This is quite an interesting dvd. It is part of the Body Wisdom Media set of interactive workouts, and I truly have never seen anything like it. What these people basically seem to have done is filmed every pose on the disk as its own separate little chapter, then strung them all together in a series of pre-mixes. These vary in length from 15-75 minutes, and there are almost 4 dozen to choose from. I would have preferred some shorter ones like they had in the Pilates disk, but at least these ones get distinguishing names, which that one did not. The music is generic soft instrumental---bland in a not distracting kind of way, and suitable for these routines.
JJ teaches alone on a green mat against a blue screen, with a large flower pot perched behind her. She instructs in voice-over. Before each pose, she says the Sanskrit name and it appears on screen. She holds each pose for a reasonable length and offers good cueing and form pointers. She uses props such as a blanket from time to time and suggests modifications. However, unlike the gentle yoga title in this series, the use of props did not seem excessive.
This is not a flowing routine, because each pose stands alone. It is almost like reading a routine from a book. This worked well for me, but I can see how it might not work for everyone, if you like flowing routines, or if you will get bored seeing the same chapter over and over again in so many different routines.
Here is a list of the different dvd sections, and the workouts they contain. () indicates the length of this premix in minutes.
1) Beginner, Under 30 Minutes
Good Morning (25), Dealing with Change (25), Open & Strong Heart (25), Preparing for Meditation (20), Shoulders Wrists & Hands (25), Hips Knees Ankles & Feet (25), Practice During Menstruation (20)
2) Intermediate (Under 45 Minutes)
Stability & Grounding (40), Going with the Flow of Life (40), Compassionate Heart (30), Preparing for Meditation (30), Wringing out the Old (40), Practice During Menstruation (20), Challenge Practice: Arms & Abs (40)
3) Advanced (Under 45 Minutes)
Grounding (30), Mobility (40), Heart (40), Practice During Menstruation (30), Practice for Your Neck (45), Voice (30), Balance (35), Meditation (25)
4) Beginner (30+ Minutes)
Self Esteem Booster (30), Oh My Aching Neck (30), Getting in Balance (30), Flow Series (30), Hip Mobility (30), General Practice Routine (45), General Practice: Floor (30), General Practice: Standing (35), Practice for the Spine (50)
5) Intermediate (45+ Minutes)
Fire in the Belly (45), Opening the Lines of Communication (45), Finding Balance (45), Back Bends (45), Hips Legs & Feet (45), General Practice (45), General Practice: Floor (45), General Practice: Standing (45), General Practice with Back Bends (45)
6) Advanced (45+ Minutes)
General Practice: Standing (50), General Practice 2 with Headstand (60), General Practice 3 with Headstand (45), Heat (60), Abs & Arms (45), General Practice 4 with Headstand and Back Bends (50), General Practice 5 with Headstand (70), General Practice 6 with Back Bends (45)
I had this DVD for months before I bothered to use it. I had previewed it and thought, Bleh Ė ugly set, slow moving, and insert cards that hold you up before each pose. I finally tried it on a night when all my usual yoga vids seemed lacking. And so I came to find that I LOVE THIS DVD. Itís all I want to do now, and itís definitely my desert-island pick for yoga videos!
The DVD is set up with each pose or set of poses as a title; there are 65 titles in all, and they are the building blocks used to create the 40 or so practices you can choose from. The menus are divided into sections by level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and length. Some practices have straight-forward names like ďGeneral Practice, StandingĒ or ďHips, Legs, and FeetĒ, while others have less obvious names like ďCompassionate HeartĒ Ė thereís a great breakdown of the titles and programs in the Combinations, Rotations and Modifications forum so that you can decode the names! When you pick your workout, the first pose/section plays, and then a black screen with the name of the next pose comes up, then it starts that section, and so on. This means thereís a bit of a pause between poses. When I previewed, this pause seemed absurdly long, but when Iím doing the practice, it isnít a problem; sometimes Iíll use the extra few seconds to hold the previous pose a bit longer.
All the usual poses are included, along with others not typically seen in your standard yoga video. There are some flow series (e.g. Sun Salutations, Moon Salute, Hero Salute), some short groups of related poses (e.g. Twist Series, Lunge Series) and there are some stand-alone poses that are held for awhile (e.g. Triangle, Warriors, Cobblerís Pose). The titles range in length from 45 seconds to 7 minutes. Modifications with blocks and straps are usually shown, and she shows variations of some poses to suit different levels of flexibility and strength. (People who wish more videos would actually show the modifications instead of just mentioning them will like this.)
The instruction on all the poses is outstanding, with descriptions of how to position yourself that really work for me Ė I feel like this DVD is teaching me more about yoga than all my Living Arts, Yoga Zone, and Baron videos have. (Which isnít to say I donít love my other yoga videos, but this DVD helps me get even more out of those other videos.) The instruction is voice-over, but she speaks quite naturally, so it feels more like a live class than a scripted Living Arts-style voice-over.
The set is quite plain Ė just a fabric-drapped wall behind the teacher and her mat. The lighting, sound, and production are fine, but itís not a pretty production like Living Arts or the outdoor Yoga Zones.
I think in general this DVD feels more like a class in that it has a wide range of poses arranged in a variety of different orders and very natural-sounding instruction. If you like your yoga videos well-polished and set in beautiful places, you may not like this one. But you should try it anyway, because I am stunned by how much I like it! This DVD doesnít preview well, but it gives you so many options that youíll always be able to find one to suit your current mood or needs. Itís also a good place to see some new poses and mix things up a bit if youíve been dabbling in yoga for awhile.
A final note about the DVD setup: The menu comes up right away, with no introduction or disclaimer. I like that. On the other hand, the disclaimer plays first thing in each program. This is annoying; however, the disclaimer is separated into two chapters, so if you just press next on your DVD player, you can skip almost all of it. Just a tip for people who hate repeated, required viewing of DVD intros and legal notices! Similarly, each pose is divided into 2 chapters, so you can push next to skip right to the end of a pose if thereís one that you donít want to do.
August 21, 2004
This is one of the Body Wisdom DVDs that contain loads of different workouts to choose from. The top menu on this one is broken out into workouts of Under 30 Minutes and Over 30 Minutes. From there, you can choose Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced; and then from that point there are a variety of different workouts with different time ranges. I did one of the advanced choices and found it too slow-paced. It also takes a long time for the DVD player to access the next pose in the workout. The particular workout I chose had camel and shoulderstand toward the end; poses which I feel like I need a fair amount of heat built up to safely do. However, I was not even warm. I have some of J. J.ís other tapes and really like her, but this DVD doesnít do her justice.
Iím reviewing this after using it regularly for a year and then sporadically for another year. Iíve done every beginner routine and at least 1/3 of the intermediate routines.
By the way, this has been renamed Yoga Complete for Every Body. As far as I can tell itís the exact same DVD with a different title and cover. (OK, people, STOP renaming fitness videos!)
General workout breakdown: This DVD contains a variety of general and focused yoga routines for almost any level of yoga student. It offers a wide variety of programs at three different levels so you can choose your practice based on how you feel each day and progress at your own pace. There are 48 programs: seven 20-25 minute programs for beginner, nine 30-50 minute programs for beginner; seven 20-40 minute programs for intermediate, nine 45 minute programs for intermediate; eight 25-45 minute programs for advanced, and eight 45-70 minute programs for advanced. The shorter programs are generally a little easier than the longer ones. Some programs are meant for general practice while some are focused on a specific area (e.g. back) or theme (e.g. ďOpen HeartĒ).
Level: Iíd recommend this to any level yoga student, although Iíve yet to try the advanced so I donít know how advanced those programs are. While prior yoga experience is helpful, a beginner (or someone restarting a yoga program) will probably find the routines doable. I have well over two years of yoga experience but am working on improving my strength and especially my flexibility. I have recently begun practicing at an intermediate level. At the beginning of this year I made the transition from the beginner to the intermediate programs.
Class: J. J. Gormley only with instruction via voice over.
Music / Set / Production Notes: The soft instrumental music is bland. The minimal interior set has a blue curtain on the back wall. Sometimes flowers or a candle appear. The picture and sound quality are good but the production is definitely no frills. There are pauses between poses because this is actually premixed segments, and sometimes thereís a volume or tone change as well. In addition, the voice over is not always in synch with visuals (e.g. youíll come out of a pose as instructed and find J.J.ís about halfway out).
Equipment: sticky mat (or equivalent). You may choose to use yoga block(s), strap (or belt, tie, or towel), or folded blanket for some segments.
Comments: There isnít usually a ďwarm upĒ or breathing / centering / focusing section before each routine, so add one if you need it.
You donít need much space; you should be able to move around on your mat freely.
DVD Notes: I believe this is only available on DVD. The safety precautions appear at the beginning of every routine, but you can skip them.
Conclusion: As a variety junkie I appreciate my options with this DVD. This and Body Wisdom Mediaís Yoga for Inflexible People were the first yoga DVDs I purchased when I went to resurrect my yoga practice at home. I may be in the minority, but I prefer Yoga for Every Body. The pace is a little quicker but still slow enough to go deep into the poses. I connect better with J. J.ís instruction over Judiís for whatever reason. And the production is better on Yoga for Every Body. I also like having the option of using props or not because sometimes I donít have them.
The sequences I use most frequently are the menstruation series. I generally do the restorative menstruation for my first day or two and these for the next day or two when I donít feel like going all out with my yoga.
J. J. is very encouraging and explains the poses well. There is talk of chakras, but thatís about it for ďNew AgeyĒ stuff. She doesnít focus a lot on breath, but I find that she offers helpful technique pointers just when needed.
August 23, 2005
This dvd can be frustrating due to all the choices and 2 of my dvd players have not played it very well due to how it's put together. Apparently a bunch of poses are filmed separately then when you go through the extensive menus and choose one of the practices it 'strings' the poses together that go with that practice. Having said that, I love the few practices that I've done on this and am trying new ones here and there to add! You pick from beg-int-advanced and then pick the time frame. beginners has under 30 min and over 30 min and I think int and advanced is under 45 and over 45 min but not sure since I've only ventured to int one time and quickly returned to beginners!
my favorites are beginner under 30. there's a practice for menstruation that I shorten to ttom that is all seated stretches. wonderful! you sit crosslegged (she says the yoga term and they show the namein the yoga language on the screen which is kind of nice I think to learn) anwyays. you do some seated series where you stretch the upper back then stretch to each side and nothing is rushed here. then you twist to each side. then you sit in cobbler's pose then wide legged and later you repeat all 3 leg positions but add aforward bend. one legged forward bend too then savasana. another I like is good morning (great for good night! I wouldn't recommend any of these sequences for waking up cause gthe music is way way way too relaxing and they all seem to end with corpse pose and meditation which puts me to sleep), also dealing with change is great for stretching and twists with a couple of standing poses and downdog/brief modified sun salutation thrown in. Anwyays, would take too much room to describe them all and I've only tried maybe 6 of them total so far.
a few notes: it's voice over, the poses don't flow continuously . sometimes you'll end one pose in crosslegged then the next says 'starting from down dog'..so you hve to scramble back to down dog or just step into the pose from where you are. teh set is also drab..maybe a vase of flowers and a curtain. all focus is on her showing the pose or just listening. I'll ofent take off my glasses and just listen when I'm familiar with the sequence. there are tons of poses and a lot to choose from. however the description on the back (i have the version in the brown colored case) says 15 min to 75 min but I haven'ts een any 15 mn ones unless I leave out the long savasana/meditation. that is a large part of the practice so several would be under 20 min without that pose. the music is very relaxing. all instrumental. there's no distraction other than the poses not flowing contnuously and the instructor is fully clothed if that's an issue with you!
dressed in white, seldom smiles but does a voice over and shows the poses very well and her voice is nice and calming. She also shows modifications at times.