Today’s DVD is Yoga Beginner’s Experience with Rodney Yee. This DVD is part of the Gaiam Yoga Kit with DVD for Beginners that I purchased at REI for $29.95. I haven't seen this exact kit anywhere else, not even on the Gaiam site.
I got this so I would have have a second yoga mat. The first reason is that I hoped my son would start using it, which hasn’t happened yet. The second reason was to have a thinner, more portable yoga mat. My first mat is the thickest they make and is heavy to carry around. It works better for me though for lying poses as it cushions my sore bones better.
Hopefully, you can see the difference in my thicker blue mat to the left and the new one on the right.
This mat has line markers on it that help you align your body, feet and hands as you work through poses. It is thin and light, and now all I need is a travel bag for it and I will be all set for whatever yoga adventures come my way.
The kit also came with a yoga block and strap. This photo has a different strap because I already misplaced the one from the kit somewhere. Sigh. They are the same except for color, though.
The DVD has 3 parts:
I have been doing the DVD sporadically since I got it. The AM workout is 17 minutes long and has:
3 minutes focused relaxation
12 minute stretching and yoga moves
2 minute focusing
You are supposed to do this every morning to start your day. And a truly wonderful start it is. It is not too hard, but it gets you stretched out and limber in the morning. For such a short duration, it is a really good investment of your time.
The first three minutes is done lying on your back and focuses on relaxing and moving up your chakras – energy spots in your body (I’m amazed I know this). That was the hardest part for my when I started. Just lying on the hard floor and trying to relax was difficult, and my whole body would get all jittery and shakey. No relaxation was happening. Now, I'm much better and I feel like this part improves each time I do it. Strange to think that relaxing after a good night's sleep is so hard, but that's the way it is.
Then, from the same lying position, you stretch out your legs and arms, hip joints and feet, at one point using the strap to help you do the stretch. Then you turn over and do Cobra positions, stand up and stretch, sit back down and twist your back in a few ways. Finally, you sit cross legged on a towel and do some forward bends that lead into the focusing part that ends the DVD.
If you read my other DVD reviews, you know that I am not very good at yoga. However, this program is do-able for me and it is really a great start to the day. It’s just a matter of being ready to do it, so I have to get it all set up the night before. There are a couple of places where I have to stop to DVD in order to get to the position Rodney is in – I can’t move that swiftly and gracefully, but in general, I keep up pretty well. I also use two pillows to sit on instead of the towels, because I need to be raised up higher to do that last set of moves.
I can notice a great improvement in my ability over the few times I’ve done this DVD. For example, the first time I tried the forward bends at the end, I was only able to move about 1 inch forward. This, while Rodney was folded all the way forward, with his head on the ground. I had to laugh. Now, I’m able to move about 6 inches forward, so there is hope for me yet.
I should really do this DVD every day, but we’ll see if I do. Sometimes I’m just too cold or late getting up to want to do this. I'd like to to increase my times per week though, because this is such a good start to the day.
I want to mention that I watch all these DVD’s on a little 7” portable player, so I can easily move it all over the place as I work out. This works really well for me. Not only can I see, but I can hit pause and rewind easily when I need to.
Part Two of this program has Rodney discussing the use of the block and strap and the mat markings and how to use them. The crux of it is that these tools are not things you grow out of as you improve. They are there to help you get to and stay in position as you work through the moves. Your body alignment is most important – not how far you can go. He demonstrates the proper way to use the props and is generally very informative.
I’m really glad I watched this part of the DVD as it has helped me with my other Yoga DVD’s as well. I have a second block, and I use the two of them a lot as I can’t reach the floor in many yoga positions. Removing the strain by using the blocks helps more than you would imagine.
The final part of the DVD is a workout with a woman using the props. I only watched it once when I first got this set, and I thought it was too hard. I’ll check it out again next time I use this DVD.
Let’s just take one minute to reflect on how incredibly attractive Rodney Yee is. This DVD takes the opportunity to put him in almost no clothing and he looks jaw droppingly wonderful. I had to watch this program a couple of times just to get over it before I could even start working out to it. Handsome, flexible, great hair, seems really nice – what else could you want in a man?