Color, NTSB, Widescreen, DVD, 60 minutes; released March 5, 2013
Given the huge popularity of yoga, it’s not surprising that there are so many yoga DVDs on the market today. But finding one you really like—and want to do more than once or twice—can be a real challenge. After all, hearing the same phrases and doing the same poses over and over can quickly get old. That’s why, if you’re a devoted at-home yogi, it’s a good idea to find several titles that you can rotate, depending on your mood or desired intensity.
Well-known yoga guru Rodney Yee’s latest offering, Power Up Yoga, is probably worth adding to your rotation. Featuring interesting combinations of poses, this flow-style yoga workout is basic enough for beginners to follow, while also offering a challenge for more advanced participants. Although it features traditional poses, the sequences are arranged to build specific aspects of fitness, including strength, cardio and mindfulness.
The workout is divided into three parts that flow together: Connect, which focuses on “power through connection” to build strength and muscle tone in the lower body; Energize, which emphasized calorie burning and enhanced flexibility through the concept of “power as energy”; and Breathe, which promotes “power through stillness” to enhance overall well being. The first two sections definitely get the heart pumping, as Yee leads viewers through a rapid series of two to four poses. While the first section concentrates on the core and lower body with Sun Salutations and Warrior poses, the second section helps stretch out all those muscles that were just worked with poses like flipped dog and twisting triangle. The combinations are unique enough that you aren’t lulled into a sense of familiarity that often comes with doing flow yoga on a regular basis.
The sections are designed to be done all at once or individually, allowing exercisers to complete a 20-, 40- or 60-minute workout, depending on time constraints. Yee packs in a lot of different poses, although the workout never feels rushed (Yee’s soothing voice definitely helps). But despite the speed of transitions, the poses are easy to follow. Fortunately, Yee’s cueing is impeccable (although he doesn’t spend a lot of time describing form in detail and the brief introduction may not provide enough guidance for beginners), and those who are familiar with yoga should be able to complete most of the workout without having to continually watch the screen. Those who are newer to yoga may want to check their form and verify poses, but it shouldn’t take more than a few viewings before they get up to speed. It should be noted that the setting of the workout is beautiful and the camera angles are varied, but not distracting, so it might be worthwhile to watch just to enjoy the scenery.
For some, the final section will be their favorite, offering a chance to decompress and connect to the breath. For others, this may be the most difficult section to complete, particularly if stillness does not come naturally. It does, however, offer the opportunity to stretch deeply, open up the hips and meditate. Again, Yee’s soothing presence and tone greatly enhance this part of the workout.
With Power Up Yoga, Yee has created a fresh take on traditional yoga routines, which will likely appeal to beginning yoga fans, as well as to those who prefer a more fitness- or goal-oriented approach to yoga. And yet Yee still manages to highlight the more mindful aspects of yoga by connecting breath and meditation to movement and relaxation. Vigorous enough to get the heart pounding and the muscles working, yet also featuring guided meditation and deep stretches, Power Up Yoga is a great addition to the at-home yogi’s DVD library.
What we liked:
- Flow-style yoga featuring interesting combinations of poses
- Workout is divided into three sections, each focusing on a different aspect of fitness, that can be combined in a single, 60-minute workout or preformed individually for shorter workouts
- Great cueing makes it easy to follow along without having to strain to watch the screen
- A beautiful setting and Yee’s soothing voice contribute to a pleasant yoga experience
What we didn’t like:
- Brief introduction may not offer enough information or guidance for those who are new to yoga