Yoga: Gentle Vinyasa FlowZyrka Landwijt
Year Released: 2008
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
I just wanted to add pose listings for this DVD - there are two longer practices as outlined below and four shorter practices which are outtakes from the long ones (two from each). They are not dissimilar in the choice of poses, but the second practice moves faster due to the addition of "hook thumbs, arch back" lunges to almost all sun salutes and transitions.
seated position with arm stretches
staff pose with side bends
cat/dog on all fours / child's pose
half downward dog /child's pose
downward dog /child's pose
mountain to forward fold to mountain x2
mountain with side bend (one arm up), forward fold (repeat)
sun salute with warrior I, warrior II, triangle, warrior II, lunge (repeat)
sun salute with warrior II, reversed warrior, side angle, wide legged forward fold, warrior II, low lunge (repeat)
tree with hands in prayer
vinyasa to child's pose
gate & gate with extended side stretch, half cobbler's with side stretch (repeat)
boat pose (easier variations - one legged first, then several with knees bent)
cat/dog on all fours
up dog, down dog, cobra
seated twist, one legged forward fold (repeat)
seated forward fold
lying side twists
bridge with arms overhead
bridge with arms alongside the body
lying cobbler's pose
plow to shoulderstand
lying cobbler's pose
lying twists and head to knees
forward fold in comfortable crossed legged position
all fours to child's pose
cat/dog on all fours, then on elbows
down dog with pedaling feet
backbend with hands on waist
basic sun salute with lunge (most sun salutes go through a low lunge, arched back)
sun salute with high lunge, warrior I, warrior II, triangle, low lunge (repeat)
sun salute with high lunge, warrior I, warrior II, reverse warrior, triangle, pyramid, low lunge (repeat)
sun salute with high lunge, crescent, low lunge, lunge with front leg straight (towards hanumanasana), low lunge (repeat)
tree with arms overhead
basic sun salute to child's pose
cat/dog to up dog
locust (four limbs off the floor, then with hands clasped behind the back)
seated one legged side bend
one legged forward fold
chest opening stretch
cat/dog on all fours to child's pose
cobbler's pose with forward fold x2
lying knees to chest
lying straight leg stretch
bridge with hands clasped underneath
plow to shoulderstand
This DVD is a true gem and a very generous offering from a knowledgeable yoga instructor.
The title is very apt and describes the level and general feeling very well (which sadly is not always the case with other yoga DVDs in the market). It is indeed a gentle "slow flow" practise consisting of basic and low intermediate asanas put together in a deliberate, steady flow. The words "well designed" and "pleasant" spring to mind most often!
The DVD contains two one hour long flows and each of them has two shorter variations so you receive six practices in total, varying in length from over 30 minutes to over 60 minutes. First set seems to be a little easier than the second but they are not dissimilar. I have an impression that all shorter variations are premixes of the long flows but since I don't do the shorties often, please don't take my word for it.
The DVD also contains a pose by pose guide where Zyrka clearly explains and demonstrates how to perform each asana, also how to incorporate props when needed. She also lists benefits and countraindications for each pose. I found the guide very useful - even though nothing there was new to me, I picked up several alignment tips. For true beginners this guide alone might be worth the price of the DVD as it is very clear and informative.
The workout is filmed outdoors with Zyrka practising on a wooden platform among the trees, with the sky clearly visible. The production is very good and professional, but not Acacia style overproduced. The picture is clear and the angles are helpful, there is also quiet instrumental music in the background. Zyrka is a pleasure to watch and follow - she is quietly confident and graceful in her demonstration (while not showing off) and her instruction in voiceover is also clear and precise. Her voice is pleasant and measured; the general mood is on the mellow but focused side. The pace is unhurried but not too slow - sun salute+standing pose flows move well while seated poses or stretches have more time allocated for them. You will be guided through the usual sun salutes and flows incorporating standing poses and then you will go to the floor for a variety of forward bends, hip openers and a taste of more advanced poses such as shoulderstand.
Overall, this is an very well thought out DVD and I'm very happy I purchased it even though my level is a little higher - Zyrka's other DVD, intermediate flows in Saraswati tradition suits me perfectly. This one is exactly what is says on the tin: a gentle flow I can use on a light day, with numerous time options to choose from and quality instruction. On my level I love how it gives me time to get into each pose to fully explore and align myself in it. I wish I found it when I was a complete beginner to take full advantage of the pose guide and shorter flows.
I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to try yoga, especially that the price covers six practices and the guide which I find exceptionally good value and a true yogaish offering. For intermediate/advanced it might be too easy (unless, like me, they like to go back to basics once in a while) but then it is not created for this market anyway.
Featuring 6 different sequences, varying from 36 to 64 minutes in length, on 1 dvd, this Gentle Vinyasa Flow is a well developed program for the beginner/intermediate practioner. (it offers 3 1/2 hours of useful material)
Another unique feature that sets this dvd apart is the "Pose Guide". Here, Zyrka clearly demonstrates 23 poses. You'll learn proper form and execution which will enable beginners to master the poses and enhance their personal practice. The Pose Guide is chaptered well so that you can choose any particular pose you need to work on and go right to that lesson. It is set up as follows:
*Head to Knee
*Wide Leg Fold
*Legs Up Wall
The beautiful outdoor setting and soft music enhance the positive aspects of the practice. The 6 sessions are offered as follows:
Series A Routines:
Series B Routines:
Each session is unique and contains different yoga exercises. Zyrka gently guides you through "flowing yoga" postures, moving from one pose to another. More restorative than "powerful", you'll enhance flexibility and help alleviate pent up stress. (you'll also tone the body in a safe, non threatening fashion)
Zyrka works through all the poses alone using voice over. (if any pose feels challenging, you can go to the Pose Guide to work on that particular one to ensure proper form/alignment)
This is an enjoyable practice that would not only benefit beg/int practioners but all yogi's who enjoy performing slower, restorative sessions amongst more challenging power yoga sessions.