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by Ravi Singh and Ana Brett
White Lion Press, 2005
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Oct 10th 2006

AM/PM Yoga

AM-PM Yoga is demonstrated by Ana Brett, and narrated by both Brett and Ravi Singh.  It demonstrates Kundalini breathing techniques, the repetition of mantras, and yoga movement.  The DVD is divided into two parts, one for the morning and one for the evening.  Together, they last 1 hour 25 minutes, which makes for a significant work out.

The kind of movement used in this Kundalini yoga is quite different from the hatha yoga found in most yoga DVDs.  For the first 19 minutes of the first workout, Brett sits cross-legged on a mat doing breathing and spine exercises, moving her torso in circles or back and forth.  The exercises that follow are not much like the yoga flows found in hatha yoga.  There is not much moving around, and there are no downward dogs!  Nevertheless, this is surprisingly strenuous work.  The rapid in-out breathing of the "Breath of Fire" looks quite simple when it is demonstrated by Brett, but when you try it yourself, you find it is difficult to avoid hyperventilating and becoming light-headed.  The spinal exercises are also hard work, and require a good deal of coordination.  With practice, you get better at these exercises, and they do seem to increase flexibility and strength. 

The quality of the production is quite high, even though the format is extremely simple.  Brett uses a white circular mat on a white floor and a white background.  She wears a white top and white shorts, which are very short.  Brett is strong, flexible and very thin, and she demonstrates the exercises with confidence and poise.  It looks like 2 cameras were used, and occasionally one camera angle will fade into another. Along with the voice over instructions, there is unobtrusive music that mix new age and Indian styles.  There are no DVD extras and apart from being split up into different chapters, the DVD does not take advantage of the sophisticated possibilities of DVD technology. 

This Kundalini yoga DVD is certainly not for everyone.  I suspect that the mantras will be especially foreign to many people -- I know I felt pretty self-conscious trying them.  I can't say I found them helpful, but it was at least a novel experience trying them.  For those who want an accessible introduction to Kundalini, this would be a fine place to start.  Maybe the most appealing aspect of this DVD is that it provides a practice to do when you get home after a stressful day and you need to relax. 

 

© 2006 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Link: RaviAna.com

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.