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by Mark Stope (Director)
Acacia, 2006
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Aug 1st 2006

Hemalayaa's Yoga for Young Bodies DVD

The Yoga for Young Bodies DVD has two main workouts plus a few extras.  The workouts are done by three young people practicing on mats which are apparently on Astroturf.  In the background there is a cloud background, and you can choose whether it should be blue or pink.  The background music is a relaxed Indian-flavored dance music.  Hemalayaa gives instructions in a voice over.  The pace of the exercise is slow, Hemalayaa leads the workout, with Nico in the background does the advanced version and Tamara does the beginners version.  The three of them look like they are in their late teens, or perhaps in their early twenties, and there are a few other features of the workouts which suggest that they are aimed at young yoga fans: at one point in the first workout, you are asked to stick your tongue out and then roar like a lion.  At several points, rather than staying in a posture and holding it, you are asked to include some movement: for example, when doing a "downward dog," early on in the first workout, you are asked to "walk the dog" which means treading your feet up and down and including some hip movement.  Similarly, when lifting from a forward fold, you are asked to sway from side to side at the same time.  These features are a little unusual, and they make the process a little more fun.  But there's no reason why adults should not enjoy this DVD just as much as young people.

The first half-hour workout is "Chakra Shaker," and the second one is called "Chill Vibe."  As you might expect, the first is a little more energetic, but neither of them is very strenuous.  The emphasis is on stretching and relaxing rather than building up strength.  Hemalayaa's instructions are mostly helpful, although there are some occasions when she could give more information, since it is not always so easy to look at the screen of your TV when in the middle of a yoga pose.  The production quality is reasonably good, although it seems pretty clear that just one camera was used in the filming, and there's very little camera movement.  Too often you just see the three people doing their workout when it would be helpful to get a closer view to see how bodies are aligned and hands and feet positioned.  But with a little practice, you will figure out what works for you. 

There are two extras.  First, there is a 10 minutes relaxation exercise, demonstrated just by Hemalayaa, in which she does stretching and breathing exercises.   My favorite part of the whole DVD is the second extra, a short display of yoga for two people.  These included a supported bridge pose, where one person bends forward while the other balances backward over the first, stretching out the back, and a supported child's pose.  The double downward dog was especially impressive. 

So Yoga for Young Bodies is a good basic stretch and relax video, especially for young people.  Note that it is in widescreen, which may be especially welcomed by people with widescreen TVs and laptops. 

 

© 2006 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Reviews.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.