I never thought I'd enjoy meditating (I'm an anxious, type A person), but I love this video. It's broken into 5 10-min sections: 1. flow series to warm up, 2. seated on the edge of a chair hip openers (I LOVE this part) 3. Demonstrates different positions to meditate in (some use props) 4. I don't know what it's called, so I'll call it relaxation and 5. actual meditation. The bad part is that on section 5, I want to keep my eyes open to see the gorgeouse Yosemite scenery. I guess I love this video so much because it's not an hour of sitting still. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to try meditation but thinks they aren't patient enough (like me).
Usually I'm not a big Rodney fan (I'm a Patricia Walden fan- you're either one or the other it seems), but I like him in this workout. He's very soothing.
I never even considered buying this video until I saw it at the library because I thought it would be all about meditation, which I wasn't really interested in. Well, it is about meditation I guess, but I don't think of it that way because it is a great stretching and relaxation video. I think of relaxation as something different than meditation, although I guess it all depends on how you want to define meditation.
The only section I don't really love is the middle section which is the seated poses section. Several seated poses are held for a very long time, and I didn't find to be either relaxing or good for stretching (my goals from doing yoga.) I can get something from the four other sections though. It works well for me to do the first two sections which includes a warm up and then the very best hip opener section I have seen. This is more complete than both Rodney's Back Care video and Yoga for Athletes. He does each stretch twice, so the second time through you can go even farther. He also does a stretch with your leg up on the chair, but this is different than his other videos, because your other leg is not facing the chair, so this is a hip opening stretch also. Doing these first two sections gives me a great stretch.
I save the last two sections for when I need to relax before going to bed (Wind and Meditation). The wind section is practicing breathing. This section along with the final section is quite relaxing. Rodney uses great descriptions to help you along with your breathing and I find his words very calming. I don't really consider this to be a "woo-woo" type tape because the words are just descriptive, not silly or too new-agey.
I would recommend it to anyone who likes yoga for its stretching and relaxation benefits, but probably not to someone who only likes more powerful yoga.
It took me a while to warm up to Rodney's videos, but I really like him now. I am used to his descriptions of the poses and I find his voice to be very relaxing, and I now really enjoy doing yoga with him.
This DVD has five parts to it:
1. Mountain – a 13 minute “quiet flow series”. This section is slow moving and gentle. It starts with about 4 minutes of standing in mountain pose while you lean forward, back, left and right. Then you do one sun salutation, holding the forward bend and the down dog poses for a while. After that you do some cat back arches, child’s pose, staff pose, seated forward bend while sitting with your legs crossed… This section is mostly seated and lying down poses and it is very relaxing.
2. Garden – About 10 minutes of hip opening poses while sitting on a chair followed by a few forward bends. (During one of the forward bends, you put one leg up on the chair while you bend forward). Most of the hip opening poses begin with you sitting on the edge of the chair, spreading your feet and legs apart and leaning forward.
3. Tree – This section provides instruction on 4 sitting postures that can be used during meditiation: cobbler’s pose, hero, sage, and lotus variations. Rodney uses props to show you how you can make the poses more comfortable. For example, he has you sit on block and place blankets under your legs.
4. Wind – This section concentrates on breathing. Rodney is lying down the whole time talking about breath.
5. Sky – This section is like a guided meditation. It shows Rodney sitting in a few different settings, and he talks a little bit during the meditation.
I really liked the yoga portions of this DVD, they are great when you feel like taking it easy and not moving too fast. I was a little disappointed that there was a lot more meditation, breathing and sitting than there was yoga, but I guess that’s why they gave it the title that it has. The scenery is awesome. The whole workout is filmed outdoors in Yosemite National Park, and you will see a waterfall, stream, sunset, mountains, and a snow covered field. There is also a good interview with Rodney Yee. He talks about how he felt all four seasons in one day while filming the video. I will definitely keep this video for the 23 minutes of yoga that it does contain, and also for the great scenery.
Rodney Yee's voice is very relaxing, and he gives good instructions.
18 Sep 03
In this video, master yoga instructor Rodney Yee guides the viewer through gentle yoga poses designed to allow you to focus your attention inward. The practice is divided into 5 segments:
1) Mountain. Rodney describes this as a "quite flow series," and it contains about 12 minutes of simple stretches to warm up the body.
2) Garden. This 13-minute section focuses mainly on hip opening postures such as twists and forward bends performed while sitting on a chair.
3) Tree. In this section, Rodney spends 10 minutes reviewing 4 basic seating postures used for meditation: cobbler, hero, sage, and lotus. Each pose is practiced with and without a block for variation.
4) Wind. The purpose of this section is to concentrate on breath while in reclining postures; 10 minutes.
5) Sky. In this final 8-minute section, Rodney leads you through a seated meditation. His soothing voiceover instruction reminds you to turn your attention inward and to focus on your breathing.
Although I tend to concentrate on postures rather than meditation in my own yoga practice, I found this video to be enjoyable and restorative. I particularly liked the third section, as Rodney's breathing instruction helped me to really feel a tingling sense of deeper relaxation in my body. Rodney is an excellent instructor; his beautiful form while practicing is a perfect compliment to the gorgeous background scenery. This video would work well for anyone looking to add the benefits of meditation to their yoga practice without having to simply sit quietly in a lotus position.
As always, Rodney is an inspiration with his perfect form; his soothing voice is perfectly suited to meditation.
Beth (aka toaster)
January 30, 2004