Actor:Alan Finger Genres:Exercise & Fitness Sub-Genres:Yoga Studio:KOCH VISION Format:DVD - Color DVD Release Date: 03/26/2002 Original Release Date: 01/01/2002 Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002 Release Year: 2002 Run Time: 0hr 55min Screens: Color Number of Discs: 1 SwapaDVD Credits: 1 Total Copies: 0 Members Wishing: 1 MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated) Languages:English
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"Alan Finger is a true Yoga Master and this workout is perhaps one of the best yoga workouts out there for flexibility and stress release. Alan takes you from tense shoulders and emotional stress to a state where you literally feel like you are floating in total bliss.
The workout is outside in a beautiful natural location. Alan acts more like an instructor, focusing on the specifics while you really focus on what he is saying. I did eventually put a mirror in a location so I could see the TV while I was upside down. I laugh, but when you are looking down and your TV is way up on the wall, it can be difficult to follow along with a workout. Once you have done this workout a few times, you can put the mirror away, close your eyes and just listen to the instruction. Which is excellent and the best I've ever found in a yoga workout.
Even when Alan is not actually doing the exercises, his wife and another instructor are showing you all the variations and advanced moves. There are two VERY advanced moves on this video that I would not recommend even to intermediate students of yoga. You will need a lot of strength in your arms to balance in two of the exercises.
The first time you watch this video, you might not be able to do the exercises to their completion. Fear not. Do the video at least three times and you will be amazed at how fast you progress. Moving table was difficult at first, but by the third time, I could actually almost do this move.
If you are looking for strength, flexibility and relaxation, this workout will completely calm your nervous system and clear your mind. There is an interesting "chakra moment" at the end while you are flat on your back. You visualize colors and move relaxation from your toes to the top of your head. It was very interesting and healing.
You really do many of the yoga postures you are already familiar with, but with this video, the instruction is so superior, you move into new levels of stretching and flexibility. Even while doing downward-facing dog, I learned new ways to do the posture more correctly. There are some interesting sequences I'd never tried before.
The movements are well organized, fluid and move in perfect timing from one to the other. When you want to rest, you rest, when you feel you want to be challenged, you are challenged. The breathing instruction is also excellent and as your body flows with the breath, you literally feel empowered.
Upon completion of this video, you might feel freedom from emotional turmoil, have no discernable desires you can recognize, feel happy and want to do this video again!
This is a true Yoga escape! It does everything yoga is supposed to do. For days afterwards I felt focused, creative and happy for no reason. I handled emotional conflicts much more effectively and while I let other things go in my life so I could do this workout, it was so worth the utter feeling of peace I felt at the end.
In my TOP TEN of Yoga workouts.
I look forward to trying the four workout set called Yoga Zone Premiere Collection and anything by Yoga Zone or Alan Finger. His voice is so calming and he has a cute accent. He also has a great sense of humor and even made me laugh a few times.
If you are looking for additional self-esteem information that actually has encouraged me to exercise more: Caroline Myss Self-Esteem: Your Fundamental Power has been very helpful.
~The Rebecca Review"
A nice full-hour yoga practice to release tension
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 08/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Flexibility & Stress Release is a nice, full-hour yoga practice aimed at releasing tension from the muscles and fostering relaxation. It is lead by master Yoga Zone instructor Alan Finger. Alan is assisted by two female yoga instructors, one of whom is his wife, Greta, and the other of whom always displays modifications. Alan himself demonstrates only some of the poses, as most of the time, he focuses on talking and teaching.
The practice begins with breathing instruction in a seated position and moves on to hands and knees for a cat stretch series. There is a brief vinyasa (flowing poses with breath) which requires quite a bit of arm strength and is fairly challenging. You will also perform down dog and then move to standing. At this point, you will do a warrior series, moving through several poses on each side, and then Alan leads you through three slowly-flowing sun salutation series, the third of which includes extended lunges. You will then practice some balancing postures, including eagle and a challenging arm balance, raven (aka crane or crow).
Next, the workout continues on the floor with an extended stretch in child pose. You will also perform seated forward bends, simple back bends (locust and bow), reclined twists, and scale posture (aka boat pose). The practice ends with a really nice, lengthy (10+ minutes) relaxation pose; to deepen your relaxation in this posture, Alan leads a guided meditation focusing on color and energy centers in the body. At the end of the practice, I felt completely stretched and refreshed.
I enjoyed this routine and felt that it provided a nice combination of challenge and relaxation. I have been practicing yoga for several years and am at an intermediate level; I would not recommend this video for beginners, and it might not be enough of a challenge for more advanced yogis. Overall, a very solid yoga practice."
Not quite up to Yoga Zone's excellent standards
sherriest2 | madras, oregon USA | 08/03/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I hesitate to say anything vaguely critical of Yoga Zone material, but.....this tape seems less complete than their others. On the plus side, the relaxation segment at the end is excellent, and the poses are well described. There are some strong poses, but it's not a strength workout--good for days when you're not quite up to a power yoga session. I recommend their Condioning and Stress Release (the best I've ever seen) over this one, especially to those new to yoga. I'll probably use this occasionally for variety."
This is the one!
Catherine | New York, NY United States | 02/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I spent the last few months reviewing yoga video tapes from friends and the library, hoping to find 'the one.' Well, this is it! From Bryan Kest to Chakra Yoga, Rodney Yee to assorted other Yoga Zone tapes, I have to say that the combination of Alan Finger's well-thought out practice, the variety of poses, the beautiful locale and the absolutely relaxing end of tape have pushed 'Flexibility and Stress Release' to the top of my list. As a beginner, there was one pose I was unable to do (I believe the 'Raven' pose), but most of the poses are do-able, some quite challenging. I liked the medium speed of the workout -- he doesn't shift too suddenly from one pose to the next, nor does any pose grow tiresome. The women in the tape are both instructors in their own right, and one is his wife. They both do a great job at demonstrating the poses, both in advanced and modified positions, and neither is distracting from the focus of the practice.Again, the relaxation portion of the tape is outstanding, utilizing some creative chakra mental imagery. After this workout, I feel so content, flexible and relaxed. I think the tape clearly achieves its title's goal..."
Excellent and Thorough Program with a Master Teacher!
Yoga Dad | 11/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This tape by Yoga Zone is really perfection.I've been doing Yoga daily for about 7 years and now have close to 70 videos (and study with an amazing teacher) and I really loved this program. Though I have about 10 Yoga Zone tapes in my collection, this is the first one that features Alan Finger as an instructor that I have practiced with. He is a really special teacher. His instructions are crystal clear and he exudes a real open and friendly presence that comes thru the tape. There is a wonderful and open realness that he radiates along with his genuine love of yoga.This particular program is a longer tape than the other shorter Yoga Zone tapes that I have. This program is about an hour or so long compared to the others which contain 2-20 minute programs (which are also quite excellent and easy to fit in for those who have schedule constraints).It's paced beautifully, never rushed and you really have a chance to explore the postures and breath.While I found this tape to be mostly on the gentle side, it certainly has some challenging poses (such as Raven (aka Crow), Twisted prayer side angle pose and a series of not too intense Sun Salutations (the last one though is pretty tough where you have a lunge with your arms over your head). Of course, you can always modify poses to accomodate either your level or experience or energy (The modifications are demonstrated by one of the teachers on the tape). In fact, you can even modify the Sun Salutations by using the Sivananda plank (in which you come down to knees, then chest, then head) rather than lowering straight down. This variation opens up your body without putting tremendous strain on your arms.There is a long guided relaxation at the end with focus on the different chakras and the tape finishes in a seated position (first with a gentle crossed legged forward bend which is a wonderful way to adjust into sitting).This is a very thorough practice that I will certainly use to alternate with more intense practices (check out the Yoga Zone "Power Yoga for Strength and Endurance" if you want to get a very challenging practice, also an hour or so long and it's pretty intense).I highly recommend this program (and as someone else had mentioned in one of the previous reviews of this program) I will certainly be getting more programs with Alan Finger as the main instructor, he is exceptionally knowledgeable, clear and even has a subtle sense of humor which I found very refreshing:)Namaste --This text refers to the DVD edition"