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105 of 106 people found the following review helpful
"Foundations of Power Vinyasa Yoga" is part of Yoga Journal's Great Instructors series, a series of DVDs filmed at the annual Yoga Journal Conference in San Francisco. It features Baron Baptiste, a well-known yoga instructor of power yoga. Here he presents an 85-minute class which emphasizes form and foundation in each posture. Throughout the practice, Baron frequently mentions the spiritual benefits of each pose, and he focuses on the core through frequent reminders to engage uddiyana bandha.

Baron generally leads the class from the middle of the room, but he occasionaly walks around the room making adjustments along with his three assistants. The video also features a "yoga demonstrator" on a dais at the head of the class for easy reference. This DVD is well-chaptered, and the introduction suggests that each chapter can stand alone as a shorter practice if necessary. The chapters are as listed below; I have added in approximate times as well as brief descriptive information.

Warm Up (11m)--The practice begins in child's pose and then moves on to a slow, meticulous setup of down dog. After coming to a standing forward bend and taking a few sun breaths, this segment ends with three chants of OM.
Surya Namaskar A (5m)--A slow sun salutation flow with longer holds of plank and down dog.
Surya Namaskar B (28m)--Here Baron begins to move fairly quickly through the vinyasa flows. He provides detailed instruction for warrior 1 and also includes crazy dog (moving into a backbend), side plank, crescent lunge, and prayer twist.
Standing Poses (24m)--Postures here include several standing forward bend variations, standing splits, airplane, knee to side, eagle, tree, warrior 2, and reverse warrior. Very fast vinyasa flows are performed between some of the postures.
Backbends (7.5m)--This gentle backbending sequence includes bow pose, locust, and half camel.
Seated Poses (12m)--Baron begins with boat pose and then moves into seated pigeon, 3-legged table, seated twist, full seated forward bend, and table or reverse plank.
Final Relaxation (9m)--Baron concludes the practice with reclined twist, viparita karini (not using a wall), and reclinded cobbler's pose; the practice ends in a seated position with namaste.

The Main Menu on the DVD lists a Play All option, an Introduction, Chapters, and Special Features. The latter includes an 8-minute interview with Baron in which he talks about his experiences with yoga since childhood. He also discusses the evolution of his teaching over 25 years of practice and emphasizes the importance of a strong foundational practice. Given this, Foundations of Power Vinyasa Yoga is designed to teach the fundamentals of the postures, and Baron suggests that it would be approrpriate for beginners to more advanced students. Although Baron does keep the postures basic and offers many modifications, I would limit this practice to beginning yoga students who are already quite fit and strong, as even the simple postures presented here can be quite physically demanding. I found Baron to be more affable and engaging here than in his other videos, where he sometimes comes across as a bit scripted. He frequently jokes with the class and is quite light-hearted. Overall, this is a solid vinyasa practice which is likey to appear to more beginning and more advanced students alike.
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2007
I bought this dvd as part of the 3 great instructors package. This is the first dvd that I've done from the set and I have to say that it was just what I needed. Firstly, I'm a kundalini yoga person. I gave up my vinyasa practice 5 years ago to practice ky. Anyone who has fallen in love with kundalini yoga, will know that it sort of takes over your entire life and other types of yoga are unfulfilling. However, in the last months or so I have felt the need to go back to hatha yoga and include it more into my daily practice. This Baptiste dvd is a great place to start. It is a simple, slow, power yoga class with a detailed focus on alignment. Baron as usual, talks alot about the physical and spiritual benefits of yoga. This is a great class for beginners or experienced yogis who want to slow down their practice. The poses are:
* Sun salutes A & B
* Flipping out of downward dog to 3 legged upward bow or full bow, if possible
* Side plank
* reverse warrior
* cresent twist
* forward bend twist
* standing twisted arms and legs
* tree
* modified standing hand to toe pose. (knee bent)
* bow
* half camel (loved this one!)
* hip opener, leg crossed on standing bent knee.
* one legged table top.
* half boat
* modified shoulder stand. block underneath hips.

I may have missed a pose or two, but this a class that anyone can do. I am hatha yoga rusty and I had a nice sweat going. The last pose shoulderstand was like a meditation as Krishna Das was playing in the background. The class ended with Baron telling the class to love the world, it needs it. I felt myself smile. Baron is a great teacher and even though the class was basic it was totally enjoyable.

Technically, the production was very good. Kudos to Yoga Journal!
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2009
Understand when purchasing this DVD that the emphasis is on the "Foundations" not the "Power Vinyasa". This DVD is big on explaining the positions more so than moving through them. So if you are new to yoga and need instruction on postures, then this is for you - the explanations are great. However, if you are a regular power yoga practitioner, the explanations will get in the way of a good vinyasa style workout for you.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2010
This DVD was recommended to me by a friend who has been doing yoga longer than I have, and has even attended a conference or two. I have taken classes locally and always enjoy the atmosphere of a class versus being home alone and doing yoga. Baptiste's DVD really puts me in the class because he guides me through every position, making sure my feet, hands and fingers are where they should be, how they should feel, and reminds me to breathe as I bring my spine home... He continually talks to his audience throughout the session, and one cannot help but feel very present and in his class right there! I really needed a DVD like this one if I wanted to do yoga at home because I am the type of "yogie" who needs to be guided otherwise I tend to "daydream" about this and that - not fulfilling the meditative purpose of yoga. He keeps me on track.. Plus at the end of the DVD Baptiste talks about how he uses yoga in his life, and what it means to him. He is fascinating; everything he says makes so much sense - well, to me anyway. This DVD is like an hour and a half of not only a full body massage, but a mind clearing, posture enhancing, spiritual journey that gets better every time I use it, and it hasn't lost its appeal yet! I don't believe it ever will. Namaste...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2009
The yoga series presented was fine but this isn't the type of dvd I'd use over and over. Baron spends a lot of time talking and his mannerisms will get annoying after the second or third time through. I found myself sweating after the second sun salutation series but just couldn't get past how much he talks throughout the dvd.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2011
I am just beginning yoga and bought this because i was told to check out Baptiste's dvds. i really like this because it is live and you really feel like you are part of a class. its a great workout with many modifications for the beginner. He also explains every movement and pose with detail so its easy to follow. it is a 90 min workout and right now i can do about 50 mins because i am exhausted by the halfway point. that being said, i think its great for beginners or advanced yogis because the full 90 min can be a great workout with his teaching.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2010
I'm normally not a fan of power yoga, preferring bendier and more intricate flows with shorter holds; and much of my nearly 3 years' regular yoga practice--mostly at home--is minus all this technology (DVD player, streaming video, etc.), but this DVD really kicked my butt, and I am more-or-less at an intermediate level. I had never used a Baron Baptiste product before, and it felt like I was right there at the conference and that Baron was reading the energy levels from my practice in front of my TV. This is a formidable, soulful and inspiring practice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2009
I really like practicing with this dvd. I haven't taken classes for years, have done hatha yoga off and on, and find this particular style of yoga and teaching really works for me. Its demanding, which is good for me (if its too easy, I'm not challenged enough to do it) and I like Baron's way of referring the student back to the inner experience, as well as good instructions on the physical alignment and breathing. I also use the Bootcamp cd set which has a 75 minute guided practice, and three 20 minute practices. The 75 minute class is very demanding, and the 20 minute ones seem way too short...but are good when I don't have a lot of time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2011
I am enjoying this DVD very much. It's like having Baron Baptiste in your living room as your yoga instructor. I feel great after my session, which helps with lower back issues, it strengthens and actually kicks my butt at times! I enjoy his approach to teaching. This DVD is about 1 1/2 hours long, but you can pick a chapter that you would like to work on for that day if you choose. Quality and quantity for the money!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2011
It covers basic moves. But, it is so great! It teaches you the subtle moves that make the poses more powerful. I was amazed how just the slightest adjustment in foot placement changed the posture. This is a must have DVD if you are a life long student of yoga.
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