by Christy Brock Yoga Minded, 2005 Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Mar 28th 2006
Yoga 4 Teens is an
instructional DVD for young people. A short introductory section explains how
the exercise of yoga can help the turbulent emotional life of adolescents who
have so much to cope with these days. The main hour-long instructional section
has four teens (three female, one male) practicing yoga under Brock's
guidance. It's a fairly energetic workout, with sun salutations, hip openers,
standing poses, abdominals, backbends, sitting poses and relaxation. Then
there is a half-hour program of yoga with just two teens and Brock, in which
they go through an abbreviated version of the hour-long program with a few
small differences. In this section, Brock gives minimal instruction, but
simply gives enough information in a voice-over to know which positions to
The practice takes place in a
red-brick-walled room with a hardwood floor with posters, plants and cushions
for decoration. The music in the background, added in post-production, is
electronic, and varies in pace with the energy of movements. Most of the
postures are very familiar from hatha yoga. The only slight difference is that
Brock does more jumping and hopping than you find on most yoga DVDs. I've
never seen donkey-kicks included in a yoga practice before! Brock is
enthusiastic and makes many of the same claims for the benefits of yoga that
you will hear from its advocates. The teens demonstrating the yoga all do it
well, and have differing strengths and styles, so watching the DVD gives one
some sense of the variation people have in their abilities, which can be
helpful in learning how to become comfortable with a new practice. Brock is a
good instructor and helps those following with her words and actions. I had
only a couple of reservations. First, she does not always give much guidance
about breath, while other yoga instructions place a great deal of emphasis on
breathing, and even claim that breathing in the right way is absolutely essential.
She occasionally says to breathe in or breathe out, but often she does not.
Second, for the two times when she recommends coming to and upside-down
position, she gives very little guidance. Since it will take most people at
beginner or intermediate stage a great deal of practice and strength to get
comfortable with achieving those positions, it would have been helpful to show
how to build up to those postures.
The production quality of the DVD
is reasonably good. The sound recording and camera work are proficient,
although not always great. The image quality is satisfactory although a little
grainy and the color seems a bit over-saturated.
One quibble. Brock doesn't always
enunciate well. Very often, instead of "chest," she says
"chess." It is a small thing, and it may not bother most teens, but
others may find it distracting.
I tried two copies of the DVD, and
both had quality problems with the sound and video. There were occasional
places where the sound became very distorted for about 15-30 seconds, and there
are other places where the picture flickers or distorts. So anyone purchasing
the DVD should make sure that they can get a replacement or full refund if they
have problems with their copy.
Overall, this is a pretty good DVD,
and one of the very few aimed at teens. It could be used by adults too:
there's nothing here that is exclusively for teens.
Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities
Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at DowlingCollege, Long Island. He is also
editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on
philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.