Maral Hadidi's Yoga: Beginners Flow for Everyone is one of my favorite instructional yoga DVDs. It has a total of three hours of demonstration, but the home menu is a menu that allows you to choose from a variety of different sequences, and you can also choose the individual building blocks of the DVD to make your own practice. These basic sequences are:
· Warm ups
· Standing 1 & 2
And for each there is a choice between a simpler version and a longer detailed version. The DVD is shot in an extraordinary geographical location near the coastline. There is no music and the only sounds are the instructions of the teacher in voice-over and occasional birdsong. The pace of the practice is very slow, making you hold postures for much longer than most other yoga DVDs. This means that the practice is not aerobic, but it is demanding.
Although the DVD is titled as intended for beginners, I would not recommend it for people who are completely new to yoga. Beginners will generally want a shorter introduction with more easy versions of postures used. Hadidi demonstrates some postures that take a good deal of flexibility and strength. Rather I would strongly recommend it to people with some yoga experience who get tired of yoga DVDs with a fast pace and a busy musical soundtrack. Hadidi's DVD stands out because of its slow pace, its beautiful location and natural sounds, and the useful menu of many different options. It is easy to use, and for the most part Hadidi's instructions in her voice over match well with what she is doing on screen. There are a few points where she does not spell out all that she is doing, and occasionally one cannot be in a position to see the screen, so one has to do the practices a couple of times to learn where one has to catch up with her before she gives the instructions. Once or twice she uses the Hindi terms for postures without also using the English equivalents, which is potentially confusing. At other points she gives very detailed instructions how to do the basic poses.
The particular versions of postures that Hadidi demonstrates are good, building strength and giving good stretches. The inversions include headstands, which is fairly rare in yoga DVDs, but is often considered a central part of a good yoga practice. It's especially good when you have about an hour or more to do a practice, (or possibly 3 hours) and you want a nice stretch that will build strength, while at the same time putting you in a serene frame of mind.
There is also on the DVD 30 minutes of audio lecture by Hadidi on yoga and 22 minutes of repetitive chanting music by Govindas and Rahda.
So this is a very distinctive yoga DVD with a great deal to offer. Recommended.
Link: MyYogaVideo.com info page for DVD
© 2010 Christian Perring
Christian Perring, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York.