Being In YogaDarryl Dewald
Year Released: 2005
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At the start of this video, instructor Darryl DeWalk makes the point that it is an intermediate level practice that is appropriate for those who have taken at least 10-15 yoga classes. I would take this a step further and rate this practice as high intermediate/advanced, as Darryl includes many challenging postures that were beyond my own intermediate level. However, Darryl also states that it is sometimes helpful just to watch your teacher perform, and it was fun trying to go a bit beyond my usual limits.
Denise has already done an excellent job breaking down this DVD, but I'll add my own impressions. The main menu has three choices, Play All, Sequences, and Extras. I've listed the sequences below along with a brief description of each.
Opening Relaxation, 4 mins. Reclined cobbler's pose using a strap around the feet and a bolster under the back; provided a very nice opening to start the practice.
Vinyasa, 26 mins. Darryl begins in a seated position, which I liked a lot; I also liked the inclusion of boat pose so early in the practice. Additional floor postures are cobbler's, staff, and cat/cow. From a standing position, Darryl starts most sequences from down dog rather than moving through the traditional sun salutation; again, I thought this was a nice change of pace. The first sequence is down dog to lunge to twisted lunge. Between most of the sequences, Darryl does a vinyasa series of down dog to chaturanga to updog; chair pose and one-legged down dogs are also added in. Other sequences in this section include locust-warrior 1, single angle-warrior 2-triangle-side plank, and bow-crow-pigeon. The sequences sometimes flowed a bit too quickly for me, but overall, I liked this segment.
Inversions, 15 mins. I couldn't do much of this section, but it was still fun! Darryl begins with some handstand preps to open the shoulders and then performs handstand against a wall (2x). He then preps for pinca marurasana and performs this pose against the wall as well. Next comes unsupported handstand, with Darryl showing you several methods for "falling" out of the pose so that you don't hurt yourself; he even performs a few cartwheels! He finishes with unsupported headstand (I did mine supported).
Standing Asanas, 9 minutes. This was probably my favorite segment, and so I wish it had been longer. Here, Darryl performs several standing sequences, this time without the vinyasas. Sequences include triangle-half moon-bow in half moon; tree-dancer's pose; hand-to-foot sequence.
Seated Asanas, 14 mins. This looks to be an easier section at first, as it begins with a staff pose-forward bend-reverse plank series. However, Darryl ends this sequence with lifted staff, a pose not yet attainable for me. Also included are head-to-knee, revolved head-to-knee, cobbler's, maryichasana (with optional bind), half-lotus forward bend, seated pigeon (aka rock the baby), and several more challenging arm balances, including starfish pose.
Finishing Asanas, 15 mins. This section starts with camel and reclined hero, then moves into some more traditional core work in the form of crunches. It finishes with an inversions sequence: bridge, upward bow, plow, shoulderstand and variations, deaf man's pose, and fish.
Savasana, 7 mins. Darryl guides you through a nice, relaxing savasana to end the practice.
There are two options on the "Extras" menu. The first is sun salutations, a 3.5 minute sequence of lunge salutations. The second is an asana slide show which displays Darryl in various postures, many of which are not included on the DVD.
Overall, this is a very nice longer practice (done in its entirety, it's almost an hour and a half). At times, it felt very similar to my Anusara class, where we often play with arm balances and other poses beyond my level. I think that this practice is actually closer to advanced than intermediate, but intermediates who don't mind if they can't do all the postures are likely to have fun with the practice as I did. I enjoyed Darryl's unique sequencing and mostly liked his posture selection, although there were a few notable absences (eg, eagle, twisting triangle). I'd definitely recommend this DVD to others who are looking to advance their home practice.
Darryl teaches via voiceover in a beautiful Hawaii beach setting. His commitment to the practice comes across clearly on the screen, and I liked how he was reassuring about working at your own level (he suggests and sometimes shows modifications). Also of note is that Darryl himself composed all of the music for this video.
This is a solidly intermediate practice that can be accessible to beginners but I don't suggest it in view of the fact that there is very little instruction on getting into particular postures and their alignment and modifications and, in addition, Darryl uses mostly Sanskrit to cue the poses. That being said, if your have some familiarity with yoga, have taken live classes (Darryl specifically recommends at least 10 prior to trying the DVD but more might actually be in order) and know your own limitations, this is a wonderful DVD.
The DVD is chaptered as follows (I don't remember all the poses but here are some highlights):
Opening Sequence (basically bound supta badakonasa) which was a really nice way to open up a practice
Vinyasa (26 minutes of flowing standing postures including warriors, triangles, sun salutes and ending with king pigeon)
Inversions (not for the newbie yogi because there are no modifications shown) including headstand (both on a wall and in the center of the room), forearm balance and headstand
Standing postures (triangle, half-moon, tree, dancer, hand-toe Ashtanga style)
Sitting Postures (twists, janusirsana, supta jausirsana, some arm balances)
Finishing poses (ab work and backbends beginning with camel and ending with upward bow, shoulderstand including variations, plough, deafman's pose, fish pose)
Savasana (a nice long 7 minute one at that)
The pace is not fast but nor is it slow but I found it just right and it leaves me a lot of room to grow. The DVD is shot in Hawaii, both on the beach and in the rainforest, making it also very pretty to watch. There is some soft background music, Darryl's voice is very soothing and there is no flowerly language although you really get a sense that he is a spiritual yogi nevertheless.
Being In Yoga is a 90 minute intermediate level yoga practice, shot in Kahala, HI. It's one on one with Darryl using voice over. The dvd is chaptered as follows:
Opening relaxation: 4 minutes
Supine cobler pose using a strap & bolster. Set on a rocky ledge with the water splashing near by, this pose relaxes you and prepares you for the vinyasa sequence.
Vinyasa: 26 minutes
A centering meditation in easy pose begins the sequence. After the meditation, gentle twists warm the spine. Boat pose is next, working the core (knees and legs up variations shown). Cobbler pose stretches your inner thighs then you'll move into staff pose. This pose lengthens lower back & stretches the hamstrings. Assume all 4's position on hands and knees for the next pose which is the cat/cow. Darryl does this in a flow then moves into down dog. Here he alternates stretching one foot, then the other, then rises high onto his toes before descending the heels. Raise one leg behind you, bring it forward into a lunge, then prepare to twist. (lunging twist) Step back into plank, lower down, rise to low cobra, exhale & move back to down dog. Repeat other leg. Warrior 1 on each side is next in this vinyasa flow followed by extended side angle pose. Warrior 2 flows from there, as well as triangle pose. Single arm balance will really tone your arms. Repeat 2nd side. Rest in child's pose. Come to down dog, moving through the heels & rising onto toes to help lengthen your pose. Bring right leg up, bend knee, then bring it forward into Warrior 1. Plank, chaturanga, up dog, down dog. Repeat vinyasa left side. Flow into boat pose to stretch your spine. You'll repeat bow pose then relax into child's pose. Down dog into crow pose, an arm balancing pose. (tough!) Back into vinyasa flow then do crow pose again. Half king pigeon pose is next. This is a very deep stretch shown with 3 variations of difficulty. Repeat with other leg. Child's pose ends this segment.
Inversions: 15 minutes
Using support, such as a wall (Darryl uses a tree), you'll run through several inversion poses. He begins with a couple standing stretches then put hands on wall for a down dog modification. Forearm balance is next (doing same position only leaning onto forearms). Move knees to floor, go into down dog on floor, then kick up into hand stand with heels up the wall. Lower into child's pose. Perform another round. Turn with back to wall and walk feet up the wall. (these poses will also really work your upper body muscles) Rest in child's pose. Forearm balance on floor, then kick legs to wall as in handstand pose but now your on your forearms. Again, rest in child's pose. Freestanding, meaning using no support, handstand is shown. Darryl shows different exits out of the pose as a safety net. Headstand with no support is next.
Standing Asanas: 9 minutes
Mountain pose, then step wide into triangle pose. Half moon is next. Half standing boat then prepare for other side. Face front of mat, exhale fold forward, then come back up and prepare for tree. Following tree is dancers pose. Bring right knee to chest, grab big toe then extend leg to that side and gaze opposite way. Then bring leg forward, release toe and hold leg isometrically before doing left side.
Seated Asanas: 14 minutes
Beginning in staff pose, welcome your breath. Do a forward fold using your breath as a guide. Reverse table is shown as an easier alternative to reverse plank. Next is a tough core move called "uplifted staff" pose. Repeat this sequence again. Head to knee pose is next followed by twisting side angle pose. Repeat stretching other side. Another round of uplifted staff pose is next followed by butterfly pose. This will open hips and inner thighs. Spinal twists with different variations are shown next. Pigeon pose, cradling your leg, opens the outer hip area. Repeat twists/pigeon other side.
Finishing Asanas: 15 minutes
Begin in down dog then prepare for camel pose. Supine hero pose into 1/2 plank removes the kinks from the prior posture. Core strengthening is next. On your back you'll perform crunches, reverse crunches, twisting crunches and toe touches to work your abdominals. A nice side stretch into bridge is next. Upward facing bow pose, shoulder stand (with twisting variations) and fish pose complete the sequence.
Savasana: 7 minutes