The Ancient Ayurvedic Yoga SeriesSarah Tomlinson
Year Released: 2005
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Iím reviewing this workout after previewing it only.
General workout breakdown: This approximately 70-min. yoga practice begins with three rounds of sun salutations. It then proceeds through three different sequences: relaxing (headstand, shoulderstand, triangle, forward bend, spinal twist, plow, and bow), harmonizing (tree, lotus, fish, cobra, turtle, scorpion, and rooster), and energizing (peacock, eagle, crow, swan, cow face, lion, and corpse). Each of the seven poses within a sequence is associated with a different celestial body (sun, moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn), quality, mantra, and yantra. The practice moves along fairly quickly, without a lot of time spent in the postures. Sarah does take time to get you into and out of postures. For example, thereís a brief corpse pose after each of the poses in the relaxing sequence.
Level: Iíd recommend this to regular exercisers practicing at least at the fully intermediate level of yoga (i.e. comfortable with inversions like headstand and with arm balances like scorpion). Although the cover says this is appropriate for all levels, this is NOT for beginners. Even with the suggested modifications (e.g. supported half shoulderstand for full shoulderstand), this will prove challenging even for those at the beginner / intermediate or low intermediate level. I had no idea this was as advanced as it was when I picked it up (hence the reason Iím writing this review after preview onlyÖ)!
Class: Sarah practices alone. She introduces the video live, but the rest of the video is done via voiceover.
Music: There is no music during the sun salutations; during the sections, there are mantras (which you can turn off).
Set: Sarahís mat is on a wooden floor in front of a beige wall.
Production: decently clear picture, slightly static-y sound (due to the microphone used). The camera shots are usually full body shots and from the side. Suggested alternative poses or modifications are shown in small inset windows briefly at the beginning of the posture.
Equipment: yoga mat (or equivalent). Sarah is barefoot.
Space Requirements: enough to do a full sun salutation and to lie down with arms and legs extended, with space behind you for poses like the plow
DVD Notes: The main menu allows you to choose the whole routine (with or without the intro), intro, relaxing section, harmonizing section, energizing section, and the final relaxation. You can also choose to turn the mantras on or off. Each pose is chaptered; in the relaxing section, even the deep relaxation parts are chaptered separately.
Comments: I acquired a video after taking classes with a yoga teacher versed in ayurveda; during a special workshop, she introduced us to the ayurvedic doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) and walked us through some asanas and flows to balance these. I was hoping this video would explore these concepts more deeply. Interestingly, the live teacher with whom I briefly worked characterized some of the poses, particularly the ones used for the modifications, differently, perhaps because she worked with a different institute. More significant, in my opinion, is the fact that this video seems much more concerned with astrology than ayurveda.
Sarah speaks in a rather mannered way, with an accent that I canít place; this is slightly less obvious when she switches to voiceover. She cues decently, but donít expect a lot of alignment instruction, form tips, reminders on breath, etc.