This yoga exercise is very distinctive as a representative of Shiva Rea's teaching and James Wvinner's direction. Indeed, it is a combination of 3 previous DVDs, Creative Core Abs, Creative Core + Lower Body, and Creative Core + Upper Body. There are 90 minutes of 8 different workouts available, and the viewer has control over how many to watch and in what order through the use of the Yoga Matric on the Root Menu. The options are
- Water Core (10 mins)
- Spontaneous Core (8 mins)
- Fire Core (17 mins)
- Creative Roots (13 mins)
- Creative Core Lower Body (9 mins)
- Agni Namaskar (25 mins)
- Creative Core Upper Body (8 mins)
- Shavasana (2 mins)
Rea keeps up a relatively fast pace and emphasizes spontaneity and improvisation. At various points she will instruct those following her to take their own paths and create their own movements rather than copying her. The production values are high. The session is shot outside in beautiful surroundings, with Shiva Rea practicing on a mat in a variety of settings, including a sand dune with a drummer nearby sitting on a rock, tapping on a hand-drum, and a green jungle -clearing,. The actual sound comes from studio-recorded percussive music, and Shiva Rea talking over this in a separately recorded set of instructions. She is encouraging and energetic in her voice. The camera-work is very smooth and gives a good view of Shiva Rea, so it is easy to see what she is doing.
The level of the yoga being done is most appropriate to intermediate students. Shiva Rea does explain modifications to make some exercises easier, and some of them are very simple, but others are definitely more challenging and will take some skill and strength.
There is a lot to like about this DVD package. It offers flexibility of use, proficient instruction, and unusually beautiful scenery. It won't be for everyone -- especially people who don't like the relatively fast pace and the emphasis on improvisation. But it offers more than most yoga DVDs so it is definitely worth considering as an option.
© 2013 Christian Perring
Christian Perring, Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York