Awaken Your Power

Year Released: 2004

Categories: Yoga

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I ordered this DVD and go it promptly with in less than a week. I did it today and inspired by Mollie F’s “be drunken” review challenge, here is the review. I also got a free CD practice with my order which is always nice.

The practice is split into five sections and is 70 minutes long. Each section is in itself a somewhat complete practice so if you are short on time you could do each section (savasana is only included at the last section). But they also flow together nicely.

The music is simple instrumental and not too loud. The setting is a class setting with maybe six other students, one showing advanced variations while one other shows beginning variations.

The style of yoga appears to be a mix of Kundalini and hatha yoga – not exactly power yoga. There are some sun salutations in the second section but they are done slowly and deliberately. This is definitely *not* an alignment based practice with detailed alignment instructions. Some alignment instructions are given but no where near the detail of Iyenger or my limited experience with Anasura, or Ana. The poses are held either short or medium length of time (with Ana being considered looong).

Astrid’s voice is very soothing and I loved her instruction which was more spiritual then alignment based. She seems to really care about teaching.

Another nice feature of this DVD: They clearly point out easy variations and harder variations with icons. They claim that if you do the easy variations, it can be a restorative session. Like during sun salutations, they do cat’s breath in the easy version.

Each section begins with a breath and a mudra. The mudras were new to me and were interesting and fun to try.

The first section: Breathe: had a diaphragmatic breathing section with breath of fire, a mudra, and some simple warm ups seated stretches and twists. Length: 10 minutes

The second section: Heat: had uuiji breathing, and some sun salutations and standing poses but done slowly – warrior 1,2 and 3, triangle, twisting triangle, and ending in a forward bend. Length: 25 minutes

The third section: Heal: had humming breath, side angle pose, bounded warrior, pigeon, and a few others seated I think (maybe split was in this section). Length: ~10 minutes

The fourth section: Polish: Lion’s breath, Boat, half moon, tree, squatting on the toes. Length: ~ 10 minutes

The fifth section: Shine, had Inana mudra (new to me), plough, shoulder stand in which she did a variation with one leg down and up and other side, and then she went backwards directly in to bridge (but did give a simpler way to get down if you didn’t want to try that). The savasana was very short < 1 minute but she asked you to continue on your own for 5-10 minutes. Length: ~ 10 minutes

Astrid has studied with Bryan Kest and you could see the influence but the style of teaching (no yelling) and the sequence of poses (sitting with standing and then again in the next section), as well as the addition of Kundalini language and the mudras make this practice unique.

Because I like Kundalini and still do Bryan Kest CD practices, I liked this DVD. Astrid is a very caring instruction and I very much liked her style. I personally resonated with the spiritual talk at the beginning of each section.

Christine Miyachi