Power Yoga with TracyTracy Groshak
Year Released: 2005
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Full Flow 55 min.
Daily Bliss 22 min.
Instruction: 20 min.
Who needs another power yoga DVD, right? That’s what I thought. But this DVD is unique and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I have tried quite a few new yoga media lately. This one really grabbed me. Here’s why.
Tracy’s instruction is more detailed than most other power yoga media. It’s not as rigorous as some, but my pulse remained elevated for much of the 55 minutes. While challenging, the practice felt meditative and calming. Tracy’s voice is soothing and natural. No affectations. No awkward metaphors. The closest comparables are Rodney Yee’s Total Body Yoga and Shiva Rea’s Yoga Shakti. Like those practices, this one is filmed outdoors. It’s set on a wooden platform in a forest close to the beach in Vancouver. A few scenes are shot in an airy loft with white sheer curtains. Very tasteful. Very serene. The music is soft and soothing. Nothing distracting. Occasionally some picnickers appear in the frame, but I didn’t notice this until the end of the practice. Only Tracy is filmed and she instructs via voiceover.
The practice is heavy on hip-openers, twists, and inversions. Those with wrist problems beware. High intermediates will probably love this DVD. About 2/3 of the practice consists of inversion vinyasas, including crow, forearm stand, handstand, headstand, and a handful of other advanced split poses that I cannot name. Tracy also takes the viewer through seated center and side splits. Yet even the non-advanced practitioner can enjoy this practice. As a low intermediate/advanced beginner, I wasn’t frustrated by this video. The poses are set up so that you can rest in the preparatory stretch pose or do a modified version of the advanced variation (e.g. dolphin). The inversions were not held long, so I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.
There are a few nice features on the DVD itself that make it more attractive. The cover art is a playful piece of eye candy. The menu has an instruction-off/music only function. turn the instruction off if you want to listen only to the music. There’s a 20 minute premix that doesn’t feature inversions for days when you want to get your circulation going with sun salutations and open your hips with lunges and forward bends.
The last feature tops them all. There is a 20 minutes instruction segment (which is separate from the practices) that is enormously very helpful. Tracy breaks down the poses within the sun salutation and inversions like crow, headstand, forearm stand, and handstand. Her instruction is very precise. I found her pointers on down dog very helpful. Here her training in Iyengar shows through. I found her suggestions more helpful than the pointers offered by Ana Forrest on “Pleasure of Strength” and Lauren Mones on “Aligning the Upper Body.”
This is a top notch video. A real keeper for me.
Fans of Eoin Finn may like Tracy. She co-taught workshops with Finn several years ago. I find her instruction more focused than Finn's, though her practices are also playful.