DVD; 75 minutes; released September 25, 2012
For those who think yoga workouts are all pretty much the same, Element’s Yoga for Energy & Relaxation should be enough to change their mind. Instructor Tamal Dodge has artfully chosen the appropriate poses and sequences to create two distinct workouts: one to energize the body and the other to enhance relaxation.
A brief introduction outlines Dodge’s biography and qualifications for teaching yoga and includes explanations for each of the two workouts to follow. He encourages viewers to go at their own pace and take breaks when needed.
The first workout, Yoga for Energy, is approximately 32 minutes long. It features a wide range of standing and seated poses designed to fire up the muscles and twisting postures to increase internal heat. Dodge does a great job of detailing the purpose of each pose, both for the body and the mind. His descriptions are so thorough that, after a few viewings, it may become unnecessary to look at the television screen. Very few modifications are provided (although the poses are not terribly advanced); the greatest challenge comes from the length of time each pose is held. Standing postures include triangle, crescent, backbends and various warrior poses. Between the standing and seated postures, he introduces breath of fire and belly breaths. Seated postures include reverse plank, forward bends and table top. The workout concludes with lying twists and relaxation posed.
The second workout, Yoga for Relaxation, is slightly longer at 40 minutes. Performed at a much slower pace, this workout increases the focus on the breath and features poses such as cat/cow, pigeon pose and child’s pose. Again, as in the first workout, Dodge spends a considerable amount of time detailing the purpose of each pose and how it should impact both the body and the mind. The slow pace of this workout requires a lot of concentration, which may be difficult for those who find it a challenge to quiet the mind and relax. However, as Dodge points out in his introduction, while people are likely to gravitate toward one workout over the other, it is often the less-favored workout that is needed the most.
Filmed in a lush coastal setting in Hawaii, Yoga for Energy & Relaxation offers two beautiful and effective workouts that are most appropriate for those who have some yoga experience (beginners may have a slightly longer learning curve). For those who are looking to jumpstart their day, the 32-minute Yoga for Energy workout is a great option. And for those who need to wind down and reduce their stress level at the end of the day, Yoga for Relaxation could be an ideal pre-bedtime ritual. Either way, this DVD is a great value.
What we liked:
· Includes two separate workouts to either energize or relax, making the DVD a great value
· Thorough and detailed instructions of each pose make it possible to perform the workouts without having to keep checking the television; instructor’s cueing is soothing
· Instructor increases intensity by holding poses longer (rather than by introducing difficult or risky poses)
What we didn’t like:
· Does not offer a lot of modifications for beginners, although the instructor urges participants to only do what they are able