Elem: Yoga For Beginners
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Elena Brower is a Certified Anusara Yoga instructor and has been teaching for over 10 years. She is the founder of Virayoga in Soho and has been featured in such prestigious publications as The New York Times, Yoga Journal and In Style magazine. Named one of New York City's top yoga teachers by Fit Yoga magazine, Elena's clients include Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts, Minnie Driver, Eva Mendes, Carla Gugino, Christy Turlington and Rebecca Romijn. Her teaching encourages observation, connection, empowerment and healing.
Element is proud to support the Arbor Day Foundation. For every four Element DVDs purchased a tree will be planted*. In addition to generating oxygen, trees provide air pollution control and decrease atmospheric carbon dioxide levels thereby reducing global warming.
*up to 20,000 trees annually
The instructor, Elena, was kind enough to answer some questions from Amazon.com about the Element line of DVDs.
Each of my clients receives what Ive learned from my teachers; attention, precision and authenticity. Celebrity or not, I always offer my complete focus in order to understandably articulate what each student needs, speaking to their bodies, their minds and their hearts. Ultimately, the alignment cues I offer are not just for the physical pose, theyre intended to help my clients to observe and refine their inner connections, enhancing every experience.
What are the biggest benefits your students reap from yoga?
Consistency and healing. My teachers have taught me to attentively offer meticulous alignment instruction so students may have a direct experience of healing. When youre consistently aligned physically, your breathing deepens, your mind and heart begin to work in clear harmony with one another, and invariably your body heals in a subtle way. This healing, whether physical or emotional, is reflected in every one of your interactions and relationships.
Who is this workout good for?
If youre curious about yoga, this is an inspiring introduction. if youve got a practice already, youll find this is a respectably challenging sequence for a led home practice. And if youre giving the gift of yoga to a friend, this DVD sets the standard for beauty and production quality. .
How do the Element DVDs differ from other workout programs?
Element DVDs are presented by teachers who have spent many years learning, practicing and teaching; its an honor to be included. Each of us endeavors to offer a strengthening practice to challenge you to shift toward balance in both mind and body. In particular, this yoga sequence will provide practitioners of all levels with an uplifting, motivating practice for years to come..
Tell us about the connection between this production and the efforts to reduce global warming.
Anchor Bay Entertainment recently became a corporate sponsor of the Arbor Day Foundation. For every four Element DVDs sold, a tree will be planted in a national forest- so when youre harmonizing within yourself, youre also harmonizing with the environment. Over the course of 50 years, that single tree can provide $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycle $37,500 worth of water, and control $31,500 worth of soil erosion.
Top Customer Reviews
The practics starts with:
1. Breathwork and Warm-up. This includes sitting while practicing Ujjayi breathing and warming up the legs with light lunging and standing forward bend.
2. Standing Poses and Sun Salutations. The series starts with 2 modified Sun Salutations and then a series of standing poses including, Warrior 1 & 2, Triangle, Side Angle Pose and a Side Angle Twist
3. Hip Openers. The Hip Openers started with Pigeon Pose which I think is a bit difficult for a true beginners with no training from a teacher..
4. Backbends. I like the Backbend series here for beginners. It starts with a light cobra, then moves on to a modified locust pose series. It ends with a counterpose to release the backbends which feels nice.
5. Forward Bends/Stretch/Relaxation. This is all a nice calming series ending with a short meditation.
Overall, I give this DVD 4 and 1/2 stars taking off 1/2 star because I think this is really for an advanced beginner. There is not enough mention of foot, knee, and/or hip alignment and I think it would be very easy to injure your joints without this knowledge. A tutorial in the beginning of the DVd would have been perfect. Maybe with a lined mat showing beginners where to place their feet.
There are elements of this yoga video that I absolutely love; there are also elements that I do not like at all.
The scenery is absolutely gorgeous and the music is perfect for both the activity and the setting.
The beginning of the DVD is relaxing; with the breathing and the stretching it does wonders for your tension and stress.
The ending of the DVD is the same as the beginning. Very relaxing, both the breathing and the stretching are as relaxing as it is invigorating.
The middle of the DVD she gets into some Yoga positioning and really doesn't take the time for the newbie to follow along. Also she switches positions and what not without telling you so if you are not watching the TV screen the whole time you miss some very vital stuff.
I am not a beginner at Yoga, but most of my Yoga experience has been integrated with a Pilates based workout. I watched the DVD twice before actually doing the exercises as when I do Yoga there are times I like to have my eyes closed. That's next to impossible to do on the majority of the middle of the DVD. A lot of the time you have to move fast and watch the whole time; I didn't like that at all. I prefer to listen to the voice guide me through the exercises.
The good definitely outweighs the bad, but I can already tell it's not going to be one of my favorite exercise DVD's.
Cherise Everhard, April 2008
In an approximately 50 minute workout, Elena Brower demonstrates a beautiful, flowing workout which looks like it must feel wonderful, if you can manage to follow it. Unfortunately I have neither the strength nor the flexibility to do so. I'm guessing that most of my friends don't either, so it does seem to me that it might be a good idea to offer hints for modifications of the poses to suit older, heavier or simply out-of-shape students. But Brower offers very little in the way of such modifications. I'd guess that about two-thirds of the workout is simply not do-able for me without substantial modification.
At the same time, the poses themselves look quite wonderful, and if you've ever done stretching and/or deep breathing exercises, the pleasure of these poses will be almost palpable to you. Brower's voice is calming. She doesn't rush you through the poses, but at the same time she doesn't spend a lot of time explaining them. Because the practice is slow and deliberate, this isn't as big a problem as it might be during an aerobics video, but as a beginner, I'd have appreciated a bit more information.
Right at the beginning, Brower suggests that the deep breathing is far more important than a deep pose. I think it would be helpful if she reiterated that during the actual workout.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Elena is great. I love her style and she helps me look forward to doing Yoga now.Published 1 month ago by Scott P.
I am a beginner. After a few weeks of persistent practice. I am able to do all the pose and have fun in it.Published 2 months ago by DarkCloud
Try her A.M. and P.M. Element practice first, this one is a bit much for a true beginner, but great if you've become accustomed to the poses.Published 5 months ago by Angie Bartley
This is my first time doing yoga. I'm recovering from a hamstring injury and can't go back to my old fitness routine. Read morePublished 6 months ago by shemvermon
Love this video! Elena is the perfect combination of calm and peaceful, but guiding and explanatory. I love the great all over body stretch it gives. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jessica A
This is by far not for beginners. The movement and instructions move very fast.Published 6 months ago by Joe
I thought this might be too easy. It's not strenuous but it is great to relax your body. I found the hip stretches particularly useful. At 48 minutes long it is just right. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer