Desk Yoga Essentials

Sienna Smith
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Yoga

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Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.

I got this DVD because it was different from the stretches I already have. It focuses on stretches you can do at your desk. While I was doing it, I got a chuckle from picturing me doing these stretches in the cube area my desk is in while my coworkers sit around watching. Instead, I actually tried it at my desk at home.

The DVD was designed to make workers feel better at their desk in five minutes a day. They suggest that you do two segments from this DVD a day with the purpose of encouraging you to take regular breaks/stretches at work.

This DVD includes 15 2-3 minute stretches that focus on alignment, increased flexibility, and improved posture. In the introduction, Dienna Smith, the instructor, says that they will focus on the areas that get the tightest when people sit at their desks for long periods of time: the neck and shoulders, hands and wrists, and the hips. The moves actually hit the legs and back as well, so it is more of a full-body list than it originally sounded like. When the DVD menu comes up, you have the option of playing the introduction or any of the 15 poses (which are listed on two DVD pages). When you choose an option, it plays and then takes you back to the menu. So, you have to choose every option you want to do, one at a time. I wish they had given some premixes and or programming functionality. But, it's a straight list. The only equipment used is the office chair. I noticed that Sienna's chair had no wheels on it and wondered how many of wheel-less office chairs are out there in corporate America. And, it made sense that it was wheel-less because you stand and put a leg on it at times. I used a combination of the chair and my couch.

Some stretches are seated. Others are standing. The stretches offered include:

Chair warrior
Chest opening wave breath
Dynamic arm raise
Eagle arms
Finger roll and forearm stretch
Happy hips pose
Jaw and neck release
Mountain pose
Neck and shoulder release
Seated forward bend
Standing chair twist
Standing crescent
Standing leg stretch
Standing thigh stretch
Wrist roll and shake

Sienna Smith offers straight-forward instruction within a pattern. She would say, "This is _______." (She would name the move.) Then, she would instruct you in doing them move. They she would say, "Feel the effects of __________" She uses everyday language and I felt like the tenor of the instruction was very laid back. She does not mirror cue (as most, if not all, Gaiam yoga DVDs do not).

My reaction to this DVD is varied. Like I said, it cracks me up thinking about actually doing this at work. People with more privacy might have the opportunity. I like the focus on the body parts they target because it did seem that it would help with the "office hunch" that is easy to get into. I liked the way she instructed - very laid back with good descriptions. I wish they had actually used DVD functionality instead of making you choose the nexts option when you finished a segment.

Instructor Comments:
She gives good instruction. She seems straight forward and calm. There wasn't a whole lot of personality shown in this workout, so it's hard to tell much about her.

Laura S.