NOTE. The yoga sequences on this DVD contain footage which has previously appeared on Jennifer Kries' Hot Body Cool Mind series DVDs.
In this DVD, instructor Jennifer Kries presents Yin Yoga, a style of yoga in which the postures are held at length, usually up to 10-15 minutes. However, Jennifer and her two background exercises do NOT hold the postures for the recommended length; instead, they hold each pose for approximately 10 breaths, with Jennifer encouraging you to hold the poses longer on your own. In her Introduction to this DVD, Jennifer calls Yin Yoga the "un-workout," noting that it is cooling, calming, and restoring; she also refers to the practice as "needle-less acupuncture." All postures are performed entirely on the floor.
The Main Menu offers the following selections: Introduction, Workouts (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced), Yin Yoga and Meridian Theory Interview, Credits, and About Jennifer. The three workouts contain very similar postures and footage, but additional poses are added as the difficultly level increases. However, the workouts would more appropriately be called "Short, Medium, Long," as it is mainly the length rather than the difficultly level which increases; furthermore, Jennifer has her background exercisers display various levels of difficulty in all three workouts. Throughout each practice, Jennifer talks about the meridian pairs addressed by each posture, noting some of the benefits/effects that you might experience.
The Beginner workout is about 20 minutes long and includes butterfly, full seated forward bend, child's pose (Jennifer recommends performing this pose between all of the postures but only shows it only the one time), dragonfly (wide-leg seated forward bend), thread the needle, reclined twist (aka revolved stomach pose), savasana (relaxation), and final meditation. The Intermediate practice comes in around 23 minutes and includes full forward bend, child's pose, saddle (similar to 1-leg reclined hero), choice of shoelace (bull seat or the legs from cow-face pose) or ankle to knee (double pigeon), pigeon, quarter dog, reclined twist, and relaxation/final meditation. Finally, the Advanced workout is 33 minutes long; the postures include include butterfly, a choice of seal (similar to cobra) or saddle, seated forward bend, dragon, a choice of shoelace or eye of the needle or ankle to knee, pigeon, wide-legged child's pose, dragonfly, quarter dog, reclined twist, dead bug, cross-legged seated forward bend with crossed arms, and relaxation/final meditation.
In the Yin Yoga and Meridian Theory Interview, Jennifer interviews a friend of hers who is a shiatsu practitioner. The interview begins with an explanation of "yin" and continues with talking about Chinese element theory and how this impacts emotions. The conversation then moves into a discussion of exactly how the "Makko-Ho's" (exercises to address meridian pairs) target various meridians in the body. At this point, Jennifer calls upon a male and female dancer to demonstrate some of the Yin yoga postures while she and her friend point out the affected areas of the body. This segment is 9 minutes long.
Overall, I really liked the Yin sequences on this DVD; I find the soothing effects of Yin Yoga to be a nice alternative to my usual hatha yoga practice. However, the one thing I didn't like is that Jennifer does not allow enough time in each pose. In order to do the Yin practices the way she recommends (ie, holding each posture 10-15 minutes), you would need to pause the DVD and keep track of the elapsed time on your own, which I find to be awkward. Still, this is a very good introduction to Yin Yoga which provides a nice variety of options for all levels of yoga practitioners.
Personally, I do not like Jennifer Kries' manner; I find her to be rather condescending even though I'm sure she doesn't mean to be. However, she is a bit more low-key and tolerable to me here. She does not mirror cue.
Beth C (aka toaster)
October 3, 2007