Yoga Conditioning For Athletes

Rodney Yee
Year Released: 2001

Categories: Yoga



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Last year, 2004, I got into stretching workouts as a way of relaxing myself and dealing with really tight muscles, especially in the neck and shoulders. Since starting this, I have seen some real flexibility gains and have loosened up my neck and shoulder area. In putting together a combination of tapes, I have several athletic stretch tapes/DVDs and several yoga workouts that are mostly stretch oriented. I am NOT a yoga person, although I have read yoga threads out of a sense of curiosity.

I read raves about this workout and put it on my watch list of possible workouts to try in the future. When I saw it on sale at www.gaiam.com for less than $3, I snapped it up. And, Iím really glad I did. I think it will be my introduction to yoga Ė general yoga beyond just using tapes for stretch.

There are three sections, as mentioned in the other reviews. Opening, 12 minutes, is a nice relaxing stretch. I really like this section. Conditioning, 21 minutes, is more a focus on strength and balance moves. Integration, 22 minutes, is a combination of different types of moves and ends with a relaxation section. The relaxation section got a little long for me, but I was in a rush, so Iíll have to see what I think when I have more time.

Yee has two background exercisers. One gives strength modifications. The other gives flexibility modifications. The instruction is excellent and it helped me figure out how to do the moves and what I should be feeling. It is set in a garden overlooking the garden Ė nice setting.

I probably will use the three sections separately as add-ons to my regular workouts. I highly recommend this tape.

Instructor Comments:
He is a good instructor and gives calm, detailed instruction.

Laura S.

05/06/2005

Let me begin by saying that I am definitely NOT an athlete; I do work out regularly at home (with a recumbent bike and strength/yoga videos), but I've never participated in any kind of sports activity. However, I borrowed this video from the library after someone recommended to me as a good overall yoga tape, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn't need to be an athlete to complete the workout.

Instructor Rodney Yee begins the workout with a 10-minute stretching segment using a chair. These are more traditional moves rather than yoga type moves, and they focus particularly on opening up the hips and hamstrings. Although I'm not at all flexible, I was able to do all of the stretches without modifications, but Rodney works out with a woman and another man, both of whom offer modifications if necessary. After the stretching segment, Rodney moves on to approximately 20 minutes of standing yoga poses. I particularly enjoyed this section and found it to be better than other yoga tapes I've tried, mainly because Rodney holds each pose longer, explaining how to increase your flexibility and move further into the pose over time. The standing toning is followed by 10-15 minutes of yoga moves on the floor consisting mainly of forward bends and twists. Finally, there is a 5-minute relaxation segment at the end.

This tape certainly IS appropriate for athletes, especially since throughout the workout, Rodney talkes about how the exercises will benefit your athletic performance. However, for those us who aren't athletes, this is an excellent, easy-to-follow yoga/stretching tape with an emphasis on flexibility and balance. I would say that virtually all of the moves are appropriate for beginners; however, because Rodney does not explain how to do the yoga poses--he simply gives the name of each pose--some prior familiarly with basic yoga would be helpful, but watching the entire tape before performing it should also be adequate. Rodney is an excellent instructor, and I found him to be pleasantly slower-paced and less new-agey on this video versus the others in the Living Arts series.

For beginners, I would definitely recommend this tape over Living Arts' "Yoga Practice for Flexibility"--although that is touted as a beginner's tape, I found about half the workout to be undoable for someone at my level. I highly recommend "Yoga Conditioning for Athletes" for anyone looking to increase their flexibility and balance, athletes or otherwise.

Instructor Comments:
Rodney Yee is my favorite yoga instructor. He has a calm, soothing voice, and his cuing is excellent. Although he is clearly in excellent shape, he cautions you not to push yourself too hard, and he gently eases into the more challenging poses.

Beth C (aka toaster)

09/08/2003

I had previously done Tai Chi for one year and decided that I needed something like Yoga. I didn't know anything about Yoga nor what tapes were best for a beginner so this was a fluke purchase: a gem thru and thru. :-) I loved the high quality of the film, the setting was beautiful, Rodney's voice was pleasant to hear.

Here's a tip: get a comfortable chair not a wooden one when doing the first section.

I found it great for me as a beginner and as someone who is active (I ride my bicycle everywhere instead of other transport). I did it 3 times a week for 6 months and found an improvement in my flexibility, fitness and I was more calmer.

The music added and never took away from Rodney's instruction nor the video overall.

I have only recently re-started my exercise routine (as I took a break) and find that the poses can be intense at first... after doing the tape a few times, your strength does build up so they aren't intense.

A great video for stretching, relaxation (absolutely love the mediation at the end), improving your flexibility and fitness :-)

I highly recommend it.

PS You will need to put an hour aside to do this video tho'.

Instructor Comments:
Rodney Yee does the proper form throughout the video (advanced form). Great voice and great cueing because you can't always look at the video screen with some of the poses.

AussieVee

11/01/2002

This is my all-time favorite yoga video, and I own quite a few. I reach for this tape more often than any other yoga video. The emphasis of this tape is stretching rather than yoga in its more full sense. There are three sections, and I often do only the first section, which focuses on hip openers and lower body stretches. The first section is, in my opinion, worth the price of the tape. It is perfect for runners - you can add it on quick at the end of a run and get a nice lower body stretch.

I would recommend this tape to any yoga beginner, as well as anyone who wants a good stretching tape to tack onto athletic workouts. Rodney Yee is an excellent instructor, and I love the outdoor setting. There are two other "instructors" showing modifications, and props are used for some poses (e.g., a chair).

Loleen

05/12/2001

I am so thankful that Rodney Yee is making videos; if he made a new one every week, I'd buy them. Even the harshest critic of all, my husband, willingly and voluntarily will do any of Rodney Yee's videos, and has done this one with me several times.

This tape has it all; gorgeous scenery and great photography (high quality film), a nice variety of stretching poses, Rodney's soothing voice, lovely background music and wonderful relaxation at the end. I wish this tape was longer, even though I think it runs about an hour. The first section is done using a chair, and it is very effective for opening up the hips and hamstrings. Part of it is done seated, doing poses, some folding forward and some twisting. The next section is done standing, doing a variety of forward bends, side bends, downward dogs, lunges, warrior poses, eagle and tree (working on balance). There are also various poses to open the chest. Then you go to the floor for various stretches, seated on your heels, seated with legs out in front, seated with legs apart, lying on your abdomen (cobra, bow), on your back, stretching hamstrings and lower back, and finally, a great breathing and relaxation/meditation section. You really will feel great afterward.

There is good variety in this tape. My only criticisms are that the poses were not held for very long, and the standing section seems a bit repetitive in that there are several similar poses, one after another. Still, this tape is good for anyone who is looking to improve flexibility and to release body tension. There are 2 other participants behind Rodney; one shows beginner modifications, the other shows intermediate, while Rodney shows the advanced.

I recommend this tape and would give it an A.

Abbe

05/06/2001

On the whole, I can't say enough good things about this tape. Its a one hour video, but can pretty easily be broken into 3 segments for shorter stretches. Be forewarned, you do need a chair for the first segment. I found it really great for opening all the areas that get tight through athletics, and really appreciated the hamstring stretches (my hams are about as flexible as cast iron :)). Rodney does an excellent job of cueing, and the setting and music are beautiful and appropriate. The other thing I really appreciate about this tape is the background exercisers showing modifications "for those less flexible". All in all it is a great tape, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again.

Charlene

01/07/2001

This is a wonderful yoga tape that is excellent for all levels. Approximately 55 minutes in length you will stretch your body and relax your mind. Comprised of 3 different sections, you will need a chair and various yoga props (if you are less flexible) Two participants show different modifications for the less flexible and the less strong. Also since the two modifying participants are using props, itís good videos that may help you in using your yoga props.

Filmed in Hawaii, the scenery is beautiful. They are on a beautiful grassy area that over looks the ocean. Even though this is filmed outside there are very few shadows or distracting objects.

The first section is called the Opening. Using the chair as a prop, you will begin to stretch you legs, groin, and back. You will do seated half lotus, with one leg on the ground. A few spinal twists seated in the chair and other groin and leg stretches. Then you will stand while using the chair as a leg rest. Forward folds with on leg extended on the back of the chair, side angles with on leg elevated, as well as spinal twists.

The second section is Conditioning. These are standing poses. Some of the poses included are forward fold, downward dog, up dogs, triangle pose, tree pose, powerful pose, warriors 1 & 2, and wide-angle legs forward folds. As usual with Rodney he progress nicely in the beginning in the transitions to forward fold and downward dog. Utilizing the bent knee positions of both poses, you are easily led into the straight leg versions of the poses. All of the standing poses flow very well together. Alternating sides then moving on the next pose makes for a nice flow.

The third section is Integration. This is a nice section of both seated and lying poses. There are lots of leg stretches. You begin in the heroís pose integrating back bends and nice arm stretches. Other poses are the cobra, bow, various position leg stretches, cobblers, happy baby, as well as spinal twists. These seated and lying poses work well together to stretch and relax your back as well as you inner thighs and hamstrings. This sections ends with a wonderful 6-minute guided body awareness and relaxation.

This is one of my favorite yoga tapes. Since it shows modifications for the less flexible and less strong, I think many people will be able to benefit from the yoga stretches even if they are not advanced or super flexible. As usual Rodney Yee is motivating and performs each pose with graceful and very proper form.

This is by far one of the best yoga videos on tape. And the nice longer length is a great addition to the other Living Arts Yoga videos that are shorter in length.

Susie F.

12/10/2000