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Sets the standard in a generally disappointing genre
on 28 May 2006
I had the privilege of being taught Astanga yoga by a hugely talented teacher - but sadly we do not now share a home town, so I've had to look elsewhere for my regular classes. Having checked out a few local classes, it was clear that I would have to be more creative in my search for inspiration and motivation. And so it was that I ordered almost every yoga DVD I could find, from David Swenson to various GAIAM titles and some smaller-name productions too.
This DVD by Rodney Yee is the standout pick of the bunch, along with Swenson's work. Themed on the Astanga Primary Series, with a few modifications and omissions, this is categorically not for beginners. The focus is on dynamic asanas, so there's very little respite and not a single Child's Pose. It'll work you hard and probably make your sweat, but sweat is necessary for the purifying effects of yoga. As a result, this DVD will leave you energised and *enthused* like no other that I've yet come across.
The presentation and execution is perfection itself but what's particularly impressive is that whilst Rodney Yee has a masterly tone and performs the asanas flawlessly, not once does he dip into the fluffy New Age-isms that can emerge in productions of lesser accomplishment. Maybe it's just me, but I found his explanation of how to get the best out of the poses to be spot on and strangely empathetic with the sensations in my body, which for a pre-recording can only be a testament to Yee's depth of knowledge and teaching expertise.
This DVD sets the standard in this generally disappointing genre. I've largely ditched my local yoga classes and will be focusing on self-practice as a result. For those who are unable to find a decent class, this DVD could well be just the tonic.