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Looking for a healthy way to decompress versus scarfing down a box of girl scout cookies or guzzling a bottle of wine?
A kinder approach when having a rough day would be to work it out on your mat.
Sometimes, we demand a lot from ourselves and others. This reflects on our mats, in our yoga practice. To balance out that rigorous, active, challenging yoga practice, it’s great to have a restorative and gentle alternative. I learned this after exploring different styles and teachers and learning what best suited my needs at the moment.
In this exploration, I established a home practice using online classes and DVDs. One of the first ones I tried was with the amazing Rodney Yee, a former ballet dancer turned internationally known yoga instructor.
I was looking forward to this addition to Yee’s vast video library. In this new DVD, Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Energy & Stress Relief, he offers four 20-minute yoga practices and a bonus meditation.
This leaves little excuse to avoid getting on the mat since the bite-sized segments give you the flexibility to have a short session when you’re running low on time.
I wanted to be thorough and do all of them and I was able to seamlessly go from one practice to the next.
I can compare the afterglow to that deliciously cozy feeling you get from a warm bubble bath. Looking forward to making this a pre-bedtime, post-stressful day, unwinding ritual.
Lots of my beginner yoga students, family and friends with physical injuries or concerns ask me about postures that they could safely do. All but one of the yoga sequences uses the aid of a chair. I find that many new to yoga or dealing with physical issues could benefit from the majority of these gentle postures especially since Rodney takes great care and time in each of them.
There’s no need for a bunch of props, I was able to use my dining room chair and a mat towel placed over an area rug for most of this DVD.
It would even be appropriate for those with a small space, on a break at work, as long as you had either a towel or mat and a chair. This would be so amazing for my friends that have desk jobs and need a breather to stretch and move the body without calling lots of attention to themselves.
The bonus practice, soothe and stretch was great for lengthening the muscles, releasing tightness in the hamstrings and lower back. He took time in each pose in his calm and graceful way.
I could really listen to his soothing and comforting instruction all day. Rodney’s selection of postures and words are well thought out and carried out with ease and expertise.
Just one jewel from this practice, “The body is like a river and the breath is like the wind over water.”
This attention to the importance of the spoken word and creating a relaxing environment for the student is one of the things that make Yee one of my favorite yoga teachers.
The picturesque natural scenery and serene music balanced with Rodney Yee’s detailed soft-spoken instruction makes this a DVD that won’t get dusty on my shelf.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise