This DVD has a yoga matrix with 3 main 20-minute practices:
- Body Mandala
- Shakti Flow
- Vira Flow
There are also 5 minutes Body Awakening and Relaxation sections, and a "bonus" Heart Salutation section taken from a different DVD shot in a desert. The main DVD is videoed in a rather odd studio set up where Shiva Rea is on a large circular platform and the whole area is covered with draped cloth, with fake dappled sunlight shining on the background and some candles in the foreground -- one gets the feeling that they don't have the same budget available as they have had for previous "on location" DVDs. However, the production is still professional and well done: the sound quality is high with Shiva Rea giving instructions in a voice-over and some innocuous music in the background. At one point there's a sort of Indian-flavored hip-hop "scratch" which is pretty funny.
With the matrix, you can program the viewing experience, which is useful. The different sections focus on different activities, although those familiar with Shiva Rea will find it all quite familiar. The level of the work is mostly introductory, although some of it is more demanding and requires a good deal of flexibility and core strength. It is certainly possible to program a strong workout. The Body Mandala emphasizes yoga push-ups and side strength; the second is more spontaneous, encouraging improvisation in movement, and the third pays more attention to balance.
If you are looking for a fairly straightforward yoga DVD that can build strength and flexibility, then this would be suitable. It isn't the most charming yoga DVD available , nor the most beautiful, but is it functional. Shiva Rea does pay some attention to mind-body connections and she gives mostly clear instructions, although it would help to view the DVD once first before attempting to follow it.
© 2011 Christian Perring
Christian Perring, Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York