Yoga for Great Tennis

Anastasia Dorohova
Year Released: 2006

Categories: Yoga

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This video is instructed by Anastasia, Jivamukti-certified yoga teacher and avid tennis player/consultant. She explains that the practice is designed to help improve your tennis game, and throughout the practice, she makes frequent references to how specific poses might assist you with various aspects of playing tennis. Although Iím not a tennis player, the tennis comments didnít bother me, but other non-tennis players might find them annoying. Also, ads for Anastasiaís web site, Steady Bliss, occasionally appear on screen. The DVD is chaptered only to allow you to skip the introduction; the practice itself is not broken up.

The practice, which is performed outdoors in a scenic ocean-side setting, begins seated with several chants of OM (Anastasia instructs via voiceover throughout) and then moves into cat cow/stretches. Anastasia then embarks upon her version of sun salutation series A, adding in poses such as side plank, warrior 1, warrior 2, and triangle. She transitions to sun salutation series B, again performing warrior 1 and 2 but also adding warrior 3 as well as a seated twist. She concludes the standing postures with high lunge, moving into revolved crescent lunge and then binding this posture. Next comes a backbend series consisting of cobra, boat (the face-down version), and bridge pose. Anastasia then performs a reclined twist, does several spinal rolls to a seated position, and then moves into full and reclined heroís poses, which she states are extremely beneficial for the knees. Forward bends follow, including seated forward bend and head-to-knee pose, and then table pose transitions to inversions, including plow, shoulderstand, and fish. Anastasia concludes the practice with a lengthy (about 5 Ĺ minutes) savasana. During savasana, the soundtrack of relaxing piano music and ocean waves continues, and then Anastasia brings the practice to a close at about 49 minutes total.

This is a nice intermediate-level practice, although I somewhat preferred Anastasiaís Yoga for Tennis Elbow and Bad Knees to this one, maybe because the latter was shorter. Yoga for Great Tennis felt a little long to me, probably because it is so strenuous (i.e., there were MANY chaturanga to upward dog to downward dog transitions); since I don't tend to like vinyasa-y practices, I'm probably not going to keep this one. However, someone who has at least an intermediate level of experience in yoga, enjoys a vigorous practice, and cross-trains yoga with other sports activities (including tennis) is likely to enjoy this video.

Instructor Comments:
Overall, I thought Anastasia instructed well: she does offer some good form pointers, and her voiceover instruction seemed to match her on-screen performance well. She speaks in an accent but is easy to understand. She has a habit of counting out breaths, which was fine with me but might annoy some.

Beth C (aka toaster)