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Viniyoga Therapy for the Upper Back, Neck & Shoulders with Gary Kraftsow (2009)

Gary Kraftsow , Ian Albert and Mark Holmes  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)

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Viniyoga Therapy for the Upper Back, Neck & Shoulders with Gary Kraftsow + Viniyoga Therapy for the Low Back, Sacrum & Hips with Gary Kraftsow + Yoga for Back Care - 6 Routines
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Kraftsow
  • Directors: Ian Albert and Mark Holmes
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Bayview Entertainment/Widowmaker
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 170 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000U0FZ0K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,087 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Viniyoga Therapy for the Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders features short, simple therapeutic yoga practices carefully designed to alleviate pain and promote health in the upper back, neck and shoulders. For the first time ever on DVD, benefit from the expert guidance of Gary Kraftsow, one of the world's leading yoga therapists. Founder of the American Viniyoga Institute, Gary is the designer of the only yoga practices demonstrated to be effective for back pain in a National Institutes of Health-sponsored clinical study. If you are one of the 8 out of 10 Americans who have or will experience back pain, make the powerful therapeutic practices on this DVD a part of your everyday regimen for health and well-being!

Highlights from this DVD include:
- Presentation on Understanding Back Pain and the application of yoga therapy.
- Technique Workshop on how to safely perform postures and movements.
- Focused practice for Upper Back and Neck Therapy.
- Focused practice for Neck and Shoulder Therapy.
- Integrated practice for sustained upper back Strength and Stability.
- Bonus MP3s of all practices for audio-only classes at home or on the go.


Gary Kraftsow, founder, director and senior teacher of the American Viniyoga Institute, elevates the genre of yoga DVDs to a whole new level...Whether you endure back pain or not, these are some of the best yoga DVDs on the market. --Fit Yoga

Viniyoga master Gary Kraftsow developed protocols for a recent National Institutes of Health-sponsored study of treatment for back pain. This excellent two-DVD series is based on this work and on his 30 years of experience as a yoga therapist. The detailed instruction, gentle repetitive movements, and focus on moving with awareness and the breath make these ideal practices for a wide range of people, including those who may not have pain but can benefit from strengthening and stabilizing their backs. --Yoga + Joyful Living

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
152 of 155 people found the following review helpful
This DVD focuses on issues of the upper body, specifically the upper back, neck, and shoulders (the other DVD in this series focuses on the lower body). It differs from other yoga DVDs in that it contains a strong educational component in addition to the practice element. Also, the practices on the DVD are designed for rehabilitation and strengthening, and thus they are more similar in feel to a physical therapy session than to a yoga class.

The main menu of this DVD consists of four separate segments: 1) Understanding Back Pain, 2) Technique Workshop, 3) Therapeutic Practices, and 4) Special Features. The Technique Workshop provides the opportunity to study individual postures in greater depth. The Viniyoga Therapeutic Practices offer three complete practice segments tailored to meet different needs as described below. (Note: the DVD also provides bonus MP3 audio versions of each practice.)

1. Upper Back and Neck Therapy (22 minutes). This is the most gentle of the three practices, and it is designed to address misalignment or instability by strengthening and mobilizing the upper back and neck. In consists mainly of movements which serve to lengthen the upper spine.
2. Neck and Shoulder Therapy (32 minutes). This practice is more specifically geared to releasing pain or restricted movement in the neck and shoulders via stretching, aligning, and balancing work. Many of the postures here involve moving one arm as you twist your neck to the opposite side.
3. Strength and Stability (41 minutes). This longer practice is intend to build sustained, long-term health in the upper back, neck, and shoulders. It is a bit more intense than the previous two, containing many of the same posture sequences but adding some stronger work as well.
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76 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, something to help with the PAIN!!! June 26, 2008
This is an excellent DVD, a book could never match the step by step instructions. As you are doing the yoga exercises Gary describes the different areas you should be focusing on stretching and does an excellent job of it. It contains very slow and stress free moves. The DVD contains a segment on Understanding Back Pain, an instructional Technique workshop to learn the practices, there are 2 different Practices for the initial stages and a longer Strengthening & Stability practice to use when you are feel better and improve. You don't have to be Gumby to do these poses. There is no need to try and stretch further than your ability, your flexibility increases over time. I suffer from chronic upper back and neck pain from car accident many years ago. It is especially bad between my shoulder blades, traveling up through my neck. It is tissue damage, I have nothing wrong with any bones. I've tried it all Chiropractor, Acupuncture, and went to the gym for a while. I found that the best thing you can do for an injury with chronic pain is to continually stretch and slowly work on re-strengthening the muscles. I went online searching for a Yoga Video as a last resort. I get so much relief from many of these poses, I even have my favorites from the video that I do any time I feel like it. I live with pain every day of my life and can say that this video has helped me out a lot. It is an excellent way to unwind after a long day of sitting in front of a computer at work.
I don't usually write reviews, but I had to on this one.. I definitely would recommend this DVD for someone who is looking for therapeutic viniyoga therapy. The specific poses/stretches target the upper back, shoulders, and neck. I think it is even good for everyday stress relief, which can cause tension in the shoulders and neck.

I commend Gary Kraftsow for making this DVD. I am so glad I found it! I have even been considering becoming a Yoga instructor to help people with chronic pain like me.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, wonderful December 6, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this and the "Lower Back" DVD because I spend way too many hours at the computer, and I was having back pain and foot pain from a pinched nerve. The DVDs are great. I love the anatomy overview, and the way you can progress at your own pace. I lent my copy of this upper back video to my chiropractor, and he thought it was fantastic and said he plans to buy both lower and upper back to show his other patients.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than daily massage September 23, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have struggled with neck and shoulder pain for years due to daily computer work. This video is more helpful than any physical therapy, chiropratic session and massage therapy I have tried. My back feels relaxed and rejuvenated every time I do it and the reduction in discomfort lasts far longer than any other treatment.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Worthwhile!! May 4, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I rarely write reviews, but had to for this video. I am an artist and have a hard time with stiff muscles from spending hours painting. I noticed an improvement in my back and shoulders after using this video one time. A must to help strengthen the back. Easy to do and in about 20 minutes. I get more relief from this video than with pain relievers.

Just had to share!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not recommend this more enthusiastically. July 26, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this DVD and its companion for the lower back shortly after having a debilitating back spasm that put me out of commission for several weeks. I went to physiotherapy, and although it did help, I find the exercises excruciatingly boring, which of course means I don't do them as often as I should.

So, what was the result? These DVDs are quite simply a godsend. (I'm only writing a review of this one now because I haven't yet used all three segments of the lower back DVD.) Kraftsow says in his introduction that doing the yoga exercises should be like brushing your teeth, and I find that the program is designed to make it just as easy to keep the stretching going as brushing teeth would be! Knowing that I have a choice between segments of different lengths, and that I can do just 20 minutes in the morning (before I get too hungry!) and still be doing something for my back, makes it so much more realistic to keep up a yoga program.

That, and the fact that the exercises work. I am sometimes so tense that the neck & shoulders movements don't relax me completely, but they do help, and I generally feel the difference the following morning: they can be better described as preventing future, worse pain than easing current pain. I might add that several of the exercises are similar to what I learned in physiotherapy, which gave me some confidence in the system.

I spent more on these DVDs than I usually do on exercise videos, but I also use them several times a week, much more than I use anything else. They offer variety in type of exercise and duration of program, and they're set up so that I can do a light program when I'm suffering from pain and a harder one when I want to build strength. I've also noticed a difference in my core abdominal strength from using the two videos. Finally, I should add that the DVDs also include mp3 files of the practices, in case you just want to work out with the sound and don't need the video any more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I do viniyoga every morning. As a chiropractor I reccomend viniyoga to my patients as well.
Published 2 days ago by lj.rano,dc
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
helpful…watch CD a little bit every day
Published 9 days ago by Marilynne Solomon
2.0 out of 5 stars ... yoga part - have to make it through the annoying guy talk forever...
V E R Y difficult to actually make it to the yoga part - have to make it through the annoying guy talk forever first. Read more
Published 10 days ago by M&M2000
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to follow was not helpful for my back, ...
Hard to follow was not helpful for my back, every body is different.
Published 16 days ago by cookie u
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Stress Relief
One of the best therapy DVDs for the neck and upper back. A supplement to the normal yoga routine that isolates certain parts for additional work and provides relief for those with... Read more
Published 26 days ago by Ninja Buyer
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a great dvd if you need therapy for your shoulders and ...
This is a great dvd if you need therapy for your shoulders and neck. I've had a troublesome neck for years due to a whiplash accident and this dvd is helping tremendously. Read more
Published 28 days ago by warrior
5.0 out of 5 stars and the moves are wonderful at helping relieve the tension
I've had back and neck issues for several years now and this is one of the most gentle, informative yet helpful exercises I've done. Read more
Published 28 days ago by jlyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the Slickest Production, But Excellent Therapy!
(See my review for "Yoga for Back Care" - this set was also an integral part of my recovery from back problems and is highly recommended!)
Published 2 months ago by Adrienne Warren
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD for Shoulder Pain
Great DVD and love it. Got low back one first after recommended by my Viniyoga instructor and back is much better. Now with arthritis in my shoulders so started to use it.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't live without this DVD
There are several difference segments one can follow along with. I stick with the first one (focused practice for upper back and neck therapy) and it has helped me immensely. Read more
Published 2 months ago by V. Martinez
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