Yoga Cleanse - Lighten Up & PurifyAna Brett, Ravi Singh
Year Released: 2003
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Note: This DVD is also referred to as "Fat Free Yoga: Yoga Cleanse."
Although I tend to practice mostly hatha yoga, I have tried a couple of Ana and Ravi's newer DVDs and have liked them, and I thought it might be nice to add another Kundalini video to my collection. In particular, I was hoping to find a practice that would leave me feeling energized plus would offer shorter workouts for when I have less time, and after wading through the reviews on Ana and Ravi's older workouts, I thought that Yoga Cleanse might fit the bill. Yoga Cleanse is divided into three segments: a 11.5 minute warm-up, an 18-minute "Love Your Liver" segment, and finally, a 25 minute "Tear Out the Toxins" segment. The segments flow nicely into each other, but there is a brief pause between each section, and the menu also allows you to select them individually. The first thing that I noticed when I began the workout is that the production quality is not quite as impressive as with Ana and Ravi's newer DVDs. Ana is seated in the middle of a somewhat dim studio, and at the start of the practice, Ravi is seated off to the side. Ravi remains on screen to lead Ana through the opening meditation (Om Namu Guru Dev Namu), but for the majority of the practice, the camera focuses on Ana alone. Also different from the new practices is that Ravi alone provides the voiceover instruction; Ana does not speak at all throughout the workout.
As mentioned above, the warm-up begins with a chanting meditation and then moves into a series of moving stretches that includes stomach grinds, neck rolls, and cat/cow. The final exercise incorporates Breath of Fire (BOF) while lying on your back with both your head and feet raised. You then relax on your back for a few moments before rolling up to a seated position for the next segment, Love Your Liver. In this section, you will be working to stimulate your liver function, and so you will repeatedly return to a position of lying on your left side, right leg raised in the air with hand clasping your left foot, and the perform BOF in this position. Other exercises in this segment include transitioning from a seated to standing position without using your hands, bending over so that your torso is parallel to the floor and engaging in BOF, and twisting from side-to-side in a seated position while performing BOF through a curled tongue. I found the final segment, Tear Out the Toxins, to be the most intense. Virtually all of the exercises are dynamic movements (eg, vigorously moving your arms up and down, twisting from side to side), and you continue to perform BOF through a curved tongue, which I found tiring after awhile. After 18 minutes of active practice, the last 5.5 minutes of this segment consist of a 2-minute singing meditation and then a 3.5-minute relaxation and final meditation (Ravi again appears on screen for the final few minutes).
When I tried this video for the first time, it was at the end of the long week, when I was feeling completely tired and worn out. Afterward, I wasn't exactly rejuvenated, but I definitely felt better, and I wasn't nearly as fatigued as I had been. Although Ravi and Ana aren't quite as polished here as they are in their more recent productions, they do a good job with this DVD, and I definitely look forward to using it regularly in the future. Overall, I enjoyed this practice and would rate it 4 1/2 stars out of 5 stars.
As always in their productions, Ana alone displays the exercises, although Ravi does appear briefly at both the beginning and the end of the workout. Unlike their more recent DVDs, however, only Ravi provides instruction (ie, Ana never speaks). He can be a bit goofy, sometimes lapsing into rhyming, but he generally does a good job. Ana displays the exercises beautifully, although her form seems not quite as perfect as in the newer productions. Basically, this older practice has a less polished feel to it than the couple's newer works, but it is still very well done.
I've done this one twice, and each time ended up feeling fantastic after it was over. It's fairly intense while you're doing it, though you wouldn't think so from a preview.
Like other Kundalini yoga w/os from Ravi & Ana, this contains lots of meditation, breathwork, spinal rolling, ab/core work, and a few "traditional" yoga poses.
The DVD is chaptered,and broken up into a warm up, and two 20 minute segments - Love Your Liver, and Tear Out the Toxins. The cover says the entire w/o is 80 minutes, but it took me 55 - maybe I've missed something!
Like I said at the start, this is not the yoga you'd expect if coming from Rodney Yee, Eoinn Finn, Bryan Kest, Alan Finger, Karen Voight, Patricia Walden - all my regular yoga people.
It does feel more intense than you'd expect from watching, and something about it really does make you (me) feel fantastic.
About the only traditional yoga asanas I remember are childs, bridge, and corpse pose.
There are Kyrias (sp) to work your liver, thyroid, and open your spine, and lots of meditation & relaxation intermingled with the hard work of breathing, twisting,neck rolls, spinal rolling, cow/cat, standing and sitting quickly... it really doesn't look or sound hard, but when you do it - it is!
Breath of Fire really does get you fired up, and
Ravi appears only briefly, and then does voice over instruction, while Ana demonstrates the workout.
Ana is very lithe, limber, and pleasant.