Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Elements of Yoga With Tara Lee


WHO CAN DO THIS:  These three DVDs (sold separately) can build a yoga practice, as long as you already know the basics, since form is not discussed. Earth is aimed at beginners, Air & Water take it up a notch; Fire is for intermediate and advanced yogis.

THE BREAKDOWN: Each of these three DVDs has three practices to be done one at a time or all together. Earth is basic, with lots of slow, deep stretches; Air & Water requires a little more strength and includes a lot of twists and some balance; Fire requires strength and stamina, with lots of planks and binds.

Tara Lee is calming in voiceover. She doesn’t provide instruction on form as much as yoga talk what opening the body can do for the mind and how fire in the belly can provide strength and motivation.

Earth and Air & Water are in a pretty lakeside setting (a flock of white birds that flies by is a nice touch); Fire in done at night, lit by flaming pots.

THE SWEAT FACTOR: The first practices of Earth and Air & Water are gentle and you probably won’t work up a sweat, but the other practices on each add a little more challenge. Fire starts energetically and just gets harder. I had to throw in several unauthorized child’s poses to catch my breath and give my muscles a break, and at some points all I could do was laugh. You want me to do what?

BUT IS IT FUN? I love Earth and Air & Water and they have gone into heavy rotation. Fire is too challenging to qualify as fun for me, though I might do the first two practices when I feel like working hard.

WHEN IT'S OVER: Doing all three practices of Earth or Air & Water leaves me feeling calm and loose and I sleep well those nights. All three parts of Fire leave me panting and drenched in sweat.

GEAR AND APPAREL: Mat and optional block.

FINAL WORD: Air and Earth are two of my new favorite DVDs. I respect the Fire DVD and it’s every bit as good, but it is a workout to which I can only aspire at the moment.

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