Yoga Remedies for Natural HealingRodney Yee
Year Released: 2000
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This DVD is a re-release of a product that originally came out on VHS titled "Yoga Remedies for Natural Healing." Because the practice features five short yoga routines (each about 8.5 minutes), the DVD format is a vast improvement, as you can easily go directly to the routine of your choice from the main menu. The practices are led by yoga instructor Rodney Yee, who teaches via voiceover. In addition to the five main routines, there is also a 4-minute "Conscious Breathing" exercise; here Yee leads the viewer through breath awareness while in a reclined position. I have described each of the five main practices in detail below.
Stress. This practice is a bit shorter than the others (7.5 minutes), and it is designed to release tension from the head, neck, and shoulders; Yee demonstrates along with fellow yoga instructor Suzanne Deason. It begins with several arm stretches, including stretching the arms overhead and into eagle arms. There is also a single sun salutation and several standing poses (triangle, side angle, wide-legged standing forward bend). The practice finishes with some additional arm stretches an a brief savasana.
Indigestion. Here Deason demostrates alone, beginning in a reclined position for a series of reclined twists. Several variations on seated (sage) twists follow, and the routine concludes with child's and hero's poses.
Back Pain. This practice uses two blankets and a strap; Yee is practicing alone. The props are used to facilitate several supported reclined postures. There is a brief cat/cow stretch followed by down dog, and then cobra pose is practiced with the blanket under the hips. The routine finishes in child's pose.
Fatigue. This practice uses a chair and two blankets, and I believe the demonstrator is Yee's ex-wife, Donna Fone. The first posture is standing forward bend with the head supported on the chair, and then down dog is performed with the head supported on the block. Next, the chair is again used to support the head in a seated forward bend. The final pose was a sort of modified plow, resting the knees and the tops of the feet on the chair; this posture was a bit difficult to set up, especially given that not much time is allowed here. The practice finishes with a brief rest with calves on the chair.
Headache. This session, which Yee leads alone, was a bit longer at 9.5 minutes. It consists mainly of supported, restorative postures. Yee uses two blankets and an eye bag for both legs-up-the-wall pose and a reclined lying chest opener with the feet at the wall. This routine also includes practice of alternate nostril breathing and brief meditation.
Overall, this DVD offers a nice selection of short yoga practices. I would recommend the DVD mainly to those with some prior yoga experience, as the practices move a bit quickly at times. My favorite routine was the Stress, which required no props and which did not suffer from the lack of longer pose holds.
Rodney is pretty typical here of his style in most of his other Yoga Journal videos; I even recognized some of the music from his Yoga Practice for Energy.
This tape has six sections of brief yoga routines designed to promote "natural healing." I am not sure if they would actually do so, but for the most part, they are relaxing programs that offer a quick stretch. First is a very short conscious breathing section, done entirely on the floor. Then, we get the first remedy: for stress. Rodney voice-overs this part and performs the poses with Suzanne Deason. She's background: he doesn't even look at her, never mind correct form or otherwise interact with her. Occasionally, he mentions modification she might be doing, and this is the only section where modifications are given. The poses are done entirely standing except for some up/down dog and meditation near the end. I feel it would have been better if they had kept the whole thing standing, as moving to the floor can involve extra hassle if you don't have a mat ready or just want to tack this on to something else.
The second section was my favourite. It claimed it was for "indigestion" which again is debatable, but it was a solid and very relaxing routine of spine twists and oblique stretches done on the floor, both lying down and sitting up. Suzanne does this alone, with Rodney voice-overing. She uses props, and the poses are simple enough that most people won't need to modify more than that.
The third and fourth sections, for back pain and fatigue, are very different. They involve the fussy use of blanket props. For back pain, Rodney alone does several knee-to-chest stretches, cat pose sequences and even a down dog section. I didn't like this part very much. The fatigue section holds each pose for a very long time and is more meditative/relaxation format than active yoga poses. It involves a lot of resting your head against a chair and propping your legs on a chair. The more gadgets and props I need, the less I tend to enjoy my workouts, so I skimmed past this section. Once we get past two props not including the mat, I get frustrated. Blocks and strap are about all I can handle from yoga :-)
The last section is for headaches, and involves blankets, a wall (or in Rodney's case, a pole embedded in the sand), rolled blankets AND an eye-bag (whatever that might be). It involved a lot of breathing exercises done with your legs up against the wall, and a section of seated nostril breathing. I didn't really do this one. It was too slow, too fussy and too.much.
Overall, I'll probably use the first two sections as a light yoga routine, although it is too bad he makes us go on the floor in the first part (if we have to be on the floor, I'd rather stay down there. None of this going down on the floor for one pose only business!) The rest of the tape is just too fussy for me, with all the blankets and walls and chairs and things. I am dubious about the supposed curative powers of this tape, but I won't deny that the parts I did were relaxing enough. Overall, would I recommend this? Sure, if you like Rodney Yee or want some really quick yoga sections you can tack on to other workouts. It would also be a good tape if you enjoy guided breathing and meditation exercises, and the more spiritual elements of yoga. But if you just want to stretch---maybe not.
This tape contains five 8-minute yoga routines to help with: stress, back pain, indigestion, fatigue, and headache. I can't really comment on whether they actually work for most of them, but I'm certain they couldn't hurt. All of the 5 routines are relaxing, and some have good stretches, too. I was actually looking for a tape that would have some good stretches I can do at the end of a workout. Some of these qualify, but not all. For example, the headache routine is more about breathing and relaxing instead of stretching. And that's good in and of itself, but not exactly what I'm looking for right now.
The tape is very nicely produced, with excellent scenery. Rodney, as always, is very good. I give this tape an A.