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Review of "Yoga for the Young at Heart"

By Roseanna Giordano (Director)
www.yogaheart.com, 1993
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Oct 5th 2005
Yoga for the Young at Heart

This DVD shows seniors how to do yoga. Susan Winter Ward leads two men and two women of varying ages in a relatively gentle set of exercises aimed at beginners. It lasts about 50 minutes, and is nearly all done sitting or kneeling on the floor, so there are no difficult stretches putting strain on the knees or neck. There's a brief period of relaxation at the end. Given the health benefits of yoga and the need for most people to get more exercise, this seems a helpful DVD. It is especially reassuring to see real people do yoga and have the same sorts of difficulties in reaching positions that you yourself have, and the people in this DVD clearly have different levels of flexibility.

The studio is decorated with flowing fabric with blue and purple background. The music is a light classical meets new age, with lots of flutes and piano meandering without being too catchy. Personally I found it rather insipid. Although the video was originally made in 1994 and has been recently released on DVD, it felt liked it belonged in the 1970s. There's often a tendency to think that seniors like everything to be bland and boring, but experience and common sense show that this would be a mistake. However, the decoration of the set and the music are unobtrusive and so can be easily ignored.

A concern one might have about seniors using a DVD to learn yoga is that they will get little guidance about what to do if they already have health problems and find even the simplest stretches difficult. For example, some people find it very difficult to lie flat on a yoga mat without pain. Other people have difficulty getting their bodies up from the ground once they are down. There's not much guidance here for people with those sorts of problems, aside from not pushing your body too far and staying in your range of comfort. Therefore, it would probably be best for people to check out a yoga class first and get advice from an expert, and then once they feel comfortable with the basic yoga approach and are able to start the exercises, then to start using this DVD. Once they have mastered all the moves in this one, there are two others in the series that present more challenging positions.

The DVD plays just like a video, and has no chapters or extras.

 

© 2005 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

 

Link: Yoga for the Young at Heart site

 

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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