by Kristen Eyke Big K, 2008 Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Oct 13th 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 Hips practice is 14 minutes long. Unlike the other workouts in this series, which are filmed outdoors, here Eykel is practicing inside, in front of a crackling fireplace. She begins with several variations of butterfly or cobblers stretch (she generally does not give names for the postures), including forward bending in this pose. Bringing the legs to a wide angle seated position, she forward bends over each leg in turn. Next comes a mild kneeling backbending series which concludes with an optional full camel pose. The influence of Eykel's Kundalini teaching seems apparent in the move which follows, as it involves sitting on one hip, raising with arms overhead, and coming back down on the opposite hip. Eykel continues this exercise for one minute before moving on to a classic hip opener, pigeon pose. She concludes the practice with kneeling hip circles, child's pose, and a final "sat nam." There are two Stressbusters on this DVD, each about a minute long: 1) an overview of Acupressure, and 2) Chocolate Rx, a review of the health benefits of dark chocolate.
Overall, this Hips DVD offers the option of a short yoga workout addressing an area that can often become tight resulting from the prolonged sitting that many of us do as a result of modern-day life. Eykel presents a practice that is generally accessible for most levels. Furthermore, those who value other wellness approaches might appreciate the bonus meditation and stress relief features. 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