Yoga for Paddlers

Andria Baldovin
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Yoga

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INTRODUCTION: The DVD is introduced as having been designed to strengthen and stabilize the shoulders, increase flexibility in the rib cage, increase back and abdominal strength, and to strengthen and stretch the hips and thighs. There's some nice kayaking footage during the intro.

MENU: The DVD has the following chapters: introduction, meditation, pranayama, session 1, session 2, and poses. You can select individual chapters, but there is no mix and match function. The poses are detailed for each session - you can click on a specific pose to watch just that short clip, should a review of a specific pose be needed.

SET/PRODUCTION VALUES: The basic set has white walls and blue curtains. The background music is instrumental. Occasionally, a brief segment of paddling footage will appear behind the instructor, but I didn't find this distracting.

Session 1 breakdown:
Seated, cross-leg position
rib cage, chest and shoulder stretches
side stretches
leg lifts
fire exercises (slow leg lifts)
down dog
lunges (both sides)
down dog
forward bend
mountain pose
tree post
warrior II
forward bend with feet wide apart
staff pose
seated forward bend
seated spine twists
hip stretches

Session II breakdown:
Begin in kneeling position
cat/cow series
gate pose
boat pose
scales pose
navasana II
up dog
down dog
dolphin push-ups
side arm balance (side plank)
forward bend
side series (triangle, half moon, side stretch)
cow pose (arm modifications for paddlers)
leg stretches with strap

COMMENTS: I've had this DVD for about six months, and it's gotten regular use. You can use the sessions individually, or do them both for a longer practice. Session 1 is more basic, but anyone with yoga experience should be able to accomplish most, if not all, of the poses. The pace is not rushed, so you have plenty of time to work into each pose. The flow of the poses is smooth and logical. I am a kayaker, and purchased this DVD to help me work on some muscle imbalances that adversely affect my paddling strokes and have resulted in a persistent elbow tendonitis. Andria does modify a few of the upper body positions, and notes this is to prevent injuries that are common in paddlers. Since the practices are only 26 minutes in length, the meditation, pranayama, and savasana times are shorter than most of us are used to. Andria suggests 3-5 minutes of pranayama, and 5-20 minutes of mediation daily. If you hang out in savasana for longer than the running time of the DVD, the music will loop around, and you'll notice a brief gap as it starts over. I found this to be a minor annoyance, and mentally tune it out. I ordered this DVD from SeaKayaker magazine, and it can also be purchased from

EQUIPMENT: Yoga mat, strap. A block and/or blanket/small pillow may be helpful for some.

Instructor Comments:
The instructor's bio notes that she is a kayaker, raft guide, and yoga teacher. Her instructions are clear (voice over), her speaking voice is pleasant, and she does not mirror-cue (which did not detract from the program). The instructor presumes that the viewer has some experience with yoga, and the disclaimer notes that the instruction contained within the DVD is not a substitute for classes with a live teacher. Common names are used for all poses, Andria will frequently follow that with the Sanskrit terminology.