This 40 minute DVD yoga class is a blast to play along to, whether you are with your family members or not. The energy is playful, fun and infectious.
The DVD takes place on a sunny rectangular stage right in front of the crashing waves of Maui. The stage has enough room for their five yoga mats and is surrounded with lush tropical foliage. There is soft new age music and you can hear the sounds of the waves and birds during the presentation.
This practice starts with sun salutes, moves into standing poses, handstands, backbends, crow/crane and a variety of sitting stretches using straps. A savasana and sitting meditation complete the routine.
Rodney Yee, with his wife and three children, take turns demonstrating poses and leading sun salute sequences. They are a very cute family and giggle together a lot.
I can see where children from young ages to preteens can associate themselves with the kids on-screen as "yoga teachers." Kids at home would probably enjoy leading their own families in sequences - what a great confidence builder! Altogether, doing yoga as a family in this way should create fantastic bonding time as well as promoting strength and flexibility from a young age.
Couples without children can also enjoy this DVD. Lots of poses are shown using a partner to assist into arm balances, backbends and inversions. I showed the handstand section to my husband to help him get a feel for how to help me, and we did the relaxing coupled backbend together as well.
My main caveat is a big one - this is no DVD for beginners. Novices will be hopelessly lost during the fast-moving sun salutations. There is no instruction on basics like downward dog, upward dog and side plank pose. The sun salutes include a lot of jump backs and tougher transitions that Rodney and his flexible family take for granted.
Advanced beginners will be caught short by the inclusion of intermediate poses like handstand, upward bow and crow/crane.
Nowhere on the DVD package does it mention that this might not be appropriate for beginners. This oversight might get some people hurt!
For beginners who buy this program I recommend they go right to the standing poses, which have actual pose instruction and take things slowly. Skip the fast-moving sun salutes sequence. Try not to worry about getting up into handstand unless your kids are already athletic.
As the DVD does not have a section menu (just hit PLAY and off it goes), you'd have to manually fast-forward to the parts you want to use.
I wouldn't blame Rodney for the inappropriate marketing - this is a delightful practice and I appreciate that there's a family routine out there that isn't all just easy beginner's work. So there is certainly room in the market for a disc like this - for families already familiar with yoga, who want to get in some playful family time and help each other with challenging poses.
Ultimately, I found this DVD really quite enjoyable and will be adding it to my rotation as a short, "fun" choice.