A very deep, enlightening practice.
YogaKat | Oregon United States | 12/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I first tried this DVD I didn't care for it much. I had been using Paul Grilley's Yin Yoga for quite sometime and I liked his style. After spending more time practicing Yin Yoga I went back to Sarah Power's DVD and really like it now :o)
Originally her sequencing seemed a bit off and she was a bit too chatty to my liking. But after discovering the abbreviated audio option, I've discovered the depth of this practice. There are two Yin Practices and she holds each posture for a very nice, long time:
1. Yin Kidney...my favorite. Includes easy forward and backward bends along with wide legged alternate leg forward bending and twists. The audio portion of this practice is quite nice and I like to listen to the non-abbreviated version.
2. Yin Liver. Includes forward and backward bends for your liver meridian. She is very spiritual and tells "stories" about life situations drawing from Buddhist themes on suffering (dharma talk). I like this practice of the abbreviated audio since listening over and over became old.
Also included are two Yang style practices (Sun Salutations or Vinyasa Flow).
You can add a Savasana and Meditation to any of the practices. The Savasana is absolutely lovely and relaxing. The meditation is very good for everyone (even beginners) and definetly will give you more "insight" into your own being. I love this meditation!
All of these segments can be played individually, or you can choose from 10 different canned sequences that run anywhere from 1 hour to almost 2 hours in length. The DVD menus are very well designed. In general, this practice will very much help you to listen to your body and get in touch with your internal world. It is a nice addition to my collection.
Please see my other review on Amazon relating to Yoga, Tai Chi, and Meditation.
A variety of Yin and Yang practice options on one DVD
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 08/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In this DVD, yoga instructor Sarah Powers offers a unique blend of yoga practices. As she explains, her work strives to integrate the Yogic and Buddhist traditions and to encourage balance by providing both Yin practices, which are more receptive, and Yang practices, which are more active. Given this, the DVD includes six main practices: two active flow practices, two Yin practices, savasana, and meditation. In all of the sequences, Sarah is leading a class of 7-8 participants, each of whom are practicing the postures at different levels. Sarah frequently walks around the class performing adjustments, and she encourages modifications as well.
The Main Menu of the DVD is set up to allow the user to select Vinyasa Practices, Yin Practices, Savasana & Meditation, Guided Sequences, and Special Features (includes Sarah's Biography, Teachers, and other info). I have broken down each segment as described below.
In each of these practices, Sarah places a strong emphasis on focused breathing, particularly integrating the prana from the upper half of the body with the lower.
1. Sun Salutation Practice (40 mins.) Here Sarah methodically leads the class through a slow and deliberate series of sun salutations. Each round includes a different lunge variation, ending with hanumanasana (splits) in the final round. Sarah adds some strength moves, such as chaturanga repeated three times in a row, as well as some other unique variations, such as a simple locust with the legs moving in and out.
2. Vinyasa Flow (55 mins.) The first 15 minutes of this series opens with a very slow round of sun salutation B. Sarah then instructs what she calls a standing sequence flow. Staying all on one side, she leads the class through warrior 1, warrior 2, reverse warrior, and then a series of variations which move between intense side stretch and warrior 1; this was a physically demanding series which really worked the glutes. She finishes with revolved triangle and standing split before moving to the other side. Next comes some simple backbending with a locust series and camel, and then the practice finishes on the floor for a reclined hand-to-foot series and happy baby pose.
A 7-minute "Notes on Practice of Yin Yoga" precedes these practices; Sarah explains the three principles of Yin Yoga (finding edge, practicing stillness, and holding poses a long time). During the Yin practices, Sarah weaves in talk of Buddhist theory and includes stories and anecdotes; however, both practices also include an "abbreviated audio" option. Most postures are held for five minutes.
1. Yin Kidney (49 mins.) This practice focuses on the Kidney/Urinary channels, which means that the emphasis on backbending postures; simple twists are included as well.
2. Yin Liver (57 mins.) This segment, which address the Liver/Gallbladder meridians, focuses more on hip-opening postures. However, this practice also includes a few backbends, twists, and forward bends.
SAVASANA. This is an 11-minute sequence that can be added on as an option to the vinyasa practices. It includes both spoken guidance from Sarah and time for silent reflection during the second half, which includes a singing OM chant.
MEDITATION. Sarah begins this 31-minute segment with a 7-minute introduction to meditation practice. She describes the three stages of meditation--outer, inner, and innermost--and explains how these stages move from the most basic, mainly focusing on the breath, to the more complex, involving other sensations. She also reviews the three inner attitudes involved in meditation (impartiality, non-judgmentalness, and cultivating interest). In the final 10 minutes of the meditation practice, Sarah's talking becomes less frequent, allowing more time for silent reflection.
In the DVD's liner notes, Sarah offers tips for how to sequence the practices to best suit your needs on a particular day. However, the DVD also includes a "Guided Sequences" section, which contains 10 pre-arranged practices ranging in length from 60 to 154 minutes. Sarah encourages the user to listen to one's own experience to chose how to best use this DVD. Overall, this DVD provides an excellent introduction to Yin Yoga with the additional option of more traditional vinyasa practice, although those who are used to more fast-moving "power" vinyasa yoga may not appreciate Sarah's more methodical style; similarly, some might find Sarah to be overly chatty during the Yin practices. Personally, I found Sarah's voice to be soothing, and I thought that her storytelling added a distinctive element to the sequences, but I did find the Yang practices to be a bit slow for my liking. I would recommend this DVD to all levels of yoga practitioners who are interested in experiencing Sarah's unique approach."
Insight Yoga with Sarah Powers
Cindy Cook | 06/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am fairly new to yoga but wanted to get a DVD that focused on yin yoga after attending a yoga workshop on yoga for dancers. The workshop highlighted the benefits of yin yoga as well as the vinyasa style. I have not found many DVDs that offer yin yoga. When I saw that Sarah's DVD offered both the yin yoga and vinyasa style, I figured this was the DVD for me. I had considered purchasing Paul Grilley's DVD, but really liked the different options this DVD had to offer.
I've been using the DVD for a few months now and I do enjoy it. I like that the DVD tells you which sequence to use depending on what you are looking to improve in your life which ranges from decreasing fear or resentment to balancing an overactive day. There are only a few things that I would suggest could have been improved.
In the savasana relaxation sequence that is offered, I find the chanting (the Tibetan mantra Om Mane Padme Om) that is used annoying. I'm sure this appeals to many people, but is not my style. I tend to end my session early so I don't have to listen to it. Also, as one of the other reviewers mentioned, the stories that are told in the yin yoga do get a bit annoying after you've listened to them several times. It is good that they offer the option to not listen to these stories with these sequences. Might have been nice if they could have added some music here, but not having that let's the user select music they might like. Also, many of the sequences they offer are very long. If I have time to do yoga, I usually only have an hour. Most of the sequences offered are much longer then this. I wonder who has time to do these all at once. The good thing is you don't have to do the sequences and can just opt to do a practice.
All in all it is a very good DVD that I continue to use and am happy that I bought."
Personal and heartfelt teaching
Amy A. Decke | 10/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sarah Powers is incredibly knowledgeable and articulate, clearly having a background in physiology/anatomy as well as eastern philosophies. Her teaching style is gentle and reflective but the practice is strenuous and cathartic. You get a physical workout as well as insight as the title suggests. The DVD has both Yin and Yang style practices and recommendations for when each may be appropriate for you - the DVD is flexible in that it lets you pick and choose which practices you want to do that day. I think that's why it may stand the test of repeated viewings - unlike some others. For beginners or advanced practitioners - I highly recommend this DVD."