Power Yoga Total BodyRodney Yee
Year Released: 2003
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I donít use this DVD as often as I do Bryan Kestís and Eoin Finnís power yoga videos, but every time I do Power Yoga Total Body, I feel absolutely great afterward. This is a very accessible power yoga practice, usable by all levels except absolute beginners. It really lives up to its name, providing a relaxing and exhilarating total-body workout. It is not as difficult as Kestís Tone and Sweat or Finnís Power Yoga for Happiness.
This program would not be good for absolute beginners because little basic instruction is provided. The poses used are quite basic, however, so if you have a basic foundation in yoga, you should be able to get value from this DVD.
Sequence: Sequencing is a great strength of Yeeís. The sequence of poses on this video works very well, but varies from the typical power yoga program Ė you wonít find a Surya Namaskar B in the whole 65 minutes. The warmup seems slow at first, but builds to a strenuous sequence of standing poses; then there is a sequence of backbends; then an extensive series of seated and supine stretches. Repetition of poses and sequences is used to build heat and work gradually into the poses. The poses themselves are mostly quite basic; the most difficult standing poses are Warrior 3 and Half-moon (Ardha Chandrasana); the backbend sequence culminates in Upward Bow (aka Wheel, urdhva dhanurasana). I got this DVD a couple of months after I started practicing yoga and was able to do most of it immediately (with water breaks!).
Savasana: Savasana consists of two minutes with Rodney talking you through guided relaxation; then he instructs you to come into seated meditation. If you choose not to sit up then, you can have five minutes of savasana, with music only for the last two minutes during the credits. After the credits, the DVD reverts to the main menu page, which has a thirty-second music loop.
How I feel afterward: I just feel great after doing this practice: stretched, very relaxed, and with my muscles worked to a pleasant degree.
Props and modifications: In the introduction, Rodney says that if you canít do a pose, you should repeat the previous sequence. A couple of times during the sequence, he makes vague mention of using a strap to modify poses. No modifications are demonstrated.
What he talks about: There is no spiritual talk. Rodney talks about alignment and how the pose should feel. There is less talking of any kind in this DVD than in most yoga videos.
Music, setting, production: Rodney is alone, with instruction provided via voiceover. The setting is stunning: a grassy area at the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean, on the Big Island of Hawaii. The music is an instrumental composition, nonintrusive and unexceptional.
Chaptering: There is rudimentary chaptering: The practice is divided into four chapters, but only the introduction and first chapter are available from the menu.
Rodney provides excellent cuing. His voice is soothing and he doesnít talk too much. Rodneyís shorts are slightly longer in this than in the other videos Iíve seen, but are tight. (I donít have a problem with that, but some people donít like Rodneyís shorts.) He has an excellent physique and is easy on the eyes.
This lovely production filmed on
Hawaii's Big Island is a treat.
Taught at a slightly slower pace
than Yee's previous power
offerings, it gives the home
student more opportunity to move
further into each posture -- yet
still work in the flowing, strength
oriented "power" format.
The sun salutation series has mountain pose, forward bends, lunges, pushups, upward dogs, down dogs, warriors 1/2/3, triangles, side angles, half moons and probably more I have forgotten. There were jumps back into pushup and jumps forward into standing forward bend -- lots of little yet fun challenges. I found myself able to push into each pose further than ever before -- thanks to the pace. Rodney's verbal cuing encouraged the deeper movement, drawing attention to foot and knee placement, weight distribution, and, of course, lots of breathing. This part of the practice flew by.
By the time the floor postures came around I was warm, perspiring, and extremely content.
Floor work included a seated forward bend into a plow repetition, upward bow, camel, and, for advanced students, a full standing bow sequence. There was also plenty of stretching: reclining leg stretches, head to knee stretch, cobbler sequence, staff pose, extended forward bends, wide angle forward bends, half lotus twists, and bent knee twists. The practice concluded with a short but effective relaxation pose.
At only an hour long this is a great strength and stretch combination for advanced beginners to intermediates, since there a
Rodney at his best to date. He gives more detailed instruction for each pose than in his previous "power" workouts. His form is, as always, flawle
This is more beginner-ish than Rodneyís other workouts, in that itís slow-paced and the moves are not all that difficult. However, itís not a beginner workout, because youíre expected to already know the poses. He gives form tips, but not instruction. Even though I love Rodney, I kept wondering when this would be over. It was just too slow.04/11/2004
The scenery in this DVD is breathtakingly beautiful. Rodney is standing outdoors, on top of a cliff overlooking the most stunning backdrop of ocean and land. The clarity of the photography is superb. The music is the usual Gaiam yoga music, which I find to be pleasant and unobtrusive.
The entire power yoga practice clocks in at just over one hour. It begins with close to 40 minutes of standing movements. Rodney begins with a series of lunges and forward bends, upward and downward dog, plank and pushup poses, then a series of warrior 1 and 2 with triangle and side angle poses, followed by a more difficult series of warrior 1, 2 and 3 (which requires balancing on one foot). There are some additional poses, such as downward dog followed by lifting one leg straight up to the back, and another where you lift the bent leg up to the back. None of the poses are held for more than a few breaths. The standing section is quite long. I am used to doing Rodney's shorter Power Yoga DVDs, which clock in at only 20 minutes, so this longer version seemed quite long to me.
The next section of the practice is done on the floor, and consists of various seated and lying poses. There is a series of staff pose to cobbler, a series of poses done lying supine, most of which are for stretching the hamstrings and hips including single leg straight leg stretch (where one leg is up in the air and the other is straight along the floor), a series of poses such as bow into backbends, and finally there is a series of seated stretches, including single leg stretch, with one leg bent with the foot on the inner thigh, wide leg stretch (with legs in a straddle position), cobbler stretch (sitting with feet together, stretching head toward the feet), some seated twists in a half-lotus position, and also a stretch in half-lotus. At the end, there is a relaxation section, done first in lying cobbler's pose and then in relaxation pose.
Doing this workout will improve flexibility, strength and help improve breathing and releasing of body tension. It is not for a beginner, however. It is an intermediate power yoga practice. I recommend it highly and give it an A+.
Rodney Yee is the quintessential yoga instructor. He seems to embody everything that I seek to derive from doing yoga practice. He is serene, graceful, calm and calming, fluid, flexible and fit. His voice is soothing. He motivates through his own sincere belief in yoga and by conveying his belief and the benefits he has found from yoga, through his words and his motions. He's the best yoga instructor on video and dvd.