by Jill Miller Pranamaya, 2007 Review by Christian Perring on Oct 7th 2008
This Core Integration DVD has a 57-minute Practice, and an essential 80-minute workshop explaining the practice, along with a 16-minute breathing primer. The DVD also contains MP3 files that you can copy onto your hard disc with audio versions of the practice and the primer. Jill Miller here focuses on the core, stretching and strengthening the abdomen, diaphragm, side muscles and back muscles. It is important to watch and follow the workshop portion first since it gives precise and careful instructions about how to do the exercises that Miller only briefly mentions in the practice portion, yet which are necessary for the successful performance of the exercises. She also explains the equipment necessary to do the exercises: the yoga mat, strap, and blocks will be familiar to most yoga practitioners and the blanket or rug and plastic garbage bag will be easy to get, but the long foam roller is more specialized, and Miller explains how to construct a homemade version. The workout contains elements that will be mostly familiar to those who have done some yoga, but it is a distinctive combination of those elements that will be challenging unless you already have very strong abdominal muscles. On the other hand, this workout is not as difficult as many other ab workouts, and although your muscles may ache a little after, you won't be in the agony that often results from intense abdominal exercise. Miller's instructions n the workshop are very clear, and she also explains what the exercises are supposed to achieve. She uses a large living space with a sofa and other furniture and a wooden floor, lit by studio light and apparently with windows looking out to sky, pleasantly decorated. She speaks as she demonstrates the exercises, and the sound quality is good. Occasionally her voice changes when she moves into positions changing the acoustics, but it is always easy to hear her words. Overall, this Yoga Core Integration DVD has strong production qualities and is well designed. While it is unlikely to build up muscles very quickly, it does provide a subtle and satisfying yoga experience.