Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners
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Flow yoga, also called vinyasa yoga, combines flowing movement with rhythmic breathing for a dynamic mind-body workout. Like a moving meditation, flow yoga unites mind, body, and breath. Your mind clears, your body calms, even as your pulse quickens.
Renowned and innovative flow yoga teacher Shiva Rea leads this introductory practice, filmed amid breathtaking scenery on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. She begins with a seated mediation that teaches you how to link breath with movement. Three more segments introduce her flowing approach to classic poses. Transitions from pose to pose are graceful and easy. You may not have Shiva's flexibility (yet), but you can follow her lead in ways that work for you. Feel yourself becoming stronger and more supple. Sense your new energy and find the fluidity that has always been yours.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.