A challenging yoga practice aimed at building strength, August 21, 2004
Reviewer: Dr Beth T Cholette "doctor_beth" (Upstate NY USA) - See all my reviews
Pure Power is a 30-minute challenging yoga routine that is designed to build strength. It is definitely not for beginners, as it includes some fairly strenuous moves which require quite a bit of pre-existing strength, especially in the arms: as an intermediate exerciser who has been practicing yoga for several years, I found that I needed to take several breaks throughout the practice.
Rainbeau Mars leads the practice in her usual calmly flowing manner. The first half of the routine consists of approximately five total sun salutations. Although Rainbeau moves slowly through each series, she inserts poses which will definitely challenge your stamina, including side plank, crescent lunges, awkward chair, and 3-legged down-dog. She also includes some tough movements lying on your stomach such as yogic push-ups (lowering to chaturanga and then lifting back up), 1-legged chaturanga, and cobra variations. From standing, Rainbeau comes to a reclined position (there are no seated postures in this practice) for bridge, lying twist, and relaxation.
This is an excellent program for anyone looking to expand their yoga practice, from more experienced beginners who want to slowly build strength to more advanced yogis who wish to continue to increase their stamina and endurance. Finally, the 1/2 hour time frame is likely to be particularly beneficial for those who have limited time but who still want a serious yoga practice.
In this video, Rainbeau is less chatty and more focused on the poses than in some of her other videos, but as always, she is gently encouraging and provides very good mirrored cuing.
Beth C (aka toaster)
August 21, 2004
I’m reviewing this workout after doing it twice since getting it a couple of months ago.
General workout breakdown: This vinyasa or power-type yoga routine lasts about 30 minutes which focuses primarily on upper body and core strength and some openings. The bulk of the routine centers around sun salutations and related flow series. That means there are lots and lots of downward dogs, chaturangas (push-ups), cobras, and asanas of that nature. The practice ends with bridge, some twists, and finally a short savasana.
Level: I’d recommend this to a fully intermediate yogi(ni). Rainbeau doesn’t include tons of form tips or breath reminders, suggests only a few modifications in passing, and includes many asanas requiring quite a bit of upper body strength, so this isn’t good for pure beginners to yoga. I have over three years of yoga experience and practice at a low intermediate level, working on improving my strength and especially my flexibility. I found this video challenging because of the upper body strength required. Also, I have an elbow issue that makes holding anything resembling a push-up in any position other than all the way up or all the way down an unpleasant experience. If you have any wrist, elbow, or shoulder issues, you should probably avoid this video.
Class: Rainbeau alone, with instruction via voiceover.
Music: The atmospheric music (lots of flutes) is appropriate but forgettable. Sometimes you hear the sound of the waves crashing onto the rocks.
Set: Rainbeau practices on a platform among volcanic rock right near the ocean.
Production: This is a Natural Journeys production, so the sound and picture quality are very good. The voiceover doesn’t always match up perfectly with the moves.
Equipment: sticky mat (or equivalent). Rainbeau is barefoot.
Space Requirements: You should be able to do a sun salutation without bumping into things and have a little space to each side.
DVD Notes: The DVD has that Natural Journeys intro, which you can skip with just the right buttons. Your menu options are Play Routine, Chapter Selections (Intro to Flow, Flow with Variations, Floor Work, & Final Resting Posture), Special Features (Top 5 Yoga Moves with Multi Angle Camera Options, Workout to Music w/o Narration, Photo Gallery, Trailers of the other three videos in the Sacred Yoga Vinyasa Flow Practice series), Audio Features (Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1), and Credits.
Conclusion: This is a nice yoga workout that packs a lot of moves that will build strength into a short amount of time. I enjoyed the Pure Tranquility from this same series (a very different workout!) so I’m a little disappointed my physical limitations won’t let me enjoy this one. (OK, I’m not that disappointed because quite frankly I’m not a big fan of so many planks and push-ups.)
Rainbeau has a pleasant voice. She doesn’t rush through her words, which helps this challenging routine have an element of relaxation. She spends most of her time with instruction, including some form tips. She also says things like, “Reach up beyond all limitations,” “Fold into yourself,” and “Enjoy your breath,” as well as asking you to do things “courageously,” but she says these things sincerely, not trying to be corny or anything.
March 6, 2006
This is a short practice, only about 30 minutes. 90% of the practice is Sun Salutations with an extra asana included each time. I was very weary of planks and down dogs by the end. In fact, I was so tired of them I will be getting rid of this DVD. There were very few asanas overall outside of the Sun Salutations. If I recall correctly, there was crescent lunge, down dog with foot elevated, plank with foot elevated, knee to nose while in plank... no balancing poses besides crescent. Only 2 seated poses, bridge and side twist. I think there was side plank also. By the time we hit the floor I was ready to roll after all the sun sal's and then BOOM its over! I hadn't looked to see how long the practice was or I'd have had a clue, but I was astounded that it was over after what seemed like a really long warmup of endless planks and downdogs. There are not really any flexibility moves on this other than a few shoulder openers and the side twist at the end. No triangles or pigeon variations, no forward bends.
The scenery is spectacular the the production quality is great. Rainbeau is a great instructor. It would have helped, however, if she named the next move so I didn't have to keep craning my neck to se what she was doing.
She is so adorable. The descriptions she uses made me giggle - something like imagining your arms to be straws sucking up the energy from the Earth.