Yoga Zone: Evening Stress ReleaseCharles Matkin, Beverly Murphy, Lisa Bennett
Year Released: 2000
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I have a few yoga workouts. Mainly, they are shorter in length and I use them as options when stretching. I do have a few yoga workouts that I donít use specifically for stretching, but, rather, strength days when I donít want to do a weighted strength workout. Those include The Firmís Power Yoga and Suzanne Deasonís Yoga for Weight Loss. I had been curious about Yoga Zone workouts. I had tried one a couple of years ago and didnít like it at all, but it was soon after joining VF and I didnít have enough experience to evaluate it well. So, I wanted to try another Yoga Zone.
I traded for this tape as part of my ongoing effort to find good, but short, stretch segments. It is divided into two sections, both of which are fairly short segments, 15-20 minutes. The first has moves that are more strength oriented than stretch. It is well done, just not the type of thing I want to do in the evening when relaxing. The second workout is more what I would want. In both cases, the outdoor scenery is really nice and adds to the workout. The instruction is detailed and specific.
I ended up putting it on my trade list pretty quickly. There is just something about the instructors with Yoga Zone that turns me off. The way they talk just leaves me feeling cold. I donít know if itís that I feel like Iím being talked down to or they communicate in a way that I just canít get into or what, but I am either sitting there analyzing why Iím annoyed by what they are saying or I feel like a kindergartener whose teacher is talking to her.
Yoga Zone's Evening Stress Release consists of two short (<20 minutes) yoga practices, both of which are designed to reduce stress and tension through actively stretching your muscles. Both programs were filmed in Jamaica, the first in a more wooded setting and the second on a beach. Program one is led by Charles Matlin, and Program 2 is led by Beverly Murphy; Lisa Bennett assists both instructors by showing more advanced versions of the postures. Both programs are appropriate for beginners, but even more advanced yogis will appreciate the attention to breathing and will definitely not be bored.
The first program begins with seated stretches and a flowing breathing sequence. It then moves into more active standing poses, including lunges, warrior 1 and 2, downward facing dog, and wide-legged standing forward bend. The practice returns to the floor for a modified boat pose, and it finishes with some leg stretches and a short relaxation. Program 2 also starts from a seated position for simple stretches and twists and then moves to kneeling for a cat stretch. Again, there are a variety of standing poses very similar to the first practice. Additional seated postures include a version of cow pose and wide-legged forward bend, and again, there is a short relaxation to finish.
I find that while performing these practices raises my heart rate a bit, at the end, my body feels pleasantly stretched and thoroughly relaxed. These programs work well not only for evening relaxation, but also for waking the body in the morning and rejuvinating at any time of day. At only 18 and 19 minutes respectively, the time of each program flies by, and they are easy to fit into my schedule. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to reduce the amount of physical tension in their body in order to feel both more relaxed and less fatigued. I definitely enjoyed this video and know that I will get a lot of use from it.
I thought both Charles and Beverly provided good instruction, particularly with respect to breathing. Lisa did a nice job of displaying more advanced versions of the postures, but she does not speak during either practice.
This video, like many of the new
Yoga Zone videos, is taken from
their television series. There
are two ~20 minute routines on
the tape. The first routine
doesn't appeal to me at all. The
second segment, however, is
one of my favorites. I'm going to
confine my review to the second
segment. For reference, I've
been doing yoga casually for a
number of years, but I'm
definitely at the beginner level,
The second segment is lead by an instructor named Beverley. She instructs another instructor through the poses. Beverley is personable, and gives a good number of form pointers and modifications. The yoga poses are pretty basic: seated twists and side stretches, down dog, cobra, prayer twist, wide angle forward bend, and bull seat. The poses aren't held for very long. It ends with a very short relaxation. I frequently use this tape before I go to sleep, because it's not too strenuous, it's very relaxing, and it leaves me feeling stretched out, and it's nice and short. Of all my yoga tapes, this one gets the most