Yoga Journal's: Yoga for Morning Noon & NightJason Crandell
Year Released: 2008
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Yoga Journal's Yoga for Morning Noon & Night offers three short (20 minutes each) yoga sequences, each designed to be used at a different time of the day. The practices are led by yoga instructor and Yoga Journal contributing editor Jason Crandell, who provides instruction via voiceover; he also demonstrates the postures along with two additional background exercisers. Each sequence begins with a very brief introduction by Crandell and then flows right into the practice, which features a sparse studio with gentle, non-obtrusive music playing in the background. Although Crandell cues all of the poses in English, both the English and the Sanskrit names appear on screen briefly at the start of each new posture.
The Main Menu of the DVD allows you to select each practice individually or to choose a "Play All" option. I have described each sequence in greater detail below:
This practice is intended to boost energy, but it is designed to allow the body to awaken gradually. The practice starts on the floor in child's pose and moves on to shoulder stretches, a simple seated twist, and cat/cow stretches for the spine. Down dog and standing forward bend follow, and then eagle arms in chair pose provides an additional stretch for the shoulders. Next comes a series of sun salutations: 2 half sun salutations, 2 full sun salutations, and then several additional rounds adding the mild backbends locust and cobra. This is followed by a series of standing postures (warrior 2, triangle, side angle), first performed all on one side, then the other. Th practice concludes with wide-angle standing forward bend and mountain pose.
The Noon practice is designed to foster strength; Crandell states that it is the most vigorous of the three practices. It opens with three rounds of sun salutations followed by eagle arms to stretch the shoulders. Next comes an additional three rounds of sun salutations, this time ending with warrior 1 and revolved warrior. After using one additional sun salutation to transition to the floor, Crandell flows through a series of mild backbends, including locust, cobra, bow, and upright pigeon. Downward dog is used as a transition onto the back for bridge pose, and then this practice concludes with thread the needle and savasana.
NIGHT. This final practice is designed to reduce stress. It begins on the floor for a reclined leg stretch using a strap and then moves into a reclined twist. All of the remaining postures are seated, although down dog is performed in between some of the poses. The first series includes a simple twist, a side bend, and cross-legged forward bend. Next is cow face pose (legs only), half lord of the fishes, and cobbler's pose. The final seated postures are forward bends, including head-to-knee pose (adding a twist), revolved side angle, and wide angle forward bend. This practice ends with a brief seated meditation. Crandell says that this practice will help to prepare your body for sleep, but I would suggest doing this more as an after-work, evening practice rather than a pre-bed one.
Overall, these are three well-done, well-designed practices. In contrast to Yoga Journal's other recent release, Yoga for Well Being, I felt that these practices met their stated goals of providing options to match the time of day. Crandell does a nice job with the voiceover instruction, although I would have liked to have seen mirrored cuing, as yoga practices in particular can be very difficult to follow when the instructor is not mirroring you. As stated on the DVD case, these practices would be appropriate for beginning and intermediate students. However, those brand new to yoga would likely require more instruction and details on form than Crandell provides. Finally, the DVD offers a short (3-minute) bonus interview in which Crandell describes his own history with back injury, anxiety, and insomnia.
Overall, I liked this DVD and think that it will particularly appeal to those struggling to find ways to fit yoga into their day.
I liked Jason well enough. He does have a measured, almost rote way of speaking at times, but this didn't really bother me. As mentioned above, however, I do wish he had mirror-cued, however.