Basic Yoga for Everybody
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2000
What a great idea! So, I bought the cards and opened the nicely marketed package to find hard to understand illustrations and non-descript type. This product could be helpful for the ultimate beginner, but I would not even recommend it for them. I was very disappointed with the content of the cards and the intangibility of the text. What was the purpose and where is the teaching?
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2000
84 cards, each one illustrating an asana (posture), are classified by color and number. For example, the "2" orange cards are side bends, and the "4" greens are back bends. The slim book that accompanies the asana cards instructs the user to select one card from each category in order to design a series. However, this instruction is contradicted a few pages later by a "rule" that says to perform forward bends ("5" blue) after back bends, twists, and side bends. The cards also provide alternate postures, usually involving more movement while in the posture. This was somewhat different than I am used to. (Maybe this is a German thing? ) The chapters in the bok on breathing exercises and mudras (hand positions) are clear and helpful.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2002
I read the little book it came with, which I did like, but the cards I did not. Very good idea, but the illistrations are hard to understand. And the directions don't coincide with the pictures. I am going to try Tim Clark's yoga cards, "create your own yoga program."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 1999
This is a WONDERFUL set! The cards allow you to design your own yoga sequences and they are color coded for the chakras they emphasize. They make you slap your forehead and say "Why didn't I think of that?" Just the thing I've been looking for to help me wean off the video tapes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2004
I gave this Yoga Card Set 4 Stars in spite of my comments in the Title.

Overall I really do like the way the structure of the set works. Their are many really interesting poses, some I've not seen before (and I've been doing Yoga daily for 7 years, have a great teacher, a library of Yoga books and over 70 videos).

I like using the idea that she grouped "like" poses by colour, these are categorized by the type of movements they use (forward bends, back bends etc). This helps a lot with structuring the sequence of the poses and gives a lot of room for creativity in structuring one's practice.

The little companion book is nicely written and clear as far as how to use the cards and considerations for sequencing. However the cards themselves are not very user friendly. The pictures are vague drawings and often don't seem to be showing what the written instructions often indicate. Even the instructions themselves are not very clear on many of the cards either.

What would have been nice is if the book had each pose with a detailed description of the pose plus photographs, then the cards could just be used as summaries. Unfortunately because you are limited to the small amount of instruction on the cards you don't get enough information to work with.

As a person with a lot of experience with Yoga I feel that at least sometimes I can "read between the lines" to a point and yet there are still some things that leave me confused. I think someone without any experience of yoga would be completely lost.

Still, I gave the four stars because I have found benefits to this set overall in spite of it's shortcomings.

Namaste
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2005
Gertrud Hirschi teaches yoga in Switzerland and has been influenced deeply by Selvarajan Yesudian who taught yoga in that country for many years. The system of constructing a personalized daily yoga practice she presents is superb! It includes balancing, breathing, and meditation exercises as well as standard hatha yoga postures. Color-coding permits you to construct a practice that balances all of the seven main chakras. Indeed, by doing three of the pranayama exercises from chapter 5, one exercise from each of the "colors", and a meditation, you can design a practice that is very much like those that Yesudian used in his school.

This system really works! I've been doing yoga off and on for forty years and it has been a major healing modality for me as I've been recovering from chronic fatigue syndrome (cfs). With cfs my energy levels and muscular capabilities can fluctuate a great deal, and using Hirschi's system, I've almost always been able to maintain a balanced yoga practice even with these fluctuations. This work has been a real blessing!

I might point out that there is no contradiction involved in Hirschi's "basic rule," on p 24. While you can select one exercise from each color, all of chapter 2 indicates that once you've chosen the exercises some sequences are more helpful than others. Hirschi gives an excellent discussion of how to structure sequences that "flow" together well. The rule on p. 24 should be taken in this spirit. Moreover, that rule takes place in the context of compensation exercises and need not be considered as applying to all exercises.

Two other points, with this system I've been able to adapt my practice to the times I travel. In particular, I find it practical not to lie prone or supine on motel/hotel floors. With this system I can create a balanced practice session with mostly standing postures. A big help!! Hirschi has also written a very nice book on mudra yoga, and I incorporate the mudra meditations from that book with my yoga practice based on this book. This really gives a very complete, balanced yoga practice. I enthusiastically recommend both of her books
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2012
Excellent, easy to use. Poses are well displayed on each card. Book is very informative. I enjoy both the book and cards.
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I was looking for a set of cards that would instruct me, not only in the correct way to form the mudras, but in the meaning, purpose and effect of each mudra. I guess you could say, I was looking for more technical information. Well, you have to go to Hirshci's book if you want that. The book and the cards really go together, and you will be missing important points if you don't have them both. I found that some of the cards had instructions, some didn't. Some of the cards had the purpose, some didn't. None of the cards that I could see had contraindications (and there are some). And all of the cards had some sort of meditation on them, which is cool if you need guidance in meditating. I was moderately disappointed. I'm not sorry I bought the cards. They are a nice set. But I could have spent my money better elsewhere.
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on March 14, 2015
Love the cards. Love the guide. The guide gives you a tiny peak into all the many ways you could enhance your yoga practice (numerology to select your series, color theory, etc) and also provides a pretty comprehensive 101 on mudras and yogic breathing to enhance your practice.

Great set for beginners that could, theoretically, take you through a whole year or more of daily practice if you do as the author suggests and stick with a series for a while.

For more advanced folks, though most of the poses are basic/beginner type, I think of them more as foundational and a good way to get back to the basics after all the inversion/balance, let me take a quick snap of what I did today stuff.

Overall, fave Amazon buy in a long while. Well worth it.
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on August 27, 2011
I love Gertrud's style of writing. She is a down-to-earth writer. The cards are color coded, so it is easy to play with them if you need to create your own flow of asanas. The illustrations are clear, the descriptions are also straighforward. I also agree with the review of 'A Customer' for a book also written by Gertrud Hirschi, but concerning mudras. I just love all of Gertrude's books that I've read! Also I am a teacher-trainee (yoga) and I was hoping that the cards will have Sanskrit names for asanas. That is the only disappointment. However that's ok, since this is not diminishing the value I am getting from the yoga cards.
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