This DVD is up for giveaway.
Not gonna lie: This DVD is up for giveaway because it’s not my favorite. It’s short and fast, but I wish it was longer and slower. I feel a little bad about going, “Hey, I find this DVD mediocre! Want it?” So I’m hoping there’s someone out there whose yoga taste differs from mine.
Specs for Rodney Yee’s Power Yoga — Strength:
Yoga Style: Power yoga.
Suited To: While the subtitle suggests it’s “for beginners,” I’d interpret that to mean people who are new to power yoga, not to people who are new to yoga overall — as the pace is pretty fast and only the more intricate poses are explained in detail. Also, as there are a number of arm balances and arm balance prep poses, it’s probably most comfortable for folks without shoulder or wrist issues.
Props: A strap is suggested as an option for a reclining hamstring stretch.
Run Time: There’s an introduction as well as some music-only/credits time at the end. From the beginning of the asana practice to the end of the final centering is about 24 minutes; the DVD run time is about 30 minutes overall.
The DVD starts with an introduction by Rodney Yee on power yoga, the sequences in the practice to build strength, and the benefits of yoga in general. While he does mention that yoga has physical benefits, he stresses the chief benefit as increased connection between body, mind, and breath.
The asana practice starts out with some basic sun salutes, which he adds onto as the DVD progresses. After a couple of simple sun salutes, he adds the following asanas (one per sun salute, not cumulative) into the flow:
- side plank with bottom knee and calf on the ground
- side plank with feet stacked
- some cross-body pendulum repetitions, which end up being a nice prep for
- pendant pose with variations, so it’s not necessary to be able to get one’s feet off the ground
- warrior 1
- crow, again with options so lifting the feet isn’t necessary
- seated twist
- shoulder pressing pose
Those may be out of order, and I may have missed one or two poses in between.
The chief complaint I have with the more active part of this practice is that it goes too fast to be terribly useful to me. The asanas flow together very quickly, and if yoga is about linking breath and movement — Well, the way this DVD is structured, I feel like my movements are dictating my breath rather than the other way around. I’m not sure if this is a function of larger body = bigger movement through space = need more time to do it, or if the pacing is too fast for a lot of people.
Additionally, in a couple of the arm balances, I really wanted to set up some blocks, but there was no time to do it. For instance, in pendant, the presence of boobs limits how closely I can tuck my knees into my chest. And while I know not lifting my feet off the ground does not mean I have Failed at Yoga, when the reason for it is because I can’t set up properly for my body, I get grumbly. Similarly, this early in a practice, my body is not as open as it is later on. Blocks reduce the angle and strain on my wrists, and the lack of wrist injury frees me up for many happy poses in the future.
On the plus side, the faster pace does make for some good if short cardio. Moreover, it is really fun and unusual to see a DVD practice that includes suspended arm balances other than crow pose.
After the standing segment, there’s a brief cool down. I honestly don’t remember if there were seated postures, but there was definitely a reclined hamstring stretch with a strap explicitly offered as an option. Savasana felt quite short to me — a minute or two — before Yee instructs to come back up into a seated position to seal the practice.
Perhaps you see why I feel awkward about putting this up for giveaway. I don’t see anything that feels unsafe about the DVD, and in fact, approaching the arm balances in steps is a great way to make them more accessible to people building upper body and core strength. That said, while nothing in this DVD is explicitly body negative or policing, there is a lot in it that doesn’t seem to take my body into account.
All that said, my body =/= all bodies — and the DVD is free. Worst thing that happens is you try it out and end up agreeing with me.
If — after my stellar review of this DVD — you’d like to be in the giveaway drawing anyway, please leave a comment either here, on my Facebook page — or both for two entries — by Wednesday, July 25. I will announce a winner on Thursday the 26th.