Gentle Hatha Yoga #1Jackie Casal
- Audio Workout
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Iím reviewing this workout after doing it once.
General workout breakdown: This 24-min. yoga MP3 flows through a gentle yoga series, taking time to release the lower body, especially the hips and related areas. It begins seated cross-legged before moving through these poses: childís, down dog, standing forward bend, tadasana, standing side bend, low lunge, samasthiti, tree, 1-legged down dog, half pigeon, cobblerís, bridge, supta baddha konasana, dead bug, reclined spinal twist (1 knee bent), knees to chest, and savasana; it ends back in the starting seated posture. The pace isnít too fast but isnít too slow; I never felt rushed, although if youíre looking for long holds, especially in savasana, youíre a little out of luck here.
Level: Yogadownload rates this as Level 1-2, or beginner to advanced beginner. I would not recommend this to absolute beginners since this is an audio-only workout (yes, it has a picture pose guide, but itís hard to look at it all the time; also, pigeon could be a little tricky for a true beginner, IMHO), but most regular exercisers who has been to some beginnerís classes or who has a decent amount of experience with other yoga media (like videos) and/or books should find this doable. Iíve been practicing yoga for something like 6 years now, but I have been in a back to basics funk for a while and always appreciate a well-down gentle yoga practice. I never felt like this was a practice just for beginners, which helped me enjoy it. I tried this particular one after a weights session and felt it was a great way to open up tense, tired muscles, especially in the lower body.
Music: atmospheric. Itís sparse and in the background, not at all intrusive or obnoxious or anything like that.
Production: clear sound, no extraneous noise.
Equipment: yoga sticky mat (or equivalent).
Space Requirements: enough room to lie down with hands and legs extended.
MP3 Notes: This MP3, available at yogadownload.com, comes with an Adobe Acrobat file showing you the poses. There are also 30 min., 45 min., and 60 min. versions of this practice available.
There are no chapters within the audio file. There is a very brief YogaDownload.com intro, which appears before every file.
Comments: This isnít anything fancy or innovative, just a straightforward yoga practice that does what it does nicely.
Jackieís Gentle Hatha #1 vs. Gentle Hatha #2 - 20 min.: These are two distinct practices. #1 focuses on opening the lower body, while #2 focuses a little more on strength and has a little more opening in the upper body. #1 is a little gentler, as it has fewer standing postures and a less strong backbend; it also works through fewer poses, so the pace is even a little more relaxed. I would almost say #2ís a hair more advanced in terms of level or difficulty. Jackieís voiceover is a little more relaxed in #2, too. Iím happy I have both, since they are different enough.
Jackie has a pleasant voice. In contrast to some of the other yogadownload MP3s Iíve tried, she uses less of a live teaching way of speaking and more of a yoga media recording voice. (Itís not mannered by any means, but itís not as natural, conversational, what have you, as some of the others.) She cues well. Thereís not a ton of form instruction, alignment tips, etc., but Jackie includes a decent amount to keep you on track but not overwhelm you. Jackie uses mostly English names of poses, and her language in generally is relatively straightforward and plain.