This DVD will be part of the giveaway portion of this series.
When I first purchased AM Yoga for Your Week, I did so because I was — and, quite frankly, continue to be — sold on the idea that multiple shorter practices equaled a better value for my money than did purchasing a DVD with a single longer practice. And ultimately, if I try every practice on the DVD only to discover that most of them aren’t quite my style, I’ve still gotten my money’s worth.
Specs for A.M. Yoga for Your Week:
Yoga Style: Hatha, with a noticeable Iyengar influence. With the exception of a short seated flow in one of the segments, most poses are held for a few to several breaths.
Suited To: Generally speaking, people looking for a variety of shorter practices to incorporate into their daily routines. Because of the different focuses (foci?) of each segment, it’s relatively versatile in terms of working for different physical needs and abilities.
Props: A strap is recommended for the twisting segment and is offered as an explicit option for the backbending and forward bending segments. A bolster (done onscreen with a rolled up blanket) is recommended for the backbending segment; I also ended up using it for the forward bending segment. A block is recommended for the hip opening sequence; if you generally substitute a book, it should be one that’s sturdy enough to use it both “flat” and “sideways.”
Run Time: 110 minutes total, broken up into 5 stand-alone practices, each ranging from 20-25 minutes.
Because Yee is Iyengar-trained, it’s pretty natural that there’s a lot of very specific talk about alignment in the postures. Which way to rotate legs, how far to rotate feet, how to support the low back in backbends. The quality of instruction in this DVD is excellent, and I could see where it could be particularly useful for folks who are newer (maybe even brand new) to yoga. It might be overwhelming to try to follow every instruction at once or to get fixated on exact measurements, but all of the instruction is there and can be incorporated a bit at a time, as the poses become more familiar.
Each segment is a stand-alone practice that focuses on a specific category of poses. Because it’s advertised as AM yoga, though there’s no reason one couldn’t try it at other times of day, I made sure to try each segment in the morning, when I am at my creakiest.
Standing Poses — A fairly straightforward sequence of common standing asanas: warriors 1 and 2, side angle, triangle, pyramid, wide-legged forward fold, ending with a seated cooldown. While it’s not a complicated practice it is fairly strong. There were a couple of places where I was mentally like, “It is too early for this,” though there was nothing about the sequence that was unsafe for me to do physically.
Twists — Some reclined, seated, and kneeling twists with some forward folds as neutralizing counter poses. How gentle or vigorous this is for an individual depends a lot on how deeply they take the twists, so it’s a pretty customizable segment.
Backbends — This starts out with a gentle reclined backbend done over a bolster. It was supported, relaxing, and very opening for my chest and shoulders. It continues with various backbends — crescent moon, cobra, camel, bow — interspersed with down dog as a neutralizing counter pose. At the end, there’s maybe 4 or 5 minutes of twists and forward bends to release the spinal muscles.
Forward Bends — This is a gentle, relaxing sequence of various forward bends. A few of them are standing, most are seated, and there’s a bit of reclined poses at the end. At the end of this, I was relaxed enough for a nap, which makes me wonder if it might be more suited as an evening sequence for some.
Hip Openers — This starts out with a seated flow: staff pose to cobbler’s pose to wide angle pose to cobblers pose to half boat to staff pose. It’s repeated a few times, I expect to warm up and lubricate the hip joints, which it does reasonably well. At least, my hips felt reasonably cooperative with the rest of the opening they were asked to do, which included a longer-held cobbler’s pose, pigeon (entered through down dog), fire log pose, and half fish. Overall, a calm and grounding sequence.
One thing I should point out is that A.M. Yoga for Your Week is not set up like Daily Energy. That is, the practices on A.M. Yoga are not as easily mix-and-matchable. Each segment has its own substantial-length savasana (well, as substantial as one could reasonably expect in a 20 minute practice). Additionally, there’s no way to combine segments on the menu page. I mean, you could certainly go back to the menu between segments to select the second one; there’s just no way to program it ahead of time.
As far as it being “current body friendly,” it’s in the same neutral-to-somewhat-positive ground that many of my current DVDs are. It talks about the benefits of yoga in terms of strengthening, improving flexibility, centering, and feeling better. I can get behind all of those. As far as imagery, Rodney Yee is the only person pictured. He’s trim, visibly muscled, and quite flexible. Certainly, that’s not to take anything away from him, but it’s not always the best visual guide for folks who don’t fit that body type. I know I keep saying it review after review, but I keep saying it because it continues to be a systemic issue.
This is getting re-homed because it’s just not my style, not because I have any objective complaints about the DVD. In fact, when Rodney Yee comes out with “Midafternoon Vinyasas for Your Week,” I’ll be pre-ordering that one. ;)
If you’re interested in being entered in the giveaway for this DVD, please comment here, on my Facebook page, or on both for two entries. Please do so by June 12th as I”ll be announcing a winner on June 13th.