A very nice evening yoga practice
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 04/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yogini Rainbeau Mars, best known for her "Sacred Yoga Practice" series, has released a new yoga series titled "Yoga for Beauty," and I recently tried the VHS version. This series offers two practices, Dawn, or the sunrise practice, and Dusk, or the sunset practice. In both, Rainbeau instructs a class of four participants, this time in an indoor studio (although it is decorated with many plants to suggest the outdoors). Two of the assistants show modifications, one for limited flexibility and one for limited strength, although I would recommend some prior experience with yoga. While chant-like music plays in the background, Rainbeau offers both live and voiceover instruction: she speaks live while setting up poses and moving through vinyasas for the first time, but she switches to voiceover while poses are being held. Her left-right cueing is inconsistent; sometimes she mirror cues, sometimes she does not. At the beginning and end of both practices, Rainbeau is shown performing a beautiful flow of poses a la Ana Forrest in Strength and Spirit.
The evening practice, Dusk, is 45 minutes long and is designed for relaxation and release at the end of the day, mainly through hip opening and core work. The practice starts in savasana; you begin to focus on your core via both breathing and simple movement. After rolling into a seated position, you stretch in child's pose, move into downward dog, and transition into 3-legged downward dog for a hip stretch. Returning to core work, you move into a face-down lying position and raise alternate arm and leg; you then do the same thing from a hands and knees position, adding a knee to nose stretch and then finally performing the same knee to nose stretch in down dog. Next comes two round of sun salutation B, the first with warrior one and the second pyramid pose plus several lunge variations to stretch the hips. Transitioning to seated position for more hip work, you perform seated pigeon, rock the cradle, boat, and then thread the needle in a reclined position; there are also a few additional core-strengthening moves. You then grab your blanket for shoulderstand: starting in plow, you raise into shoulderstand, hold for an extended period, lower back into plow, and then roll back down. A brief lying twist to release the back precedes a nice savasana, and then it's back to seated to finish with namaste.
I really enjoyed this practice and look forward to doing it often. I especially loved the hip opening work, although the tough core work was a bit more challenging than I'd ideally want from a relaxing evening practice. Overall, however, this video is well thought out, well executed, and well produced, and I would highly recommend it."
Interesting Intermediate Workout
A. Mironov | San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA | 03/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rainbeau Mars has created a very interesting and original intermediate yoga workout. Although the program includes two people doing modifications, one for limited flexibility and one for limited strength, this is not in any way a workout for beginners. Rainbeau moves from posture to posture in her usual flow style with minimal instruction on posture and breathing.
I found it to be engaging and challenging, but I gave it 4 out of 5 stars because there are no twists in the workout and I think the program would have benefitted by including some of these to balance the other wise excellent hip-opening and ab-strengthening workout.
A work of caution: I found the background eastern music and vocals to be distracting. Even more distracting is the way Rainbeau constantly flips her head back to clear her hair out of the way, uses her hands to the same and unconsciously rubs her nose thoughout the program."
Slow paced intermediate workout
Lena, LMT | Nassau, NY | 09/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rainbeau does this in a beautiful studio w/2 women & 2 men, 1 man & woman showing modifications. The music's beautiful chanting is different, but the tempo is almost sleepy, too slow for a workout to relax you. This DVD has great menu options such letterbox or full screen choice, dolby digital 2.0 or 5.1, gallery of pictures, workout w/o sound & a beautiful about 4 min solo performance of Rainbeau showing how advanced she is. There are also trailers for her previous DVDs: vinyasa flow, Dawn, Zen mama, as well as for yoga for wimps & Lilias series for the people who want a mature instructor.
Dr. Beth did a great job with telling you about the poses which do contain several hip openers I don't often see which is great. The pace is very slow with a lot of moutain pose & child pose resting which seemed to take up a huge chunk of the program. It would have been better if she did more simple stretches instead such as butterfly. It is a good workout, but the 3 legged lifting & warriors seemed a bit much for trying to relax yourself to me. I will use this more on slow rainy days when I'm not up for something more strenueous.
The only thing I noticed was her speaking, I used to LOVE it on her previous DVDs, but this time it seemed disjointed/hurried unllike in the past relaxed/flowing. Even her dawn was good/fine, only this one didn't flow right. What she still does is great is let you know what the poses help you do, such as hip openers help you to release toxins that tend to build in that area & the modified handstand (you still on your upper back & forearms, not hard) help bring back the blood to the heart & help blood flow to increase to cleanse the toxins from the blood which you just releases.
There is a bonus 10 min workout including 2 min laying down & cross legged rest at the end. She speaks a little more relaxed here. Starts with child's pose, downward dog, 3 legged down dog & knee to chest several times, wide-leged squat, down dog, standing foward bend, moutain, plank, upward dog/cobra, down dog, 3 lgged down dog & knee to chest agian, down dog, standing fwd bend, chair/powerful pose, stand fwd bend, plank, upward dog, down dog, boat, holding body up with hands, boat, quick handstand, upward dog, down dog, laying down knee to chest several times, laying down spinal twist, bridge & bridge w/1 leg up, resting pigeon hold & rest.
This dvd is not good as a 1st dvd on yoga, but maybe a 3 or 4th becasue of both the harder poses & lack of detailed instruction on foot placement & body weight distribution which is needed at first. The dawn one I would recommend first over this one."