Review of "Accessible Yoga for Every Body DVD"

By Jeffrey Hewitt (Director)
Yoga for the Young at Heart, 2003
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Oct 12th 2005
Accessible Yoga for Every Body DVD

In this second DVD from the Yoga for the Young at Heart series, Susan Winter Ward gives an hour yoga class.  It is definitely more demanding than the first DVD, and people who do it should be comfortable with doing simpler yoga positions first.  Ward leads a class of two men and two women, looking to be in their forties or fifties.  The yoga mats are arranged in a rough circle, and the setting is simple: a studio with sheets draped around and soft lights illuminating them.  The music is Indian, apparently composed especially for the DVD. The DVD has no extras, and plays like a video. 

The class lasts less than an hour, and includes sitting positions, standing positions, and some on all fours. They start out simple, but soon become surprisingly challenging.  The participants strengthen their stomach muscles by sitting on the floor and lift their legs in the air with arms extended forward.  Ward suggests leaning back a little until the stomach muscles start shaking, and those of us whose abs are not very tight may find that happens quickly.  She moves to flat-footed squats, which some people find easy and others find enormously difficult.  The participants do forward folds with wonderful ease, managing to stand with straight legs and their palms flat on the floor, which is admirable.  They also manage to do Warrior poses with stunning ease, with no discernible groaning noises or exclamations. 

People using this DVD might wish that Ward provided a little more guidance.  She recommends sitting cross-legged and then leaning forward, and doing this, you wonder exactly how the legs should be placed so that the pressure of one on top of the other does not completely stop the blood flow.  She leads her group kneeling down and then leaning back onto their elbows, and people who cannot keep their knees on the floor when doing this will want to know whether it is okay to lean back with their knees up in the air.  When doing the Warrior poses, people need to know how the feet need to be lined up in relation to each other, but Ward says nothing about that. 

However, for people who are somewhat practiced with yoga and have done with most of these poses before will already know how to do them without hurting themselves.  The first time you go through the positions as Ward sequences them, you may well find it difficult to keep up with the class at various points.  Some of the positions may be unfamiliar and difficult at first.  But with some practice they become familiar and the body learns how to get the most out of them.  The strength of this DVD is that it provides an interesting and reasonably challenging yoga class, and it bears repeated viewing. 



Link: Yoga for the Young at Heart DVD


© 2005 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.



Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.


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