to incorporate their own postures.
Advanced Sequence (7m)--This section is not advanced per se, but it is an ongoing sequence of movements with little instruction. Shiva and her assistant first demonstrate for the class a sequence which includes eagle pose, a hip opening side squat, and a seated side bend.
Om Shanti (4m)--Shiva first has the class spend several minutes in baddha konasana, adding a forward spinal roll. She finishes seated in a lotus or half-lotus position with a chant of Om-Shanti-Shanti.

The Main Menu on the DVD lists a Play All option, an Introduction, Chapters, and Special Features. The Special Features include an Interview with Shiva(10m) as well as Yoga Journal advertisements. During the Interview, Shiva reveals that she started practicing yoga at the age of 14 as a means to explore the name given to her by her father (she also mentions that she will be turning 40 this year). She stresses the importance of incorporating both self and service into her yoga practice, and she talks about her evolution into more circular patterns (hence the mandalas).

This practice is definitely not for everyone; those looking for a traditional vinyasa practice will not find it here. Although I was wary myself of doing a more free form style of yoga, I have to admit, after completing this workshop, I felt great--very open and fluid. This is certainly a nice change of pace for those who are open to adding a more improvisational element to their usual yoga practice."
Essence of Shiva
Dee Greenberg | Cambridge, MA | 11/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'll never forget my reaction the first time I viewed Yoga Shakti, the first DVD produced by Shiva Rea and company. I had just returned from a 5 day teacher training intensive with Shiva and I just wanted to continue to feel the incredible electricity that she creates through her teachings.

So naturally, watching the DVD I felt extremely empty and disappointed. That electricity that is Shiva's essence was just not there! That is why the Yoga Journal Free Flow Vinyasa DVD is so extraordinarily satisfying. It captures the essence of Shiva in a way that is not possible on the other DVDs.

But don't get me wrong. Over time I grew to LOVE the Yoga Shakti DVD. It's like the gift that just keeps on giving, it's so deep and rich and a must have for any serious student of yoga. I am a yoga teacher and have studied with Shiva Rea for the past 4.5 years by taking her workshops and retreats whenever possible. I am a complete convert, totally hooked on Shiva. I have not hesitated to purchase every single DVD that she has produced to date. And I have not been at all disappointed with any of her DVDs. As a matter of fact they are all awesome, incredible tools for learning yoga and she is the most inspirational yoga teacher on planet earth.

But the Yoga Journal: Shiva Rea - Free Flow Vinyasa DVD is now on top of the heap! In some ways the other DVDs can't compare for the simple reason that what draws people to Shiva is her incredible rock star magnetism, her electricity and the generosity of her spirit. This all comes through loud and clear on this live teaching video. It's the next best thing to being there! The other videos, though well crafted are not taught in front of a live audience.

Shiva Rea has made an art form of teaching yoga. She spontaneously creates this incredible living, breathing organism that is the yoga class. The individual students begin to merge into this constantly changing and organically flowing organism that feeds off of her brilliance, reflects her light back to her and grows into something entirely new. Her talent lies in her ability to allow her brilliance to radiate outward so that hungry students may drink of this sweet nectar. The result is that her internal flame is reflected back to her in the eyes of the students which of course just feeds the flame and on and on it goes. There is a give and take between student and teacher that is unparalleled anywhere else in the yoga world. It's all here on this DVD for hungry seekers. And if you just really want to learn yoga from a true master there is that aspect as well. A truly satisfying experience."
Inspiration to join Shiva for a yoga workshop!
Yogi-Ama | Somewhere in Middle Earth | 11/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD captures the qualities that make Shiva Rea one of the best yoga teachers on planet Earth.

She is a true yogini. Shiva is knowledgeable and enthusiastic in regards to vinyasa, She is dedicated to helping her students find their own yogic path, and she is a skilled innovator while still being true to the roots of the yogic practice. She encourages and inspires the students to take their practice "off the mat" and into the world. It also takes an extraordinary quality to convey a sense of fun and be serious at the same time.

What more can you ask for from a teacher?

Watch other DVDs and you may find that there is not as much fun going on.

On the technical aspects of the DVD - the lighting is even and natural and the sound is clear and consistent. Considering the less then ideal conditions of the location, a hotel conference room, the quality is amazingly good. As with all of Shiva's DVDs the quality of the instruction is the highest and the video/audio quality is also top notch.

If you are a long time fan of Shiva's DVDs, then this one will be somewhat different, not as polished or orchestrated from the video standpoint, but certainly just as inspiring.

If you have taken a class with her, then you will feel like you never left.

If you are new to her style of yoga, then you have found a beautiful fountain to drink the essence of existence. Namaste."
More for yoga practitioners rather than practicers
Jocelyn Pollack | New York, NY USA | 06/04/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I am highly disappointed with this DVD by Shiva Rea. I have several of her other yoga DVDs (prenatal yoga being my first and favorite), but this is my least favorite by far. It takes place at a yoga connference, and (I should have known) it is taught as if you were a yoga instructor looking for pointers for your own class. It's just not at all relaxing, and a bit difficult to follow at times. Most importantly, it goes way too slow! She has us doing the same exact motion over and over for about 5-10 minutes while she explains some yoga concept and it's just plain boring! I wish I hadn't bought this as I don't plan on using it again."