Power Yoga for Beginners: FlexibilityRodney Yee
Year Released: 1999
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Though the title (which is part of a series that includes two other videos, Stamina and Strength) says "for beginners" this video is definitely NOT for anyone new to yoga and especially Sun Salutations. You are expected to know the poses such as mountain, upward and downward dog, pigeon, exalted warrior, triangle, etc. without explanation and you're on your own for any necessary modifications. It also moves along quickly; power yoga is not about perfecting the moves, though you do spend a great deal of time in downward dog.
The box also says that it's a 20 minute workout when it's really a 25 minute workout: nearly 8 minutes of Sun Salutations, 6.5 minutes of lunges, 5.5 minutes of seated forward bends, and 5 minutes of restoration and relaxation poses.
I picked this up because I have a tendency to be very tight in my hamstrings and hips and no amount of stretching seems to help (and I love the Joshua Tree location!). After doing the video twice I am definitely seeing some increased flexibility in my hips when I stretch, and last night I was able to reach my toes in a forward bend, something I haven't been able to do without pain in quite a while. For a quick workout and a low price, this is a worthwhile video for anyone who has some yoga experience and is looking for a way to loosen up in the hips and legs.
I've tried other videos by Rodney Yee before and never really warmed up to him though he's ok here. He is incredibly fit and agile and it's awe-inspiring to see him move through the vinyasas. He does a voiceover in this video so the cueing is sometimes before the move and sometimes right on it which can be frustrating the first few times through.
This is a 25-minute yoga workout that's great for tacking on to the end of another workout. The box says it's 20 minutes, but it's really 25. It also says it's a beginner's workout, but I think a beginner would have a hard time with it. It's really an intermediate level. The first approximately 14-15 minutes is a series of sun salutations, warrior poses, triangles, and a few other things I'm forgetting. Then the last part is seated stretch poses. While it's not long enough to give you that "floating on air" feeling that many power yoga workouts give you, it definitely gives you a nice stretched-out feeling. Grade A.
This is yet another in the Living Arts yoga series for beginners. And as with many of the others, I wouldn't recommend this to someone as a first yoga tape; I'd suggest that the viewer either take a class to learn the basic poses, or use the full-length Yoga Journal for Beginners video (as is suggested at the beginning of the tape) or use one of the Yoga Zone beginner videos. This would be suitable for an advanced beginner or an intermediate to yoga videos. That's about where I consider myself to be regarding yoga videos (but definitely a beginner when it comes to yoga in general). This workout was filmed in Joshua Tree National Park, and as with all of the other Living Arts videos, the scenery is gorgeous. The music is typical yoga fare--kind of new-agey and relaxing. On the cover the workout is broken down. It states that the first 6 minutes are Sun Salutation poses, the next 7 minutes are standing forward bends, and the final 7 minutes are seated forward bends. That would total 20 minutes, but in actuality the workout is a little longer than that, at about 25 minutes.
This video, as its title would suggest, does focus more on flexibility than some of the other videos in the series. The stretches are held a little longer, and there's less emphasis on the strength poses. There are a lot of good hamstring stretches in standing and seated positions, and some nice stretches (such as the seated pigeon) that open up your hips quite nicely. The lunge poses in this video emphasize stretching the quads and the hip flexors as opposed to strengthening. One caution--if your shoulders or wrists give you trouble you might want to skip on this video. You will spend a fair amount of time in Down Dog.
As has been mentioned, this video would be most effective if you were already warmed up, since you'd get the most out of the flexibility poses that way. I find it a good post-cardio or post-weights yoga video. I think it's one of the better ones in the Power Yoga for Beginners series.
Clear instruction as always, soothing voice, some form pointers. He really tries to help you connect the mind/body aspects of yoga without being intimidating. As in many yoga videos, Rodney does not mirror cue. During the first time through some of the poses he shows some less advanced modifications (not specifically mentioning that, though) but otherwise he shows the full pose.
I have this tape and I like it best of all the living arts tapes. Some of the poses he does a lot include upward and downward dog, forward bend (seated and standing), lunge, plank, triangle, and exalted warrior. He does some great poses I don't see a lot too, like pigeon lunge, where one leg is bent in front of you (knee pointing straight ahead), the other leg straight back, and then you lean forward over the bent leg. It feels great! He also does downward dog on one leg, with the other leg bent up and then you twist to the side. There is a fair amount of back bending, standing and from a lunge. I really like this. I use this tape frequently as a post-workout stretch because it gets my legs and back so thoroughly It's vigorous enough to keep your muscles warm for 20 minutes but not so difficult that it'll seem hard after a workout. I feel very stretched in my hamstrings, inner thighs, hips, quads and hip flexors afterwards, and all the twists and back bends feel great!