Pure TranquilityRainbeau Mars
Year Released: 2002
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Please note that I wrote these reviews about 4 years ago; I've copied and pasted both the review of the yoga portion and the slightly later review of the meditation as originally written.
At the time of the reviews I had done the yoga portion several times and the meditation once. I went on to use the yoga segment a lot and the meditation several more times over the next few years; it was one of few practices I could handle when I was battling an on again, off again illness. In fact, I did it so much that I burned out on it, and I ended up passing it on because I came to associate it with that rather unfun period of time in my life, although parting with it hasn't been a regret-free experience.
General workout breakdown: This 27-28 minute workout is done entirely seated. Yes, that’s right. A floor practice with no down dogs, planks, bridges, or even corpses. Rainbeau takes you through centering and breathing, seated twists, arm and shoulder stretches, and some leg and hip stretches before ending as you’ve been almost the entire practice: in simple cross legged position (sukhasana). This workout is meant to prepare you for meditation, although I’ve used it as a gentle, relaxing practice.
Level: I’d recommend this to any beginner (although some previous yoga experience would be helpful because Rainbeau only suggests some modifications and doesn’t include a lot of instruction) to intermediate. I have over two years of yoga experience but am working on improving my strength and especially my flexibility. I have recently begun practicing at an intermediate level. I find this great for a lighter day, although a number of moves challenge my flexibility.
Class: Rainbeau alone.
Music / Set / Other Production Notes: The atmospheric music (lots of flutes) is appropriate but forgettable. Rainbeau practices on a platform among volcanic rock right near the ocean. This is a Natural Journeys production, so the sound and picture quality are very good.
Equipment: sticky mat (or equivalent). A pillow or blanket is recommended at times for those who need extra support. Rainbeau is barefoot.
Comments: Rainbeau instructs via voiceover, which once or twice is visibly way off the move. For example, she’ll say to finish the move, and you look up and she’s not even close to coming out of the pose. Most of the time it’s much closer.
You don’t need much space for this. You should be able to have enough room to stretch your legs out in front of you and stretch your arms to each side.
DVD Notes: The DVD has that Natural Journeys intro, which you can skip with just the right buttons. Your menu options are Play Routine, Chapter Selections (Breathing & Focusing, Seated Twists, Arms & Shoulders, Leg Stretching), Special Features (Bonus Mediation [sic]—haven’t yet tried this 10 minute meditation filmed at sunset but would like to, Workout to Music w/o Narration, Photo Gallery, Trailers of the other three videos in the Sacred Yoga Vinyasa Flow Practice series), Audio Features (Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1), and Credits. There is a little intro to the routine that you can’t skip; I don’t know why I need to have Rainbeau say hello to me and tell me about the routine every time I do it. Put that in a separate chapter, folks!
Conclusion: This is a keeper. I have to admit that some days I just feel like sitting and stretching; this is a great workout for that. Two other videos that also never leave the floor: Karen Voight’s Yoga Focus (stretch segment) and Body Wisdom Media’s Yoga (Complete) for Every Body and Yoga for Inflexible People (various sequences). I enjoy Karen’s a little more than Rainbeau’s, but then I’m often partial to things I’ve had a little longer.
I previously reviewed the yoga portion but would like to add a review of the bonus 10 minute long meditation available on the DVD.
The meditation is filmed in the same ocean-side location as the yoga portion but after the sun has set. Rainbeau again is the only class member and instructs via voiceover. As Rainbeau doesn’t move during the meditation, there isn’t much of a reason to look at the TV. (This is one time when I would have preferred an audio presentation.)
Rainbeau has you sit cross-legged for the entire meditation, with your attention tuned into your breath and your eyes focused on a point. There is a bit of a welcoming speech, so if you’ve just come from the yoga portion you’d have to be careful not to come out of your relaxed state by her change in tone. The meditation as I understand it—and I must add the disclaimer that I know very little about meditation as well as yogic philosophy and beliefs—is meant to awaken your chakras. Rainbeau moves from the base of your spine to the crown of your head, listing the qualities associated with each chakra. She then gives it a color of the rainbow (imagine that!) and has you visualize that color moving up your spine and then cascading over you. (One of the chakras is associated with, shall I say, sensuality, so you may want to skip this if you’re uncomfortable thinking about that. Rainbeau isn’t crass about it or anything, though.)
I found this meditation deceptively difficult in keeping my mind focused on breath and my eyes focused on one point. I found the explanation of the chakras and the idea of colored energy flowing up my spine—this helped me keep sitting up straight, for sure!—interesting, although I’ll have to look for a little more info about the concept to do it justice. I have done other meditations with colors that were meant to heal, and as a visual person I like having that element added into such a practice.
Will I do this a lot? I’m not sure. But now that I’ve tried it I would like to work on sitting still and keeping focused. 10 minutes is a reasonable amount of time for this; it’s a little long for a beginner at meditation like me, but it’s certainly doable.
Rainbeau teaches well, cueing more than instructing or even providing form tips. She mirror cues, except for a slip up or two. Like you might expect from someone named Rainbeau, she’s a content, friendly, hippy-ish person. She does use some New Agey language, including some mentions of the Divine (no name given), but I didn’t find it too distracting or “out there.” (I’ve been working out with Eoin Finn, Shiva Rea, etc.; Rainbeau is comparable, even a little less New Agey in this video than Shiva in Yoga Shakti, for example.) There are some times where she finishes one thought and jumps right into another one; this leads to some oddly juxtaposed comments. That may be sloppy editing (as with the voiceover out of synch with moves) more than Rainbeau’s true personality and style, though.
This is about 30 minutes long and all seated and slowly done. I think it's a preparation for meditation. I did it last night and enjoyed it. It's not rushed at all.I think it's hard in that you have to be patient and move slowly in the poses. I thought it would never start with anything other than breathing! and holding the arms up and to the side ..started feeling that! (beginner and was tired) but has nice seated forward bends and side bend (keeps changing the cross of the legs too) and nice twists done several times on each side. also has a great hip opener where you cross one ankle of the other knee and then bend the straight leg if yo ucan to feel it more in the hip.
I have other yoga practices that I'll probably do more but I got the 4pack vhs cheap (beginner, pure sweat and pure power) and thought it'd be nice to try something different for a change and I do like it and will probably do it again since i have it and the stretches were nice. also had some neck stretches in there too and everything is done slowly and quietly and very relaxed.
voice over, nice voice, very calm looking
This DVD includes a gentle 30 minute yoga routine which is done entirely seated, plus a bonus 10-minute meditation. The background scenery is a Maui beach.
Rainbeau says several times that yoga is not a competition, and that whatever you can do now is perfect. I found this motivating.
This routine is one of the most relaxing ones I own. It has a very "new age" tone, which I like, but which might not work for some people.
Quiet & soothing voice, uses very poetic language and imagery
This is a very thorough, very relaxing 30 minute yoga video - she mentions that it is to prepare for meditation. The stretches/poses are held for a good amount of time and she cues pretty well. She is a little "woo woo" in the video, but I didn't find it too distracting or annoying. One comment: she spends most of the time on the upper body, little on the lower but I don't really mind that. Overall, I think this is a great video for any level.
Good cueing and demonstrates the poses very well. She doesn't really offer a lot of modifications but for this one, I don't think you need them. A little woo-woo, so be warned.
Pure Tranquility is a yoga practice designed to prepare you for meditation by relaxing your body and clearing your mind. Even more so than Rainbeau Mars' Beginners video, this is a truly gentle routine--the entire 27-minute practice is performed on the floor. Throughout the practice, Rainbeau reminds you to concentrate on your breathing in order to allow your mind to become focused. She then leads you through a series of gentle stretches, many of which are recognizable from more traditional stretching programs, such as shoulder and tricep stretches. After throughoutly releasing muscles in the upper body, Rainbeau moves on to gentle twists for the lower body, always focusing on opening the hips as well. Although the practice ends rather abruptly, it leaves you in a perfect position for continuing in a seated meditation or reclining on the floor for relaxation pose.
This is perfect practice for anyone who wants a very gentle, very relaxing yoga program, but it would also be a great video for those totally new to yoga and wanting to increase their flexibility through very simple yoga stretches. Highly recommended!
Rainbeau comes across as sort of a young, happy, hippy chick. She provides excellent mirrored cuing and is obviously very knowledgable about yoga.
I did this 30 minute video for the first time last night. What a really relaxing yoga practice! It is very gentle and peaceful. No dread factor at all. Rainbeau Mars leads you through upper and lower body stretches at a very calm pace. She was talking a lot, but I didn’t hear much of it as I was focused on my breathing. (And my cat kept trying to sit in my lap!)
Many yoga videos are recommended for use before sleeping, but this is the first one I would recommend. The poses are all done seated. And, best of all, you can do this in your nightgown and then go right to bed. (Of course, I didn’t sleep any better. I think my insomnia is beyond yoga!)
I’m a bit late to the yoga party, but I am glad to have discovered this one!
She talks a lot, but has a nice voice. I don't know if I would like her other workouts. She looks mighty flexible and advanced!
Pure Tranquility is a wonderful seated practise that will prepare you for meditation. Ifyou don't want to meditate its a great tool for winding down the day or to add onto the end of a power or ashtanga practise.
You remain seated throught the asana's, First you prepare with breathing and focusing. This is quite relaxing and grounding. Next you perform seated twists, moving on to arms and shoulders and then some very lovely leg stretching. The practise is slow and very focused. Its quite lovely. Finally you sit in seated meditation and do a short one.
On the DVD there is a Bonus meditation that focuses on the Chakras. Doing this is a nice way to end the practise.
On DVD you also have the option of doing the session without the narration; with music only. Personally, I would prefer to hear Rainbeau, her use of imagery and her very soothing voice.
Rainbeau Mars is a joy! She speaks clearly and with intent. You can feel and visualize her words.
This is a yoga practice that is supposed to prepare you for meditation. It is a slow methodical yoga stretch that I find very relaxing. The DVD has a bonus meditation section which I sometimes do but more often than not, I'm so relaxed after the yoga that I don't get to the bonus section. There's quite a bit of 'new age' talk. I don't mind it. The workout is about 30 mins and I highly recommend it.
As you could guess by her name, Rainbeau emanates a hippy vibe. I like her and the vibe.
Pure Tranquility is one of the “Sacred Yoga” series by Rainbeau Mars which also contains Pure Power, Pure Sweat, and Beginners Yoga. I think the entire set is excellent and each video contains a program that is unique enough to provide nice variety. Each video is filmed with a beautiful Hawaiian beach/ocean backdrop. Rainbeau performs the moves alone on the beach with a voice-over of the instructions. The approach in each of the Sacred Yoga videos embraces the mind/body emphasis and is similar in approach to Shiva Rea, Kripalu, and Erich Schiffman.
Pure Tranquility is a gentle, centering yoga series that mainly focuses on sitting postures, hip and shoulder openers, and twists. It is excellent just before bed, in preparation for meditation, or on a day when a gentle, compassionate approach is called for. I particularly like Rainbeau’s kind, affirming voice and directions. This video is appropriate for any level.
The Collage Catalog indicates that of the four tapes Pure Tranquility is the “least yoga-like”, which I think is misleading. If you think of Yoga in the purely physical sense, it is true that this video has less of the typical postures, (e.g. no sun salutations or downward dog). However, it is the most focused on mind/body balance, centering, and preparation for meditation, so in my mind, it is the most yoga-like.
Two minor knit-picks about all the videos in this series: (1) the phrase “enjoy your breath” is overused throughout all four videos, (2) each tape ends in shavasana, but there is very little time at the end of the video to relax before a jarring transition to advertisements for other exercise videos, complete with loud rock music. I dubbed a tape for my own use so I could get rid of this annoyance.