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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Total Yoga (DVD Review)

It's official: I'm addicted to yoga!

Unfortunately, I am still finding it difficult to make it to the JCC for classes.  Also, Adam has put a kibosh on my Do Yoga With Me habit because our internet service is not set up for that much streaming, so we've been dinged with huge extra fees at the end of the past few months.

I finally decided I needed to find a decent yoga DVD to do at home.  But my reluctance to purchase yoga DVDs was due to two factors.  First, I have had difficulty finding ones I like - I find it weird that the people in the videos never talk, and instead the yoga is narrated by a disembodied voice which I find gives them an emotionless, robotic quality.  Also, I like variety so I didn't want to be stuck doing the same routine every time, nor did I want to spend a fortune buying a gazillion different DVDs.

So I was thrilled when I just happened to find the Total Yoga Box Set on sale for $10!  I had no way of knowing if I'd like it (I was not familiar with the yogis - Ganga White and Tracey Rich who are a husband and wife team that were involved in the development of Flow Yoga), but frankly it was such a good value I decided to give it a try.  And I am very glad I did!

There are 4 routines, which vary in focus, duration and intensity.  I've been doing the two more intense routines, Water and FireTotal Yoga is a nice, intermediate intensity routine but I prefer the sequences in Water and FireTotal Yoga is very heavy on the various sun salutations (B, C, and D series).  Earth also has a lot of sun salutation series but has fewer standing poses than Water and FireWater is perfect when I feel like a quick moderate paced practice.  Not including the additional breathing exercise sequence and relaxation sections, it's about 45 minutes.  Fire is actually quite intense and gets me sweating.  It's about an hour, not including the breathing and relaxation sections.

Like every other yoga video out there, it is narrated by a disembodied voice and the participants say nothing, but these have a less creepy quality than most others I've seen.  In the Earth, Water and Fire videos both Ganga and Tracey are demonstrating the poses, with Ganga doing more advanced options and Tracey doing the more basic variations of each pose.  That man is SCARY FLEXIBLE.  In Fire he puts his leg behind his head at one point and it's truly amazing.  Believe you me I'm not doing that variation yet!  The other two videos are somewhat less advanced, but still solid routines that offer a pleasant variety of options.

Although I would always rather attend a class with a real life instructor and other participants, I'm perfectly happy to pull these out when this is not possible.  I definitely recommend this set if you are looking for yoga DVDs.  I'm not sure how easy it is to find the whole set for $10, but I think it's still worth it if you have to pay a bit more.