Yoga Journal - Complete Guide to Home Yoga Practice

Jason Crandell
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Yoga

Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer

Show oldest reviews first

I wasn't sure what to expect from this DVD when I saw it at a used book sale, but I have a hard time passing up a yoga DVD on sale. As a turns out, this DVD features three yoga practices by Jason Crandall, a yoga instructor frequently seen in Yoga Journal magazine and also featured in several prior Yoga Journal DVDs, including Yoga Journal's Yoga for Morning, Noon, and Night.

The Main Menu of this DVD is laid out in a rather odd manner. There are two options, Instruction and Practice. Selecting "Instruction" leads directly into a longer (66 minute) practice lead by Crandall. Selecting "Practice" opens a submenu with options for two shorter sequences, "Energizing Practice" and "Relaxing Practice." I have no idea why all three routines were not listed on the same menu, as other than the differences in length, they are virtually indistinguishable. For each, Crandall is alone in a small room with a fake window in the background. He teaches via voiceover, providing both Sanskrit names and English translations for most of the postures. (These names also appear briefly on-screen.) He does NOT mirror-cue. Crandall makes use of a few props in addition to his mat, including a block and a strap. I have described each routine in greater details below.

INSTRUCTION (66 minutes)
Begin seated. Stretch arms up; perform seated eagle. Stretch arms behind. Remaining seated, perform seated twist and cross-legged forward bend. Move through downward dog, standing forward bend, tadasana, an half sun salutations. Continue with full sun salutations. Lower body to floor for locust pose; move through vinyasa to plank and then cobra. Repeat, adding chaturanga and upward dog. First standing flow includes warrior two, side angle, and triangle; next, warrior one, revolved triangle with block, standing forward bend, tree, half moon, and standing wide legged forward bend. Move through downward dog ad child's pose. At approximately 40-minute mark, begin backbending sequence with locust and cobra; move through downward dog and then lie on back for bridge and reclined leg stretch with strap. Come to seated, perform bound angle, modified boat, full boat, half Lord of the Fishes, head to knee pose, wide legged seated forward bend, Sage 3 pose, and a brief seated meditation. Conclude with a short (3 minute) savasana, and return to seated to finish.

Begin standing in tadasana; move into half sun salutations. Repeat chair pose three times. Move through lunge salutations, adding downward dog, warrior two, side angle, and triangle. Perform a final round of sun salutations including chaturanga, cobra, and downward dog. Come down to the floor for modified boat pose, full boat, and half Lord of the Fishes. Finish with a very brief (30 seconds) savasana.

RELAXING PRACTICE (16.5 minutes)
This practice is designed to increase flexibility while staying calm. Start in savasana with a strap nearby. Move into reclined leg stretch with the strap. Coming to seated, perform cross legged forward bend and simple twist. Move into wide legged forward bend, Sage 3 pose, and head to knee pose. The last sequence includes downward dog, child's pose, hero, and eagle arms. Finish with a short (1 minute) savasana.

As you can see, the longer practice is basically a combination of the two shorter routines, with "Energizing" continue the more active, stimulating moves, such as backbends, and "Relaxing" including the more soothing asanas, particularly forward bends. Although quite basic, I found these to be enjoyable sequences, and I enjoyed them. Unfortunately, I find Jason Crandall to be a little dry, and the setting of this DVD is fairly boring--the credits actually say that the set is from "Acme Scenery"! Still, if you can overlook these minor issues, this is a well-done video appropriate for most experienced beginner through intermediate yoga practitioners.

Instructor Comments:
As noted, I find Jason to be a bit dry; his instruction seems rather rote to me. However, these are certainly well-designed, nicely organized practices.

Beth C (aka toaster)