Element AM & PM Yoga for Beginners

Elena Brower
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Yoga

I've been interested in this DVD for some time, as it's one of the few routines on video taught by an Anusara Yoga-trained instructor. This DVD is led by Elena Brower, a senior Anusara instructor at the time that this video was filmed. She is featured alone here, instructing via voiceover in a beautiful flowered garden overlooking the Pacific that is the standard setting for most of the Element DVDs I have tried.

As the title would suggest, ELEMENT AM & PM YOGA FOR BEGINNERS offers two routines, one for morning and one for evening. Both are quite gentle, and both would be appropriate for MOST beginners, but I always believe that some prior experience and familiarity with yoga is helpful before using a DVD. I have broken down each of the routines (which are chaptered off the main menu) in greater detail below.

AM ROUTINE (35.5 minutes)
*tadasana (mountain pose) with several cycles of breathing/circling arms
*step back into cat/cow pose
*downward dog to down dog/plank vinyasa
*twisting lunge
*step forward/set intention
*2 slow sun salutations
*warrior 2, moving in/out
*side angle pose, bowing/expanding
*wide angle forward bend
*warrior 1, moving in/out
*warrior 3, balance only briefly
*modified side plank (odd entry to this)
*sphinx pose
*moving locust
*lying twist
*return to seated (<1) - no shavasana!

PM PRACTICE (28 minutes)
*start seated/2 moving meditations
*down dog/1 vinyasa
*pigeon prep, moving into twist
*down dog to child to seated thuderbolt
*seated twist
*stick pose (aka staff)
*stick pose #2
*seated forward bend
*stick pose #3
*bound angle
*sukasana (simple seated)
*janu sirsasana (head-to-knee)
*shavasana (3m) - end seated

I enjoyed these practices. In the AM routine, I particularly liked how Brower added movement to the standing postures; this had a Viniyoga feel to me. The PM practice was entirely on the floor and was relaxing (although not necessarily sleep-inducing). I also liked Brower herself, as I found her to cue well and to have a calming, soothing voice. I would definitely recommend this DVD.

Instructor Comments:
As noted, I liked Elena; she gives off a good vibe. :) She does not mirror-cue, but then very few of the Element instructors seem to do so. Otherwise, I found her cuing quite good.

Beth C (aka toaster)