Review of "Yoga 4 Teens"

By Christy Brock
Yoga Minded, 2005
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Mar 28th 2006
Yoga 4 Teens

Yoga 4 Teens is an instructional DVD for young people.  A short introductory section explains how the exercise of yoga can help the turbulent emotional life of adolescents who have so much to cope with these days.  The main hour-long instructional section has four teens (three female, one male) practicing yoga under Brock's guidance.  It's a fairly energetic workout, with sun salutations, hip openers, standing poses, abdominals, backbends, sitting poses and relaxation.  Then there is a half-hour program of yoga with just two teens and Brock, in which they go through an abbreviated version of the hour-long program with a few small differences.  In this section, Brock gives minimal instruction, but simply gives enough information in a voice-over to know which positions to perform. 

The practice takes place in a red-brick-walled room with a hardwood floor with posters, plants and cushions for decoration.  The music in the background, added in post-production, is electronic, and varies in pace with the energy of movements.  Most of the postures are very familiar from hatha yoga.  The only slight difference is that Brock does more jumping and hopping than you find on most yoga DVDs.  I've never seen donkey-kicks included in a yoga practice before!  Brock is enthusiastic and makes many of the same claims for the benefits of yoga that you will hear from its advocates.  The teens demonstrating the yoga all do it well, and have differing strengths and styles, so watching the DVD gives one some sense of the variation people have in their abilities, which can be helpful in learning how to become comfortable with a new practice.  Brock is a good instructor and helps those following with her words and actions.  I had only a couple of reservations.  First, she does not always give much guidance about breath, while other yoga instructions place a great deal of emphasis on breathing, and even claim that breathing in the right way is absolutely essential.  She occasionally says to breathe in or breathe out, but often she does not.  Second, for the two times when she recommends coming to and upside-down position, she gives very little guidance.  Since it will take most people at beginner or intermediate stage a great deal of practice and strength to get comfortable with achieving those positions, it would have been helpful to show how  to build up to those postures. 

The production quality of the DVD is reasonably good.  The sound recording and camera work are proficient, although not always great.  The image quality is satisfactory although a little grainy and the color seems a bit over-saturated.

One quibble.  Brock doesn't always enunciate well.  Very often, instead of "chest," she says "chess."  It is a small thing, and it may not bother most teens, but others may find it distracting. 

I tried two copies of the DVD, and both had quality problems with the sound and video.  There were occasional places where the sound became very distorted for about 15-30 seconds, and there are other places where the picture flickers or distorts.  So anyone purchasing the DVD should make sure that they can get a replacement or full refund if they have problems with their copy. 

Overall, this is a pretty good DVD, and one of the very few aimed at teens.  It could be used by adults too: there's nothing here that is exclusively for teens. 




© 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 Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.


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