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93 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flow Yoga For Everyone
I was so glad to get another new Shiva DVD less than 5 months since her last one. This DVD was filmed in Kauai , Hawaii as well as her next DVD's to be released this year and next year. This practice is aimed for beginners but everyone can enjoy it , the whole DVD is 70 minutes and has 4 segments (and savasana) that can be done seperately:
1. Foundation Flow -...
Published on April 16, 2008 by Yoni

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197 of 208 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good, but NOT for beginners
This is a good yoga video. It is well shot with good production values and clear narration. If one is already familiar with hatha yoga, one will not have trouble following along and doing Shiva Rea's routines. It is good for a "video workout partner," and gives you the choice of watching the set without narration.

Ms. Rea is obviously competent, talented, and...
Published on May 3, 2008 by Jon Norris


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197 of 208 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good, but NOT for beginners, May 3, 2008
This review is from: Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners (DVD)
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This is a good yoga video. It is well shot with good production values and clear narration. If one is already familiar with hatha yoga, one will not have trouble following along and doing Shiva Rea's routines. It is good for a "video workout partner," and gives you the choice of watching the set without narration.

Ms. Rea is obviously competent, talented, and very adept at yoga. She is quite attractive and demonstrates the overall forms and their "flow" well. The routines are modifications or variations of more traditional forms of yoga, but not drastically so. Some of the forms reminded me of qigong.

The set of exercises on this DVD would constitute a healthy program for someone already in fairly good shape, but I seriously doubt that a couch potato with no understanding of yoga could benefit from it. If you are elderly or have any kind of physical issue, there is no instruction aimed at helping you do the forms or modify them for your needs.

I have to take issue with the marketing of this DVD with the clear statement on the cover that it is for beginners with no yoga experience. I strongly disagree with that. Ms. Rea uses sanskrit terminology frequently without explaining or defining it, and assumes a fair amount of familiarity with yogic techniques/philosophy in her narration. Someone who knows nothing about yoga would not be able to understand all of what is going on, even though they might be able to mimic most of the physical movements after studying the DVD. They will miss some of the more important parts of the process, which are internal/energy-based, and therefore not obvious to a beginner.

For example, telling someone to "move into Downward Facing Dog" is NOT teaching them how to do Downward Facing Dog, which is what beginners need. It loses one star for that serious defect in teaching and misleading cover.

It would also be more helpful to show closeups of the various body parts and have her explain more clearly how they are moving. Some of the movements are far too subtle to be captured in a wide shot, no matter how beautiful that shot is. The breathing exercises at the beginning are a clear case in point. It is virtually impossible to see the subtle movements she narrates as she does them. Not very helpful if one is trying to learn something unfamiliar.

If she would add another (equally well done) section where she explains in much more detail how each posture is done, along with onscreen text and multiple views, this could easily be a solid 5 star DVD. She also needs to add more instruction on esoteric ideas like "opening your heart" and "moving your energy," as well as to explain the sanskrit terminology, before demonstrating the actual flow of forms.

If you are already familiar with yoga or other energy/movement forms such as qigong or Taiji, then you will probably be able to learn from this DVD, although it will require more effort on your part than it should. If you already know the forms, it is a great "workout partner" to exercise along with.

I would definitely not recommend this for absolute beginners.
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93 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flow Yoga For Everyone, April 16, 2008
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This review is from: Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners (DVD)
I was so glad to get another new Shiva DVD less than 5 months since her last one. This DVD was filmed in Kauai , Hawaii as well as her next DVD's to be released this year and next year. This practice is aimed for beginners but everyone can enjoy it , the whole DVD is 70 minutes and has 4 segments (and savasana) that can be done seperately:
1. Foundation Flow - approx 14 min, Shiva starts with some breathing exercises on a rock near a beautiful waterfall and continues with simple poses like cat , cobra and some variations.
2. Beginner's Backbend Flow -approx. 20 min, there is a change of scenery and Shiva is in a beautiful garden with a lot of trees near a lake.
It is actually mainly standing poses - she prepares you for backbends in this practice with some lunge variations , chair with twists ,side bends, half splits and cobra variations and finally bow and camel. This segment might be quite challenging for true beginners but she shows easier modifications for most of the poses so it's definitely doable.
3.Relaxing Flexibility Flow - approx. 10 min , Shiva does simple stretches on the back , very similar to "supine poses" segment in Yoga Shakti it ends with a forward bend (badhakonasana) , it was very relaxing.
4. Beginner's Standing Pose Flow - approx 23 min . now she's at the beach , the clip from Amazon is taken from this segment and it is dark here too not just in the clip , it was probably shot at dusk. This is really a seperate practice cuz there is no sense of getting up for another energizing practice after the relaxing segment. It is a more challenging vinyasa that includes warrior 2 variations and some more backbends.
Too bad there is no matrix , because this segment is just stuck between the previous segments and the savasana ,it would be nice to do it before or after the second segment but since there are only a few chapters I guess it's not such a big deal to skip between them with the remote.
This segment also ends with a very short savasana , barely 2 minutes, which is another minor complaint but all in all I really enjoyed this practice and felt really stretched out , I can't wait for her next DVD's to come out.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Moving Yoga with Lovely Scenery, April 21, 2008
This review is from: Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners (DVD)
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I have another hatha yoga DVD that was filmed in Hawaii, and it is just so nice to have the soothing sounds, beautiful backgrounds and gentle lighting of Hawaii helping you relax into your yoga poses. Shiva Rea's voice is smooth and encouraging, and while she is extremely flexible, she gives you hope as you go that, while you might not be limber right now, you can get that way with practice.

This tape only has four real parts. You can either watch them chapter by chapter, or all in a row. You can also choose to watch them with music only, or with her verbal prompts.

The sections each have their own location. Each is quite lovely! You get 15 minutes of basic poses, 20 minutes of a lot of standing backbends, 10 minutes of more relaxing stretches, and the 25 minutes of a long repetitive sequence. Then there is a VERY super-short relaxation at the end.

I think I was spoiled by my other DVD, because with the other one there are multiple hour-long sessions put together, each with its own theme - strengthening, relaxing, etc. With this one, you get just over an hour if you do the whole thing from start to end. But really you wouldn't want to do that - because that last set is a standalone rhythm set that you wouldn't really want to do after relaxing. I wish this one was much more laid out for multiple uses - do set 1 if you have aim A, do set 2 if you have aim B. Also, the sessions should be labeled with how long they will take, so you can plan out your activity. There isn't even any note on the back of the case or in the insert with any times.

I realize you can't control nature, but their timing was off on the filming of some of the segments. The final beach segment got REALLY dark in some parts so you couldn't see what she was doing. Also, the camera work would show her from her top half only while she talked about doing something with her bottom half. I'm not quite that psychic yet :)

I think as far as it went, it was awesome. If I want to do a 25 minute rhythm exercise, I can do that fourth chapter. But if I want to do more than that, I'd have to go jumping around from chapter to chapter chaining together things that didn't really flow well. I would have given this five stars if it had much more content, even if some was repeated. If she had presented perhaps 4 full "workouts" with each one having a warm up, a main section (whatever she wanted to do for that) and then a wind down, that would have been great. You can always fast forward if you want to shorten it up a bit. But the way it is now, you can't really do an hour long workout. You can barely do just over a half hour workout. I would like something longer than that.

Also, the sound at the very beginning was very intrusive. There are different music selections as you go and the later ones were lovely, background and non-interfering. It was just that first set that seemed to interrupt what she was trying to say. It was ironic to me that they had a soundtrack option of music-only, or music-and-voice. I would have preferred a voice-only option for that first segment!

As a final minor complaint, she likes renaming poses into her own terms :) I think for a DVD being marketed to people who are using several DVDs and books and such, she should probably go with the standard names for poses so that things don't get confusing.

Still, it's a nice addition to a library. I wouldn't suggest this as the only DVD on yoga to own, but if you have good staples in your collection already, this makes a nice alternative for when you want a quick half hour of moving stretch.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Beginners? Well, that depends., May 15, 2008
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This review is from: Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners (DVD)
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I have only done the Flow Yoga once, so I will be back to edit this review when I have done the workout several times. For now, here are my initial thoughts on it:

Visually, it is beautiful (filmed on Kauai, Hawaii, my favorite of the Hawaiian islands).

Production values seem very good on what I've seen so far.

The instructor has a calming, pleasant voice and seems very experienced.

*I* would not consider this a beginner's workout. I was not even able to get into many of the poses in this workout much less to hold them for an extended period of time as is illustrated. So that you can make a comparison, here is a little about me. I'm 55 years old. I'm about 40 pounds overweight. My flexibility level is poor (I have osteoarthritis in my spine), but my fitness level is good. For the past several years, I have been working out an average of 3-5 times per week and my workouts include cardio kickboxing, fast walking, tai chi, weight training and Pilates. I have only taken 1 Yoga class and 1 Qijong class (both several years ago) previous to doing this DVD.

A DVD workout that I have used many times (and love) that I WOULD consider appropriate for a beginner (though in Pilates, not yoga) is Pilates Conditioning for Weight Loss. It shows 3 different women doing the same workout at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, so that you can follow whichever one suits your fitness level and experience best.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not So Much for the Unfit., October 14, 2008
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S. Gardner (Central Wisconsin) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners (DVD)
'No yoga experience necessary' proclaims the box. 'Score!' I think. 'I know squat about yoga, so this should be perfect!'

What they don't mention is that this isn't necessarily for people not already rather fit. Each segment requires a certain level of endurance and strength that many rank beginners just don't have. She does make some modifications, but the moves remain difficult, sometimes prohibitively so. Also, despite the proclamation on the box, it seems as though some foreknowledge of yoga is in fact necessary. Some moves are cued by name rather than by description, which makes the first few viewings difficult to follow.

Overall, I can't really say that I recommend this to beginners in general. Fit beginners, maybe. Advanced beginners in yoga, sure. Not so much everyone else. I wish I could like this DVD, as the scenery is lovely and Ms. Rea obviously knows her stuff, but I just can't get far enough into it to make it worth my while.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully produced, but NOT for beginners, March 5, 2011
This review is from: Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners (DVD)
Given the excellent production value, this is everything I'd want in a yoga video. Unfortunately, it is far too advanced for beginners.

I really wanted to like it. Shiva Rea has a calming, elegant voice, the nature setting is gorgeous, and the music is great. But I was ready to give up halfway through! I've taken yoga classes before, and now I'm in the process of becoming a serious student, practicing most days out of the week. I am 5'8, 120 lbs, exercise regularly, in my 20s...I'm not some huge weakling. But I feel like these poses were very advanced, and I needed more guidance and explanation than was offered.

I would like to give this video 5 stars, but I think I'll have to wait a few years untiL I can enjoy doing a lot of these poses.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction, but you do need to be in shape first, October 23, 2008
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This review is from: Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners (DVD)
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You really need to be in decent condition and state of flexibility before diving into this. That said, excellent presentation and production values, and overall recommended. Well laid out, and a great introduction.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow? Yes. Beginner? Only if have strong muscles/endurance, July 31, 2008
This review is from: Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners (DVD)
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Menu Options: Intro (one on here), Workout, Chapter, Shiva's Bio (text), Music Options (music only, music & instruction), Trailers (3 other Shiva Rea's & Yoga to the Rescue)
The production values are top notch like a movie. Camera, editing, lighting, sound, set design is all gorgeous... you can see that in the videos. All instruction from her is given in voice over. She gives great information both in a spiritual manner & which specific anatomy muscles you are using as well as which are being stretched & how it benefits the body as a whole physically.
Foundation Flow: 14 min
By a waterfall, Deep breathing/Prana & moving hands w/the breath. Table/cat with 1 need to nose & repeated several times. Practicing plank & chaturanga (low staff/plank pose), child's pose, mild push ups while on knees to build upper body strength & practice getting into chaturanga, cobra, 1 leg up locust with arms down, going between table & downward dog several times, full downward dog & ends w/child's.
Beginner's Back bend Flow: 21 min
See Video Below to see backdrop of her by a lily pond. Light side stretches w/outstretched hand like dvd cover. Standing fwd bends mild & then held a long time, mountain pose w/mild back bend/stretch a couple of times. Low lunge w/back knee on the floor. She calls half splits but also similar to pyramid but lower. Mild chaturanga, cobra, locust w/just the arms up, child's, table w/knee to nose, other side lunge again w/o pyramid, standing fwd bend, mountain, simple standing side bend stretch, mountain w/mild back bend, chair pose, chair w/prayer twist (she explains how to get more twist using the lower hand to push the top one up) (this is held for a very long time so it will be challenging to leg muscles) standing fwd bend, chair twist to the other side, standing fwd bend, lunge w/prayer twist (also held a long time), pyramid, downward dog on the knees which is much easier to do & opens up the shoulders as well), lung w/prayer twist on other side, pyramid, bow, lay on stomach/rest, mild camel, hero's pose (she doesn't say it's name, it is very hard to do unless flexible & VERY bad on the knees if you have any issues, she only does it & says just sits back & stays sit cross legged if you have issues), sit & breathe deeply w/hands. Laying on back, both knees to chest, then both knees to one side then the other, then one knee to chest only, then other, then lay back to rest. This is very challenging for beginners as she holds the poses for much longer then most instructors & longer in one pose can really tax muscles.
Relaxing Flexibility Flow: 10 min
Same lily pond. Laying on back, one knee to chest only, then other, then one ankle crossed on one knee & pulled to the chest (held for over a minute), one knee bent & the other leg straight pulled toward the head. Repeat on other side, ankle crossed on knee (only held 45 seconds), leg to head. Both knees to chest, happy baby pose (on back with bent knees each knee to respective shoulder) & then slightly turn hips back/forth (very mild) & ends in butterfly. This is very mild & very relaxing, this is not a workout as more as light stretching. I found it too slow a pace & not enough poses for this length of time. This style is more yin yoga where poses are held a long time.
Beginner's Standing Pose Flow: 22 min
Beach scene you see on trailer. Table, child's, table, downward dog, 3 legged down dog w/one straight leg in sky, high lunge (back leg up), slow chaturanga on knees, mild cobra, child's, table, downward dog. Other side 3 legged down dog, high lunge (back leg up), faster chaturanga on knees, cobra, child's, downward dog. 3 legged down dog, mild warrior 2 (w/back leg resting on knee, not foot like full), mild side angle (same leg placement as previous pose & arm resting on knee only which is easier), chaturanga, mild locust w/arms & 1 leg, child's, down dog. Same thing on the other side. 3 legged down dog, full warrior 2 (she does pelvic tilt here to teach you to pull hips toward the belly butt to lengthen the spine), reverse/revolved warrior, side angle (arm on knee still), warrior 2, pyramid (back knee on ground),chaturanga, half bow, child's, down dog. At faster speed, warrior 2, revolved warrior, side angle (hand on knee), warrior 2, pyramid, chaturanga, full bow, child's & down dog. Repeat again w/cobra instead of bow 4 more times. Rest in child's for a full minute. I did not like how this harder standing poses comes after relaxing laying back poses, it makes no sense after heating up with the back bend flow & cooling off with the flexibility flow.
Shavasana: 2 min
Laying down & her guiding you to relax 1/2 of it & silence the rest.

Shiva Rea is very advanced yogini & I believe this is her first beginner DVD. She seems to be new at teaching beginners & is very tough almsot like the drill sargent of yoga. She has a lovely voice but there is a stiffness to it. I did not like how it flowed, nor something about her teaching. I found all her other yoga DVDs too advanced for me though I'd been practicing semi-regularly for over 6 years. I've had no problem & LOVE Rodney Yee, Rainbeau Mars, Sean Corn, Ateeka, Yoga for Sex (excuse the title, but it's normal yoga in fun format), The Firm's Power Yoga, I also LIKE Susan Deason, Max Strom, Kristen Mcgee, Kabbalah Yoga, Yoga Radiance & a couple of others.

3 MIN VIDEO: of the Beginner's Back bend Flow portion ON youtube under "Cobra Pose with Shiva Rea" from AcaciaFitness
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard on the knees and she holds poses requiring a lot of strength for a long time...., October 29, 2010
By 
V M T (Lancaster, PA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners (DVD)
I bought this DVD back in Jan 2009. I just recently got it out again and tried it. Now I know why it sat unused for a year and a half. It KILLS my knees during lunge poses.

I also find it very advanced for being a beginner's DVD. She holds poses for a long period of time, which I am unable to do. Yet! Granted, I hope to work up to that strength with repeated use, but considering it states it's for beginners, I would think there would be more consideration for the length of time poses are held in that regard.

Another point is that I found myself having to repeatedly look at the TV since she uses Sanskrit terms for poses. What's that you say, Shiva? I'm a beginner, remember? I have no problem learning the correct terms, but at least give me some instruction first. So there was a lot of stopping and starting of the video and of my poses. I actually just stopped altogether and just watched the whole program without doing any of it so I could at least familiarize myself first. However, that will take a number of viewings and not "doings" to get comfortable doing her routines without having to stop and look at her.

Her pace is slow, which is good, but with the unfamiliar terms, having to stop and start again, and the time held holding some of the poses (that require a lot of strength), I cannot recommend it for beginners. And I am not completely a beginner. I have done some yoga for a little bit over the years, but not regularly because I just can't seem to find the one that fits me best.....recommendations are welcome. :)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did I Luck into This! What a Great Way to Relax and Workout!, June 19, 2008
This review is from: Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners (DVD)
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This great DVD, which sensibly starts off with a warning to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program, is filmed simply beautifully and is inspiring in that way to begin with. The backgrounds are so relaxing. The teacher, Shiva Rea, is calming and also very intelligent and has a great ability to explain what we are doing succinctly as she guides us further and further into holistically styled workouts. This style of yoga is called "flow yoga". Indeed you do flow from one movement to the next, and your mind flows meditatively as well from one peaceful calming thought to the next while Shiva leads the way.

Of course a person cannot expect to climb a mountain in one day if one has never done any sort of movement for a while...but for beginner yoga, if you are the kind of person who likes to work out at home, quietly and thoughfully, sensing the movements of your body as this fine teacher, Shiva Rea, explains them, this is the DVD for you. I love it.
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Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners
Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners by James Wvinner (DVD - 2008)
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