Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Yoga DVD is HERE!

That was quick! The yoga DVD arrived yesterday, so I thought I'd explore it a little bit with you. It's called "OM Yoga & Meditation Workshop." The presenters are Cyndi Lee and David Nichtern. Cyndi is a well-known yoga instructor and owner of the OM Yoga Studios in NYC. David is a meditation teacher, and also a musician.

When you open it up, there is a little booklet that explains the program along with some FAQs; there is a music CD; and then there is the workshop DVD.

The booklet explains the background, what's on the DVD, how to prepare for yoga and meditation practice, and what the benefits of each practice are. There are also details about the music CD and additional products/websites for you to use to continue your practice.

The music CD is really good. As expected, it's 10 tracks of relaxing, east-to-listen to music, suitable for practicing yoga to or just listening to. The thing that I really like about it is that it's not the slow, ethereal, new age-y music that I usually practice yoga to. While the "typical" music is very relaxing and soothing, it can also get boring, and I'm ready for a bit of a change. The tracks are mostly instrumental; only 2 or 3 tracks have words. The music is a bit more jazz-y than you might expect, yet still relaxing and perfect for yoga practice.

The workshop DVD has 4 yoga and 5 meditation sessions, each about 15 minutes in length. I think this is my favorite part! I often put off my yoga practice (or meditation) because I don't have much time, but I can always find 15 minutes. It's divided into 4 sections, with each section having a meditation practice and then a yoga sequence. Of course, you can mix it up a little bit, or do only one part or another.

The first part is called "Making Friends with Yourself." The meditation portion is very introductory and thorough. David tells you how to seat yourself comfortably, where to put your hands, how to hold your eyes. (slightly open!) He then leads you through a very simple meditation, focusing on your breath. I enjoyed it, and it is perfectly suitable for someone who has never meditated before.

Then, Cyndi leads a yoga sequence. She says the yoga on this DVD is suitable for beginner or intermediate students, and I agree, providing the beginner student has had some prior yoga instruction. This is not an instructional DVD, it's a yoga practice. I wouldn't recommend this DVD as your very first yoga class, but it's great if you've taken a few classes or done some instructional DVDs and are ready for more. Cyndi starts with some seated stretches, then downward dog, then several sun salutations in a row. They aren't too vigorous, but they will get your heart pumping. The first couple of sun salutations use the "knees-chest-chin" version of chaturanga dandasana (yoga push-up); then she moves into a full chaturanga dandasana. Of course, you are free to modify any/all of the poses, provided you know how to modify. After some gentle spinal twists, Cyndi moves you into halasana (plow pose) and then shoulderstand. Again, not difficult poses if you've had some instruction.

So far, the DVD is a lot of fun! I will share more information about the rest of the tracks later. Until then.... happy yoga!


Anonymous said...

Very cool. So what do you think about keeping your eyes slightly open while meditating? I've read that before and have tried it, but I find it difficult to focus. Maybe I'll try it again and it will help keep me from going on so many little mind trips? ~Anne

Cheryl said...

I'm going to give it a try! I sometimes get distracted by things I "see" when my eyes are closed; maybe this will help?? I'll keep you posted:-)