Posted by: Santa Barbara Dreaming | October 3, 2008

Rodney Yee Yoga DVD Review

I listened to cues from my body yesterday and decided not to do my hardcore Jillian Michaels routine, and decided to do some more yoga instead. I’m so glad I did. I was feeling stiff and tired, so yoga helped me feel more stretched and relaxed, while still getting in a pretty good strength building session.

For this yoga session, I did Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Strength VHS. (Old school I know, who uses VHS these days, right?) And here are my thoughts on this particular product.

Yoga for Strength

Yoga for Strength

Now, I’m not a yogi by any means (though I would LOVE to be), but I have done some yoga in my days, and I consider myself to be at an intermediate level. This DVD was a little….. slow for me. Not necessarily easy, but slow. Now, this slow tempo worked for the condition I was in last night (tired, stiff), so it was a good choice for me. However, for most other purposes, this video would have bored me.

For the first 36 minutes, we do Vinyasa sequences and inverted poses. I did some sun salutations, triangle poses, and side stretches. And he had me spend a LOT of time in downward dog. Each movement is slow, and we hold the poses for a long time. Which is good for stretching purposes and building strength, but can get boring. I also did the bridge pose (I like this one!) and a shoulder stand. Now, I have a major complaint about this segment. The shoulder stand is not comfortable for people with shoulder injuries, or lower back issues. I have a shoulder problem, so it was uncomfortable for me. I was waiting for him to explain modifications or alternative poses I could do, but NO. He doesn’t offer any help there. It’s his way, or no way. Since one of the wonderful things I love about yoga is that it can be modified to fit EVERY body’s differences and needs, failing to offer modifications is a HUGE negative.

The shoulder stand. Image from

The shoulder stand. Image from

The second part of the video is a 24 minute section of standing/sitting poses with arm balances. This segment was…. eh. We go from a warm up to a side plank pose. Again, my problem was that he offered no alternatives for people with shoulder issues. I fortunately know how to modify it, so I was able to do the pose, but I think it’s important for him to be more accomodating. We then did some typical standing poses such as the triangle, warrior, and tree poses. So far so good. You think you got it, and then, Woah…. He contorts his body all pretzel like and hoists himself off the ground, balancing on his two hands. Ummmm ok. He does mention you can modify it by using blocks, but no further explanation is given. So I’m just supposed to levitate off the ground? Don’t think so Rodney! The segment ends with some twisting stretches and deep breathing.

Overall, it’s not a bad DVD, but it does need improvements. His voice is soothing and calm, which I liked. I also like seeing what his body can do. It’s really amazing. However, he needs to do some more explaining, and needs better cuing. He tells you what to do next as he’s already doing it, so if you don’t know what’s coming up next, by the time you hear what to do, you’re half a step behind. Also, he could be better at cuing on how to focus the breath. (see my post about yoga at Lululemon) But mostly, he needs to explain modifications!

Maybe one day I too will be this bendy. Image from

Maybe one day I too will be this bendy. Image from

This yoga would be good for someone looking for a slow, relaxing practice. It would also be good for beginners, as the pace is slow. I don’t think I’ll ever do this particular VHS again. But I like his style, and I know he has like, a gazillion different DVDs, so I definitely DO want to try his other stuff.

But yeah, I love yoga. One of my biggest wishes right now is to learn to become a yoga teacher. That would be soooooooooo amazing. Anyone want to sponsor me? ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚


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