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Review of "Yoga"

By BeeTwixt
Baby Bumblebee, 2005
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Sep 7th 2005
Yoga

This Yoga DVD, produced by the BeeTwixt company, which is affiliated with Baby Bumblebee Publishers, is aimed at children and young teens.  It features 3 girls in their early teens going through two workouts, one of 30 minutes for "standing postures," and one of15 minutes for "seated postures," although of course both involve much more than standing and sitting.  There are other features too, including a "dictionary of poses" and an interview section with a number of young people asking them about health and diet. 

The two workouts are narrated by another teen, who speaks clearly and slowly, so it is possible to follow the instructions even when it is not possible to see the TV screen.  She gives advice not only about how to move but also how to breathe, which is essential for yoga.  I found her voice a little jarring at first, but I got used to it quickly.  Synthesized new-age music with a slightly eastern flavor plays in the background, which is a little cheesy but mostly unobtrusive.  While the girls go through their work out, there are titles of poses, words of advice, and occasional funny comments written on the screen, which lighten the tone. 

The three girls are all slender and attractive, and they seem practiced and comfortable with yoga.  It is comforting to see that even they have difficulty with some poses, and occasionally wobble or go at different paces.  We also see that some are more flexible than others in a variety of poses.  People with different body types and less initial flexibility, as well as those who have medical problems and injuries may have difficulty with some poses, and while the introduction does explain that viewers should not put themselves at risk, the DVD does not provide much advice about what to do when the demonstrated poses are too hard.  But to be fair, most people should be able to most of the poses to some extent. 

There are some obvious limitations.  The DVD is very light on shoulder-stands and does no head stands at all.  It also gives no advice about relaxing at the end of the workout.  It does not include any boys, and this may confirm the prejudice that yoga is just for girls.  But on the whole it could be very useful for young people who want to become more flexible and feel more comfortable with their bodies; indeed, there's nothing in the poses to prevent a whole family doing them.  It would be a good idea to combine use of the DVD with going to a few yoga classes or at least consulting a good book on yoga.

 

 

© 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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