Power Yoga Southern StyleFran Glendinning
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I’m reviewing this workout after previewing and doing it once since acquiring it a couple of months ago.
General workout breakdown: This yoga workout lasts about 55 minutes. It begins standing in mountain pose and proceeds into “salutations to the sun.” Next come the warrior series, triangle series (regular and reverse) with a balancing pose (often called a T pose, but I don’t remember what the yoga name is), kneeling cat with movement, and downward dog variations. Seated and supine poses for the abdominals follow, topped off with lying spinal twists (including the morning star). Next come some seated hip openers, stretches (primarily for the lower body and torso), shoulder rolls, neck rolls, and a final supine relaxation. The class ends in full or half lotus or simple cross legged position.
The pace isn’t the typical quick power yoga, with one pose per inhalation / exhalation. Instead, Fran holds poses (oh, the agony of holding planks!) or moves deliberately.
There are a number of planks, push ups, and downward dogs, so avoid this one if you have wrist problems.
Level: I’d recommend this to someone with some yoga experience, even though the cover says this is appropriate for all levels. Yes, there are modifications for someone with limited strength and flexibility, but I don’t feel that this has enough instruction for true beginners to yoga, particularly those with limited flexibility and/or strength. That said, an advanced yogi(ni) wouldn’t find challenging advanced poses here. I consider myself a low intermediate in yoga; I have three years of experience but still need to improve my strength and flexibility. I found this video appropriately challenging for me, following the modifications that best suited my abilities.
Class: Fran practices with two young women and instructs via voiceover. One young woman shows modifications for the less advanced, and the other or Fran shows some variations on the main moves, many of which are meant to make the asanas slightly more challenging.
Music / Set / Other Production Notes: The gentle flute music is very light, almost inaudible; waves serve as the background noise for corpse pose. There are some twittering bird noises, too. The class is on an outdoor patio in a wooded area. The picture and sound quality are fine—nothing big budget, although this is a well done production.
Equipment: sticky mat (or equivalent). The modifier has a block and a low wall (a chair, coffee table, or ottoman would probably be more readily available for most of us). All participants are barefoot.
Space Requirements: enough room to move your arms and legs around while standing or lying on your mat. If you’re doing the abdominals section, make sure there’s nothing behind you as you lie down because you’ll bring your feet over your head.
DVD Notes: The workout is divided into about 8 chapters, with the warnings and other advice in a separate chapter before. There are no other bells or whistles except for a bio of Fran.
Conclusion: The verdict’s still out on this one for me. It’s a good program, but the question will be how often I feel inspired to reach for it on my crowded yoga shelf. Fran doesn’t have the personality of Eoin, Erich, Shiva, etc., so I will have to consciously look for this one rather than go with what pops into my head (which is normally how I pick yoga videos). The length is a drawback in the rotations I do now, but I’ll have to see if I can figure out something with the chaptering (although, truth be told, I’d rather do it all or nothing at all). I generally don’t use yoga for working my abdominals, so I’ll most likely skip that the next time around.
This is a more athletically-focused program. While Fran does discuss being conscious of your breath / posture / movement, examining how you feel during the practice, etc., she does not include talk that could be considered spiritual or flowery. Fran uses only the English names for poses when she names them.
Fran, an experienced yoga instructor, now teaches UAB students; you can tell she’s used to teaching live classes of students of varying abilities. (She reminds me of the yoga instructor at my college.) She cues fine, although she doesn’t mirror cue. Also, there are a few poses she doesn’t hold as long on the second time or even skips. Fran focuses on basic instruction with some form pointers—probably not enough for true beginners, but helpful to someone who’s not a yoga expert.
Fran has a soft southern (U.S.) accent and says, “Namaste, y’all,” but the southern theme isn’t pounded into you. That said, this video is a southern production, seen in the impeccable make-up on all participants and Fran’s emphasis on trimming the waist and strengthening the muscles of the neck. (After all, the South is a place where ladies do not sweat; they perspire!)