March 5, 2013
Power Up Yoga is the newest video from renowned yogi Rodney Yee. This DVD, which released today, is divided into three unique sections that flow together to create one energizing approximately hour-long yoga experience. Viewers also have the ability to follow just one or two of the sections, depending on what they want to focus on or how much time they have to dedicate to their yoga practice on any given day.
The Sneak Peek
As a yoga teacher and a student of yoga I’m always eager to expand my yoga horizons, and the idea of a video that divided a yoga practice into three distinct sections that can be combined together or performed separately definitely piqued my interest.
The first section of the DVD is called Connect and it is all about building strength in the body based on “power through connection.” This 25-minute segment focuses on Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar A & B) and various standing postures such as Warrior II and Warrior III (Virabhadrasana II & II), and on cultivating core strength and awareness, all of which honestly left me breaking a bit of a sweat. The second section, Energize, strives to enhance flexibility and create more space in the body by delving into the idea of “power as energy.” This 17-minute exploration of asana had me moving through standing poses like triangle (trikonasana) and balancing half-moon (ardha chandrasana), and then progressing on to back-bending postures such as cobra (bhujangasana), floor bow (dhanurasana), camel (ustrasana) and wheel (urdhva dhanursana). This spine-strengthening series was then followed by supine hamstring stretches to lengthen and energize the back line of energy in the body, before moving to a comfortable seated position to reconnect with the breath, which served as the perfect transition to the third segment: Breathe. The 15-minute conclusion to this video explores “power through stillness” with a focused approach to opening the hips with asanas like cobbler’s pose (baddha konasana) and seated forehead-to-knee stretch (janu sirsasana), concluding the practice with a blissfully relaxing savasana.
The Bottom Line
I’m a big fan of Rodney Yee’s style—from his cueing and tone of voice to his ever-changing flows and creative choice of postures. The amazing Colorado scenery that serves as the backdrop for this video doesn’t hurt either—in fact, it adds to the experience. Power Up Yoga artfully blends the physical focus of a yoga practice, such as increasing strength and improving flexibility, with the meditative qualities of connecting with breath and being present in the moment. While the first segment of the video moves a bit quickly given the dynamic nature of the flow, leaving minimal time for detailed explanations of each posture, the movements are relatively easy to follow, which makes this video a suitable option for those who may be a bit newer to yoga. (It may involve viewing the video a few times to get familiar with the names of, and correct alignment in, each pose.) Uniquely, this DVD also serves as a good option for the seasoned yogi who is looking to add variety to his or her practice. Overall, Power Up Yoga left me feeling challenged, balanced, grounded and energized, all of the things I look forward to after a great yoga flow.
Jessica Matthews, MS, E-RYTContributor
Jessica Matthews, M.S., E-RYT is assistant professor of exercise science at Miramar College. As a leading fitness expert, writer and educator Jessica is a regular contributor to numerous publications, including Shape and Oprah.com. She holds a B.S. in physical education teacher education from Coastal Carolina University and M.S. in physical education from Canisius College. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Health Coach through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as well as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) through Yoga Alliance and trained stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga instructor. Prior to teaching at Miramar, Jessica worked full-time ACE, serving in a number of key roles including exercise physiologist, certification director and senior health and fitness editor. Her past work also includes serving as aquatics director at Conway Medical Wellness and Fitness Center and designing health and physical education curriculum for grades K-12. Full Bio Jessica Matthews »