To start: I really like this self-produced DVD from Sara Ivanhoe. It’s a little like Erich Shiffmann’s the Backyard Series Goes to the Beach and I was also reminded of Tilak Pyle's Altar of the Heart . This isn’t a huge surprise, since Sara is another Schiffmann student. However, I like this DVD better than Tilak’s – probably because it’s so focused. There are three practices (sunrise, noon, sunset) and all evolve from a central exploration of standing balance poses – and looking at them and experiencing them from the ground up. There are some very well thought out inhale/exhale vinyasas, but most of the flows are very slow indeed: a great opportunity to linger in the balances and explore them.
The sunrise practice is the longest (about an hour) and the most active. The balances are a bit shorter and there are more of them, but there is ample time for extending into the poses (tree is about 60 sec.). The noon practice is a bit slower and more deliberate – and shorter (around 40 min.) The sunset practice is the shortest and, although it’s designed to be a calming practice it’s active enough to keep it out of the truly restorative category. For one thing, it includes some standing balance work.
It’s true that there's not much instruction, although what Ivanhoe does tell you is helpful. She makes a point of encouraging the home practitioner to explore the poses on their own. She calls it “coloring outside the lines” (I bet I get tired of that phrase after a while). For that reason I’d say that this one is more appropriate for experienced yogis, those who already have a yoga practice and some knowledge of alignment: intermediate (video) practitioners and experienced beginner (class) yogis.
The music is Krishna Das; the setting is pretty and interesting (Bahamas beach). The instruction is voice over. Although Ivanhoe’s voice is perhaps a tad breathy, I still found it pleasant and she’s lost that kindergarten teacher manner of some of her earlier releases.
My biggest gripe: There are no chapter points within each practice. This is almost a deal breaker for me – but I like [u]On the Edge[/u] enough to forgive the struggle. For those of you who are concerned with packaging: this one comes in a flimsy plastic CD case – again, it’s good enough (I think) to make up for that.
Me: Yoga practitioner for over 15 years. I’ve done teacher training and have some teaching experience. I’ve been a home exerciser for over 25 years.
December 8, 2008