Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Element Yoga For Energy & Relaxation


WHO CAN DO THIS: Anyone with a modicum of experience and flexibility should be fine with the relaxation segment; the energy segment requires strength and more experience. There is some discussion of form, but probably not enough for a rank beginner.

THE BREAKDOWN: This DVD includes two 30-minute practices in the pretty garden setting that all the element programs use. Yogi Tamal Dodge, who has been practicing since he was a child, demonstrates with his own voice over.

The energy segment manages to pack quite a bit of challenge into a short program, starting easily enough with some half sun salutations but moving quickly into planks, dolphin, crescent lunges and warriors, side angle poses. The most challenging part to me was the duration of each pose. This guy breathes slooooooowly. After explaining each pose, he’d instruct to hold for a number of breaths. By that time, I’m pooped and taking two breaths for every one of his.

The relaxation session is relaxing indeed, starting with upper back and neck stretches. Then a bunch of cat-cows, camel pose, a little down dog, a little sphinx, some half-pigeon and forward folds. It’s all about surrender and nice for the end of a hard day.

THE SWEAT FACTOR: I break a sweat in the energy segment. And I feel it the next day, too.

BUT IS IT FUN? I can’t call the energy program fun—maybe when I get better at it—but it’s nice to get a real challenge in a short program. And relaxation? What’s not to like?

WHEN IT'S OVER: There’s a little bit of groaning as I lift myself from the floor from the savasana after the energy program. The relaxation leaves me properly mellow.


FINAL WORD: I have other challenging programs I prefer to this one, but will probably use the relaxation segment from time to time, since those are harder to come by.

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