Friday, August 13, 2010

Review of Shiva Rea: Creative Core & Lower Body

Shiva Rea: Creative Core & Lower Body is a lower-body workout unlike any other.
   Forget lunges, leg lifts and kicks.
   Rea, a world-renown yoga teacher, has chosen two poses as the basis of the workout: standing hip opener and side angle pose.
   You will feel your thighs and lower abs burn, but the workout’s pace is relaxed, almost mesmerizing.
   The first 13-minute section of the DVD is called Creative Roots, and it begins with the standing hip opener, which Rea calls “a very powerful way to strengthen the lower body.”
   Standing with legs wide apart and toes pointing out, Rea encourages the viewer to draw up from the pelvic floor, and feel a sense of the hips being suspended between the legs.
   From this position, she leans forward until her back is line with her hips, and for several minutes in this position, sweeps the arms forward and back. It’s a challenging pose.
   Then comes side angle pose – body facing forward, one leg is bent while the other is straight – and the variations on it. Most involve leaning toward the bent leg, and freeing the arms creates balance challenges that work the core.
   Rea moves into a free-form routine to finish off this section, moving from side to side and encouraging exercisers to do the same.
   The next section of the DVD, called Creative Core, is seven minutes long. Rea moves to the mat for this part.
   She starts by lifting up her hips from the floor, legs bent, with arms together and moving forward and back. Then the legs are pushed upward, one at a time.
   These moves morph into the rocking bridge, which is propelling oneself to an upward position between the legs, hands on the ground, and lifting up. While Rea effortlessly lifts herself off the ground, I was unable to do so.
   Next comes reverse push-ups, with the body facing up and arms straight behind on the floor, knees bent. From here, Rea moves into side plank and plank position (a push-up held in the top position or on the elbows).
   If it sounds hard, it is. The core will burn, and the arms will be challenged as well.
   But with many of Rea’s workouts, her calm, encouraging voice propels a person to keep trying.
   The routine finishes with a short savasana, or deep relaxation pose.

Shiva Rea: Creative Core & Lower Body at

Other DVDs led by Shiva Rea:
Flow Yoga for Beginners
Creative Core & Upper Body

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