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Review of "Kripalu Yoga Gentle DVD"

By William Swotes (Director)
Kripalu Yoga, 1998
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Nov 5th 2005
Kripalu Yoga Gentle DVD

This Kripalu Yoga Gentle DVD is quite distinctive.  The program is split into two main parts, each about half an hour long.  It is led by Sudha Carolyn Lundeen with two other participants.  They are in a studio with a dark background, lit with three golden spotlights that change brightness and color according to the position and the energy of the flow at the time.  The perform mostly standing and sitting positions in a flow.  They are shown from many different camera angles, including from above.  Rather than talk while she is doing the yoga, Lundeen does her instruction as a voice over, in a reassuring pleasant tone.  The three yoga practitioners are color coordinated, wearing purple costumes.  The camera moves from person to person, (two women, one man), and they all move with grade and assurance.  While there's some variation in how each performs the positions, there are no obvious mistakes.  For the most part, the instructions are easy to follow, at least for people who are already familiar with yoga positions.  There are only a couple of points where it is not very clear how to carry out the instructions -- for example, in a breathing exercise that involves plenty of arm movement, it is hard to see how the arms and body movements are meant to be coordinated. 

As indicated by the title, the practices are gentle, which is to say that for most of the time the movement is relatively slow, and there's not much repetition of positions.  You are unlikely to break a sweat following the DVD.  Yet as with all yoga, many of the positions have the potential to be challenging, and some are bound to have you grimacing if you do them fully.  There is a rest period at the end of each half of the practice, and there's a good chance you'll feel rested and energized by the end of the whole thing. 

Maybe the most unusual feature of this yoga DVD is a portion near the end of the second half, where you are told to simply follow your body's needs and do whatever positions feel right to you.  For people who are not already familiar with yoga, this may seem rather bizarre and even uncomfortable.  I was skeptical at first, but after a few tries I found it enjoyable and worthwhile.

So this is a good DVD for people who have some yoga experience but want to follow along with a class.  It has strong production values, and the programs are divided into seven main chapters so one can go to a particular set of exercises using the DVD control. 

 

Links:

·        kripalu.org

·        Review of Kripalu Yoga Dynamic DVD

 

© 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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