Navel Power - Kundalini YogaAna Brett, Ravi Singh
Year Released: 2004
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This is one of the earlier DVDs (released 2004) by husband-wife instructor team Ravi Singh and Ana Brett. As with all of their DVDs, Ana alone is featured on screen modelling the exercises, but unlike with their newer DVDs, Ravi alone provides the voiceover instruction. For those unfamiliar with Kundalini Yoga, is a distinct style which involves meditation, unique forms of breathing such as the breath of fire, and movement patterns combined with breath; there are few traditional yoga postures recognizable from hatha yoga practice.
I have a chaptered version of this DVD (I believe that some of the older releases were NOT chaptered), and the Main Menu is listed as follows:
*Navel Power - Part 2
I have broken down each segment below.
TUNING IN (3 minutes)
As with every Ravi & Ana DVD, they begin here with three repetitions of the chant "ong namu guru dev namu." Ravi then provides instruction on meditating to the word of power "sat nam" throughout the practice. (Note: Ravi cues many breaks for both meditation and relaxation throughout the entire Navel Power routine.)
WARM-UPS (25 minutes)
First is a breathing exercise, breathing in to four counts (sa-ta-na-ma) and then out to one (wahe-guru). Next Ana performs stomach grinds and spine flexes forward and back, then sits on her heels and repeats the spinal flexes. This is followed by a held forearm plank with long deep breathing, then Ana returns to seated on heels for spinal flex with breath of fire (BOF). Seated with her legs out straight, Ana moves forward and back. Ravi then cues holding one leg with BOF. The warm-ups conclude with slow repetitions of elevated bridge (about 3 minutes total).
NAVEL POWER (29.5 minutes)
Lying on the back, Ana starts here with slow bent leg crunches; this is followed by bent leg roll-ups. Next, she holds elevated bridge with BOF. Placing the hands under the glutes, Ana performs double leg lifts and then parallel bicycle. Moving onto her stomach, she does cobra, bent-leg cobra hold, and bow pose with BOF. She then returns to her back, raising her head and heels 6 inches and holding with BOF. Again flipping onto her stomach, she raises all of her limbs (arms front) and holds with BOF. At this point, Ravi cues Ana to stand for oblique twists (alternating hands to sternum), slow side bends, and slow standing backbend to forward bend.
NAVEL POWER - PART 2 (16.5 minutes)
At almost the one hour point into the routine, Ana repeats both the crunches and the bent leg roll-ups. Just when it feels like the workout should be winding down, she holds wheel pose with BOF for about 1 minute (she suggests bridge pose as an alternate). This is followed by parallel bicycle, this time adding BOF and rotation. Next comes alternating leg lifts, and then, sitting on the heels, Sat Kriya performed for several minutes. The final exercise involves scissoring the legs while leaning back on the elbows.
RELAXATION (2.5 minutes)
In this short segment, Ravi cues relaxing and letting go after all the work put into the practice. He also introduces the meditation coming up in the next segment.
MEDITATION (5 minutes)
The meditation repeated here is har har har har wahe guru sat nam har haree, moving the hands in a pattern reaching up the body. At the end of the meditation, Ravi and Ana conclude (as they always do) with a 1.5 minute sequence that includes a closing prayer (a positive wish for self, a healing prayer for someone who needs it, and a prayer for peace on earth), and then a conclusion with a long "sat" and a brief "nam."
As usual, Ravi and Ana did a nice job with this DVD, although I did miss Ana joining Ravi for the narration. I recognized many of the exercises from their other DVDs; in particular, much of this practice felt quite similar to the "Fight Fire with Fire" segment of Fat Free Yoga - Lose Weight & Feel Great. But although I enjoyed this workout in some ways, my main problem with it is that, at a total time of 1 hour, 23 minutes, it felt VERY long. While doing the warm-ups, I kept wondering when they would be over; 25 minutes for the warm-ups alone is much longer than most of the Ravi/Ana DVDs I have tried. Furthermore, as noted above, the practice increases significantly in intensity AFTER the one-hour mark, a level of stamina that is fairly difficult to sustain. I'm not sure that I will do the workout again in its entirety.
This is a well-done DVD, and for fans of Ravi and Ana and/or those looking for a intensive core strength-building routine, I would recommend it.
As always, Ana performs the routine beautifully and gracefully. Ravi's voiceover instruction is pleasant, helpful, and easy to follow. He is gently encouraging, but he sometimes says things that some might find a bit corny (e.g. "almost there, dear").
Someone with pretty admirable abs recommended this one to me. It so happened I was already aquainted with Ana Brett's & Ravi Singhs DVD's but had never heard of Navel Power. If you are looking for a different direction, I highly recommend it. It is quite different from "regular" yoga or "regular" abs work. It really toasts my abs though, and I find it much more enjoyable than other ab workouts!
Ana Brett is very fluid. I understood and learned much by watching her. Ravi Singhs expanation gave depth and meaning to even basic movments.
I have to disagree with the reviewer who did not like the Navel Power DVD. I have a feeling she is just not a yoga person. She mentioned some of it being pilates like...well where does she think Joseph Pilates got a lot of his moves? Yoga! I personally do not like the type lof 6-pack look that non yoga ab workouts produce. I like the strong nicely shaped natural abs that yoga workouts like this produce. And & Ravi's DVD's are consistently good and this one is no exception. This type of yoga will take you out of the familiar yoga you may know. You will recognize some hatha moves, but there is always something added, like special breath techniques and movement. You may be surprized at how cardio these kundalini yoga workouts can be. It is an amazing combo of cardio and spiritual that leaves me buzzing and feeling happy for a couple days every time I do it. The moves are simple but not necessarily easy if your navel power was weak like mine when I began(after having twins!) I think the breath is what makes these navel exercises so effective. Form is also so important to really make any ab work effective and imitating Ana's form(at least trying too!) has helped me a lot. I am already seeing some change and have just ordered 4 more for gifts.
Ana is onscreen and Ravi off. Ravi has a very pleasing voice and his instruction is perfect and poetic.
Ana is very toned and athletic. She is grace and strength personified.
Yet another workout I tried and quickly traded. I found this to be a rather unusual yoga DVD, unlike most others Iíve tried. It wasnít even similar to Mantra Girl, which is the only other Kundalini Iíve seen. There are some good abdominal sequences in this over-an-hour yoga practice. There are also lots of segments in which you do the breath of fire, or meditate. Some of the abdominal work was more Pilates-based, in my opinion, than yoga.
I like Jonathan Urlaís Yogilates 2 because itís a relatively good blend of yoga and Pilates (more Pilates than yoga, IMO). Navel Power seemed to go back and forth between ab work and yoga. Lots of breath work and meditation interspersed with Pilates-ish exercises. I know nothing about Kundalini, so maybe this is Kundalini yoga. But it just didnít work for me. I didnít like alternating between the ab work and breathing/meditation. Itís a rather long workout (over an hour) and I just didnít have the patience for it. I was wishing I could do either yoga or ab work, or that they meshed better (Baron Baptisteís Core Power comes to mind).
Some people have had seen changes in their abdominals with this workout, but I think if youíre looking for an ab workout, or great yoga, this isnít the best example of either (or fusion of both). The DVD is broken into chapters so you can skip around, but there isnít a way to just do the ab sequences and skip all the breathing and other movements.
I tend to prefer yoga in which poses are held for a while, and ab work that moves more slowly. I think someone who likes Kundalini (breath of fire, meditation sequences interspersed with movement) might enjoy this, or someone who likes to focus on breath and motion.
This workout is just Ana by herself onscreen following Raviís voiceover instruction. Ana Brettís outfit has been described as looking like underwear, but I kept thinking it looked comfortable so I didnít mind. Raviís voice is pleasant and his instructions are clear.