Another great instructional workout from Yoga Journal
dnk | Boston, MA United States | 07/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD, the second in the Step by Step series by Yoga Journal, has the same great features that the third had: an instructional portion going over all of the postures it covers in detail, followed by a "flowing" workout to use once you've mastered the instruction. Also included is an option to follow along with Jason, one of the assistants, in case you need to modify for most of the workout.
Based on what I've read on other sites, I think this is going to be the most popular of the three releases. First, it's that "just right" level of challenge- not as basic as the first (not that there is anything wrong with basic) but not as daunting as the arm balances in the third. Second, the fact that it's promoted as increasing flexibility, which most people associate with yoga, probably contributes to its popularity.
This release covers back bends, twists and forward bends. Included are Ujjayi Breathing, Half Sun Salutation, Sun Salutation A, Cat/Cow, Hero, Downward Dog, Plank, Locust, Cobra, Upward Facing Dog, Camel, Bridge, Wheel/Upward Facing Bow, Easy Seated Pose, Easy Seated Twist, Half Lord of the Fish, Staff, Head to Knee and Seated Forward Bend. All of this is followed by a peaceful (but short) relaxation in Corpse for 2 minutes.
Although there are a few postures that might scare beginners off (Camel and Wheel come to mind), the tips and modifications included should allow most people to feel comfortable attempting the postures. As in the other releases, the instructor also shows and discusses some of the common alignment errors, paying special attention to protecting the low back.
Although it is included as part of a set, I think this practice is very complete and someone could feel good about using this as a regular part of their routine without feeling like they were getting an unbalanced workout. The fact that the flowing practice takes 20 minutes (and the extended instruction is still only 35 minutes) is a bonus."
Hatha Yoga for Flexibility
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 02/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"According to a recent study, 15 million people in America are now practicing yoga. 8.7 million are beginning students and 7 million practice yoga at home.
If you love Yoga, then you might want to experience the Yoga Journal's Step by Step series. This is for students of yoga who have mastered the first instructional session in Yoga Step by Step Session 1. Natasha Rizopoulos leads you through backbends, twists and forward bends.
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.
I'd consider myself to be intermediate and the workout on this DVD seemed to be an intermediate workout with some challenging bending and twisting poses. It is a healing workout that may be enjoyed by intermediate yoga students who are looking for challenging backbends and twists.
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.
I'd "highly" recommend buying two beveled foam yoga blocks (if you have yet to buy them) and a yoga strap along with this DVD. Modifying the balancing poses with props is advised.
This DVD has interesting menu options. There are really two main parts:
A 35 minute tutorial - 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 Crandell - This is an excellent option if you want to use props like blocks. Jason demonstrates modifications for those who have less flexibility.
Practice with Medical Commentary
Practice without Music
This is the second 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 or can be done by individuals with good upper body strength and balance.
Natasha Rizopoulos teaches at Yoga Works in Santa Monica, CA and have studied with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India. She teaches at conferences and has appeared in YOGA, a photography book featuring the country's top yoga teachers.
~The Rebecca Review
red indian | LA | 10/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been suffering from back pain for the past year or so and back bends have been very helpful in taking some of that pain away. The instruction on this dvd is superb. After watching the dvd once I realized that I wasnt doing the asanas perfectly. Just one session of the yoga practice on the dvd made me feel far better that I had in months. Natasha takes great care to explain alignment, breath and modifications for each of the asanas covered. There are many very useful features on this including chalk talk, and watching a beginner practice the asanas which were especially useful. Truly an excellant video."
A little fast
Tish Tosh | Kentucky | 01/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have Yoga Step by Step Vol. 1 and 2. I love them both! Natasha moves a little fast though. I like the fact that Jason is on there for those who can't get into some positions. I've been doing yoga for years now and I enjoy these videos."