Moving Freely Longevity Solution - Flexibility Level 1

Mirabai Holland
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Athletic Stretch

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I exercise daily and generally consider myself to be at an intermediate level. Being in my mid-40s, I also experience quite a few aches and pains, so I consider stretching to be an essential part of my fitness regimen.

Prior to trying this DVD, I was not familiar with the instructor, Mirabai Holland, so I did not know what to expect. The video features Holland alone, teaching live on a beach. She uses a mat, and the only prop required is a towel or strap for some of the floor moves. In her brief Information segment, Holland provides and overview of stretching, including how muscles versus tendons are impacted and the differences between dynamic and static stretching.

The Main Menu offers the following options: Play Entire DVD - Information - Floor Stretch & Core - Seated Stretches. I have described each workout segment (along with approximate times in parentheses) in greater detail below.

WARM-UP (3m)
Holland begins standing. She moves through a series of flowing arms movements, thoroughly opening up the shoulders. This segment ends with an exercise similar to Tai Chi "cloud hands," adding in a spinal twist. I really liked that this warm-up was quite active and that it got the body moving right away.

FLOOR STRETCH & CORE (described as "Stretches Lying Down" on screen; 16m)
Holland starts this segment lying on hte back with the knees bent. She brings in a a knee to chest, adding in a leg sliding out with a static knee hold. She then uses a towel for a single leg stretch, bringing the leg up and to the outside. Next, Holland lies with the legs in a wide butterfly position for a flowing series that includes a twist, bent leg raises, low bridge, and shoulder circles. Moving to lying face-down, she performs knee circles, a quad stretch, and back extension.

SEATED STRETCHES (described as "Seated on Floor" on screen; 11m)
Holland first provides several different options for a seated position. She then moves into hip circles, first small, then going deeper, adding the torso and head. A seated torso twist follows. Extending one leg to the side, Holland performs a twist, a slight forward bend to stretch the hamstring, and a side stretch; she repeats on the other side. She moves through another twist with the legs in a bent wide-leg position and then a cross-leg forward bend. This is followed by static neck stretches and neck circles. Holland concludes the workout with an "accordion" exercise to focus the mind and the energy.

In general, I liked this DVD. However, I was a bit disappointed that the entire DVD wasn't quite as active as how Holland began in the Warm-Up. Personally, I tend to enjoy intense stretching that I can really feel, and although this practice felt good, I definitely did not feel it as intensely as I'd like. Still, this is a nice video for someone looking for a basic stretching DVD.

Instructor Comments:
Mirabai did a nice job overall; she does mirror-cue. She has a bit of a city-type accept (Long Island maybe?) which I couldn't help but think seemed a bit incongruous with the beach setting, but that's just me. ;)

Beth C (aka toaster)