Yoga Can Balance Your Life

Julie Rubio
Year Released: 2003

Categories: Yoga

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The menu is chaptered, and each section of the practice is sub-chaptered:

1. Introduction

2. Sitting Poses: 3 "om" chants, shoulder rolls, neck rolls, extend the arms upward, arms up side twist, side bend, seated half eagle, cross-legged seated forward bend, seated spinal twist, seated forward bend with extended legs, wide-angle forward bend, boat pose, cat stretches, side-side stretch, camel, rotate hips, bow pose, thread the arm pose and cobra.

3. Standing Poses: mountain, standing forward bend, right foot lunge into warrior I, downward-facing dog, push up, cobra, downward-facing dog, left foot lunge into warrior I, downward-facing dog and walk the feet forward.

4. Balancing Poses: mountain pose, triangle pose, side angle pose, warrior II, mountain, half moon, dancer pose, standing eagle pose and tree pose.

5. Final Relaxation: squat pose, bug, side to side spinal roll, raised knee to chest pose, reclined thigh-over-thigh twist and a 5-minute relaxing corpse pose (in which she doesn't talk). The practice ends with 3 "om" chants.

This 60-minute practice is filmed on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii (very serene scenery). The production quality is outstanding and the colors are rich. The soft background music is pleasant, but monotonous and almost non-existent.

Julie performs the practice alone on a wooden platform that's nestled among lush green foliage and palm trees (white sand and a calm, blue ocean are visible in the background). She speaks quietly and clearly; her usage of spiritual language is very minimal. Julie doesn't mirror your movements during the practice.

The pace of this practice is languid and deliberate. Some may find this dull, but it helps me to improve my posture, balance and strength. One major disrupt in flow is that Julie does not always cue on coming out of a pose. It's annoying to have to play "catch up" in the sequence, but the pace is slow enough that it allows you to do so. Once I became familiar with the sequence, it wasn't a problem for me anymore.

I like a variety of hatha yoga practices in my routine, and this fits in well for non-power yoga days with its balancing/strengthening asanas.

Instructor Comments:
Julie is a yogini in her thirties, who credits yoga as having changed her life. Julie believes that yoga is a rehabilitation for the spirit as well as a healing of bodily injuries.

Julie is an executive producer for this DVD. She also co-directed and choreographed this yoga practice.

Leslie (blue_hydrangea)


I have a mixed review for this DVD. There are plenty of pros. The scenery and film quality are beautiful. The practice, a little under an hour long, moves at a deliberate pace giving you time to get in to and enjoy the poses. I especially like this for the standing poses which are often dashed through during a power yoga practice. Also included are four balancing poses: half moon, dancer, eagle and tree. I really enjoyed the standing and balancing pose sequences. And since the DVD is well chaptered it will be easy to add on specific pose sequences to another practice.

There are also several cons. The practice begins with a seated pose sequence which I didn’t like and will probably skip in the future. (Rainbeau Mars’ “Pure Tranquility” is a much better seated practice.) A constant annoyance is that Rubio will talk you into a pose but doesn’t say when to come out. So you’ll be hanging out in triangle and suddenly have to scramble because she’s starting warrior 2. I also found it interesting that my back was killing me the night after I did this practice. Something to think about.

Beginners beware: I really don’t think this is a good DVD if you’re a beginner. The instruction during the practice lacks both detailed explanations of the poses and reminders for proper form. However, this might be a plus for those with yoga experience who don’t like a lot of chatter from the instructor.

Something else that warrants a mention: The sun salutations are very slow. I’ve never done them this slow before and she holds plank for what feels like forever. I found that doing the full round of three was demanding almost to the point of grueling. (She does mention that you can skip over rounds two and three.) By the third round I was definitely ready for them to be over.

For me, this one is a keeper for the standing and balancing sequences.

Instructor Comments:
Julie Rubio has a lovely, fresh presence. Her voice reminds me a bit of Rainbeau Mars sans the verbal imagery.

Gina (aka gxm17)


This is a nicely produced but unimpressive yoga practice. It is shot on a beach in Hawaii, and it is very appealing visually. Julie Rubio wears coral-colored pants and tank top, which goes nicely with the blue mat and ocean, and the green plants all around her workout area. There is pleasant but unmemorable music, and all the instruction is voice-over.

The workout is about 57 minutes long and is divided into 4 sections: Sitting Poses, Standing Poses, Balancing Poses, and Final Relaxation. The sitting poses are about 19 minutes and start with nice neck, shoulder, and back stretches. These move pretty slowly and are quite relaxing. You then move to more challenging seated stretches like seated forward bend, and then to boat, cat/cow, camel, bow, and cobra. The standing poses section is 13 minutes long and consists of 3 rounds of slow-moving sun salutations. The balancing section is 13 minutes and begins with the usual standing poses – triangle, warrior 2, etc. Next is half-moon pose and 3 other balance poses: dancer, eagle, and tree. The final relaxation section is 12 minutes and starts with a few hip stretches and twists and then moves into corpse pose. The workout starts and ends with three oms.

The instruction is not very good. Julie doesn’t say much; this is nice during the first section of gentle seated stretches, and I thought she was staying quiet so we could relax into the stretches. When we got to more difficult poses she continued to stay pretty quiet, and I started to wonder if she just didn’t have much to say to help you with the poses. Her main comment, which she repeated so much that I felt like kicking the TV by the end, was “lift your kneecaps to work the front and the back of the thigh.” Yes, you’re supposed to do this on pretty much all standing poses, but it was really the main (or only) instruction she had for most of the poses. There are so many yoga instructors on videos and CDs who can really help you understand how you’re supposed to be working your feet, legs, hips, belly, etc. during a pose, understand how to use your breath to deepen a pose, and help you get into and out of the pose. Julie Rubio is not one of those instructors, and I didn’t feel like my time was well spent with this practice.

I didn’t care for the sequencing in a few spots. You do camel pretty early on, and I didn’t feel like I was ready for it. I also found it odd that you do camel before bow and cobra, rather than using cobra to prepare for more intense backbends. The sun salutation sequencing is a bit different from what I’ve seen elsewhere – it’s not your usual A or B series, so if you’re really used to those from other videos the sequencing here might feel strange to you.

The workout is not a good choice for a beginner because of the lack of specific or detailed instruction. It also contains some challenging back bends and standing poses. If you’re an intermediate-level yogi (in terms of home videos, not live classes), this workout will be doable, but only people who really don’t want much instruction in a yoga video will enjoy it. (Also, you’ll need not to be irritated by the constant reminders to “lift your kneecaps to work the front and back of the thigh.”)

Instructor Comments:
Julie Rubio’s voice reminds me a bit of Sara Ivanhoe’s – it is pleasant but sometimes sounds like she’s talking to preschoolers. If you don’t mind Sara’s voice, though, you certainly won’t mind Julie’s. As discussed above, I’m not impressed by her instruction of the poses.



POWER YOGA FANS DO NOT ENTER****I had never heard of this DVD but was able to get it through the swap and I think it's going to become a favorite. However, as my lead line suggests, power yoga fans will hate this video. This is yoga that is slow and serene. The postures are held luxuriously long allowing you to work into the stretch. I feel you can really work on your flexibility with this one. The DVD is filmed on the North shore of Oahu and features Julie alone. The visual impact of the setting is quite stunning and attractive. Julie is on a wooden platform amongst intense greenery, wearing a bright orange red top and pants on a bright blue mat with the bluest ocean and soft sand in the background. The music is soft and unobtrusive. I'd say similar to Gaiam and Yoga Zone productions. On the woo-woo factor scale I'd say low : she begins and ends with three OMs (one each for mind, body, and spirit). The video is done in voiceover style by Julie. Here is a breakdown of the workout:

Run time around 60 min.

deep breath or two seated
seated shoulder rotations (forward and back)
seated neck rolls
seated torso twists w arms above head
seated side stretch
seated shoulder stretch
seated cross leg forward bend
seated spinal twist
seated forward bend legs straight in front
seated forward bend legs apart (straddle) then to right and left leg
Boat pose w variations
kneeling side bend (look over shoulder)
relaxation stretch
downward dog
sun salutations
mountain pose
right angle pose
half moon pose (balance pose)
squat (goddess pose)
dancer psoe
eagle pose
tree pose
squat (goddess)
laying leg lift (both legs straight)
leg stretch
spine stretch
8 minute relaxation some of it guided

As you can see she packs alot into the hour but the pace is slow. I like doing the seated stretches first. I used to take a class and that is what we did. It seems to relax and stretch the body before the more challening standing work. I hope Julie comes out with some more DVD's soon. I love her style. One note, there is a puzzling review of this on Amazon where someone states that she has an annoying accent, well, she has no accent at all. I'm wondering if that reviewer confused her with someone else (Wai Lana???).

Instructor Comments:
Soothing voice, has been a yoga professional for years.