Yoga to the Rescue is an hour long DVD aiming to help those who have hurt themselves or want to reduce their risk of injury. It has about 20 exercises addressing different parts of the body, working on neck strengthening, shoulder stretches, wrist stretches, relieving back pain, hamstring stretches, and toe stretches. It also has many standard yoga postures such as bridge, bow pose, warrior I and II, and triangle. Since it lasts an hour, each exercise is quite short. At first, it seems that the workout will be very mild, and most of the postures are quite simple, but it turns out that they are as demanding as you make them, and following this DVD can as easy or strenuous as you want. Rumbaugh occasionally talks directly to the camera, but mostly gives instructions in voice over while she and a man demonstrate the postures. He generally does modified versions which are appropriate for those who less flexible, using a strap or blocks to help himself.
The production standards are high: the camera work is professional and the sound quality is good. The background music is new age and innocuous. The setting is a lovely room with wooden flooring, and there seems to be natural sunlight streaming coming in the windows. There are also candles in the back of the room and dark fabric draped over the walls. Rumbaugh's instructions are mostly clear, although occasionally her wording is a little confusing, and one needs to look at the screen to see what she means. Sometimes, this isn't so easy in mid-posture, so it can help to look over the whole exercise first and then copy it.
These exercises are bound to help you develop strength and flexibility. Whether they really help to reduce or prevent pain and injury is harder to say, but it seems likely. Obviously practitioners should be very careful if they have strained muscles or have problems with their joints, and should get advice from qualified physiotherapists. For those who know that they do want to try some yoga to help themselves, Yoga to the Rescue is a good place to start.
© 2007 Christian Perring
Christian Perring, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York.