Shiva Rea: Yoga Shakti

Shiva Rea: Yoga Shakti (Two DVD set) ASIN: 1591791847

One of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to expand my practice past the half-dozen or so DVD’s I use on a regular basis and try something a little more challenging.  After quiet contemplation at the end of my last workout, I realized that one of the pitfalls of home practice is that it is easy to become complacent, satisfied with where you are in your practice and ‘stuck’ without actually being aware of it.

Flow…Serene

If you value a calming and peaceful workout, Yoga Shakti is certainly worth owning.  Do not mistake calm and peaceful for a lack of sweat and whole body burn, however!  Shiva Rea exhibits unreal strength and flexibility as she guides you through a choice of four Vinyasa flow Yoga sessions of an hour or slightly more.  Set in the Maldive Islands of the Indian Ocean and Southern India, this high quality production by Sounds True Publishing features stunning landscapes and calming, pleasing music with an Eastern flair.

Foundations

For a well-rounded sequence of Vinyasa basics, Yoga ShaktiFoundation workout was more than sufficient on the first day.  Also included are Solar Flows One and Two, designed to increase strength and build heat in the body, as well as a slower paced Lunar Flow session which is perfect for an evening practice.  Despite quite a few challenging poses, Shiva Rea shows stages of each Asana so that any practitioner including those new to Ashtanga Vinyasa may enjoy a full and rewarding workout.

As mentioned at the beginning of the review, becoming a bit complacent in your practice is something that can happen easily with home products – not so with Yoga Shakti.  Shiva Rea clearly loves her practice and brings a lighthearted energy to the DVD which is infectious.  At times, I found myself smiling despite the intensity of some of the more challenging Asanas.

Unique

One of the unique features of Yoga Shakti is its format, allowing you to form your own routine through its Yoga Matrix component.  A bit daunting at first, patience and a little time will give you your own customized routine for which Shiva Rea offers good advice on the sequencing of the thirty basic elements included.  Once used to the routines, you can choose to shut the narration off, allowing full concentration on your practice with only yourself, Shiva Rea, and the soothing yet energizing music and scenery.

The second included DVD features an interview with Shiva Rea where she provides clear and valuable tips on posture and the Asanas.  An introduction to Ujayi Breathing, underlying foot patterns, and alignment of the pelvis with gravity are also given.  Information is provided on Rea’s organization; Yoga Adventures, as well as more interviews with practitioners and their experiences.

An Admonishment

At the heart of any Yoga practice lays self awareness.  Yoga Shakti features challenging Asanas that may leave even more experienced practitioners a little shaky and exhausted.  Follow Shiva Rea’s advice on the progression within the more difficult positions closely.  In Yoga, your only competition is yourself and the purpose of your practice is ultimately your own.

Yoga Shakti deserves a rating of Yin YangYin YangYin YangYin YangYin Yang for usability and the mildly confusing Yoga Matrix employed for setting up your own routine.  As far as the overall value of this two DVD set by Shiva Rea, Yoga Shakti certainly rates
Yin YangYin YangYin YangYin YangYin Yang in every other detail.

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