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Yoga Journal's: Yoga Practice for Strength

This is the most physically challenging of all of the yoga tapes I have tried. It requires strength, stamina and endurance. The unbelievably flexible and strong Rodney Yee leads both practice sessions.

Session one is a series of inverted poses which start with a vinyasa to warm you up and prepare you for the moves to come. Then it is on to headstand preparations: bent-arm dog pose, headstand touch and dog pose. Next is bridge pose, and then the shoulderstand series which includes: plough pose, one-legged shoulderstand and finally shoulderstand. You end with leg stretches and relaxation pose. The shoulderstand poses are extremely calming, and can be modified based upon your flexibility level and ability to balance. When you are doing a shoulderstand I would recommend that you place several folded blankets under your shoulders to protect your neck.

Session two is a series of balance poses that require all of the strength you can muster. You begin with a vinyasa and the move on to: mountain pose, triangle pose, side stretch pose, half moon pose, standing forward bend, tree pose, exalted warrior, standing forward bend, brave warrior, standing forward bend, boat pose, pendulum pose, crane pose and reclining twist. This session is tough, the standing poses become more difficult as the tape progresses and require you to balance on one leg. The pendulum and crane poses are floor poses where you balance you entire body off of the floor with the strength of your arms. I would imagine that it would take several years to work up to holding these poses for any length of time.

This tape is one for those who like to see the rewards of their practice. It is much easier for me to see the gains I make in strength and balance than the gains I make in flexibility.

I find Rodney Yee to be a terrific instructor. He is athletic and muscular, yet has an incredibly calm and soothing voice.

Laura Harper
8/25/97



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