by Shiva Rea Sounds True, 2004 Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Jul 18th 2006
This 2-DVD package of Shiva Rea
yoga is a little different from the others that come from Sounds True. The
yoga instruction was shot in the same location, and indeed, some of the
material used here is also on the other DVDs, in the Maldive Islands and Southern India. The production is very similar, with Shiva Rea instructing in a
voice-over while she demonstrates in the open air, on a yoga mat on a beach.
There is a variety of music used in the background, and much of it has an
eastern "world dance" flavor, which is very pleasing. This product
is different for two main reasons. First, the second DVD disc has an interview
with Rea, and she provides some tips on how to do the positions. There is also
more information about Rea's organization YogaAdventures, she demonstrates more
positions, and there interviews with a number of west coast people talking
about what yoga means to them. Second, the first disc has a much greater
variety of yoga routines than the other Shiva Rea DVDs, and these go to a more
advanced level. This means that Yoga Shakti is probably not the most
appropriate place to start for beginners, because they may find it difficult to
achieve Stage 1 of some positions, and the prospect of getting to Stage 4 may
be daunting. However, for people who have been doing yoga for some time, it
can be inspiring to see Rea's astonishing strength and flexibility as she goes
through the various levels of different positions. Even for those of us who
are still only at Stage 1 for many of the postures, it helps to see how
ultimately an introductory position could be developed.
As with the other Shiva Rea DVDs,
the first DVD has a number of different postures, and you can either choose
from one of four set routines (basic flow, solar flow 1, solar flow 2, and
lunar flow) or else you can create your own routine by programming the DVD
yourself, from the 30 basic elements. While it is possible to just do one or
two of the individual elements, the DVD seems designed for longer routines, so
using it for a yoga workout can be particularly demanding. Most of the work
here is in the form of flow yoga, and you can expect to work up a sweat as you
go through an hour or more of different movements. Rea gives clear instructions
on what to do and generally when it isn't quite clear from her words, you can
follow her example by watching her.
It is the high production quality
that sets Shiva Rea's yoga DVDs apart from others. There's sophisticated
editing that blends one image on top of another, and the flexibility of use.
Among the many yoga DVDs available, Yoga Shakti stands out as one of the
best. Highly recommended.
Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair
of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology
Online Reviews. His main research is on philosophical issues in
medicine, psychiatry and psychology.