Elle Make Better Yoga with Brooklyn Decker

Tara Stiles
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Yoga

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This is a DVD that is likely to appeal to those seeking "athletic yoga" as well as those who only want "purist" yoga. The issue with some athletic yoga done by instructors who do not specialise in yoga is that to purists, the lack of depth becomes apparent. Tara Stiles, young as she is, seems to have a well rounded appreciation of yoga as an exercise form. She is devoid any woo-woo-ness at least in this DVD. This is a yoga "workout" with no pretensions at working in some philosophy.

The DVD has two short routines - great as a tack-on for those who like going yoga along with someone else or who have limited time for yoga. Routine 1 is 20 minutes and is more flexibility oriented, but with some strength thrown in. Routine 2 is more challenging - it works on strength and has a heart rate elevation effect and takes 25 minutes.

-> Tara Stiles is spectacular to watch at yoga. She is limber, tall, and has a body made for yoga.
-> The flow is pretty different from the typical yoga vinyasa workout. No sun salutations at all. She starts routine 2 with a one minute plank and near the end, you find yourself in plank again and she makes you hold it again for one minute. The flow in between has some interesting twists to yoga poses. She does the leg to the side in down doag like Jill Miller for example.
-> Definitely an effective 20+ minutes whether you select Routine 1 or 2. She manages to cover a lot of ground in a limited time. Works in wheel, shoulder stand, plough, planks, bow, cosmic dancer, half moon, garland, down-dog variations, some standing poses and more if you do them both end to end.
-> I think it is Routine 2, but it could be Routine 1. A very interesting balance flow is incorporated (one legged, standing).

Things to watch out for:
-> Moves fast at times. If you like to take time to find your alignment, there will be opportunities in some but not all poses.
-> Plank and down dog intensive if these bother your wrists
-> She overuses "Go ahead and.." and "from here". For example, if she wants you to move from your current pose into a lunge, instead of saying "Move into lunge", she will say "From here, go agead and move into lunge". Since you are constantly moveing from your current pose into another in yoga, you need a high tolerance for the phrases "from here" and "go ahead".

I dont mind if there is no concluding shavasana - you have to do your own with this if you like to end with shavasana.

Instructor Comments:
I think she is very promising as an instructor.