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on December 3, 2009
I usually don't bother leaving reviews but this DVD really warranted it. I've never been a fan of Shiva Rea's DVDs because thye seemed more like a movie to me rather than an instructional practice. This DVD contains 7 main workouts that when done on their own give you a great workout. She also pairs them into 7 practices between 40 and 60 minutes. This really is the total package. I personally cannot do an hour of yoga daily or every other day. I am usually pressed for time and after a while my body starts to break down. Like it says on the package that it's better to do a little bit of yoga daily than a full routine every now and again. Don't lt the short time of the workouts fool you, they really ARE effective. I do a different one each day, every day and my body is reallly toning, getting muscular, and this really gives me the peace and grounding that yoga is known to induce. I am statign to face the day with a serene gaze like Shiva dones in this workout, and all of her DVDs.
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VINE VOICEon November 18, 2009
I am so excited that Shiva Rea has a new DVD!! I have all of her DVDs and practice to them on a regular basis.

This DVD has seven 20-minute practices, 2 meditations, core, counterposes, and shavasana. I would say it's for experienced beginners and beyond.

Here are the chapter titles:

Solar Meditation (active movement meditation)
Lunar Meditation (seated meditation and breathing)

20-Minute Practices:
Earth (standing Poses within a vinyasa format)
Heart + Air (backbending within a vinyasa format)
Water (fluid vinyasa)
Fire + Water (standing poses, arm balances, and vinyasa)
Fire (similar to the Agni Namaskar, contains push-ups and active vinyasa)
Chakra Vinyasa (vinyasa to stimulate earth, water, fire, and air)
Shanti (this is an amazing sequence!!! She calls it relaxation flow. it's yoga poses approached in such a mellow way that you don't realize you're actually doing yoga! a great one to do on a day where you're feeling under the weather, or wanna start slow, or end deliciously.)

7 minute Core/Abs
6 minute Forward Bends/Counterposes

6 minute Relaxation

The beauty is you can do any one section, or combine them to your liking with the "yoga matrix". Shiva also offers many pre-set practices, combining several sequences together for differing affects. All of these practices are new, and are not repeated on any of her earlier DVDs. The only exception might be the Fire section, but even that has several differences to make it distinctive from her earlier versions.

This is the latest offering from Shiva, and is very reflective of her actual teaching style in a live class. I had the pleasure of spending another week with her in LA a few weeks ago, and we did some practices very similar to these. It's a fantastic DVD, and a great way to get Shiva right in your own home!!!
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on March 26, 2010
There are a lot of things to like about this DVD, provided you already know all of the basics (and then some) of vinyasa yoga. But to be clear, it's an intermediate-to-advanced DVD.

Pros (Why you should buy this DVD):
1. There are lots of creative variations on classic poses.
2. The sequences offer lovely interpretations of elemental energy.
3. Flexible folks with good body awareness will get a good workout no matter which sequence they choose.
4. There are some great backbend sequences, which is rare.
5. Few viewers will be able to do everything in this DVD at once, so the learning process will stay interesting, even in the long term.

Cons (Why this DVD might not be for you):
1. The transitions from pose to pose are often awkward and poorly timed, making true "flow" (synchronized breathing with a set of poses) very challenging.
2. Her instructions may confuse because they often do not describe her own movements in the video, especially regarding how and when to breathe.
3. The risk of injury is even greater than usual because she offers no modifications for (often very advanced) poses that might be safer for less experienced or flexible students.
4. Some poses are not cued at all, so you might find yourself craning to look up at the screen just when you really need to be focusing on doing the pose.

In sum (my overall opinion):
I quite like this DVD, and I'd love to love it (really - the poses are so neat), but the awkward cuing makes it difficult to use.
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on November 28, 2009
I really love Shiva's new DVD and I already tried all of it a few times(except earth which was too basic for me). These are wonderful 20 minute (actually 21-23 min.) complete practices on their own but also work great combined with each other or with other DVDs. There is a matrix and pre set practices. Here is a description of the practices:
Earth - the most basic practice. It's like a combination of foundation vinyasa from "Shiva Rea - Fluid Power - Vinyasa Flow Yoga" and some of her dancing warrior variations from "Yoga Shakti" .
Heart-Air - my favorite and the most unique practice in this dvd in my opinion. This backbending sequence starts slowly with cat pose and variations and continues to a wonderful flow of poses like several quad stretches in different positions such as kneeling bow , lunge position and in standing half split position. There's also dolphin and dancer's bridge and a single legged bow to a stretch I still haven't seen before - you move on your side to a kind of side one leggeg bow , it's not as hard as it sounds. Then its full bow , bridge and wheel and then one legged wheel that I actually managed to do thanks to Shiva's backbend preperations. In the end she does a lying twist with a straight leg as a counter pose.
Chakra Namaskar - a vinyasa combining the elements of earth, water , fire and heart-air with a series of poses such as cat , lunge with a twist , warrior 1 to 3, three variations of side plank and more.
Fire-Water - a great combination vinyasa of standing poses such as yogic squat, bound triangle , reverse warrior , half moon with quad stretch , lunges , arm balances such as bhujapidasana and vishma something (I don't remember the name) and backbends such as cobra and bow. It really reminded me of the standing pose flows from Yoga Shakti but still different and unique.
Fire - another variation to the agni namaskar, it's very similar to the one from the upper body DVD but with less emphasis on pushups (although you do quite a few but not 108) and more emphasis on poses such as revolved lunge and chair , half splits, cobra and bow variations . it ends with camel, crow and side crow which were nice for a change. it has a nice music with a slow reggae beat and I really enjoyed it , it's my favorite variation of this namaskar.
Water - a fluid circular vinyasa similar to her Jala and Mandala namaskar , it was very mellow and nice.
Shanti - a great relaxing practice focusing on slow stretches. It starts with lunges with side bends and half splits and continues to pigeon with a nice variation of moving with your hands to each side and then a long hold of pigeon. One legged head to knee forward bend , cow and a seated twist . she also repeats lying on your stomach and twisting to the side twice during the practice.
The bonus segments are also nice additions that make this DVD almost perfect: Solar meditation - a moving meditation with arm movements , yogic squat , wide angle forward bend and a twisting kriya similar to the one from "Shiva Rea - Radiant Heart" it's a great little warm up.
Lunar Meditation - a seated meditation. Core - very similar to the one from Shiva Rea: Creative Core and Upper Body and even with the same music but with some different fun variations. Forward Bends - always great to add for every practice although each of the longer practices already has counter poses in the end, you can see the clip. There's also an almost 5 minute shavasana with great relaxing music. This time the DVD was shot in an inside studio set and although I always prefer outdoor sets the set is very nice looking and relaxing. The music is excellent! and mostly new. I would say most of the practices are suitable for beginners with some experience except fire, fire water and heart air which are slightly more advanced. I highly recommend it.
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on December 27, 2009
If you've tried everything to get yourself to lose weight or get in better shape, and you like yoga, this is for you. If bribes, diet websites, working out with a partner, classes, and generally torturing yourself, didn't get you to exercise, there is help. Lots of long-term research says that if you exercise first thing in the morning, you'll do it. However, very few people have lots of time in the morning, so what you're trying to find is a twenty or thirty minute workout that you'll actually do.

This is the way to get there. If you're like me, you wake up in the morning, and you're not exactly looking to be tortured.

No torture here. The set is beautiful. It appears to be a dark wood Pergo floor with a circular stage surrounded by beautiful yellow, teal, orange and red antique Sri Lankan or Indian doors with artistically splashed panels in between. Even above the line of the panels and doors, there is an artistically placed shadow of a mandala (circle pattern). Very neat.

This is something you could look at for a long time.

The workout itself is safe for most people with basically intact shoulders and some prior experience of yoga--you'll need to know how to do downward dog safely. It's not that difficult in each twenty minute sequence, but it is enough to get your heart rate up pretty substantially unless you're already in very good shape. Here and there, there are advanced moves, and even one more advanced twenty minute sequence.

If you are a Shiva Rea fan, be aware that this is not a dancerly tape: with the exception of the Water sequence, this is pretty straightforward yoga. (It's great if you like standard yoga!)

Also, it occurs to me that this might be a gateway to some of the more difficult sequences on her other tapes, specifically the harder parts of Yoga Shakti, and her Fluid Power DVD.
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on January 23, 2012
I would consider myself an advanced beginner in yoga. I've taken classes for several years but don't have a consistent practice. I really, really disliked this dvd for a number of reasons.

1. There are advanced moves done with little explanation or modifications offered. I can't do Standing Splits, but this was thrown in out of nowhere with no modifications and I thought that was crazy. There are a couple of other poses (including ones she seems to have made up herself) that require extreme flexibility and no modifications.

2. I've had some hippy dippy classes, but all of the free form movement in these segments is really out there. I felt kind of ridiculous in my own basement.

3. My biggest complaint: there is no straight up Vinyasa flow option. Since that's in the name of the DVD, I assumed there would be a pretty obvious, basic vinyasa class in there somewhere, but no.
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on January 12, 2010
I guess I am the only person who did not enjoy this dvd.
It felt more like a modern dance class than yoga.
Shiva did not do any prep to open up the hips and thighs before moving into some fairly advanced poses. She also didn't hold any pose long enough to really be able to breath into them and her instruction was basically non existent.

There was no "flow", the transitions from one pose to another were cumbersome and unnatural. At least in the practice I did, which is the 51 minute water-heart-air-forwards bends, there were no true vinyasas - I would not have called it "vinyasa flow".

I am a Yoga Instructor myself and, after hearing so much about Shiva Rea, I was really looking forward to getting this DVD. I truly wish I could have given it a more positive review. I let a couple of my students try it also and they too did not enjoy it.
Perhaps it is because I am used to a more Ashtanga based practice, but this really didn't feel anything like yoga to me.
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on December 29, 2009
I am so excited! It is hard for me to get 2 hours to practice more than once or twice a week, but with this DVD, I can easily customize a 30 to 35 minute routine that is fully developed and hits the exactly the right spot. (You can also combine for a longer practice.)

The DVD has seven practices at about 20 minutes each, in addition to two 5 minute opening meditations, two 5 minute closing segments, and a 5 minute shavasana. While the 20-minute practices are structured so that you could just do the 20-minute practices on their own, the additional segments really help you to savor the full flavor of the practices. Yum!

Shiva included so many juicy poses and flows in the 20-minute segments, I am not sure where to begin. I was most excited to see that two are backbend focused, which is something that I feel is lacking in most short DVD practices. The other flows focus on invigorating, grounding, and relaxing, in turn. The invigorating flows include bhujapidasana, crow, and side crow - again, seldom seen in short practices.

I think that the most important thing is that the practices are so well-balanced to begin with, both individually and between them, that you will get a great practice going with just this DVD. It really is great for intermediate students looking to set up a daily practice, because it includes such variety of poses and intentions. Using it every day will add so much to my practice. Yay!
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on January 6, 2010
I very rarely practice at home as I practice at various studios most days of the week and some days I'll take 2 or 3 classes in a day.

However sometimes life doesn't permit getting to a studio. At a studio I can take a 90 minute class, a 3 hour workshop, or even a day long work shop and keep going. In front of the TV with a DVD I will not last more than about 30 or 40 minutes. I love the 20 minute (actually about 22 minutes) practices. I only did two so far (Fire + Water and Fire) but they are mini complete practices.

What I liked about this Shiva Rea DVD is it was not her dancy, free flow style. I worked the Yoga Journal conference a couple years ago and we could go in and out of the classes. I went to a few of her classes and they were all very free flow. I was not into it at all and this DVD is not like that style at all.

I do like how she always puts a little twist on poses to make them her own.

This is not for beginners. I have to say this because there is bound to be a couple people that rate it one star stating that it is not for beginners when no where on the DVD does it say anything about beginners.

One extremely minor pet peave. Now I own a couple of her other DVDs but it has been a while since I watched them so I don't know if she does this all the time but she used ALL the English terms for the poses but then said asana after each one. So she would say plank asana and triangle asana. It was weird. She should just say plank or just say triangle or if she wants to use asana then say trikonasana. Like I said a very minor thing and personal pet peave.

I am looking forward to checking out the rest of the DVD.
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on January 9, 2011
You need to be really careful if you are a beginer or intermediate yoga practicer. Shiva Rea does not offer enough.. if any tips throughout the dvd to protect yourself. Many of her moves are advanced and she doesn't warm you up before she puts you into the pose, therefore you risk stretching too far or tweaking body parts- particularly the knees and hips.

Here is some info about me and my yoga experience. I have never followed a yoga dvd before. I have been doing various forms of yoga (bikram, hatha, vinyasa) for 10 years- always in a yoga studio. Im 25 years old and in better than average physical condition.

Here are some pros and cons about the dvd:

1.) Matrix- There are many options to customize your yoga practice.

2.) The video quality is great. The set and production are very professional.

3.) Shiva Rea has a soothing voice.

1.) First and foremost... This video was really hard to follow.
-I know the titles for most yoga poses and I still had to spend most of my time staring at the TV.
-Her verbal cues do not follow what she is physically doing and quite a few time she didn't even cue her next move

2.) She does not offer alternate poses or verbal reasurance to listen to your body. I had to stop my self a few times from going deeper into the pose because my body and joints were starting to strain too far. This is where a beginer would hurt themselves and keep going.. Yoga is not one-size-fits-all!

3.) Shiva Rea moves really fast. I like holding poses longer to stretch my muscles- especially in my back and legs.

4.) This is nothing like the Vinyasa yoga I have practiced at my yoga studio.

The bottome line is this dvd is for advanced yogis that don't need much instruction.
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