Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Yoga Journal's Beginning Yoga Step by Step Volume 3 |
For Beginners by Natasha Rizopoulos
Actor: Natasha Rizopoulos
Director: Yoga Journal
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
Product Description Yoga Journal's Yoga Step-by-Step Session 3: Balancing Poses for Focus & Energy (DVD) From the editors of Yoga Journal, each complete session in the Yoga Step-by Step video series will help you develop... more »
Finding a Balanced Life
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 02/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yoga can help you fully relax and prepare for meditation or just feel more relaxed while reading or cooking. Your mind will be cleansed and while the world surges around you in all directions, there will be an inner calm you can carry with you all day.
This DVD is for students of yoga who have mastered the first two instructional sessions. I'd consider myself to be intermediate and the workout on this DVD seemed to be more advanced than any workout I've tried so far. It is a challenging and healing workout that may be enjoyed by intermediate yoga students who are looking for challenging balance poses that increase your focus and energy.
Natasha Rizopoulos has a beautiful teaching style that allows you to fully experience the body mind connection. She encourages you to experience yoga in order to balance your life. After watching her Yoga demonstration you may start to think of Yoga as an art form and not just an exercise routine. She turns yoga into ballet and her upper body strength is astounding. Upper body strength will be especially important in this DVD.
During the handstand section, I had a good giggle because I could not get upside down on the first few tries and then my feet made a rather loud noise as I finally was up against the wall. I think I may have startled the neighbors. On subsequent attempts, I was able to get upside down more easily when I used a little momentum. While upside down I could really feel the weight of my body and some of the exercises may be slightly wrist intensive if you have not been doing yoga for a few years.
I'd "highly" recommend buying two beveled foam yoga blocks (if you have yet to buy them) along with this DVD. Modifying the balancing poses with props is advised and if you can have someone workout out with you, I'd highly recommend having someone assist you as you try the inverted poses. I was able to manage on my own, but could see where having someone around would be helpful.
This DVD has interesting menu options. There are really two main parts:
A 35 minute Instruction Session - You explore the postures in depth
20 minutes of uninterrupted flowing practice - a vigorous vinyasa flow sequence
You can follow the Instruction Menu, Practice Menu, go straight to the Yoga Chalk Talk (a great way to explore the poses) or Medical Commentary. The Practice menu has four sections:
Begin Practice (Different from Begin Instruction)
Follow Jason - This is an excellent option if you want to use props like blocks.
Practice with Medical Commentary
Practice without Music
Natasha Rizopoulos teaches you about how to use a wall to assist with balancing upside down. She gives safety tips and modifications. This is the third DVD in a series of three high-quality yoga packages. You will need blocks and a mat. Even after years of yoga practice, it is exciting to find out there is so much more to learn. This is a must-have series for anyone who is interested in yoga.
I personally think this is intermediate to advanced or can be done by individuals with good upper body strength and balance.
~The Rebecca Review
Thorough instructional DVD
dnk | Boston, MA United States | 07/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very well instructed DVD for yoga inversions and arm balances. Arguably, mastery of these postures separates the intermediates from the advanced (in some circles, at least). I've got to admit, I approached this DVD with some trepidation, never having mastered Crane or Handstand. However, Rizopoulos' instructions provide a very clear breakdown for those two challenging poses. While I still don't "have" them, I now at least have a better idea of what to do.
As with the other two releases, this DVD has two main parts: the instructional portion that breaks down the postures "step-by-step" and the flowing workout. Jason is the assistant that shows modifications, and her assistant Autumn shows common alignment errors. This clocks in at about 35 minutes. The other 20 minute section includes all of the postures but at a fluid pace. (Also, if you're feeling like you still haven't mastered all of the movements, there is an option to follow along with Jason and his modifications for the entire practice). Each section includes Half Sun Salutations or Sun Breaths, Sun Salutation A, then a variant with a lunge and lunging twist, Side Plank, Crane Pose, Handstand Prep, Handstand, Shoulderstand and Lying Twist. In addition, the instructor also includes appropriate transitions and counter poses- very important when you're concentrating on inversions. The 20 minute practice ends with a 2-minute Corpse pose.
I was impressed with this DVD and I loved how she made use of the wall for the inversions, whereas other yoga instructors seem to scoff that the wall is a poor substitute for the "real" thing. (I also liked that there wall had molding in the middle of it, irregularities many of us have to deal with.) I also liked the constant tips on alignment, particularly on strengthening through the low abdominals to protect the low back, which is frequently aggravated during incorrect inversions, particularly headstand and handstand.
The only thing that made me wince here was the instructor's form in some places. Though clearly very strong, particularly in the upper body, she also has hyperextended limbs, which is very common in flexible people. It seems here that she made no attempt to correct for that and in a couple of places was locking her elbows out. Please do not do the same- you can really hurt yourself.
Otherwise, a great DVD and recommended for those who want to kick your practice up to the next level."