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"What is Yoga? Mark Whitwell explains Yoga as "becoming intimate with your own life."
He teaches Hatha Yoga and uses humor and a warm teaching style to uncover the true reasons we suffer in life. Most Yoga instructors focus on technique, but Mark Whitwell goes to the heart of the matter and explains the problems of low self-esteem and why our views of the world contribute to this huge problem.
In some communities and countries, suffering is seen as the reality of life and compassion is shown to others and yourself. There is a natural surrender to the nurturing nature of love and instead of trying to escape the conflicts, you may try to uncover their true purpose in your life.
I loved his ideas about how when you love someone, "you teach them everything you love and enjoy." Mark Whitwell encourages his students to either be with someone who has similar life goals or to accept the person they are with just because they are the embodiment of love.
Through watching this DVD you may encounter the wonder of your own life. The workshops are in New Zealand and the students seem to be very dedicated to the practice. I loved the breathing exercises, balance challenges and pace of the movements. You will be standing and then progressing through a sun salutation.
There is also a moment were you are on your back doing stretches and breathing. The breath is completely integrated with the movement and I learned to take the breath first and then initiate the movement.
First, you can listen to Mark Whitwell discussing the reasons you may want to embrace an individual practice and how this will allow love to flow more naturally in your life.
There are a few beautiful moments of chanting and an amazing mini-concert where two musicians engage playfully in a sound celebration. If you love Indian music, then this will be a revelatory process through which you can finally observe how the sounds are created. I was amazed at the variety of sounds emanating from two instruments in total harmony. The instruments literally sing Sanskrit words.
Mark Whitwell seems to be very in tune with the original teachings of Yoga and he truly embodies the nurturing spirit and calm teaching style one would expect from a master teacher.
After viewing this entire DVD, I felt I had learned some of the more basic elements of why I do Yoga and my soul felt like it was retuned and vibrating at a new level of enthusiasm for life. The concepts of the male surrender to the female, is also explained, and there is an artistic free fall into sound and art at the end.
If you have any interests in "polarity" and how this works in your life, then Mark Whitwell shows how it works in Yoga. He removes all the layers of societal suppression and unveils the heart of the matter. If people tell you not to do Yoga and they seem very unhappy, that is a good clue that they have not experienced the beauty of this exercise. I feel this practice can be incorporated into your life no matter your religion or lifestyle.
It feels good to feel at peace with yourself and Yoga will take you there.
~The Rebecca Review "
Not for everyone
a viewer | 07/21/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Quite different from your average yoga dvd - this is viniyoga style yoga in the tradition of Shri Krishnamacharya and his son T.K.V. Desikachar. There is lots of chanting and the 40-minute class consists of many very slow sun saluations and variations, and not much else. There's a chapter with a long lecture segment in which Whitwell talks about what yoga is from his perspective. Much of it is about the teacher within and needing to bring in the feminine - in contrast to what Whitwell defines as the masculine in other forms of yoga which he sees as wrong (or in his words "bad software that needs to be deleted"). He's as repetitive in his lecture as are the movements in the class practice. Normally I like gentle yoga but I was bored doing his class. This is one of those styles of yoga people either love or hate. You may want to read up on viniyoga before committing to buying the dvd . If I had to do it over I wouldn't have gotten it. Give me hatha yoga or kripalu instead any day. And another (less sappy) instructor."
Body and soul
Terri Trespicio | New York, | 11/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As the companion DVD to Whitwell's book of the same name, this program serves to bring yoga out of its athletic or competitive context and back home to what it was meant to be: an intimate and personal practice. This is not about using yoga to achieve some other goal, says Whitwell, but to enjoy what is fully in your grasp. The charm of this program is that it's not heavily produced but captures the raw and energetic feel of a live workshop. Yoga of Heart serves as a wonderful introduction to and reminder of the true spirit of yoga and can help practitioners both new and seasoned dig deeper into the meaning of their practice. Terri Trespicio, body and soul"
T. marshall | usa | 09/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is just one source. It is in and around us at all times and in all spaces. That source is what "beats our hearts" and gives us life, it is revealed in our breath. Mark's yoga is intimacy with that source, through breath and body movement. This source is always with us and Mark states that yoga is practiced as a celebration of this fact. By breathing the body open in asana, allowing the breath to move the body naturally, one becomes intimate with one's breath, which is the source of life. He teaches that when this intimacy is established, one becomes intimate with all of life (ourselves, others and our environment). Trough this process one wakes up to the reality that we are all the same life, same source, and there is nothing else to be realized.
Mark's yoga is not a process or practice that you do on yourself to acquire anything (better abs or even god realization) it is a beautiful process that reconnects you again and again to your breath, your truth, your beauty, and ultimately your source....the breathing life of all! Nothing else is required! Mark has the remarkable abilty to get one to see/feel and appreciate this fact in a very supporive and natural way."
Here comes the sun
L. George | nyc, ny | 05/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
For people who understand that the deepest and most profound teachings usually come wrapped in very humble, deceptively simple packages, this DVD is a treasure.
I read and loved the book "Yoga of Heart" first; the DVD is a chance to get to know author, Yogi and teacher Mark Whitwell better. (and a chance to learn -- once and for all-- how to move in asana with your inhale and exhale.) Mark doesn't teach a 'brand' of yoga, he teaches the one and only Yoga -- Union.
His method of how to improve the quality of your inhalation and exhalation is for everybody; all body types and ages. But there is more than that here. He teaches that "nothing is absent."
If you want to stop seeking; if you want your patterns of thought to fall away so your Truth can reveal itself to you, try Heart of Yoga. Practice with Mark and enjoy the suppleness, intimacy, clarity and joy you will find in your yoga and your life.