This DVD program is an hour of Kundalini yoga. Maya Fiennes was born in Macadonia, which used to be part of Yugoslavia, and she still has a strong accent. Trained as a pianist, she moved to the UK in the 1990s and married composer and producer Magnus Fiennes. Maya also makes her mild pop music with a strong eastern flavor, and she uses it in the background to this DVD. The yoga in this workout consists in 20-minute warm up which sitting cross-legged, doing some chanting, doing neck movement, spine movement, and breathing exercises; the workout progresses, still sitting, with more strenuous repetitive movements of the arms, breath of fire, more chanting, and lifting the body with the arms, and then it moves to some rowing exercises and movements to a bridge position and down again, all done repetitively. The middle section finishes from cat-cow position with repetitive lifting of opposite legs and arms. There's a ten-minute relaxation period at the end.
Although in the middle the repetitive movements are quite difficult, this is overall a reasonably gentle workout. Personally I have a hard time taking chanting seriously, and it can be silly, but it can also be fun. I did find that it is hard to listen to what Fiennes is saying in the background sound track as she demonstrates the chanting, when I was meant to be chanting too. I found the music in the background somewhat banal. On the whole I preferred the Kundalini workout offered on the DVDs from Ana Brett and Ravi Singh, because it was more playful and it also provides more guidance in how to do the breath of fire. However, this DVD by Maya Fiennes does provide a satisfactory introduction to Kundalini yoga.
© 2007 Christian Perring
Christian Perring, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York.