Friday, October 29, 2010

Review of Element: AM and PM Yoga for Beginners

I like to work out in the morning before I start the day. I find a good sweat from cardio or weight training to be invigorating, and it seems to kick start my metabolism.
   Sometimes, however, my body wants to move, stretch and feel effort in the morning, but in a calmer mindset.
   That’s when I reach for Element: AM and PM Yoga for Beginners.
   Lately I’ve been doing the a.m. workout on Saturday mornings to welcome the weekend.
   Elena Brower, a New York yoga teacher, leads the two 30-minute sections (one a.m., one p.m.) on the DVD.
   I like doing yoga at a relaxed pace -- I find yoga workouts that move from pose to pose quickly difficult and frustrating -- and that’s what Brower brings to the mat.
   The a.m. routine, as expected, is designed to invigorate.
   The routine starts from a standing position, and moves through a series of poses including sun salutations and warrior poses.
   Although the moves are done at a moderate pace, this workout isn’t a cake walk.
   In fact, I was actually surprised at how often Brower throws in a plank position (holding the top position of a push-up) into the early part of the workout. It’s not an easy pose for beginners, and combined with doing the downward dog pose, it really gets the shoulders burning!
   There is a short seated meditation at the end.
   While the a.m. routine is meant to give you energy for the day, the p.m. routine is meant to help you release and relax after a hard day.
   This routine starts in a seated position, and includes poses such as pigeon, seated twists, bound angle and seated forward bend.
   The workout is done at a nice, slow pace, with a concentration on deep breathing.
   Those who come home from work with a sore back will appreciate Brower’s attention to inhaling and exhaling while rounding the back in many of the poses.
   The p.m. routine ends with a few minutes of deep relaxation and meditation.

Element: AM and PM Yoga for Beginners at amazon.ca

Another good yoga DVD: Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners

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