Yoga: Spirit of Vinyasa Flow

Deb Dobbin
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Yoga

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I'm basing this review on the first of the three sequences offered on this DVD with the idea that a partial review is better than no review. And my over-all first impression of The Spirit of Vinyasa Flow is positive, even though a lot of the sequence is faster flow than I'm generally drawn too(I really hate to be rushed out of cobra). However, I like a lot of Dobbin's sequencing.

Admittedly, my own yoga point of view is very different from Dobbin's though as far as practice structure and pace: Frex: the move to ustrasana (camel) came without very much prep (which might not have been the case if the cobras and salambasanas hadn't been so hurried Deb) but mostly it was fun and she gives you a chance to try some yoga tricks like bird of purgatory and jumping back from crow to chaturanga.

I loved the instructional sequences. Dobbin's instruction is wonderfully clear as she works with one student in some basic poses -- the precision that's lacking in some of the practice I worked with is certainly abundant here. And within the sequences there are chapter points that allow you to maneuver from one to another.

That reminds me of my biggest gripe: there appear to be no chapter points in the 3 practice sequences. I hate this. Yes, I can make notes of the timings and go into search mode and move to the place I want but it's a more than minor inconvenience. This isn't an issue if you always do a program as designed -- I almost never do.

I like Deb's voice and the music is okay. The outdoor setting is nice but I wish we could move away from doing yoga on boulders -- it makes me nervous. Her instruction is sometimes a little confusing but would be just fine on a second go-round -- It's sometimes hard to see the exact body position with the boulder and all. I thought I detected some Schiffmann influence and, for me, that's never a bad thing.

In sum: I'm glad to have this one and will probably use it now and then. And I know I'll refer to the instructional sequences for my own benefit as well as for teaching reference if I ever go back to teaching the occasional class.

Instructor Comments:
Deb Dobbin, according to her bio, has been teaching yoga for almost 20 years. Her own teachers include Erich Schiffmann and Sarah Powers. Her camera presence is just fine and, as you would expect from her background, she's an accomplished yogi.

Sharon Frost


I really wanted to like this one.
I really like the instructors voice and her cueing was good. I love the scenery, it's beautiful.
What I didn't like was the sequencing of poses. I do yoga alot, live and on DVDs. I really like if the flow is repeated a couple of times so that you can really breathe into the flow and poses. Almost all the dvds I have do sun salutation the same, either basic or with warrior variations and I can do these without really thinking. Deb's flows changed every single time. As a result, I had to listen very closely or watch tv throughout the dvd. She doesn't do plank at all and I think that threw me off my sequencing.

I think this is a good solid intermediate program. No modifications given to make poses easier. Music is good.
Overall, I have too many other yoga DVDs I really love, that I can reach for even when I haven't done in a while; that this one varied too much to stay in my collection.

Instructor Comments:
Great voice for yoga, cueing was good.