by Erin Pillman Shami Production, 2006 Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Apr 3rd 2007
Yoga on Demand is a simple yoga practice DVD. It has one 30 minute practice and one 55 minute practice. Both are slow practices, and the first 5 minutes and last 13 minutes of the 55 minute session are spend in sitting or lying down. The production is basic: there seems to be two cameras (or maybe one shifting between different takes). The picture does not always seem to be in perfect focus. The sessions take place in a room with white walls and a wooden floor, and a few decorative items placed around the side. Erin Pillman demonstrates the poses accompanied by one other person, Michelle, who occasionally demonstrates alternate postures. Pillman gives instructions in a voice over, and in the background there is mellow new age electronic music. In the resting period of the 55 minute session, Pillman sings a chant very nicely.
The shorter session gives some simple lunges, cobras, downward facing dogs, tree positions, twists, inversions, and a boat pose, and ends with about 6 minutes of relaxation and meditation. The longer session has slightly more, with warrior poses and forward bends. Both sessions go at a slow pace, and postures are kept for longer than on most other yoga DVDs. Pillman's instructions are clear and straightforward; her voice is pleasant, although she has a distinctive accent that may take some a little time to get used to. In the longer session, she briefly starts talking about how everything was meant to be as it is, and that the world is perfect, and some may find those ideas rather silly and even annoying. But for the most part her comments are more concrete and helpful. There's a short additional feature on the DVD demonstrating 6 more challenging postures: the crow, a head stand, the side crow, the pigeon, and the wheel. Her demonstrations of these are only about a minute each, so she has little time to explain variations or how to build up to the full positions.
On the whole, I liked this DVD. The longer session especially gives you time to really get the benefit of individual poses, rather than rushing on to the next one, and this is a distinctive and welcome feature that sets this DVD apart from most other yoga DVDs. It is currently available on eBay.com at a low price, which makes it especially attractive.
Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Reviews. His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.