muck_a_luck: (Yoga Namaste Two)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
My journey toward meditation practice )

Anyway, all that said, I picked up Rodney Yee - Meditation & Yoga (Yoga For Meditation) (it seems to have two alternate titles) at the library this weekend.

It is divided into an introduction and five segments and runs around an hour in length. The first segment is Mountain, a very gentle hatha sequence that seems designed to get the kinks out and open your whole body up for ease of breathing.

Mountain is followed by Garden, a chair yoga sequence for opening the hips. I have never done any chair yoga, assuming it was to assist those not flexible or strong enough yet for a "real" asana practice. Live and learn! I was impressed by how using the chair as a prop allowed range of motion that really leveraged hip-opening.

Tree invites you to go to a wall with your yoga block and develop the traditional seated postures used for meditation. Mr. Yee explores Baddha Konasana, Virasana, Siddhasana, and Half and Full Lotus.

Wind is a reclined meditation to help bring focus to the breath.

Sky is a seated meditation, combining the posture guidance and breathing of the earlier sequences with a guided meditation.

The asanas of Mountain are appropriate for all levels of practitioners, though if you are not familiar with yoga you might want to plan to get some familiarity with these few postures so that you can integrate them into the achievement of a calm openness, rather than just be focused on how the postures are done. For a person who knows the asanas already, as usual Mr. Yee is very good at helping you to find the subtle adjustments that will better align your postures and help you to find balance.

The seated postures in Tree, however, are surprisingly challenging. Mr. Yee instructs each posture with a block first, then without. Also, I didn't have a convenient wall. Possibly this would have been easier if I had done as instructed. Mr. Yee again brings his ability to suggest adjustments that bring lightness and fluidity to the spine.

While Wind is not billed as the "meditation" segment, this is a great warm-up for the final meditation finale in Sky. Again, attention to the fluidity of the spine and the ease of the breath, and an added attentiveness to breathing. This is relaxing and establishes the beginning of the attentiveness of meditation.

By the time I got to Sky, I was feeling relaxed and open, ready to expand my mind though the feeling of the minor adjustments of my posture and the flow of my breath. For the first time, I felt during a seated meditation the same loss of boundary that I occasionally feel during my moving meditations.

For me, this DVD was an excellent aid to getting more deeply into a seated meditation. I don't know if it was the careful preparation prior to the beginning of the meditation, or if it was the guided nature of it, but I definitely recommend this DVD to anyone who is experimenting with meditation practice, like me.
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Camel)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
This Christmas was yoga-light, but I did get myself two new DVDs.

1. Janet Stone: Ananda Vinyasa. Loved it. If you are trying to decide how to invest some Amazon gift card money and you like vinyasa/power type yoga, I cannot recommend this DVD highly enough. 75 minutes unlike any 75 minutes I have done with a DVD instructor before. Very fresh and flowing. The grace and fluidity of Shiva Rea at her best, with the fire-in-the-belly focus of Sadie Nardini, and the soothing calm of Rodney Yee. There are postures here I will not be doing anytime soon, but for me they did not disrupt the flow - I just stopped at the stage of the posture I could do and waited for her to get back to me. There is an awesome wrist stretch and even more awesome - passive shoulder stretches! I wish I had more time for yoga in my schedule, because I would love to do a [personal profile] just_ann_now-style 30 day run with this DVD, but at 75 minutes, it will probably only fit on my weekends. I cannot wait til I can invest in a couple of more from Ms. Stone.


2. Shiva Rea: More Daily Energy. I got this because the first Daily Energy DVD is so useful to me. I fall back to it even though it does not thrill me because it has solid short practices I can do then move on with my day, even though none of them are really my favorite. More Daily Enegy might turn out to be different. I really enjoyed the three-segment practice I put together. Looking forward to exploring everything it has to offer and maybe finding something to love.
kaethe: (Default)
[personal profile] kaethe
I'm about 22 weeks pregnant and have recently had a flair-up of plantar fasciitis (hope I spelled that right). Walking for exercise isn't happening right now, so I'm hoping to use yoga to help build my core strength and otherwise prepare for labor.

Does anyone have any suggestions for yoga videos (online or DVD, either way) that are good for pregnancy/labor preparation? I've looked at Amazon, but there are so many it's hard to know which ones are worth the money.

As for my experience level, I'd say long-term beginner. I've done yoga off and on for about two years, but stuck to beginner-level DVDs.

Thanks in advance for your help!
muck_a_luck: Exercise without the bellydance part (Yoga Animated)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
Just a quick note, since I haven't had time to do a DVD review in ages.

A friend of mine was saying she dind't like the dry delivery of Rodney Yee Power Yoga Total Body. She said she wanted more spirituality with her workout.

I've been enjoying Shiva Rea's Fluid Power DVD the last few weeks. This morning, I did the pre-set Creative routine. I realized that this disc is a really nice balance of good sweaty workout, and several meditative segements. In addition, the narration often revolves around the importance of water and circular movement in our lives, as a source of energy, calm, and rejuvenation.

This DVD might be a good choice for someone looking for something spiritual with their sweat.
zats_clear: hands doing yoga mudras (yoga mudras)
[personal profile] zats_clear
Yin yoga is a lot like marriage - it requires patience and perseverance, often seems pointless in the moment, stretches you beyond what you thought you were capable of if you just give it a minute, and in the end, makes you a better person for having stuck with it.

If you practice yoga, you are probably familiar with some of the various styles – Hatha, Ashtanga, Bikram, Vinyasa. These are all considered yang practices, working the superficial or muscular tissues of your body. To balance your efforts in these asanas and to prepare your body for long-held meditative poses, you might want to consider adding Yin Yoga to your repertoire.

Yin Yoga strengthens connective tissues and joints in the body, opening the hips and allowing the spine to become more supple and supportive. While other forms of yoga help the practitioner achieve greater flexibility and strength, Yin Yoga works deep into the body, accessing areas not normally addressed in more active practices.

In the beginning, Yin Yoga can seem ineffective and even boring as you hold the positions for anywhere from five to twenty minutes, but there lies the challenge. The practice itself is not static; you do not remain motionless in Sphinx or stationary in Dragonfly. As the minutes slide by, you find yourself able to go deeper into the pose as the surface muscles release and those underlying tissues gently give way. You may need to bring your head up from Butterfly to rest your neck before drifting back down. These simple adjustments are not fidgeting, not incorrect, but rather modifications to suit your personal needs and abilities. As you become comfortable with a Yin practice, you will recognize a quietness of self both during and after your time on the mat.

To further investigate Yin Yoga, I recommend Paul Grilley’s YinYoga dvd. His style is more anatomically-oriented and he discusses variations on poses for different body types. Once you have a handle on Yin Yoga itself, Sarah Powers speaks eloquently on the spiritual aspect of Yin Yoga and movement of energy, chi, throughout the body in her Insight Yoga dvd.

I am including a video excerpt from Grilley’s Yin Yoga to illustrate his style.

beYOU | MySpace Video

catsmeow: Close up view of Henry's nose (Default)
[personal profile] catsmeow
Hullo, y'all!

I've enjoyed reading the various DVD reviews - many thanks to everyone who posts those. They're the reason I've got Shiva Rea's Trance Dance on my Christmas list. Now, I'd appreciate suggestions for a good DVD for a beginner.

The only yoga I've had was a year's worth of once-a-week classes of Hatha yoga with a bit of Pilates ab work tossed in. Alas, I had to quit the class back in November due to health reasons. I've gotten things resolved and can start up again, though from the way I could feel stuff pulling inside when I did the Sun Salutation, I think I need to take it more slowly than I had thought.

Before things went to heck in November, I had picked up a DVD called Yoga Conditioning for Women which I had hoped to use to get back into yoga. It's produced by Gaiam with Suzanne Deason as the instructor. I only just got around to opening it this week. I watched parts of it this evening and at first I was distracted by how strongly the instructor resembled the love child of Samantha Carter and Thor. Eventually I started paying attention to what she was doing. The breathing section should be no problem, but the main part is going to be way beyond me. Even after I'd been doing some yoga, I would have had a big problem standing on one leg and waving both arms AND my other leg around without keeling over. And she does a lot of that.

What I'm looking for is a beginning DVD that gives the names of the poses because even though Catherine (the instructor at the vo-tech) was very good about telling us pose names in both the Sanskrit and English, I'm darned if I can remember the names of them. Sure I can follow along what's on screen physically (well, hopefully I can!) but I want to learn about what I'm doing, too.

And recommendations? Anyone? Bueller?

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