by Kristen Eykel Big K, 2008 Review by Beth T. Cholette, Ph.D. on Sep 29th 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.
The Arms & Shoulders practice is 12.5 minutes long, and it is performed entirely in a seated position. The workout begins in easy pose with neck stretches: lateral, up and down, and then neck rolls. Eykel follows this with a tricep stretch and then a seated twist, half lord of the fishes pose (she generally does not give names for the postures). Next you can see the influence of Eykel's Kundalini background with her inclusion of a seated torso twist, performed with the arms raised in a 90-degrees position for about one minute. Stretches for the arms and shoulders follow, including seated eagle arms and hands clasped behind the back. After this, Eykel performs another Kundalini-like move involving stretching alternate arms up with the breath. Eykel concludes this practice with wrist circles, stretches for the fingers, and a final "sat nam." There are three Stressbusters on this DVD, each about a minute long: a brief introduction to Reflexology, the use of Aromatherapy, and information on Flying & Stress.
Overall, this Arms & Shoulders DVD offers the option of a gentle, short yoga workout addressing an area that becomes tight for many of us as a result of modern life. Although the stretches that Eykel presents do not target this area as intensely as some other similar yoga DVDs designed for this same purpose, her practice is very accessible, and those who value other wellness approaches might appreciate the bonus meditation and stress relief features. Furthermore, 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