Yoga Anywhere: The New York SessionsTara Stiles
Year Released: 2010
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I purchased this dvd right when it released. Before I purchased it, I emailed Tara to ask if this was appropriate at my level which is an advanced beginner. She assured me that it was. We'll get to that later.
I had troubles with customer service on this. Several weeks went by after my purchase and eventually, I emailed Tara to find out what happened to my order. I got no response but finally got a ship confirmation a couple days later. Maybe customer service was inundated with orders so shortly after the release...I don't know. Nevertheless, it was frustrating.
Now back to the assurance that I could do this practice. Hmm...can I do the splits? Negative. Can I do headstand without the wall? Negative. Can I fly up into wheel with little prep? Uh...no. That being said, this is definitely NOT suitable for someone in the beginning levels and to suggest that it is, is ridiculous. I would recommend this for a solid intermediate/advanced practitioner. It's very athletic in nature with majority of the one hour workout done standing, the last 10 minutes or so on the floor. The one consolation is that she moves at a consistent, even pace. Not too fast, not too slow.
The music is NOT rock, at least not according to my idea of rock. I thought it would be edgy, hip guitar music, possibly alternative but instead, you feel like you're trapped in a 1980's techno/r&b pinball game. (Okay, so maybe I'm a little frustrated with my whole experience and raised expectations here and it was one song in particular that made me feel like Atari had taken hold of me) The music isn't terribly painful, just not rock and not what I expected. Shall we say it's extremely generic.
Her cueing is okay. If you're looking for form pointers, you won't get much of it here. She directs you from pose to pose and reminds you to breathe, but it doesn't get much more technical than that. If you have wrist issues, a large portion of the practice is spent in down dog, standing splits, spinal waves from down dog into plank and back up, etc...
Clocking in at the shortest savasana time I've ever seen thus far on a yoga practice, 30 seconds doesn't give you much time to consolidate your gains after this athletic practice.
I know from prior emails that Tara mentioned this will be the first in a series and is open to further suggestions about future practices. I do plan on doing this practice once I get more experienced, flexible, and hell yes, stronger, so I don't collapse during the middle of it. Again, I haven't done this practice because it's just simply beyond me but I think if you're high intermediate or advanced and looking for something to really work you athletically, this may be the ticket. No woo woo or spiritual talk here, just straight, athletic yoga.
Note: The one hour long practice takes place inside a studio, not on the streets of New York. I haven't viewed the additional (5) 10-minute practices that take place out in the city yet.
Tara is a decent instructor. As mentioned previously, she manages to direct you confidently from pose to pose but is lacking in form pointers. Her form is impeccable but in certain postures such as cobra, she has a tendency to hyperextend her elbows. I would've thought with her experience she would understand technically how to ease off on the hyperextension. Tara's instructional style is casual and laid back but possibly too hip for me at times. Her "oh so sexy hair" keeps getting in the way of seeing certain angles of postures and at one point she has a brief rock star moment of mentioning her hair getting in the way and then, as if in a 1980's Whitesnake video, flips it up and back playfully. Maybe I'm too un-hip for this practice?