Yoga Inside Out: The Healing Way

Paula Tursi
Year Released: 2007

Categories: Yoga

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I recently discovered this DVD at a used book sale. As a yoga teacher, I'm always curious about making my classes therapeutic to help benefit my students, and since this DVD--subtitled "The Healing Way"--specifically mentioned that it helped with lower back, knee, and hip pain, I thought I would give it a try.

I wasn't familiar with the instructor, Paula Tursi, but I read that she holds Masters degrees in both Psychology and Education. That makes sense, as part of this DVD is educational in nature. The Main Menu of the DVD offers the following options:
Body Lesson: The Spine
Program: Breathing Practice - Warm Up - Sun Salutations
Standing Flow: Balancing - Forward Bending - Back Bending & Inversions - Deep Relaxation - Meditation
Deeper Exploration

In her Intro (4 minutes), Tursi talks about how each body is unique and how she and the background exercisers would be working from different levels during the routine. I found the Body Lesson to be the most interesting section of this video. In this segment (10.5 minutes), Tursi focuses on correct positioning of the pelvis. She uses a student to help her to demonstrate these principles in cat/cat, warrior 2, mountain pose, and warrior 1.

The yoga practice itself is quite long--about 73 minutes--although it is well-chaptered. It was a decent beginner to low intermediate routine, but Tursi didn't provide the same kind of helpful form information as she did in the lesson part of the DVD. The practice opens on the floor with belly breathing, reclined leg stretch series, cat/cow, and down dog. From mountain pose, Tursi moves into sun breaths and lunge salutations, adding warrior 1. The standing flow includes warrior 1, warrior 2, side angle, peaceful warrior, humble warrior, and wide angle standing twist. This is followed by a short sequence of balance postures. Transitioning to the floor, Tursi performs down dog, down dog split, full forward bend, bound angle, head-to-knee pose, and seated heart opener. The back bends/inversions include bridge with an optional plow pose/shoulderstand and then fish pose. The shavasana is quite short for such a lengthy practice (about 3 minutes), and Tursi talks the entire time. The meditation was also quite short at about 3 minutes.

I also liked the Deep Exploration. In this section, Tursi uses a student to show what I would call "tricks" or assists for accessing some of the poses more easily. Unfortunately, it moves VERY quickly! In about 4.5 minutes, all of the following postures are covered, with Tursi providing voiceover instruction: wide legged forward bend, shoulderstand 1, shoulderstand 2, tree, and pigeon.

In the end, I would say that this DVD includes some instruction gems but that the yoga practice itself is very average. I'll hang on to this DVD for now as I work to internalize some of what Tursi teaches, but I don't see keeping it in the long run.

Instructor Comments:
Tursi definitely seemed very knowledgeable, and as noted above, I liked her instructional segments. I just wish she had incorporated more of that into the actual routine.

Beth C (aka toaster)



The set reminds me of a stage. There is a green flowing sheet in the back drop. Pretty minimal.


Quiet, instrumental. Works very well with the sequences.



Body Lesson: The Spine (explores anatomy of the pelvis and shares the causes of tension & body aches)

Program: Breathing Practice-Warmup-Sun Salutations-Standing Flow-Balancing Poses-Forward Bending & Inversions-Deep Relaxation-Meditation (you can jump to any one of the chapters within the program section, so if you choose to do the Standing Flow only you can easily go to that section)

Deeper Explorations (here Paula guides the participant through various poses one on one. You'll learn different variations using a wall as a prop)

The Practice:

Beginning with the breath, you'll set your intentions for your practice. Paula and her 2 assistants, Jay and Sylvia, demonstrate 3 different options. The warmup is gentle. Deep stretches for the lower body safely prepare you for the more active sun salutations. Paula offers lots of guidance which will help ensure beginners enjoy a safe session. This practice is for beginner/intermediate yoga students. Paula places a special emphasis on yoga poses to improve the lower back, hips and knees. (personally these are 3 areas that I need to work on) The sun salutes are slow and precise. (this benefits beginners who will be able to learn this at their own pace & help them with proper alignment) Paula blends the sun salutations right into the standing postures. It flows beautifully (and the standing poses will also help tighten & tone the lower body). The balance poses will help develop your balance and strengthen your core. The forward bending has some wonderful hip opening poses. The deeper stretches will reduce tension and muscle fatigue. Both the forward bends and inversions are done on the floor (and they are a compliment to one another as one works the front body and the other the back body). Paula concludes with relaxation and meditation.

This is a well developed sequence that will benefit beginners & more experienced yogis alike. You'll develop better flexibility and balance, tone your muscles and relieve everyday stress.

Instructor Comments:

Denise Ruble