Gentle Hatha Yoga #2Jackie Casal
- Audio Workout
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Iím reviewing this workout after doing it once.
General workout breakdown: This 26.5-min. yoga MP3 flows through a gentle yoga series, working on strength, balance, and flexibility. It begins seated cross-legged before moving through these poses: childís, table top, down dog, rag doll, twist (in standing forward bend), chest expansion (in standing forward bend), mountain, standing back bend, forward fold, padahastasana, knee into chest (standing), twist (standing, with knee bent), warrior 1, warrior 2, triangle, fixed firm pose (sometimes called hero; with option of moving into reclined version), camel prep (with option of moving into full pose), seated on heels (sometimes called lightning pose), seated with legs straight (sometimes called staff pose), seated straddle pose with side bend, cobblerís, knee to chest (reclined), spinal twist (reclined, with one knee bent), dead bug, knees to chest, savasana, and supported fetal position; you come back up to seated for a short bow at the end. The pace isnít too fast but isnít too slow; I never felt rushed, although if youíre looking for a long savasana youíre 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, full fixed firm pose and camel are a little tricky for a true beginnerís class, 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.
Music: ranges from atmospheric to upbeat elevator. 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). Jackie recommends having block(s) and/or strap nearby; a folded up blanket (something not particularly squishy or fluffy) might also be appropriate.
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, and she feels more like sheís cuing a live class rather than doing a yoga media recording here. She cues well. Thereís not a ton of form instruction, alignment tips, etc., but Jackie includes a good 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, although thereís a mention of the third eye and some other yogic terms.