Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
Internationally acclaimed vinyasa flow yoga teacher Shiva Rea revolutionizes the instructional yoga video genre with Yoga Shaktithe first user-personalized practice DVD designed to immerse practitioners in the free flow of... more »
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Sydney H. from GARDNER, MA
Reviewed on 8/11/2009...
One of my all-time favorite fitness dvds. The matrix option allows a yoga student of any ability to create a sequence that is apppropiate based on their level and time commitment.
A really different yoga DVD
Elizabeth M | Houston, TX USA | 12/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a lovely yoga video in so many ways. I, like most reviewers, cannot rave enough about the "yoga matrix", the feature of this DVD that allows you to choose which poses you want to do. Wonderful, wonderful feature. I went through each of the four pre-set workouts first though to get familiar with the poses, and that was an interesting experience because the two "solar flows" contain much harder poses than the other two.
There really is great variety in the level of difficulty on this tape- some of the poses I just couldn't do, and some I had to do at the first level. That was a bit humbling (and reminded me that working with where you are is important in yoga!) It's nice now that I've moved on to using the custom practice feature that I can add in a new difficult one each time to work on.
I recommend having 1-2 blocks and a strap handy before getting started with this DVD. Some of the poses use them regardless of your skill level. A blanket to roll up is also a good friend on occasion.
The music and the scenery were lovely, but here are my (relatively minor) gripes:
1. Sometimes Shiva moves too quickly and it's hard to follow her when learning the poses. Some of these poses were new to me and I was lost trying to follow the instructions. This DVD seems to assume familiarity with all poses in advance- in fact there are some it advises against doing unless you've learned them with an instructor. I admit to cheating on that front.
2. The poses are almost always called by their Sanskrit name. This is fairly useful and educational, except for the fact that when doing a home routine it's easier to not have to look at the TV in the middle of a pose, and some users may not be able to consistently match names with poses. Just a head's up if you're in that camp!
3. The poses are not organized in the booklet in the same order that they are in the matrix, so if you need to look one up it can be confusing.
3a. Also, it''d be nice when adding segments to your custom routine if the DVD would tell you how long each of the segments is instead of just the name. Sometimes I only have an hour for yoga and want to make sure I haven't just chosen a sequence that will take ninety minutes.
4. Sometimes the camera doesn't pan quickly enough to the part of the body you need to see in order to assume a pose. As a result, I think a beginner would need to be careful about what poses s/he attempted, and to read the book carefully or stick to the first basic workout or the lunar flow for a while.
I'd say to get the most out of this a practitioner probably would want to be advanced beginner/intermediate level at a minimum, and able to keep some perspective on not being able to manage all of the intense bends Shiva does. This is a DVD that will grow with you as you progress in your yoga practice.
p.s I was so glad to find that this contained different breathing exercises as well as a wonderful, calming forward bend sequence. Yay!"
Best Yoga DVD Ever
DVD Workout Queen | CA USA | 10/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I officially renounce all my previous five star ratings. This DVD brings my expectations to a whole new level.
First off, it has 4 workouts that are completely unique from each other (two that are about 40 mins, and two that are 90). Thats quite a bit to begin with.
But the DVD does not stop there. The "customize the routine" matrix has each of the possible elements from routines (for example "standing poses") down the left side of the screen. Then it has each of the four routines across the top of the screen, with the pose sequence that fulfills the element below (there are 10 to 15 per routine). Thus, you can choose the sequences that you like from each routine, skipping elements you don't like, mixing and matching, etc. The only restriction, which is a good one, is that the poses still have to be performed in the correct order. I love this feature! You can create a different routine everyday to suit your mood.
There are definitely poses I have never seen before (as you can imagine having to fill up so much time). You can make the routine as challenging or easy as you want (well, maybe not super easy). Most of the stuff is beginning-intermediate to intermediate-intermediate, but there is also some beginning and intermediate-advanced stuff.
I just can't get over having a completely customizable routine. Anyway...
The whole thing is filmed on an island off the coast of India. The beach she is on has the surreal quality of having the tide come in from both sides. It's beautiful, when you do get a chance to look at the screen.
Her teaching is serene, and not overdone. She doe NOT make annoying comments that are supposed to be inspirational. She DOES say things that are helpful either to physically do the pose or to think about the purpose of the pose. These comments are NOT excessive or chatty.
Not only are there many poses that I have never seen before (and I have a large collection of yoga DVDs), she also does the poses in a more dynamic way than is traditional. Don't get turned off by it not being totally traditional: it is not overdone or too quick, just a bit less stiff and more flowing (and pretty challenging).
Another thing I like, as a side note, are her reminders of when and how to breath. (Some videos seem to skip these to chat about silly things...)
In summary: BEST YOGA DVD EVER! Worth at least $45, but costs much less. If you don't buy it, you are missing out on a one-of-a-kind DVD experience.
Most of us can't do it all...
TM | USA | 06/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was very sad to read that another reviewer had injured themselves while using this DVD. I know that this was certainly not Shiva Rea's intention when making this DVD, nor is it a part of the Path of Yoga, I'm not talking about just the workout or excercise part but the entire way of life while following this path, of which the very first teaching is "Ahimsa" or non-violence, not only to others but to ourselves and our own bodies.
That being said, as a yoga teacher, I must recomnmend that unless you have been doing yoga for many years, or you are just very fit and flexible, DO Not do the Standing pose 2/Solar Flow 2 part of this DVD, there are quite a few poses on here that can injure the knees, the back and the shoulders if attempted by someone with any physical issues or someone who does not have at least a intermediate/advanced level in Yoga. Also, this section requires alot of upper body strength and balance that really only an intermediate/advanced to advanced practitioner should attempt. Many reviewers have written that they are working up slowly in this practice, that is a very wise thing to do. Unfortunately human nature causes many people to push them selves to do more than their bodies are ready for.
Shiva Rea is an International Yoga star, even though she is nearing the age of 40, she has been doing Yoga and little else for at least 20 years! The rest of us have a 9-5 job and we cannot do as much yoga as she can, therefore we shouldn't try! Also she naturally has very open hips and shoulders and a flexible back, this is great for her but most of the rest of us don't have this natural athleticism and should not feel badly because we do not. This is truly the lesson that the path of yoga teaches us ~ to honor our bodies in the state we are in and mindfully move forward from there.
Having also said that, I agree with the rest of the reviewers, the music, the scenery and the Matrix are phenomenal, I think all practitioners will love these features. The Basic flow is appropriate for beginners, so is the Lunar Flow, however, there are a couple of poses in the Forward Bend section of Lunar Flow that would be inappropriate for beginners, but Shiva does offer modifications.
Alot of features for under $20.00 makes this a good deal for a workout DVD, Shiva's voice and mannerisms are very soothing, real and not condescending. I highly recommend this DVD with the only precaution that beginners should move forward in this with extreme caution and mindfulness."