Introduction includes Shiva Rea explaining about the state of flow to unite the mind, body and breath with creative intelligence:- the ability to move freely through the stream of unbroken of awareness. The essence of this program is to support this state of flow in your body and life through yoga! After such a great enlightening introduction, I could not wait to commence the program. I think it is important for people to understand the purpose of each type of yoga, and you will find it so beautifully described in the introduction by Shiva Rea, leaving you in no doubt as to the benefits of this particular type of yoga.
For those of you who may not know who Shiva Rea is (perhaps you have spent several years meditating in a cave in the Himalayas?), her bio is included on the DVD menu, where you can find out that Shiva commenced yoga at the early age of 14, in order to understand why her father named her Shiva. You will also find out how varied Shiva's studies are:- from Ayurveda, world dance to Tantra, with one beautiful theme running through all of her studies. Shiva is known for her creativity and dynamism, and for offering the synthesis form of Vinyasa flow to people worldwide. For myself, when I met her this year, 2011, in London, I understood the name Shiva perfectly, as she embodies the fire and passion of yoga, but with much grace and fluidity from her spirituality.
During the foundational section, Shiva shares some simple, yet invigorating yoga movements, and also some very important teachings regarding strength and ability that I have simply not seen taught anywhere else:-
"It is very important in the beginning to develop the strength to self-support. The mistake people make in the beginning is using your hands and going higher than you actually have the strength and integrity to maintain" Shiva Rea.
The first section is just over 13 minutes in duration, and the setting is close to a waterfall, with a gentle yet invigorating background of drumming, that encourages you to relax into your practice.
Shiva also shares another important aspect to exercising:-
"It is really important to feel your strength as something sacred, not as a torture or as a duty".
Beginner's Backbend Flow
Within this section the speed of flow increases slightly, with just a couple of more challenging moves, but still at the beginners level, but some of the moves might be more suitable for the beginner who has practiced some very simple moves, but it is all still possible, and that is what will be so enjoyable for the beginner yogi/yogini. Prepare for some beautiful deep stretching to exhilarate the body, infusing the mind and heart with sublime equilibrium. Shiva Rea's voice will encourage you forward with your practice, however you are feeling on each day, with her gentle guidance, and the spirituality that emanates effortlessly from her being.
The beautiful music, exotic scenery, flowers and flaming candles - with Shiva Rea's welcoming, relaxing and inspiring deep voice, will soon have you feeling that you have entered a Goddess Temple - offering something so different to other Yoga DVDs.
Relaxing Flexibility Flow
This sequence is just over 10 minutes in duration, and will assist you to learn how to open your entire body up more, and Shiva encourages you that you will indeed open up with more flexibility over time, with repeated practice, which will really encourage the beginner, I am sure. Shiva does not demonstrate her full flexibility, as this is a DVD for beginners, and she wishes for you to focus on gently opening the body, like a flower, into greater increased flexibility. My body is feeling fantastic following the practice of this section, it is glowing, and I love Shiva's teachings that guide me gently, yet firmly, into getting more in touch with my body, and its own natural rhythms and abilities, and then going deeper and deeper into my body and its untapped potential. The beginners DVD allows you to explore such in a gentle and safe environment, where the teacher, Shiva, gently encourages you, yet expertly advises you, offering a unique combination of spiritual yoga awareness, finnese of poses, and a deep realisation of the potential to achieve perfect synchronicity of mind, body and soul co-ordination.
Beginner's Standing Pose Flow
The final yoga sequence is the most dynamic of all of the sequences on the beginners DVD and is 21.30 in duration. Combining dynamic sequence, focused breath work, and increased attention to your body balance - you will receive a very valuable lesson in this section, to learn how to focus. I believe the focus learnt within this section will also carry through post practice, to other areas of your life, where you will learn that undivided focus will allow you to achieve a dynamic body space around you of connecting to the four directions, as Shiva teaches. Within this space you achieve increased balance, and within the alert balance positions, you can achieve more than you may have dreamt of. If you have ever struggled with learning the flow techniques of yoga, this section will teach you slowly, and then building the routine, you will, at the end of this section, practice the routine in the flow of which it is intended. The flow is not as difficult as you might think, when you are able to watch it fairly slowly (slowly for this type of yoga in any case), and Shiva's tuition is very valuable for the potential of mastering the flow to become a reality for you. As she is guiding you through every part of every pose, you will always know how to hold a pose, how and when to open up, and with Shiva's continued reminders regarding the breath, you will never lose touch of which part of the breath sequence you are in - and I find this to be very important, as with the correct breath work for the part of the sequence, all becomes possible, and also much easier.
The post yoga relaxation is sublime, and often much needed just to unwind gently after activity. It is amazing just how relaxed one can be after a 2 minute relaxation section, but this is all the time it takes when one completely surrenders to relaxation and "switches off".