by Kristen Eykel Big K Productions, 2008 Review by Beth T. Cholette, Ph.D. on Sep 22nd 2009
Yoga Emergency -- The 12 Minute Workout is a five-part video collection offered by yoga instructor, wellness consultant, certified Reiki practitioner, and hypnotherapist Kristen Eykel. Each DVD in this series follows the same format, providing an approximately 12-minute yoga practice focused on one particular area of the body, a relaxation centered on that same area (about 2 minutes of guided relaxation continuing with 8 minutes of nature sounds), and finally, a few short "stressbusters" designed to help you learn how to live without stress in your life. In addition, the Special Features menu includes a brief (5 minutes) interview with Eykel in which she talks about the benefits of yoga, particular with regular practice. One additional note: during the workout portion, Eykel does not mirror-cue the yoga postures.
The Back practice (alternatively titled "Mid & Low Back") is 12 minutes long, the majority of which is performed on the floor. Eykel begins in easy pose with a seated spinal rock forward and back. She continues with spinal circles before moving onto hands and knees for both cat/cow and lateral spinal bends. Down dog is next, with Eykel adding a bent-knee stretch (a.k.a. "crazy dog"); this is followed by a side stretch. Eykel then incorporates what appears to be a Kundalini yoga exercise, as it involves rolling up from a squat to a standing position several times. Standing, Eykel moves through hip circles, chest circles, and finally, an upright version of the spinal rock before concluding with "sat nam." There are three Stressbusters on this DVD, each about a minute long: 1) Breathing, an overview of diaphragmatic breathing, 2) Gardening, extolling the benefits of gardening as a hobby, and 3) TV & Stress, which recommends avoiding TV at night in order to improve sleep.
In summary, this Back DVD offers the option of a short yoga workout addressing an area that can often become problematic for many. Eykel does not necessarily include the same yoga postures that are often seen in other yoga DVDs targeted to the back (e.g., reclined leg stretch); perhaps because of her Kundalini background, the routine that she presents here is a bit more dynamic, yet still generally accessible for most levels. Furthermore, those who value other wellness approaches might appreciate the bonus meditation and stress relief features of this DVD. Finally, Eykel donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of all of her DVDs to Conservation International, which may further appeal to some users.
Beth Cholette, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to college students at SUNY Geneseo. She is also a Top 100 Reviewer at Amazon.com and the official yoga media reviewer for iHanuman.com